Known in the computer tech industry as “the click of death”, a computer hard drive can emit a clicking or even sometimes buzzing noise that signifies a serious issue. Clicking hard drive can be caused by either a damaged circuit board or a damaged internal components. These problems results in a clicking or ticking noise. While the noise can signify that your hard drive is dying, and that you should back up your data immediately, or it can signal that that System Area of the drive cannot be read. The System Area stores the information necessary for the hard drive to function and so if it can’t be read, it won’t be able to operate. Regardless of how the damage is caused, or if the hard drive is simply dying, replacements must be made to the hard drive in order for it to function properly again. To simply recover the data from the damaged hard drive, a few at-home methods have been proven successful for some. If you are not comfortable removing the hard drive of your computer yourself, repairing the printed circuit board (PCB) or head might not be a viable option. Specific tools, as well as a steady hand, are necessary for completing these tasks.
- The first, and most common, method for repairing a damaged or dead hard drive is replacing the circuit board. The hard drive must be physically removed from the computer to expose the circuit board so that it can also be removed. This can be done with the proper sized screwdriver as the board can be easily unscrewed from the hard drive and replaced. The new circuit board can be taken from any functioning hard drive and transplanted to the damaged hard drive. Most websites that sell computers online will also sell individual pieces such as circuit boards that can be ordered to suit the hard drive you have.
- When it is not the circuit board, the head of the arm that reads data from the hard drive is often damaged. This small piece can be purchased and the replacement can be done at home however the process takes a very meticulous hand. The System Area could also become even more damage if your hand slips and you scratch the SA. This becomes incredibly expensive if you do decide to send the hard drive away for repairs and choose to pay computer technicians to attempt to retrieve your stored data. In addition, there is no guarantee that your data can be accessed and you could end up spending nearly $1000.00.
- In certain cases, success has been found in freezing the hard drive. Although unusual, many people have claimed that placing their hard drive in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic and freezing it for several hours has led to the user accessing their files on the hard drive for long enough to retrieve significant data. The cold temperatures cause a shift in the internal workings of the hard drive, often giving just enough time to reattach the hard drive and access the valuable files.
The three methods listed are all only temporary solutions to reboot the damaged hard drive. Once the hard drive is once again accessible, it is imperative that your data is transferred to an additional external source before the hard drive dies. Even when the PCB or head is replaced this is only for the sake of retrieving valuable data from the damaged hard drive and so a new hard drive will need to be purchased.
External storage methods, as well as cloud storage, are common options to ensure that regardless of the damage to your hard drive or computer, your data is always accessible.