Clicking Noise in Computer

Is someone near your workstation clicking a pen or tapping their finger on the desk? Maybe your associate in the next cubicle is playing a game on their computer, and that noise is from their mouse. After ruling out those possibilities you look inward, and discover that there is actually a clicking noise in computer at your desk…

A Clicking Computer is Never Good

As a computer repair specialist and technology enthusiast, I’ve heard my fair share of clicking noises coming from computers. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times it happens, but my heart drops when I hear that second click. I hear the first click too, but I’m able to hold out hope that it was a random unrelated noise, unfortunately you can hope until it snows in Hawaii, sometimes fate just has other plans.


What to do with a Computer Making Clicking Noise?

A computer might make a clicking noise for a whole host of reasons. Perhaps one of the fans is on it’s last legs, maybe the optical drive is almost at the end of it’s functional lifetime, or, if you are less lucky, that clicking noise is coming from the hard disk drive (HDD) in your computer. Unfortunately, if it’s the latter, your scenario is greatly simplified. You can either keep attempting to access the data on a failed or failing hard disk drive, and risk putting your precious files beyond even the reach of the hard drive data recovery expert at Data Savers, or you can shut down the computer right now, and start the process of reconnecting with the contents of your hard drive today.

What Does a Clicking Fan Mean?

Fans serve the essential utility that your computer uses to keeping temperature sensitive components from overheating, and when they start to make a clicking noise, it’s often a sign that they’re about to give out. This can lead to overheating and other serious problems, so it’s important to replace the fan as soon as possible.

What Does a Clicking CD Drive Mean?

In some cases, a clicking noise could also be caused by a problem with the CD or DVD drive. If you’re trying to use a CD or DVD and the drive starts making a clicking noise, it’s a sign that the drive is having trouble reading the disk. This could be due to a number of factors, such as a dirty lens or a damaged disk. If you use the CD / DVD drive in your day-to-day operation of the computer, it may be prudent to order a replacement ASAP. A backup CD / DVD drive is an inexpensive fallback option to keep on hand, and even if yours fails, assuming you purchase an appropriate replacement, the repair is something most consumers could complete independently.

What Does a Clicking Hard Drive Mean?

In terms of hard drive health, clicking or beeping is never a good sound. When a hard drive starts making a clicking noise, it’s a sign that something is wrong, most likely a concept known as a head crash that we describe in much greater detail in our article How to Handle a Hard Drive Head Crash? If you aren’t in the mood for additional reading, a head crash is simply an event where the minuscule read/write heads pictured at the end of a detached actuator arm in figure a or b come in direct contact with the shiny spinning platter(s) of the drive, pictured in figure c.

figure a

The Read Write Heads are barely visible at the end of the actuator arm.

figure b

While difficult to see, we can assure you the read-write-heads are there!

figure c

Never open a hard drive you intend to continue using outside of a clean room environment.

If the clicking noise you hear is coming from your hard drive, it’s likely your device experienced sudden violent movement, and the read-write heads designed to hover fractions of a centimeter above the surface of the platter end up actually touching the shiny disk. On an unrelated note, it would be irresponsible to show a photo of the inside of a hard disk drive (the platter), without also mentioning that drive is never going to be used again. It was in-fact opened up solely for the purpose of making sure it is not used again. Commercial deguassing is not otherworldly expensive, but it’s still more expensive than some elbow grease.

Shut Down that Clicking Hard Drive ASAP!

It’s also worthy of note that if your hard drive has failed completely, the most obvious indicator of which is that you can’t boot into your operating system. It is imperative that you power down the device and stop trying to read or write data to that hard drive. Continuing to attempt to use a hard drive that has failed can do further damage to your data. It can even put it beyond the reach of data recovery professionals like the hard drive data recovery experts at Data Savers LLC.

If you feel your clicking computer can be narrowed down to a clicking hard drive, don’t hesitate to reach out to the hard drive data recovery experts at Data Savers LLC today!

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