Hard Drive Clicking?

It must be my lucky year, but I have yet another broken hard drive.

When your hard drive starts clicking and clunking (oh and don’t worry… you’ll be able to tell when it does)….. lets face it. You’ve pretty much got a dead hard drive on your hands! If your lucky enough to be able to still switch your computer on, for the love of kittens back it up because it



There are three ways a hard drive can die. In general this would be either electronically, logically or mechanically (the worst). If your hard drive is clicking, we’re likely to be talking about a mechanical failure. This is definitely bad and I really do feel for you, but read on and maybe there is a tiny (I mean tiny) smidgem chance you may be able to save the data.

Firstly. DON’T KEEP MINDLESSLY TURNING YOUR COMPUTER ON AND OFF!!!! It isn’t coming back to life and will definitely will damage what ever is on the hard drive. This is because inside your hard drive there are platters (I will call them disks) and rows of arms that read data off them. What may be causing your clicking problem is that the arms are unaligned and actually hitting the surface of your disks. Either that or theres something stopping the spindle inside from turning all the way around.

Second. You could try taking out the hard drive and putting it as a slave drive in a different computer. This means putting it as an extra storage drive in a computer with a healthy and working hard drive to load Windows (or whatever) from. Maybe you can access it from here, but if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work so don’t keep trying. You may ruin it.

Third. You could try various Data Recovery programs like Spinrite 6. They provide only a small chance because your hard drive is mechanically broken, but its worth one try.

Fourth. Try turning the hard drive on its side or upside down to see if it helps the spindle start spinning. If this works, back everything up quickly.

Fifth. You can put the Hard Drive in the freezer. No, really you can! There are lots and lots of people, who after putting theirs in a freezer it has worked temporarily. This is because the extreme temperature can bring the parts inside back into alignment temporarily (but only temporarily). Put it in a zip up bag to prevent condensation, leave it for an hour then try it. If still doesn’t work, or didn’t work for very long try leaving it overnight instead. When it does finally load up, you will need to be quick because it could die again at any point. If it didn’t work after doing it overnight…. don’t try again!

Sixth. Give it two swift (but gentle) taps. Some people in rare cases, have found hitting it makes it work. These are extremely rare however, so just make it two taps!!

Or you may want to consider taking it to a data recovery centre. Where they can safely open it up in a clean room and try to fix what is wrong. It will cost you though, so you need to ask yourself if its worth it.

What ever you do, don’t try opening up the hard drive yourself. The parts/ disks are so delicate that they need to be handled and assembled in a 100 clean room. If any particle of dust, skin, hair (or dribble, if its simply too much for you) gets into the inside then its dead forever. That thing spins at a terrifyingly fast speed, so if theres anything in the way its going to hurt it! Although if you’ve definitely ruled out paying for it, then I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to attempt making a clean room!

If anyone has any advice or other suggestions on this subject, please feel free to write in the comments. No advertising of your data recovery services though please, I have a collection of small animals with sharp teeth and I am not afraid to set them onto you!

I will update later on at the progress of my own DIY recovery!


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