When you hear knocking or clicking sounds from your hard disk drive, either in a form of rhythmic clicking or grinding sounds. This is a sign that your hard disk is not well and it is advised that you backup all your data immediately. This can happen when powering up your computer or working halfway on your computer.
What causes this clicking sound?
The unusual rhythmic clicking or knocking sound usually indicates that your hard drive is suffering from physical damage. If you use a S.M.A.R.T enabled disk, you should be able to see a warning of a imminent disk failure when you power up your computer. The problem usually caused by one or more of following:
1. Bad Sectors
2. Head Crash
3. Mechanical Faults
What should you do and how to fix the above listed problems:
Typically bad sectors are physical damage of a span of disk area. When the head make several attempts to read from the same area of disk multiple times but fails, it generates the clicking sound. This can also occur when the head is unable to calibrate with the media servo tracks due to the gradual weakening of the magnetic domains on the platter that causes the drive to reset continuously. Perform a disk surface scan if the condition of the hard disk is not too bad. This helps to mark all bad sectors and prevent your system from writing new data on the marked sectors of the disk.
This is a physical damage of the disk platter when the head of a hard disk scratches the surface of the disk. This is the result of the grinding sound you hear when this occurs. Firstly, turn off your computer and do not attempt to power it up. Prolong power to the hard disk will only cause it more harm and causing further complications. Consult a data recovery firm immediately and avoid dismantling the disk to repair the problem yourself. Operating without the correct tools and a lab environment can result in further extensive damage that complicates the data recovery process.
This is a physical damage and these sounds can be caused by a malfunctioning spindle, Read Write head or loose components. Backup your data immediately if you are still able to access data on the disk,. Your disk is near the end of its life and will stop functioning anytime.. If your disk stops spinning after a period of clicking sound, you may wish to send your disk to a reputable data recovery firm to recover your data.
Hard disk drive occasionally produces a spinning sound when it searches for a file which
is heavily fragmented. This is caused by the spinning platters as the read-write heads zoom back and forth to access the different sectors where the data is stored. It is important to differentiate this spinning sound from the clicking sound. This spinning sound can be reduced by defragmenting your hard drive from time to time.
Defragmentation reorganizes the scattered data on the hard drive to make accessing of files and programs run faster. It relocates the commonly accessed files to the beginning of the hard disk where data can load at a faster rate.
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