HELP, My Hard Drive Is Clicking!

Modern mechanical hard disks come in 3 form factors being, 3.5", 2.5" and 1.8". Apart from their size (both physical and storage capacity), the operate in a ver similar way in that they have a platter(s) which store data as a magnetic signal and read head(s) which read and write the data to the platters. The are used in a host of different ays to store all kinds of data on different types of computer and even in other devices such as digital TV recorders. Comparatively speaking they are inexpensive and are the most popular type of data storage technology in the world and will continue to be so for some time.




For the most part it is down to luck as to how long one would expect these disk to last, some disks can fail only a few weeks after being purchased but can in fact last decades before they fail. Physical impacts will without doubt cause mechanical disks to fail especially if they are powered on at the time; some disks have shock protection but if severe enough even these precautions cannot stop disks from failing in this manner.


When they do fail in this way what is happening in most cases is the disk is attempting to access data or initialise which is failing so the head assembly resets causing the clicking noise. There are of course some notable exceptions to this but for the most part this is a very simple way of understudying what is happening with this type of failure.


Inside a hard disk




Put put it bluntly no. Without the assistance of a data recovery laboratory, experienced staff and specialised equipment the chances of retrieving data from a disk failed in this way is 0%. Under no circumstance should anyone not completely understanding data recovery should attempt to recover data. Data recovery is a highly specialised process, even the most seasoned IT professionals have no understanding of the work involved. For example, when a disk fails mechanically many people do not even realise the disk is failed in this way and continue to apply power in an attempt to understand what is wrong, doing this is extremely dangerous to the data held on the disk as continually applying power will eventually render the data unrecoverable if the disk suffers a severe head crash.


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The first thing is to strip down the disk in a clean anti-static environment (a clean room), to determine the condition of the platters; if the disk is deemed good for recovery a suitable replacement for the heads stack assembly is sourced and swapped from the failed head(s). After the rebuild there is then the cloning stage which addresses any bad sectors on the disk. The cloning is done onto a stable disk which is then used to recover your precious data.

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