Why Hard Drive Makes Clicking Sound?

Irrespective of brand and model of hard drive you own, a clicking sound is a common issue. The latest hard drives are designed using advanced technology. These modern drives come with better storage capacity, speed, compact size, and superior performance. However, all hard drives eventually fail due to physical and mechanical issues. Often due to the higher frequency of usage, users start noticing a strange clicking noise. While there are many possible causes of this odd sound, a hard drive clicking noise often results from the defective movement of the disk’s read-write actuator.

If your storage drive is also making this weird noise, you might be worried right now. In older models, the cause of clicking is typically linked to the hardware. But in newer model hard drives, the problem can either be in the software or hardware. In most cases, when a hard drive starts clicking, it indicates an imminent crash. When you’re in this situation, it’s important to act smartly to prevent the data loss scenario. Clicking hard drive isn’t always a major issue but ignoring it is certainly not recommended. Now if you’re wondering why your hard drive is clicking, here are a few of the possible issues your hard drive may be having.

Physical Damage
One of the major issues of clicking noise is physical damage. If the hard drive has been dropped, moistened, exposed to fire, or subjected to high magnetic fields, it may start making an unusual sound. The external elements like exposure to fire, water, or environmental contamination, all result in damaging the drive. Moreover, due to regular usage, hard drives suffer wear and tear. When the moving parts of the drive get damaged or experience wear and tear, it leads to natural failure. Over time, your drive may start clicking because the actuator arm can become worn out and begin to malfunction.

Misaligned Read/Write Heads or Damaged Platters
The hard drives have a read/write head that may get misaligned. Inappropriate handling or dropping the drive may cause the heads or spindle arms to get out of alignment. When these components get out of line, it results in an audible hard drive clicking sound. It is also that hard drive is clicking because the platters got damaged. A damaged platter means that the actuator arm cannot function properly. The arm continues to swing back and forth to find an intact platter and that may cause a rhythmic ticking sound.

Power or PCB Issues
If the PSU (Power Supply Unit) is defective, it will cause insufficient power supply. Poor power is also responsible for creating noise on the hard drive. You may fix this issue by using an alternate power supply. Sometimes, the odd sound is the result of a malfunctioning printed circuit board. The PCB connects electronic components and often due to power surge the board or the head stack assembly gets damaged. If these components get damaged, it impacts the functioning of the hard drive and it starts making clicking or ticking sounds. You may also face this issue if the service area of the drive which stores manufacturer-specific data gets damaged.