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Hard disk clicking

I am trying to recover data by connecting my old PC hard disk through an external caddy. It only makes a clicking noise which I presume means that it is dying or dead. Is there anything I can do. Is it worth opening up the disk?

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Re: Hard disk clicking

Opening up the disk will render it unless you have access to a 'clean room' - which most of us don't.

However, I've been able to get 'clicking' drives to work by repeatedly connecting and reconnecting it to the USB and / or power source.

Sometimes it will 'catch'. Sometimes a nice 'tap' on it helps too.

Most of the time, it's spacejunk though.

Posted on Jan 17, 2008

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Just yesterday my desktop pc worked fine but, today when I turned it on, it would not boot up as usual. I cant even boot up in safe mode or choose a restore point, nor can I install a new OS or repair...

It sounds like you have a bad hard drive. Your best bet is to install a new hard drive and install the OS onto it, then attempt to recover any data from the old hard drive externally using an external enclosure. Note any noises from the old hard drive like clicking (it's usually very loud and consistently timed), if you do notice anything then you won't be able to recover any data without spending a lot ($600 + ) of money.

Jul 26, 2011 | PC Desktops


Hard Disk Data Recovery

Definition of Hard Disk: Hard Drive is a storage device where you can store any types of data and file. Hard Drive is available as external and internal device. We know PC storage device as internal system Hard Disk. When you save data or install programs on your computer, the information is typically written to your Hard Disk. The Hard Disk is a spindle of magnetic disks, called platters, that record and store information. There are several interface standards for passing data between a Hard Disk and a computer. The most common are IDE and SCSI. Hard Disk is made of one or more aluminium or glass platters, coated with a ferromagnetic material. Most Hard Disks are found as Parallel ATA (PATA), Serial ATA (SATA) or SCSI device.

Difference with Floppy Drive:
The term hard is used to distinguish it from a soft, or floppy, disk. Hard Disks hold more data and also faster than floppy disks. As an example a Hard Disk can store anywhere from 10 to more than 100 gigabytes, where most floppies have a maximum storage capacity of 1.4 megabytes. Floppy is more risky device than Hard Disk for losing data.
Problem with Hard Disk:

Most common problems of Hard Disk which may arise anytime are Booting problem, OS Installation problem, Hard drive crashing and another Hard Disk not showing original space or not showing partition etc. But in every case the risk is loss of data. In some of cases formatting and reloading of Operating System can recover your Hard drive and make it useful but formatting can recover a blank Hard Disk only without data. But you have to recover Hard Disk with data, so formatting is not possible.

Data Recovery:

Data recovery is the process of retrieving back data from the damaged media. The damage of storage media can be physical damage and logical damage. The data is retrieved back by recovery experts after determining the type of the damage caused to the storage media. Most of cases data recovery is important and formatting is not possible there. So that I need to choose another way for solution of this type of problems of Hard Disk. The first and secure way to recover a Hard Disk is using data recovery software.

Recover Data from crashed Hard Disk: Power surges, Software Corruption or Malfunction, Hardware or system failure, Natural calamities, User errors may crash your Hard Drive. Data recovery software helps to retrieve or recover the data from the crashed hard Drive. Data recovery software gives an easy and Graphical User Interface with less difficulty so that the data can be recovered easily. The recovery software helps to recover the data and restore them on a second Hard Disk, the Hard Disk being connected to the computer and recognized by the BIOS, the recovered data can be stored on a safe location on the second disk.

Logical data recovery: In a data loss situation when the Hard Drive is perfectly fine and the BIOS recognizes the Hard Drive but reports a read error, logical data recovery technique is very helpful. Here the files that are damaged or corrupted by any user error or virus attack are rebuilt rather than repairing the Hard Drive.

Fragmentation: When the FAT entry is lost during accidental file deletion, formatting or partition deletion that particular block of Hard Drive becomes inaccessible. Some data recovery software makes an attempt to rebuild the files without a FAT entry. This technique is very efficient if the file size is smaller than the clusters size. But it is inefficient in recovery the larger files.

Data Recovery from deleted partition: Partition is allocation of memory in different sections. Each partition will be like separate disk drives. Partition is very use full when the user is using operating systems more than one. Usually after formatting the disk it may not be able to recognize a partition because of accidental deletion of the partition table or by virus infection. The partition is not actually deleted; it can be recovered by using recovery tools and copy the data present in the partition to the required destination. Formatting the drive erases a large amount of data present on it, but not all the data. The recovery of the data depends on the fragmentation of the file system as the parts of files are being placed on different places in the drive. The data recovery software will assume that files were not fragmented and stored in continuous clusters. If the partition was formatted using different file system, then recovery process will be very complicated.

Another Data recovery process: If you don't have any data recovery software you can try another process to recover data. Attach the Hard Drive with another system in slave or second SATA.If detect the drive then boot to the first Hard Drive and use the bad Hard Drive as secondary. Then you can copy the data from the second drive to first drive easily. Here have another process to recover data from a crashed Hard Disk. But it is so risky, and should not try to do this for an inexpert person. First pack the Hard Disk in a bag properly where moisture can't attack. Now freeze it upto get chill. After freezing quickly attach with a system in secondary, and copy the data within the Drive will come in room temperature.

So the most secure process to recover data from a Hard Disk is to use data recovery software. It is available in market.

on Mar 18, 2011 | PC Desktops

2 Answers

Need to transfer OS and data files from Failed Harddrive. is this at all possible?

It will depend if the hard drive is readable at all. A repair tech can try to plug it into a shop pc and see if it loads, there may be someone out there who can recover from a failed hdd, but it is not really likely if it cannot be used at all after being plugged into a shop pc.

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Roaring to a grinding like sound coming from hard drive.

Make sure you have backups of your data, and if you don't, and it's functioning, make them now. This is a sound of imminent failure. See link here., here, and here. or here.
If you google hard drive failure and hard drive recovery, you'll find a plethora of links with possible solutions to recover lost data and resuscitate failed drives. Some people seem to have luck recovering info from failed drives by using a hard drive usb caddy, such as described here.
It's a simple enough matter to replace the drive and reinstall your OS, and you'll be able to download all the drivers you need for your hardware to function from dell if you no longer have the cds, but your data is another issue entirely.
I hope you have backups, and if you don't, you are able to make them now. In any case, good luck.

I hope this information allows you to resolve this issue. If you need further assistance, please post back with a comment to this thread.
If I've managed to answer your question or solve a problem, please take just a moment to rate this post....thanks!

Jun 08, 2009 | Dell Dimension E521 PC Desktop

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Hard drive failure in system less than 2 years old!!

Since you are comfortable with working inside your computer, the best thing to do now is to purchase an external enclosure for your type of hard drive, SATA or EIDE.

Alternately you can use a live linux cd, boot up with that, and transfer your data to an external drive.

Once your data is safe, try booting to the Windows cd and attempt a repair installation.

And finally, yes, hard drives can go bad in 2 years or less.

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Hard drive dont load up properly

your hard drive is dead mate. sorry. they die form time to time.
buy yourself a new hard drive and an external hard drive caddy (a 3.5" one) make sure the caddy is the right connection for your old hard drive. either sata or ide.
then put the new hard drive into your pc to take the place of your old one, and load windows onto it.
next get your old hard drive into the usb haddy drive caddy/enclosure, connect it all up and see if you can use the ghost function on norton anti-virus secruity to bring back your old data.

hope this helps.


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It appears that your device has crashed. There are hundred ways to recover data from a crashed hard-disk but none of them are for novices. You may try chilling the device inside a freezer and then connect to the PC. Don't forget to wrap the drive with a plastic so that the whole system remains air-tight while chilling and connecting. Please refer to experts on this matter if you are unable to recover.

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if your PC still works sounds like the circiut board in the hard drive enclosure may have can take apart the external hard drive enclosure and install the hard drive into the PC and use as a second hard drive( but be sure to jumper the slave pins on the second drive).Your PC should recognize the second drive and then you can click on my computer and the dbl click the second drive and see if your data is there.

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