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Data Recovery in the Woodshed, A Tale of Digital Resurrection

Data Recovery
Image Source:stockphoto-graf@Shutterstock

When a 1TB drive fails, many people believe that data recovery requires a high-tech lab with serious-looking technicians and engineers. However, John Graham-Cumming, a man with a woodworking shop, managed to recover data from a failed solid-state drive (SSD) in an unexpected way.

John had two Seagate Firecuda 530 SSDs in his gaming rig that suddenly stopped booting. After investigation, he found that one of the drives had failed, which can happen. Nevertheless, the failed drive showed signs of life after cooling off. In an attempt to bring it back to life temporarily, John placed it in the freezer for 30 minutes. However, the drive only functioned until it warmed up again.

Suspecting a bad solder joint, John decided to apply pressure to the drive’s circuit board, and surprisingly, it started working. The only challenge was that holding onto the SSD tightly while copying a terabyte of data was not ideal. To solve this problem, John used a woodworking clamp to apply the necessary pressure in the right spot. Additionally, he used a carpenter’s square as a heat sink to prevent excessive heat build-up.

Fortunately, John successfully recovered all the data from the drive, and through a process called hot air reflow, he managed to fully restore the drive to a working state again.

While John’s woodworking approach is unique, typical data recovery methods often involve more wires than woodworking. However, if freezing does not work for your media, an alternative solution could be using an oven.

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Image Source: stockphoto-graf@Shutterstock

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