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

The computer hard disk drive is a common source of 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.

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 sound sample(mp3)
Clicking HHD audio example

So what does a clicking failed hard drive sound like?

There are maybe 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 - all you need to do, in case your data is important to you is immediately shut down your computer or external data storage, take out the drive and dispatch it for the professional data recovery service. Otherwise, you are jeopardizing to lose your valuable files!

Three Most Requested clicking hard drive brands for Data Recovery:
Western Digital
HGST and Hitachi
and moderate volume of ticking crashed drives presented by

From Certified general accountant in Toronto, Ontario: Seagate 7200 RPM external - Seagate backup drive is not working and making a busy signal sound (it's ringing like a telephone). It has suddenly stopped working after a dropping accident. Probably, the spindle is stuck and the motor cannot revolve the disks during start up. It needs your help to fix the bad hard drive or quickly restore QuickBooks database.

The required QBW file is downloaded and successfully integrated into the re-installed accounting program.

From Timothy J K. Environmental Working Group Washington, DC USA: Toshiba MK4025GAS laptop - I have an iBook G4 w/ an ATA connection bus Toshiba MK4025GAS 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,

From William S.P. Jacksonville, Florida USA: 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.

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