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What does my hard drive sound mean? Find out what your hard drive issue is by sound. And see if it’s still recoverable.

Don’t guess what’s wrong with your computer, hard drive, or external hard drive.  You can figure it out what your hard drive issue by its sound.

Yes, the clicking noise is the most feared kind, but there are plenty of other noises a hard drive can make when failing.  Why should you care?  You’ll at least have a sense of what’s going on.  Better yet, you can better explain your hard drive issue to data recovery companies.  The more knowledgeable you sound, the more of a qualified quote you’ll receive.

Here are typical hard drive sounds and what they mean.

Click, click, click.Hard drive click click sound noise

That’s an easy one.  It’s a bad head.

Click, click, click and then the head stops spinning totally.

That’s a bit more severe.  It’s a head crash. Or it could be a bad preamplifier chip.

No spinning at all.  Just a chatter sound.

You have a stuck spindle.

The drive spins very slowly.

It’s a bad bearing, reducing full rotational speed.

Clicking and beeping.

Bad heads.

Nasty drilling noise.

Bad heads.

Siren noise.

Stuck spindle.

Scratching sound.

This is one of the worst since it is degraded media as it is hitting bad sectors.

When in doubt, you can guess that your drive has a bad head.  But, you can see other issues may be the reason for your noisy drive.  In all cases, it is wise to power down your hard drive to prevent further damage.  And then, bring it to a data recovery service or lab recovery service to further assess and recover your files.  And yes, even if your hard drive is making some awful sound, it is still possible to recover files from it.

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Got any further questions? Walk in for a free diagnostic in NYC:

53 East 34th Street (Park & Madison), Floor 3 New York, NY 10016

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Outside NYC? Just mail in your device if in the US.