Ultimate Guide to Hard Drive Clicking

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By Linda J
By Linda J
Last Modified August 21, 2019
Hard Drive Clicking

Unlike humans, machines cannot tell us what’s wrong with them. The problems in their internal parts arise in various forms, one of which is an external hard drive making a clicking noise. This out of the ordinary performance means you need to take a closer look at your hard drive.

Hard drive clicking noise has a technical explanation behind it. To fully understand a clicking hard drive, you must know how external drive functions: It has a disk read/write head in every system which hovers over the platter of the hard drive. It quickly scans the platter when reading or adding data. This can be anything from images, videos, documents, etc.

When the platter’s design gets damaged, it won’t perform the same way and the disk head reaches the end of the damaged platter, the clicking noises come up. When it occurs regularly, it will damage the read/write head, too. Therefore, your hard drive makes clicking sound.

It is important to know how hard drive work if you want to understand hard drive function, see ​Understanding How Does a Hard Drive Work: A Useful Guide For PC Users!

Hard Drive Clicking Noise

Other reasons behind a hard drive making clicking noise:

  • Physical damage such as dropping the hard drive on the ground
  • Damaged firmware results in disk clicking
  • Weak or failed heads and damaged service area
  • Misalignment of heads

Wherever you go, there is a chance that your hard drive might get corrupted cause of either natural cause or physical damage. So make sure to contact our hard drive recovery service expert to fix/recover your data in no time!

Now that you know why a hard drive makes a clicking sound, you ought to know the next steps to address it.

Hard Drive Clicking Diagnostics: Identify the Noise

Identify The Hard Drive Clicking Noise

A hard drive is made up of multiple parts such as the disc drive, power supply, and the fan. Some of these components have the tendency to cause ticking sounds similar external hard drive clicking noise, but it’s actually an internal computer issue. It’s easy to mistake and that is why you should double check on where the noises are coming from.

If it does indeed come from your external drive, do not be alarmed or do anything rash. It will seem unusual since plugging in a hard drive doesn’t usually result in unruly clicking, grinding, and squealing but there is a reason behind it.

There are multiple types of hard drive, in this article Hard Drives: Why They’re Important and What You Need To Know.

Below are the precautionary steps you should take when your hard drive makes clicking sound:

  • Back-Up Your Data
    Before anything else, make it a point to have a back up of the important files stored on your hard drive immediately. Sometimes the hard drive clicking sound could be the result of a virus, which can potentially put your files at risk of getting deleted.
  • Give it a Quick Run Through on a Diagnostic Software
    There is plenty of hardware diagnostic software available online for a hard drive clicking fix. You can install them for free like SeaGate Seatools, HDD Scan, HD Tune, and more. Once you’ve found the right software for you, close all your other programs while running diagnostic for optimal results.

    You'll find the diagnostic software has marked the failing internal areas of your clicking hard drive. Sometimes, when you access a specific data, the hard drive clicking sound happens. Diagnostic software can detect it and allow you to decide on what to do with the problematic data inside your external hard drive.

    If you find the internal problem requires advanced diagnosis, you should invest in a paid third-party software to clear up your external drive issues and get rid of the worrisome hard drive clicking noise. A third-party software also allows you a more in-depth look at the problem on hand.
  • Consider Total External Drive Replacement
    Professionals recommend people to completely purchase a new external drive because even if the clicking noise goes away, the diagnostic fix won’t last forever. When there is a hard drive clicking but still works, you shouldn’t rely on its fluctuating condition either.

    Replacement is the best solution.It will be expensive since external drives with high memory space is worth a pretty penny, but at least you’ll find peace of mind knowing your data is secured.

Hard Drive Clicking Trouble Shooting

Troubleshooting Hard Drive Clicking

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for a hard drive clicking fix.

Check-out our data recovery services and get a free consultation today!

A few troubleshooting tips you can try when advanced diagnostics didn’t take care of the problem are:

  • Look into the cable connection you use for your external hard drive. Another reason behind hard drive clicking noise is the connector of your external drive to your computer. You can rule it out by trying different cables to check if you still have the same results.
  • Rule Out Fragmentation. An external drive can be fragmented when data is not written correctly in your external drive. Thus, resulting in the unwanted external hard drive clicking noise. You can easily solve fragmentation by using a defragmenting program to extend the lifespan of your hard drive.

    Again, there are plenty of free defragmenting programs available online. All you have to do is research the best fit for your computer.
  • Check Your Device Drivers. Although uncommon, it’s also possible for a clicking hard drive to happen when you’ve got a faulty device driver on your computer. You should consult a computer technician to replace it immediately. Otherwise, no matter how many times you replace your external hard drives, you’ll always encounter clicking noise problems.

Avoid Data Loss When Hard Drive Clicking Noises Arise

Listen To Hard Drive Clicking

Now that you’ve successfully solved the issue behind your hard drive clicking sound, you should focus the next step: prevention. You may have gotten lucky the first time around and you’ve managed to save all your data, but in other cases, some external drives require data termination.

A clicking hard drive is more common than you think. With the years of innovation, you’d think someone would’ve invented a way to make hard drives last longer. But for now, we have to do things manually and continue replacements, data back up and repeat it all over again to ensure the safety of our stored data.

To avoid the fuss of a hard drive clicking problem, perform regular backups on your hard drive. When you have this capability in your arsenal, recovering from a hard drive failure is easy. You won’t have to deal with the stress of lost or deleted data. Simply install a new drive and restore your back up, then you’re all set up.

To know more about hard drive failure, you must first know the The Ins and Outs of Hard Drive Failure.

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