Hard Drive Clicking

Is your hard drive clicking?

If you are hearing clicking sounds from your hard drive, it’s important that you power down the drive as soon as possible. The clicking sounds are due to a mechanical issue with the drive. Allowing a drive to continue clicking may cause irreversible damage and make even professional data recovery impossible.

So whats causing the clicking sound? Inside the drive, the main components are the “platters” where the data is stored and the “read/write heads” (similar to a needle in a record player). The read/write heads hover nanometers above the platters, reading and writing to and from the platters.

When the drive has some sort of physical damage, the read/write heads get damaged and loose their ability to read from the platters. Since they can’t read, they move uncontrollably and hit the middle part of the drive (spindle), thus causing that clicking sound.

This uncontrollable movement could lead to a “ring-like” scratch on the platters, making data recovery impossible. This is why it’s very important to power down a drive that is clicking as soon as possible and have it inspected in a Clean Room by a Professional Data Recovery Engineer.

Good Heads vs Bad Heads

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Clicking Hard Drive Data Recovery process

Clean Room Inspection

The first step of the clean room data recovery process is to inspect the entire hard drive in our Clean Room. This includes inspecting the platters, inside the drive housing, the read/write heads and the sliders.

This will give us a lot of information on how good or bad the situation is and the chances of recovery.

Head Swap

Next we’ll have to locate a near perfect “donor” drive. The donor drive is a drive that we will use parts from, in order to repair the “patient” drive enough to be able to recover the data. This is a crucial part in the recovery process.

As long as the drive does not have serious media damage, with the correct donor part, we should have access to the data.


Once we gain access to the data on the drive, we will have to make repairs to the firmware of the drive before we can start imaging/cloning the data. Imaging a drive with media damage requires a higher level of expertise and attention.

Once we have a good image of the drive, we can move on to the final step of the recovery process, Saving the Data.

Save Recovered Data

The final step of the recovery process is saving the recovered data. Our system will automatically separate the good data from the damaged data. The system is able to verify this by checking the file size with the MFT of the drive.

You will receive an email from our Engineers with an Interactive HTML File Report of the recovery.

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Why Choose us if you need data recovery from a clicking hard drive?

At Five Star Data Recovery, we specialize in recovering data from hard drives with clicking issues. 80% of the cases we receive are cases that other companies either were not able to recover from, or didn’t have the right resources to do so. We have the most sophisticated tools available in the industry to allow us to safely and efficiently recover data from drives with all types of mechanical issues.

Besides having all the right tools, we have over 4,000 donor drives in our library. This allows us to turn around Clean Room cases faster and with a better success rate. Our average turnaround time for cases requiring a head swap is 2-5 days.

Our Engineers travel around the world multiple times a year to receive the best training process.

Five Star Donor Drive Library

Our Staff is Available 24/7 to answer any questions.

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