A clicking hard drive is a dreadful sound. Click, click, click. It sounds like a ticking time bomb. And do you know what? It actually acts like one. The longer you keep your hard drive working while it’s clicking, the quicker you may lose your files forever.
Alright, enough of the dramatics. Technically, a clicking drive may means the base of the actuator arm is hitting a limiter. This means when looking to open a file, it cannot because the arm cannot access that part of the drive to access the data. Another clicking issue may be when the arm is out of wack and physically touching the platter surface. Now, that’s not good at all and can cause the platters to damage where your files are.
There are other reasons when your drive may click. Just know you should stop your computer, external drive, server, NAS, or other media that holds your clicking drive.
A quick story comparison of what to do and what not to do with a clicking drive situation. Customer 1 attempts software recovery for hours on a clicking drive. Customer 2 stopped and enlisted a lab recovery company. Guess who’s drive bit the dust and which one had a chance?
The point here is try not to be an instant DIY-er MacGyver here. If your drive and its files have meaning, then you should leave it to the experts, the data recovery companies who specialize in performing these clicking hard drive recoveries.