Sound of Hard Drive Failing from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_of_death
Computer Warehouse of North Carolina, Inc. has a data recovery specialist on staff. Our lab is located in downtown Greensboro at 301 S. Elm Street.
If you begin hearing a repetitive clicking sound you may be in the late stages of hard drive failure. You are very short on time to protect your data. If the data is very important to you then turn your system off immediately. You should take your hard drive to a data recovery specialist with the equipment necessary to recover and protect your data.
Be careful though. Most computer repair technicians will tell you they can recover the data but really cannot. They may foolishly make an effort to backup or fix your drive which can result in a more difficult and much more expensive data recovery later. Realistically, there are only a handful of companies in the United States with the equipment and training to properly handle a data recovery. Data recovery can be expensive usually costing between $350 and $1,200. Some data recoveries on file servers can run as high as $8,000 depending on how the data is configured in data arrays on the server.
Data recovery equipment is very expensive and requires a clean room when the drive is opened for inspection and repair. Equipment and training runs in excess of $40,000. Before leaving your drive with a technician ask them if they have a lab where they handle your data recovery. Many computer repair technicians will take your hard drive and send it to a data recovery specialist and tack on an additional handling charge.
If you know you are unwilling to spend a minimum of $350 to recover your data then immediately do a backup of your hard drive. You may risk losing your hard drive in the process but still have a good chance to save most or all of the data before your drive stops working altogether.
There are three basic types of hard drive failure:
- Software of firmware damage which will require special equipment to rebuild the firmware
- Electronic failure of hard drive’s controller board requiring diagnostic and soldering work
- A mechanical head crash where either or both the head is damaged and the platter is damaged
There’s not much you can do yourself once the drive starts failing that isn’t extremely risky to your data.