How to Recover From a Hard Drive Clicking Sound
It’s not always easy recovering a hard drive that’s clicking, especially if the problem is unknown or not understood. You’ll need to determine what has caused the issue and why it came about for you to fix your computer correctly.
When recovering a hard drive, there are several causes of clicks which can range from bad sectors, damaged read heads, broken platters, or even a loose fan that’s not spinning.
The following guide will help you understand the most common causes of hard drive clicking.
Table of Contents
What Is a Hard Drive Clicking Sound, and Why Does it Happen?
Do you hear a clicking sound coming from your hard drive? It may sound like there’s something stuck inside of it, but modern-day hard disk drives HDDs have no moving parts.
A little-known fact about the inner workings of hard drives is that they contain an actuator arm that moves side to side to read and write data.
This arm comprises two parts: the end where read and write heads are located and an attached metal or ceramic slider. The movement of these actuator arms can cause the clicking sound and lead to other issues, such as damage or data loss.
Thankfully, there are many different causes of a hard drive click, so you don’t have to be extremely worried about the actuator when the real cause could be something else.
Common Causes of Hard Drive Clicking Sound
Besides the actuator arms, there are several other reasons why your hard disk could be producing the clicking sound. These reasons include:
Platters are where your data is stored. There can be pits and layers or even a scratch on the platter that causes sound when it’s spinning at full speed. You need to send your hard drive to a data recovery service to get these components repaired.
The Heads Are Damaged or Misaligned
When the heads on your HDD are either damaged or misaligned, you might experience a clicking sound when it’s trying to read or write information to or from one of the platters.
Intermittent Read and Write Errors
These errors indicate an issue with hard drive heads, the controller board, motor, or firmware. If the read/write heads are misaligned, you might experience a clicking sound as well.
This is a rare case, but if your hard drive suffers from motor failure, spindle failure, or firmware corruption that’s preventing proper operation, then it can produce a clicking sound. These problems mainly arise if you’ve recently dropped your hard disk or if it has been exposed to extreme heat or water.
External hard drives usually make a clicking sound when they suffer from any of the following electrical problems:
- The power supply is not providing enough voltage to operate the drive
- The computer does not recognize that an external device has been connected, or it fails to initialize properly
- The hard disk is not being recognized in the bios
- There’s a loose cable
Firmware Corruption or User Error Issues
If you get a clicking sound from your external hard drive, then it can be because a firmware update might have corrupted the disk’s file system. It could also be because you didn’t follow the proper procedures to disconnect your external hard drive.
No matter the cause of the firmware corruption, recovering the hard drive is the only solution.
How to Recover From a Hard Drive Clicking Sound
If your HDD’s clicking sound comes from a loose cable, recovering it will be much easier than recovering after firmware corruption or user error issues.
If you get the clicking sound when powering up, then that means that there is probably nothing wrong with its disk. All you need to do is recover the hard drive, and it should stop producing the clicking sound.
You can either contact a professional data recovery company or recover by yourself using an external enclosure that matches your HDD’s connections, which are USB or eSATA.
If you have tried recovering without success, then there might be something wrong with its disk platters. You will need to send it to recover or replace the disk if you want your data back.
If you hear a strange sound coming from inside of your computer, then there is probably an issue with either the fan or your hard disk. If it’s a fan sound, you may need to replace it depending on what kind of computer you have and if you’re comfortable working inside its case.
Hard Drive Clicking Sound FAQs
How long do I have to recover my data?
That depends on how much your computer is used and if you need the recovered files urgently. Most recovering cases take up to seven days, although some can be done in as little as 24 hours.
Why is my hard drive making a clicking sound?
Your hard drive could be making clicking sounds because of several factors. The most common cause is the damaged sectors, leading to HDD’s failure to read and write data.
How do I recover my data? Are there any tools you can use for recovering files quickly?
Some tools are helpful for data recovery, and these tools must be certified, proven, and tested for data recovery from all kinds of HDDs, SSD, or RAID configuration hard drives.
Is a clicking hard drive normal?
Some low clicking sounds from your hard drive should be normal and no cause for alarm. However, if the clicking sound persists and becomes louder with time, then you may have something to worry about.
A persistent clicking sound is usually a sign of a problem with the HDD’s head, and it calls for urgent care and attention before your hard drive is damaged and you lose your data.
Maintaining your HDD’s health shouldn’t be a daunting task. Once you’ve mastered these common causes of HDD clicking sound, you can be a step ahead in maintaining perfect health for your hard drive. You don’t have to wait until it’s too late; recovering data from your hard drive has never been easier.
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