This operation can be tried when the System Area is scratched or corrupted. This is not a simple procedure and you need to have a certain expertise to proceed.

A live PCB Swap is used to fix temporarily a clicking hard drive having a corrupted or scratches System Area. Instead of fixing this very complex Area, you can direclty go for a live PCB swap, which will bypass the reading of the area, thus grant you access of your data for a while.

How to perform a live PCB swap?

You will need:

– The same hard drive as yours
– Same model, firmware, pcb etc….you can buy on ebay for instance.
– Another hard drive to copy the data once you have been granted access to your dead drive
– Screw driver for pcb
– SATA or IDE cables

The process step by step:

live pcb swap hard drive clicking
  • Plug the good drive on your computer using the SATA or IDE cables
  • Put your computer to sleep
    The good drive will then be in sleeping mode too.
  • Move or swap the PCB of your good drive (still connected to your asleep computer) to your dead hard drive
    Be carefull and take your time to do that. At this stage, you have a computer in sleep mode, a broken hard drive with a good pcb connected to the computer on it.
  • Get out of the sleep mode
    You should be able to access your data.
  • Don’t copy the whole drive, go for important folder first and step by step.

This trick works only if the heads or preamplificator of your drive are not dead. When you drive fall on the floor it can scratch the System Area then your hard drive might be clicking and not being able to initialize.

I remind you that the System Area is located on the inner cylinder on 2.5” hdd and on the outside cylinder on a 3.5” hdd.

If you have dropped your external hard drive on the floor, it is possible that the head or the preamplificator of your hard drive died in the process, in which case you need to swap the head first in clean room.

It doesn’t work? Maybe there is another physical issue on your drive