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Hard drive clicking. what's the recovery hope?

Posted on 2013-12-18
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
My Dell system was making a lot of noise, which we had to investigate and on opening I discovered the source of the noise was the SATA hard drive (the secondary hard drive, primary drive is SSD)
On removing the drive and trying to start it again (all carefully) it now makes a chunky clicking sound on start up. (note despite it being very noisy, I could still access the drive before I shut down)
What’s the chance of being able to recover the data on this using in house tools?
It’s not critical data, but it would be nice to have?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:afflik1923
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Expert Comment

by:M Roe
ID: 39727739
I would hook it up for external use and run a recovery program ASAP to a new drive
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by:rindi
rindi earned 334 total points
ID: 39727760
Chances are practically nil using software or tools you would have access to. Good chances would be to send it to a recovery agency, but that would be expensive.
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by:M Roe
ID: 39727777
I would not boot and then shut it off too many times or it will finally say "Goodbye my friend"
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by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 39728580
i do not recommend  to hook it up as external; since that supports NO error handling
leave it as internal; and since you said you can access it, copy what you need asap

as Rindi says no software can help here, since it is  a head that cannot read the sector info -  so it moves till it bumps into the head stop - and retries

the only way to recover data is a recovery service
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 39728707
As long as you are able to access the drive - copy out the most important data from it.
Then try to take backup of entire HDD.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39731647
Try connecting it to another pc as the 2nd drive. If it's recognized, copy all  your important files immediately. You might not be able to access anything if the damage is that bad.

There are many data recovery apps on te market but it sounds like they are overkill for your situation. You might need to make the decision to start fresh on a new Pc or just a new drive.

My suggestion: Keep a backup of your documents and make a pc backup once a week, month, quarter, year to protect yourself.
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Author Comment

by:afflik1923
ID: 39743461
Thanks for all the comments. I've put this on ice now until I'm back in the office, but I'll update on my findings.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39743610
if you don't want to spend money on the recovery -  you can even try putting it in a freezer (ziplocked)  people claim it helps in some cases, but i was never successful with it
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39743619
Never worked for me either.
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rindi earned 334 total points
ID: 39743633
It worked for me about twice, but only on old disks, and the disk still has to be accessible by the OS. It won't work on a clicking drive. A clocking drive is a dead drive and you simply can't recover any data from such a drive using any cheap means. The only way is to use a recovery agency with clean room facilities and highly expensive, specialized hardware.
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Author Closing Comment

by:afflik1923
ID: 39752535
Thanks for the input. I've given it up as a dead drive.
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by:nobus
ID: 39753205
that's what i feared the outcome would be; tx for feedback
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