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I don't have physical access to the machine, so I can't unplug the drive.

# hdparm -I /dev/sda | grep frozen

The advice I've read elsewhere is to hotplug the drive, pull the power / sata cables while the machine is running. Those are not possible in this situation as I don't have physical access. I've tried power cycling the machine through the host's control panel a few times, but that hasn't worked.

Is there any way I can unfreeze (unfrozen?) the drive without physical access?

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Have you tried rebooting? – HopelessN00b Oct 3 '12 at 16:44

Suspend & resume should unfreeze the hard-drives.

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@slm no, it's actually an answer. Since BIOS freezes all hard-drives on boot, thus most common option (after hot-plugging post-boot) is to suspend & resume. Since then drives will come up unfrozen, without need to hot-plug/unplug hard-drives. Also if there is remote management, one might even succeed performing this unattended. – Dima Dec 2 '13 at 23:55
I'm not doubting this will fix it, rather in it's current form this seems hardly like a stand alone answer in its current form. Perhaps you could sight a reference or too to bolster this answer a bit? – slm Dec 3 '13 at 0:06

I had the same problem. After some googling I decided to suspend the machine remotely:

CentOS6# pm-suspend

and then I called a person on site to turn it on. That did the job.

Yes it require some physical access but not necessarily you nor someone technical. Just call some random person around the box to press the power button.

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"Freezing" the drive is done by the system BIOS pre-boot when the hard drive has a password enabled. Some BIOSes always freeze drives, though this usually only happens with laptops.

You can try one of two things to unfreeze the drive, but both of them require physical access, or at least console access:

  1. Remove the hard drive password in the BIOS, and reboot.
    • If your BIOS always freezes drives, contact the hardware vendor for a fixed BIOS.
  2. Hotplug the drive, as you noted above.
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SSD also can be unstable / old firmware. Sadly, there is nothing you can do. Transalte to "my friends car does not start, i am 8000km away, how can i repair it". You can not. – TomTom Oct 3 '12 at 18:08

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