I've had two hard drives crash over the past few years. The data is (mostly) backed up, so I'm not willing to pay hundreds of dollars to have a professional do something that I consider optional, but it would be nice to get the data back if possible. For example, I have most of my CD collection on one of them. I can always reburn those CDs, but that would be a huge hassle.
Anyway I keep dreaming of a magic way to get the data off the drive for free, and I thought my day had come last week when somebody suggested that I put the drive in the freezer. "A pro I talked to says half the time, that fixes it long enough to recover the data," he said.
So I put the drive in the freezer overnight and the next morning I gave it a whirl. At first it seemed to work -- there was none of the usual unnatural beeping sound. But after the drive warmed up a bit (literally), it started making its funny noises.
So, cross that idea off the list. Any other suggestions?