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.