Hard Drive is Clicking: What you should do right now?

Hard disk drives (HDDs) are the heart of computing. It’s what holds all of the precious data people collect, like photographs, business reports, and backups of your system. Losing that data is a possibility one event, that has the potential to be catastrophic to a person. Thankfully, there are many instances where hard drives give signs that they are on the cusp of failure. One such example is “The Click of Death”, a usually rhythmic, audible clicking that begins when the drive is active. So, what does it mean when your hard drive is clicking?

There are three things that are likely causing the clicking in the hard drive. First, the read/write head could be unable to find and pair up the information being searched for with the information on the platters. This causes the actuator arm to return the head to its dock quickly, forcibly, and often times repeatedly, making a clicking sound. Second, a mechanical failure in the read/write head or actuator arm may be causing contact between the platter and the head, and the clicking could be the precursor to a full crash. Lastly, a potential electrical failure in the actuator arm or read/write head could be causing a physical problem that will likely result in a crashed or damaged electrical system across the drive. 

With this in mind, what should be done to address the clicking? 

  1.  Begin by powering down the drive. Extended usage of a compromised drive usually results in further, more severe damage to the drive’s systems.
  2. Next, the cause will need to be diagnosed so that appropriate repairs can be made. This should be handled by a professional data recovery expert, so carefully pack the drive and take it into a trusted data recovery service provider. Whatever the cause, the average computer user is not equipped for properly analyzing and fixing the problem.
  3. Lastly, avoid attempts to fix the drive. Do not open the housing or attempt the various “home remedies” that can be found via a Google search. These solutions are rarely able to repair the root issue and often result in further damage to the drive itself.  

Here at Carolina Data Recovery we are ready to tackle any hard drive clicking problems our customers may have, and we will diagnose the cause for free. You have enough to worry about. Let us handle your precious data. 


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