How to Repair an Overheated Car Hard Drive How to Repair an Overheated Car Hard Drive

What You'll Need
Plastic bag
Spare hard drive
Disc Doctor

If you have been using an on-board computer in your vehicle, then you may suffer problems when you overheat the car hard drive. Car computers are still relatively rare, so fixing an overheated hard drive is not as easy as you may think. Rather than treating it like a part of the car, you will have to treat it as you would any other computer hard drive, and the best way to begin your procedure is to remove it from the car once you realize that it is overheating. How you repair the hard drive can depend upon how much you need the information on the drive, and whether you can afford to replace the hard drive with another.

Step 1 - Locate the Problem

You will have to work out the reasons for the overheating before you attempt a repair. Work out if the car hard drive has been wrongly connected to the wiring, or if you have had an electrical discharge. Fix any discovered problems before reinstalling the hard drive, otherwise you will simply be fixing the problem only to cause it again. You should also install your hard drive into a computer, and then run a program such as Disc Doctor, or similar. This will allow you to see if the car hard drive itself is damaged beyond repair, or if there is anything that the program can do to work this problem out. Once you know how bad it is, you can start trying to repair it.

Step 2 - One-off Freezer Repair

If you have completely overheated the hard drive, and it seems like you are never going to be able to see the data on it again, then you may have one final option for gathering the data. While it is not strictly a repair, it should allow you to run and open the disc drive enough for you to get the information before it overheats again. Take your car hard drive, and place it in a sealable plastic bag. Put this bag, and the hard-drive, into a freezer, and allow it to be chilled. You should leave it there for between 15 minutes and an hour, and then open up the disc on your computer. The files should open up for long enough that you can save them to a floppy disc.

Step 3  - Clean the Hard Drive

A common cause of hard-drive overheating is dust and dirt getting into the computer parts. In order to repair the hard drive, you need to remove any dirt by using a compressed air can. Spray the compressed air into the hard drive, taking care not to apply it too hard. You should then be able to remove the hard drive without too many problems. Cleaning off the hard drive using a little electrical cleaning powder can also help to prevent it from overheating in the future.

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