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Clicking, Screeching, Buzzing, Beeping, Noisy Sounds; Hard Dive's Heads and Platters

The computer hard disk drive is a common source of the noise sound. It is normal for a spinning hard drive to produce low humming and quiet whistling sounds. However, drive should not produce repetitive clicking, ticking, screeching, or banging noise. Very noticeable humming, squeaking, or any type of hard thump can be a primary indicator that your hard drive is failing, thus your data can be in danger.

Hard Drive's Heads and Platters

Clicking sound may indicate a very serious hard dive problem. Data recovery from clicking drives is a pretty complex process with high technology expertise requirements. The success rate of recovery depends on the source of the problem. Read/write head assembly failure and damaged platter's surface usually generate clicking sounds.

Clicking hard drive

Clicking HHD audio example

Clicking sound sample(mp3)

So what does a clicking failed hard drive sound like?

There may be many clicking patterns for each particular hard drive model.

To help you with telling the difference between a good hard drive and a hard drive that is on its last legs we provide just the one sound pattern to help you diagnose the dangerous problem.

What is a Head assembly?

The Head assembly is often called the hard drive heads (or simply: the heads).

Head assembly and magnets are parts of the stepper actuator (or Stepper Motor); a mechanical gear that positions the tips of actual electro-magnetic heads over the appropriate data tracks (cylinders with sectors).

The read/write heads themselves are suspended over the surface of the disk at the ends of the head arms. The head arms are all mechanically fused into a single structure that is moved around the surface of the disk by the actuator (some kind of motor, turning the head-arm back and forward).

Why clicks put a data in danger

Typical hard disk uses the rotating platters to store data. Each platter has a smooth magnetic surface on which digital data is stored.

Moving along and between the platters on a common arm are read/write heads, with one head for each platter surface. The hard disk's read-write heads fly above the data surface with clearance of as little as few nanometers.

Normally, the clicking sound produced by the heads assembly which is hitting its travel-limiting stops. Each click accompanies the vibration of heads on arm, strong enough to exceed that tiny safety gap between the flying heads and spinning disks. As a result, heads touch sensitive data surface and destroy it.

We strongly do not recommend a prolong listening to the 'music' of clicking hard drive. To prevent the extensive data damage it is advisable to shut down the computer or external data storage with noisy drive immediately. To repair or to setup the affected computer or server use new hard drives, and the drives with problem must be send to a professional data recovery service. Otherwise, you are jeopardizing to lose your valuable files!

Some of the hard drives recovered in Data Lab 24/7

Are you reliable data recovery service? I have a failed Travelstar 5K1000-1000 HTE541010A9E680 1Tb hard drive
Left computer sleeping overnight, when opened in morning there was a grinding noise. Important: Word documents in Desktop/Temporary Work
Data recovered, the hard drive repair is completely satisfactory. Computer store in NYC

Not ready reading drive C: MQ01ABD100, error message
I have a Mac laptop, the connection bus Toshiba drive that is not recognized as being mounted (although the disk utility sees it but cannot repair) and makes no noise (spinning, clicking, etc)
Thanks for your amazing service, quick turnaround, more than fair price and outstanding results in recovering my data. Best regards, Tim Environmental Working Group, Washington, DC USA

How to unlock hp hard drive: Seagate ST3750528AS Barracuda 7200.12
Drive quit.
- Neither BIOS nor Seagate Diagnostics recognize drive.
- No clicking
- No spinning
- Checked drive in 2 PC's
- Did NOT open drive
Thank you, my clone works just fine and everything is back. I'm so much thankful for all your work. It is really amazing what you do. Sincerely, W. S. William S.P. Jacksonville, Florida USA