Clicking Hard Drive: What does it mean and how to fix it?
This typical hard drive clicking noise means that the System Area (SA) cannot be read. It could be simple or complex to fix.
There are 2 cases:
- Your hard drive is still visible by windows or Mac
- Your hard drive can’t be accessed anymore
In such case, backup your data, your drive is dying.
There are a few tricks you can try to get your data back. See below for the full explanations about this symptom.
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Clicking noise you said?
Click of death of a hard drive
Check our database of typical sounds on Soundcloud.
Why is the hard drive making this clicking noise?
Whatever you do, you will need to repair the hard drive first.
We know now, it is because the System Area cannot be read. You can have 4 main reasons (and a possible combination of them) for this to happen:
- Heads are damaged
- Preamplificator is dead
- SA corrupted or scratched
- Firmware on the PCB
For heads and preamplificator…well you only have a choice which is to swap the head of your drive. This is where it gets expensive in terms of data recovery services. Head swapping should be done in a clean room ISO 5, but if you are skilled enough you can try it in a clean environment if you don’t plan to spend money anyway on your data. Head issue is very common if you dropped your external hard drive for example.
If the SA is scratched you might have a shot through a live pcb swap. It will basically bypass the reading of the SA and you have a cheap shot at getting your data back.
For firmware issue on your PCB, a PCB swap is the operation you should be looking at. This is doable by most individual thus not that simple,as you need to move components of the old PCB to the new one.
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