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Hard Drive Clicking – Secure Data Recovery Services

What does it mean when my hard drive clicks? Find out below.


Hard Drive Clicking Guide

Hard drive clicking is among the most ominous noises in computing.

As a data storage device, the hard drive records and retrieves digital information. When working as intended, modern disk drives are near silent. However, a damaged or defective device will emit a series of short, sharp sounds, or clicks. Known as a hard drive “click of death,” these sounds most often indicate a mechanical failure. And, if left unchecked, a clicking hard drive could result in a complete loss of data.

But it doesn’t have to.

Clicking Hard Drive Causes

Clicking hard drive causes differ. As mentioned, the leading reason for hard drive clicking is mechanical failure. Although, mechanical failures do not cover the entire spectrum. The following issues are capable of causing a clicking hard drive:

Read/write head crash

Read/write heads are instrumental to the data-reading and data-writing processes. As the mechanism that interacts with the platter, a malfunctioning read/write head will interrupt all operations. In particular, read/write head crashes can cause hard drive clicking. Crashes occur when a head, positioned nanometers above the platter, comes into contact with debris and drags across the surface.

Head actuator

Another leading cause of the low, continuous noise is related to the head actuator, which facilitates read/write function. The actuator moves the read/write heads to the appropriate area. Due to high usage, actuators wear down and, in time, reach the end of their lifespans. If the actuator fails, the read/write heads are unable to sweep the platter to access or record data. The result is a clicking hard drive.

Electrical issues

An array of electrical issues could affect the integrity and performance of a hard drive. A defective circuit board, a faulty power supply, or a sudden surge could cause hard drive clicking.

Service area

A portion of the hard drive, called the service area, is dedicated to storing manufacturer data. If the service area module is damaged, the hard drive will click as it attempts to recover from a sequence of firmware errors.

Catastrophic failure

Dropping a hard drive or exposing it to harsh elements, such as foreign substances or extreme temperatures, could cause sudden, catastrophic failure. Even if a hard drive has not suffered damage from external sources, rough handling could contribute to component failure or misalignment. Each factor increases the likelihood of hard drive clicking.

External Hard Drive Clicking

External hard drive clicking is a similar but separate matter.

An external hard drive can suffer one of the failures mentioned above. It can also experience detection issues on a more frequent basis. If an external hard drive is not detected, it is critical to eliminate other possible problems, including the connection to the computer, disk drivers, or flawed BIOS settings.

Hard Drive Clicking Fix

A hard drive clicking fix is not straightforward.

Because hard drives are such complex, sensitive machines, it is recommended that experienced technicians conduct all diagnostic and corrective actions. Attempting to fix a hard drive suffering from the click of death without the proper experience or facilities could result in an irreversible loss of user data.

Some websites might suggest home remedies, such as placing the hard drive in the freezer to bring parts back into alignment or to lubricate a seized spindle motor. It is vital to recognize the difference between older models and modern devices. In short, as drives have evolved, the distance between components has vanished. Even an imperceptible shift can impact the performance of a hard drive. And melting ice can leave a harmful residue on the platters. As a result, the real risk for permanent damage outweighs the potential reward.

An exhaustive evaluation is the first step in repairing a damaged or defective hard drive. It can be a challenge to diagnose the problem with a modern disk drive and requires a patient, methodical approach.

Hope is not lost.

Although repairing a hard drive’s click of death is unlikely, trained data recovery specialists can salvage the situation. Specialists utilize many skills to recover data from a damaged or defective hard drive. Data recovery software is also available but is not as applicable in cases of a clicking hard drive, as it is more likely to be a hardware issue. It is important to note that continued operation can inflict further damage on the device, jeopardizing the data.

With expertise in data structure and systems, hard-disk characteristics, and hardware and software troubleshooting, hard drive recovery remains the best option if the files are irreplaceable.

Recover Data From a Clicking Hard Drive

To recover data from a clicking hard drive, stop using the hard drive and power down the device to limit the damage.

Do not attempt to open the hard drive without the requisite environment or tools, as it could compromise future recovery efforts. The longer the click of death persists, the more complex the recovery becomes, and the prospect of successfully recovering the data declines.

Afterward, contacting a reputable data recovery service is the best way to preserve your data.

At Secure Data Recovery Services, we have a nationwide team of certified technicians with the logical and technical skills to reunite you with your data. And our accredited cleanrooms meet Class 10 ISO 4 standards, ensuring a particle-limited environment that protects your hard drive during physical examination. Learn more about cleanroom data recovery.

While the recovery process can be complicated, it’s simple for our customers. We diagnose the issue(s) free of charge, offer a no-obligation quote, and provide a recovery guarantee based on our 96% success rate across every manufacturer and operating system. If you decide to proceed, we extract the data from the damaged or defective hard drive and transfer it to a new device of your choice.

And you are never charged a recovery fee if we cannot restore the data from the hard drive.

Call us at 800-388-1266 for a free consultation.

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