How to Fix a Hard Drive Clicking Noise

hard drive clicking noise

Last updated: January 5, 2022 at 15:05 pm

Sometimes your hard drive will start making strange noises which is a very scary thing when you aren’t sure why it’s happening. Your first thought might be that your hard drive is dying, and this is perhaps the end of all your files.

But don’t panic:

You can do many things to try and solve the problem. There are some easy things you can try if your computer is making clicking noises which might just solve the problem for free. This post will discuss what the click is and give you a few fixes and suggestions you can try.

But first, let’s look at why hard drive clicking is a problem at first.

Why Is Hard Drive Clicking a Problem?

Hard drive clicking is a very common problem that can cause data loss and system crashes.
Hard drive clicking is not just about the sound; it could be a sign of impending hardware failure or data loss.

A clicking sound may occur when the head of the hard drive attempts to read or write data from or to the disk that has failed. Or when there is a movement of parts inside the hard drive.

When there is a problem accessing your files, it’s time to back up your data as soon as possible before it’s too late!

What Could Be Causing My Hard Drive to Click?

Click of death is a term used to describe the sound a hard drive makes when it’s failing. It is not very loud. If your computer is in an open office space, you might not be able to hear it over the noise of the office AC and other machinery.

Note:

If you have a home office, check out our office soundproofing tutorial.

The click of death can be caused by many different problems, though most people think that it has something to do with bad sectors.

The usual clicking noises are the result of improper installation, which causes damage to the hard drive.

There are other more serious reasons your hard drive is making clicking noises, such as:

Dust Build Up

Dust can cause a clicking noise by accumulating on the metal parts inside of your PC, especially if you’re not cleaning it out often. This can also cause your fans to overheat and stop working properly.

Hardware Failure

A clicking sound can mean that your hard drive or fan has failed or is about to fail. If you hear this sound, you should make sure that all of your data is backed up safely before you attempt to repair it.

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Head Alignment Errors

This means that your hard drive’s read/write head is not properly aligned with the platter on which your data is stored. The head itself needs to be aligned with the platter so that it can access the data and write it correctly.

If the head is misaligned, then you will hear clicking noises coming from your hard drive when it tries to write new data or retrieve old data. This is usually caused by shock damage or if someone accidentally dropped your computer while it was off or in sleep mode.

Overuse of the Computer

Frequent use of the computer will cause it to overheat, which may cause your hard drive to click. It is recommended that you turn off your computer at least once every hour for 15 minutes for cooling purposes.

Bad Sectors on Your Hard Drive

A bad sector is like a scratch on a record but in a digital world. It can damage files or even render them useless if not repaired immediately (with certain software). A bad sector is caused by physical damage, such as dropping the drive or any other traumatic incident involving physical force.

Tightening of the Screw

Make sure that the screws on your computer are not too tight. Excessive pressure can cause it to heat up, which may also be causing your hard drive to click.

Viruses and Malware Infection

Viruses and malware are one of the most common causes of click sounds from a hard drive as they take up space in your memory and sometimes keep running.

How to Diagnose a Hard Drive Clicking

inside a hard drive

If your hard drive is clicking and you hear nothing else, this could be a sign of serious problems. However, this can also be caused by other components in your computer.
Take the following steps to troubleshoot hard drive clicking before calling your technician:

– Ensure that the sound is coming from the hard drive. Sometimes just opening the case and listening for it to happen again can confirm this. If it’s not the case or anything in it making noise, then we have some troubleshooting to do.

– Restart your computer and listen for the clicking while it boots up. You may notice that the sound stops or changes when you boot into Windows, or if you go into Safe Mode. This can help you determine whether this is a software issue or a hardware issue. If restarting your computer doesn’t stop or change the noise at all, then we have some troubleshooting to do.

– Open your case and make sure that everything is securely connected inside. A loose hard drive cable or a fan could cause problems with stability causing vibrations to occur which could create a clicking

– Check for loose connections. You may have damaged cables or loose connections if you hear clicking but cannot access the BIOS or hard disk at all. Check if there are any cables disconnected from the motherboard or hard disk drive itself.

– Check for viruses. Viruses can cause clicking sounds as they try to spread to other parts of your system. Run an antivirus program such as Windows Defender or another antivirus.

– Look for bad sectors. A bad sector is when the read/write head of your HDD becomes damaged or loose and gets stuck on certain parts of the disk. This will cause the HDD to make clicking sounds while trying to read data, or during regular use of your computer. Bad sectors must be fixed before they begin corrupting data on your HDD.

How to Fix Hard Drive Clicking Sound

The best way to fix a clicking hard drive may be to visit a technician. However, there are some minor DIY ways you can try unless it’s a more complex issue. Here’s how to do it:

Back Up Your Computer

It is important to back up your computer before you start trying to fix the clicking hard drive problem. This way, you have a copy of your files so that if the problem persists after you make changes to your computer, you do not lose any important files or data. You can use an external hard drive or flash drive to back up your files.

Check Your Hard Drive Settings

Some hard drives have a setting that makes it easier for the disk head to locate a specific section of data. By default, this setting is set to “ready.” Changing this setting from “ready” to “cache” will remove the clicking sound from your hard drive and make it run much faster!

Connect the Cables

Make sure your cables are connected properly. The most common reason for a hard drive to start making noises is that the data and power lines are disconnected or improperly connected, so check those first. It should go without saying that you should also make sure that everything is connected to the right port (IDE, SATA, etc.)

Remove Excessive Port Overload

If your hard drive is in an external enclosure, then make sure that you don’t overload the USB port or power supply. If it doesn’t have enough juice to support both the hard drive and other peripherals you may want to consider buying a separate power supply for your external hard drive enclosure. Many external hard drives come with their separate power supplies already built in.

Clean Up Unwanted Files and Programs

Cleaning up your hard drive from unwanted files and programs is one of the easiest ways to get rid of the hard drive clicking sound. This way you can remove unnecessary files from your hard drive, which will make more space for new files and programs. Also, it may speed up your computer by preventing data loss.

Defrag Your Hard Drive

Defragmenting your hard drive may help you get rid of the clicking sound by optimizing file placement on your hard drives. This will make accessing them faster than before. It will also help you prevent further damage to your computer system and improve its performance.

This video is a decent explanation on defraging:

Takeaway

Hard drives are mechanical, and this may be what is making the noise, but there is a chance it could be something else. If the computer is under warranty, then you should contact the computer manufacturer or your local computer store.

If not, you may want to back up your information and possibly attempt to fix it yourself. Either way, it’s always a good idea to back up your data. Therefore, if the hard drive is indeed failing, you can replace it without losing any of your precious digital collections.

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About the Author: AJ

AJ writes about living a quieter life, soundproofing tips and recommending the best quiet products here on Quiet Living.

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