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
  • In such case, backup your data, your drive is dying.

  • Your hard drive can’t be accessed anymore
  • There are a few tricks you can try to get your data back. See below for the full explanations about this symptom.

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
  • 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.

  • Preamplificator is dead
  • SA corrupted or scratched
  • 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.

  • Firmware on the PCB
  • 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.

Why Deadhardrive®?

credential Deadhardrive®



  • 95% successful rate for many years.
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  • Your data retrieved within 7 days!
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