A clicking hard drive and other unusual noises from your hard drive is an indication that there is something wrong with your system. Your hard drive is the most sensitive part of your PC, and while it is relatively sturdy, there are always things that can go wrong with it.
Causes of Clicking Hard Drives
Hard drives typically emit a clicking or buzzing noise when:
- The mechanical heads hit against a head stop
- There is a loose connection in the electrical circuit
- Incompatible graphic card drivers are used
- The heads are repeatedly failing to read data on the hard drive platters
If the clicking is due to a mechanical problem or faulty circuitry, it is sometimes referred to as a ‘click of death’. This clicking can be fatal to your hard disk, and can slowly lead to hard disk failure if ignored,” was quoted by a SERT Data Recovery technician.
Steps to Take in Case of a Clicking Hard Drive
If you are faced with a clicking hard disk, there are steps you can take to prevent damage to your hard drive and irreversible data loss.
1. Confirm the status of your drive: Your clicking hard drive may be partially damaged or the damage may be more serious. If the clicking noise is loud and steady and your BIOS won’t recognize the drive, it is most likely dead.
2. Checking external connections: Sometimes the problem may the result of a loose or broken cable. Check to make sure the power cable is connected and that the data cables and power cables inside your computer case are firmly in place. This should only be done with a desktop computer (not with a laptop) and with the right precautions against static damage.
3. Backup: Take a backup of your data with the help of data recovery tools and software available. However, these software solutions will only work if the problem is minor and then too it may not be able to recover data completely, if at all. Professionals have dedicated imaging software that can promise greater turnaround times and success rates in clicking hard drive data recovery.
4. Replacing a faulty circuit board: If the circuit board is faulty, then the circuitry can be replaced. However, this is again a process that should be left for professional technicians in order to avoid additional damage.
5. Replacing the platters: Sometimes it may be possible to replace the platters from the clicking drive to another functional hard drive to recover data. This is a delicate process and you should only try this method of data recovery if you are savvy. If not, power off your hard drive and immediately take it to a professional for evaluation.
Whatever the cause of hard drive clicking noises, it is highly recommended that a professional be contacted to prevent further damage to the disk. It is the most sensitive part of the computer and a self-recovery process can do more harm than good.