Freezing a computer harddrive?

I saw a link to this on another board. Apparently, if your computer hard drive seems to not be functioning, a last ditch solution is to stick it in the freezer for awhile and then re-boot.

Has anyone ever done this?

Anybody have a guess as to why this might work?

      • I have done it, it did seem to work, in that with the HD at room temperature, it would cause the computer to reboot after about 25 seconds. With freezing it to zero F, I got about a minute and a half. -I guess maybe if the bearings have failed, freezing them might make them contract and allow a bit more room to move. As they move, the grind and heat up, until the HD siezes again.
  • Another recommended technique is to (leave the HD out of the case, but hook it up and) take a screwdriver and rap the handle on the edge of the HD gently as it is running. The widely repeated theory on this is that the head pivot bearings are old and sticky but striking the HD will jar them loose repeatedly, and this is done because it takes a couple seconds for the HD to realize the head is frozen before it signals a disk error. So if you keep rapping the HD on the side, the head doesn’t stick long enough for the drive to signal a HD error due to the frozen head.