Repairing a Hard Drive
How can i repair a clicking hard drive
Repair information on hard drives or hard disks. Hard drives are magnetic data storage devices. They are used in most desktop, laptop, and server due to their low cost and high data density.
Opening the drive up and rotating the platters will only work if you have a clean room and not one piece of dust enters the chamber. If and when ONE dust enters, it is dead. gonner. kaput. I would seriously do this ONLY as a last resort.
Try these methods instead:
1. Freeze the drive for several hours in a moisture proof bag of some kind, let it warm to room temperature, and try the drive again. If successful, backup all data immediately and replace the drive.
2. If that is not successful, freeze the drive again and once it is frozen, hook the drive up and try again. Use dry ice to freeze the drive, and keep some on it wrapped in a towel sitting on the drive while attempting to get the system to recognize the drive. If you are able to see the drive now, instantly back up everything. You should always know where you need to go to grab your data before you try these steps because if you are able to see the drive at some point it might not be for a long period of time.
3. While the drive is NOT powered up slap the Hard Drive on a table, on one of its side edges, not very hard but hard enough to perhaps break a egg. If the fault is the actuators that actually move the head back and forth this might break it free enough to actually become "unparked" and hopefully allow you to recover your data once the drive will spin up. **Note that if you do this with the drive spinning it may destroy the drive.
If you're able to be EXCEEDINGLY careful, and don't mind the possibility that you'll lose the data on the drive, there is a possible solution. I just used it to resurrect someone's HD.
You'll need a torx screw driver to open the cover of your hard drive. Be gentle with the silver-colored plates inside - that's where the data is stored, and they are VERY easily scratched. Once you have the cover off, VERY GENTLY spin the plates one full rotation. This will free the plates from the reader heads, which can sometimes be held in place by a static charge that is too strong for the motor to overcome.
Once you've done this, carefully place the cover back on the drive and put the screws back in.
This may help if static charge is the problem. But be REALLY careful, as this may also render your drive useless.
A drive that spins up but clicks when you try to access it is usually already damaged beyond any reasonable repair. Your best bet, if there is any hope at all, is to try an aggressive back-up program (one that doesn't give up so easily when it sees I/O errors) to try and read any data you can off the drive and copy it somewhere else.
Now, if the drive doesn't even spin, then you may try one of the suggestions above. I've found that slapping the drive usually gives enough of a jolt to break the heads free from the platters and allows the drive to spin up. Be sure the drive isn't spinning already, though, since this otherwise can cause more damage.
I would never open a drive up unless you never intend to use it for data storage again.
The best case for hard drive repair is when there's an issue with the external circuit board. If this is physically damaged or shorted out, you can typically swap out the circuit board with that from an identical model. Once I had 2 identical drives that were broken in complementary ways: one had the click of death (but a good circuit board), and the other had a dead circuit board (but a good mechanism). Swapping the circuit boards yielded one good drive and one extremely dead drive.