I have heard of putting the drive in the freezer for a couple hours on certain occasions.
i had the boot drive on an Asus P4C800 system die about 2 weeks ago. i guess quiet clicking sounds really are a sign of impending disaster, because that's what happened one or 2 boots before system death.
it was an old system, thoroughly backed up. the boot drive was a Seagate 120 GB SATA drive.
i believe you about putting it in the freezer working sometimes, as far as getting the drive back for a short time to facilitate a more orderly shutdown. i would be interested to hear a hard drive design engineer explaining why it works.