external hard drive click of death issue

I have an external back up hard drive. It is a 3.5 inch, Toshiba STOR.E ALU 2S USB 3.0  1 terabyte. It needs its own separate power adaptor, it does not take power from the USB port.

Anyway, it has all been fine, no bad sectors, no problems, perfect hassle free performance. However last night I had an upset with it. It was powered on but not plugged into a computer so data was not being read. I pulled the plug out of the wall, thinking the plug was for something else, whilst the disk was still turned on. I didn't think this would be too bad, I was wrong. When I plugged it back in, the following clicking noise started that I have recorded below with good accuracy. It also now is not recognised by my windows 8 computer.

So, is there anything realistic I can try? If not, can anybody recommend a data recovery company in the UK or a person who could extract the data for me or repair the disk? This is personal use, not business, so was hoping to not spend the earth on it. For data recovery I was hoping for something like £110 or so (excluding the cost of new disk). Or am I being naive and the likely cost is a small fortune?

There is about 700mb of data on the disk.


My audio recording of the clicking hard disk
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andreasSystem AdminCommented:
You could try to remove the disk from its case and connect it directly to a free sata port and power plug in your pc and try there.

If it still clicks then you are out of luck, then ONLY professional recovery labs can help. But I'm afraid they will cost quite a bit more than 110 Pounds.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
>>  Or am I being naive and the likely cost is a small fortune?

Prices seem to be in the range on the following page http://www.datawreck.co.uk/prices.html

So you might be looking at the £400 mark.

Now I can't really recommend any places in the UK as I don't live there.  You'll have to wait for some English lizards to pop in or people who know English data recovery companies.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
When you say - it does not detect itself once connected - does it mean that the drive is not seen in Windows Disk Management? Maybe it is detected as unformatted?
Usually turning it off by removing the power cable does not damage the drive at all.
Take it out of this box and connect directly to one of the free SATA port on the motherboard. It can be that only the enclosure is bad.
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RupertAAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the replies. noxcho/andreas, things aren't looking good. I have removed from casing and put into spare sata port on PC. Booted up and it is still making clicking noise, go into disk management and it recognises there is a disk there but just says "no media" for it.

Presumably nothing else to say really apart from to send off for a quote from data recovery place, correct?

noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes, correct. If it fails to show up when connected directly then things are bad.
Check if you have a recovery company in your city and what are the prices + warranties. They are all using the same approaches to get the data - clean lab and moving the plates from bad drive to a healthy one. Once you gather enough information - decide which service to use.
The recommendations are personal and do not guarantee that you will get the same service and results as others.
Why do you need a recovery agency to recover data from a backup disk? If the data on the disk really are backups, you still have the original data on the original disks. All you need to do is to get new backup disks and start your backups on those asap. If you only have that data on your "backup" disk, then that isn't a backup...

As you have seen, all disks go bad, so it is better to backup to more than one disk and rotate those disks so you have several backup versions. This also helps if you backup some data that is already bad and overwrite the good version with it.
RupertAAuthor Commented:
Thanks noxcho, yeah I have already rung up, disk will be sent off to a data recovery place. The company I spoke to said it was likely that a head or heads had had power taken from them (when plug pulled out of wall) then tried to reset when turned back on and failed.

Rindi - My terminology of backup is wrong. With time I got complacent and would move data off the pc and onto backup drive, deleting original off pc. So not a "backup", more like "only copy". As the "backup" disk not often used, I didn't think it was likely it would fail. All my own stupidity and boy am I gutted now!
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Well, you have learned something. For future consider using RAIDed storage where death of one HDD does not affect the availability of the storage. Many NAS devices provide RAID1 functionality which mirrors the data across the two drives.
Store several copies on different storages.
In my point of view rather than using RAID, you should just have several separate disks you backup to and rotate the disks. That is less expensive and more robust than RAID. For example the NAS can fail and then it can be difficult to access your data even if the disks in the NAS are still OK. You don't need a NAS for that, and you can use the cheapest disks you can get, 2nd hand is fine for that type of task. Quantity is more important than Quality here. Get a USB dock for your backup disks, then you can use any cheap desktop disk to backup to.

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RupertAAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys for all the advice, I'll hand out points now.
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