Clicking noise is one of the most popular mechanical failures amongst hard drives. The clicking is an abnormal sign of a physically damaged hard drive that any computer user can notice immediately.
Hard Drive Failure Types
Generally, we split hard drive problems into three categories.
The first category is called logical failures. These include data corruption, data deletion, encryption issues, etc. These kinds of situations happen on physically working hard drives.
The second category is called physical failures that include a broken USB port, damaged SATA interface, burned PCB, etc.
The third category is mechanical failures, including head failure, motor failures, and platter damage issues. This category comes with the most challenging and time-consuming cases.
Clicking Hard Drive
About 50% of the hard disk drive we receive to the data recovery lab come with clicking problems. A clicking hard drive is always challenging, requires a cleanroom environment, high precision tools, and experienced data recovery engineers to recover data successfully.
Cleanroom Environment for Hard Drive Repairs
There are broken parts within the mechanically failed hard drives. So the data recovery technician should identify those parts and replace them to repair the hard drive.
However, the interior part of the hard drive is immaculate, and there are no dust particles. Any dust particles within the hard drive will damage it. So while working with the hard drive, the work must be conducted in a cleanroom environment where dust particles do not exist.
We do the removal and installation of the hard drive parts only in the cleanroom. It helps us to achieve a 99% success rate and recover all critical customer data.
Previously Tampered Hard Drives
But sometimes, before the hard drive gets to us, it goes through a lot. As a result, some customers try to recover data by opening a hard drive at home and playing with internal parts without knowing the risks.
It is not only customers, but some computer repair stores also try to do something, and they open the hard drive in a non-cleanroom environment. But, unfortunately, they do not know that opening the hard drive in a standard room brings many risks to the data recovery process.
They attempt to repair the hard drive without knowing the risks by touching the magnetic surfaces and forcefully moving reading writing heads. Unfortunately, doing this way will not help to get the data off from the clicking hard drive.
There are many amateur hard disk drive repair videos on Youtube that customers and computer repair engineers follow. Unfortunately, as a result, the hard drives get severe damage that professional data recovery companies cannot recover the data.
We want to increase awareness about the risks and educate what you should not do when your hard drive makes a clicking sound. Below are some common myths and actions you should not do for mechanically failed hard drives:
- Powering on clicking hard drive
The more the hard drive clicks, the more damaged reading heads create physical damage on magnetic surfaces. The flight height is less than that of a piece of dust or fingerprint. These heads should never physically contact the platter surface; they float on 100 nanometric layers of air just above the magnetic surfaces.
When any small particles are stuck between the platter and heads, the head assembly will grind off the data from platters physically in a fraction of a second.
- Putting the Hard Drive into a freezer
We have heard that customers tried this way. However, this method is a myth, and it will not help you recover data from a clicking hard drive. Instead, it will create additional moisture within the hard drive.
- Opening your Failed Hard Drive at Home
A hard drive is a susceptible media storage device. People are curious what things. But being curious and opening the hard drive outside a cleanroom environment will expose external contamination. Dust particles, humidity, or fingerprints can all lead to significant problems. A mechanically failed hard drive requires physical intervention but only in a cleanroom environment.
- Replacing a native Printed Circuit Board
When a hard drive collapses and has strange clicking noises, many computer users suggest that the printed circuit bird if the cause of the clicking, but it is not correct. Replacing the native PCB with a compatible donor PCB will worsen the clicking process and develop more physical damage.
Modern models of drives store a lot of specific information on the control board, which is why it starts to make fluttering sounds when you try to run it.
The reason for it is that the control board stores unique head adaptive data for the magnetic head assembly and service area addresses. Therefore, even if the PCB is the same model, it will not help to repair the clicking hard drive.
Most Common Reasons Why Hard Drives Click
- reading writing heads damaged due to physical damage
- water damage inside of the hard drive
- amplifier failure of the magnetic head assembly
- strong magnetic impact on hard drives
- PCB failures
What to do if your hard drive clicks:
If you suddenly hear that your hard drive makes a clicking noise, we recommend disconnecting it and taking it professional data recovery company to recover data. Please note that repairing modern clicking hard rives is not possible. Data recovery companies can only recover data and transfer it to another brand new hard drive.
PITS Global Data Recovery Services offers a free evaluation and free shipping to its customers nationwide. We will recover your critical data from a broken hard drive with professional data recovery tools with the help of certified experts in advanced lab facilities.
You can fill a request help form to inquire about our free evaluation services or call us at (888) 611-0737.