Hard Drive Clicking

Hard drives are a widely used data storage device that are present in nearly every laptop and desktop computer. While most hard drives perform their duties without experiencing issues, other hard drives aren’t so lucky. Unfortunately, if you hear your hard drive clicking, you have a serious problem.

When you turn on your laptop or desktop, your user profile, personal settings, photos, documents, spreadsheets, and all the rest of your files should be available. Files are still accessible after a computer has been powered down because non-volatile storage allows computers to save files in a way that is persistent (you may also see the term persistent storage) when power is disconnected. However, there are a number of common scenarios (and nearly infinite less common scenarios) where hard drives don’t function as they are intended. Some of these scenarios will result in a hard drive clicking, beeping, or making another abnormal noise. Hard drive clicking is a serious issue that is often associated with data loss.

If you have important files that are stuck on a clicking hard drive, the Data Savers data recovery team can help. Data Savers engineers are among the most experienced in the industry, and our team has restored files from thousands of clicking hard drives.

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Why is my Hard Drive Clicking?

If you have noticed that your computer is making a clicking noise or that your external hard drive is clicking, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Hard drives are never supposed to click. Hard drives only click when there is a serious problem with the internal components the hard drive uses to save and retrieve data. Hard drive clicking can be an indicator that your drive has suffered a head crash. Maybe your device is experiencing an electrical issue that’s responsible for your clicking hard drive. It could also simply be age. Hard drives don’t last forever, and well within the realm of possibility that your drive is on its last legs due to advanced age.

Head Crash

Head crashes are a concept any legitimate data recovery professional will be aware of. If your drive is clicking after being dropped on the floor, roughly handled, or in any way physically impacted, a head crash is by far the most likely cause for the clicking noise coming from hard drive. When a hard disk drive is operating as intended, instruments called read-write head(s) transfer and receive data stored to disks known as platters. When the drive is on, the read-write heads are suspended nanometers above the platters. When the drive is off, the read-write heads rest safely away from the (vulnerable) surface of the platters. When a drive is dropped or experiences a physical jarring, the head-stack can become stuck to the surface of the platters. This is commonly referred to as a head crash. When this happens, your only hope for restoring data from the drive is by working with a professional data recovery laboratory like Data Savers.

Power Issues

Issues with the power supply that provides electricity to your hard drive can also result in a hard drive making a clicking noise. It should be unsurprising that as an electronic device, hard drives depend on a constant supply of electricity to operate. When the power supplied to the hard drive is inconsistent with what the drive’s manufacturers designed it for, the drive can make a clicking noise. This isn’t a simple fix. You can’t simply plug a cord from the local hardware store into the hard drive and everything will be back to normal. Data Savers uses a class 100 ISO-5 cleanroom environment to address situations like this (the same applies to head crashes).

Age or Heavy Use

Age is responsible for many a clicking hard drive. Like any electronic device (or organic matter, for that matter), time brings changes. When a hard drive has experienced heavy use (a significant number of read-write operations have been performed) the drive can essentially cough up it’s last and start making a clicking noise. While the drive is effectively well beyond the point of no return from a user perspective, the Data Savers team can still extract files from the failed drive.

Data Recovery for a Clicking Hard Drive

As we mentioned in the introduction, the Data Savers team has extensive experience restoring lost files from clicking hard drives. Experience is an essential qualification for practicing data recovery. While many data recovery operations are run by technically skilled technicians with a deep understanding of computers, these professionals may not have much experience with procedures specific to data recovery. You can rest more easily knowing that your clicking hard drive is being serviced by the expert engineers at Data Savers. The Data Savers team has nearly two decades of experience conducting hard drive data recovery. While the Data Savers team typically tries to provide troubleshooting suggestions when we write about issues like this, clicking hard drives are a problem that is beyond the capabilities of anyone but a professional data recovery lab.

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