Why is my hard drive clicking?

When a hard drive begins making any kind of noise other than a reassuring and subtle whir, it’s safe to say that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. When a drive makes an audible clicking sound, however, the problem is also likely to be significant and the services of hard drive repair experts are likely to be needed. Why is this?

In order to write and read data, all hard drives use what are known as heads. These write data on to what is referred to as a platter (essentially a disk covered in a magnetic surface) when you save it, and read it from the platter when you want to view it. If a hard drive begins to click, it almost certainly means that these key components are not functioning correctly meaning that your hard drive can no longer read the data that is stored on it.

Sometimes the clicking can be ascribed to a failed circuit board. On other occasions, these sounds can be down to a series of errors having resulted in the drive attempting to ‘reset’ itself and the heads repeatedly loading and unloading or the actuator (the device that moved the drive’s head) frequently stopping the head from moving. Under such circumstances, it is generally possibly to recover the data held on the drive.

Unfortunately, clicking can also be a symptom of the far more serious problem of a head crash. Under these circumstances, the drive’s heads come into direct contact with its platter. As discussed previously, the top layer of the platter is comprised of a magnetic material and it is in this material that data is stored. As the platters in modern hard drives spin at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour, the contact between the two creates friction which, in turn, produces a significant amount of heat that will, over time, damage the magnetic material that coats the platter and on which the drive’s data is stored.

Put simply, if your hard drive is making a clicking noise of any kind, you need to power down your machine and this storage media immediately. Continuing to use the drive is certain to make any damage considerably worse and could, potentially, render any of the data held on the drive unreadable.

So, turn it off and get your drive to Fields Data Recovery for a free data recovery diagnostic and no-obligation  quote today.

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