Fixing Clicking Hard Drive
The basics of fixing a clicking hard drive
Is fixing a clicking hard drive possible? Does your hard drive keep clicking constantly? You probably might have heard that once your hard drive starts clicking, you must bid goodbye to your data. That is not always the case, though.
Most people, including professionals, think that the hard drive must always be opened in a clean room. That is not always the truth, either.
How to Repair Your Hard Drive?
In this article, we would like to discuss two widely-believed myths about the clicking of a hard drive, which will be busted right now. If you hear your hard drive making clicking sounds, don’t be tempted to think that it is not completely useless just yet. In some cases, the hard drive will need to be open to recover the data stored in it, in other cases, it won’t be necessary.
The safest way to open the lid of your hard drive is to do it in a clean room as it protects sensitive equipment such as the internal part of the drive from contamination and dust. Opening should be done only if you have problems such as damaged heads or to examine its platters when no other solution is possible. So, opening a hard drive should always be your last option, never your first one.
N.B. – If your drive is continuously clicking, it may lead to the spinning down of your drive. In this case, minor repairs will suffice. If you want to perform a data recovery, you must restore your drive to a condition similar to an earlier point of time before the crash. This process can only be performed through the application of software utilities, expertise and knowledge that only data recovery services such as Data Doctor possess.
Reasons for A Clicking Hard Drive
The clicks (not beeps) are heard every time the assembly of the actuator arm returns to its initial position vigorously because it is not able to identify the destination, and hence, cannot start up.
If this process happens repeatedly, it might destroy the reading/writing heads, which will damage your drive permanently and make your data unreadable. This actuator assembly is attached to the reading/writing heads and functions as the hard drive reader to control the reading of the data and writing of new data to the hard drive.
N.B. – If you keep trying to run a clicking hard drive without trying to find out the reason for it or performing a hard drive repair, chances are you might make it worse, make the data recovery more complex and end up paying much more for the repairs.
The hard disk repair process always starts with an accurate diagnosis of the problem that is causing the actuator arm to click continuously.
Experts believe that this is the first and most vital step to recover data from hard drive.
Causes and Solutions to A Clicking Hard Disk
There can be many reasons to the clicking of a hard disk. If a proper hard drive data recovery is not performed, this might endanger your disk and data. Some causes for this can be:
- Dropped hard disk – it may start clicking, and you must not attempt to turn it on in such a case.
- Firmware being damaged.
- Service area being damaged.
- Heads being weak or damaged.
- Misaligned heads.
The above mentioned are the most common causes of the clicking of hard disks. We handle these daily and perform successful hard drive recovery in the majority of these cases.
Here are some the questions and concerns we receive from our clients our quotes-request online form:
- Why is my hard drive clicking? I want to retrieve all my photos that are on it, pictures of my kids spanning around 28 years.
- I hear clicking noises from my hard drive. What should I do? Can you help me with the recovery of the data?
- I searched the internet on how to recover deleted files, but I don’t feel I am up to it. Can you give me an estimate?
- The hard disk of my laptop is suddenly clicking and won’t turn on. My other PCs are also not reading the drive. Help me please.
- I have a clicking drive that needs to be restored. It has been sitting in storage unused for 2 years because I don’t know what to do with it.
- My hard disk is clicking, but it does work. Copying files from it takes an awful lot of time. Can you fix it? I desperately need those files for my school.
- My hard disk keeps clicking seven times over and then restarts. My computer can’t detect it.
Don’ts for Recovering Data from a Clicking Hard Disk
Here are some useful advice we can offer in order to increase the possibility of retrieving data from a clicking hard drive:
Freezing: Please never trust inexperienced people or videos on YouTube that claim that sticking your drive in your freezer will repair it. Neither should you open the drive to check it yourself. These are the most damaging things you can do to your hard disk. Unless you are a professional in hard disk recovery, doing these will not work and might even damage your disk more.
Using Software: If you run any software on a clicking hard disk, there is a very high risk of further damage or even total failure of your hard drive. This can sometimes be irreversible too. It is advised to stop running any software. This often leads to unwilling destruction of the internal platters. Solving any problem in the drive’s hardware is essential before you run any software.
You will need the essential diagnostic tools and a good amount of experience to repair the hard disk, for which you require a hard drive data recovery professional.
Opening Your Drive: Most clicking hard drives will require their heads to be replaced or firmware to be repaired. Only then will they initialize and allow you to access the data. Never open a drive to look inside it.
This fix, however, is a temporary solution to recover the data stored in your disk. You can never completely trust that drive again and you won’t be able to use it again afterwards.
Fixing Clicking Hard Drive With Damaged Platters
Sadly, if the clicking of your hard drive is due to the damage to its platters, there is a very low chance of data recovery.
If the reading/writing head is replaced in such a drive, it is likely that the platters will damage the replaced heads too. The head will also become totally wasted because they will become dysfunctional.
Based on the exact nature and location of damage, cleaning or “washing” of the platters might be possible. This is a very expensive and complicated process. In case of damage of platter due to rubbing against heads, the chance of success goes further lower and might not be recoverable at all.
All types of hard drives are vulnerable to this type of failure or damage. We have experience in repairing such damage to all brands of hard disks including Western Digital, LaCie, Samsung, Seagate and more.