From the “I would never think to try that” box, I read an interesting post regarding a tip to recover data from a failed hard drive. In some cases, wrapping the drive in freezer bags followed by placing it in the freezer for 12 hours will buy you some life on the drive. You can repeat the process as many times as needed to attempt to recover your data.
Hard drives work sort of like old records, except rather than one record and needle, hard drives have several small platters spinning really fast that are accessed by a read/write head. In theory, I believe, this would work with hard drives with slightly warped platters; unfrozen, your busted drive is grinding the head against the platters as a result. By freezing the hard drive, you’re hopefully shrinking the platters enough that they’re no longer rubbing up against the head—temporarily, at least.
Of course, this is not guaranteed to work, but if you find yourself in a bind (i.e. without a backup) it is worth a try. Hopefully, I will not ever have to try this, but if any of our readers have, how did it work out?