How To Fix a Clicking Hard Drive

More than annoying, clicking sounds coming from your hard drive is a disturbing sound and could mean a deeper problem. While most people will tell you that the sound is indicative of retiring your hard drive and replacing it with a new one, there are some measures that you can take to attempt to repair it.

  • Gather your materials. For this operation, you will need a set of screwdrivers, a small paintbrush and a dust sprayer. Make sure that you have different sizes of the screwdrivers to ensure that you will get the right size. Make sure that your computer is in a level position. At times, the imbalanced position of the computer causes the clicking sounds.
  • Before you do anything, run the check disk for your computer. This will run through any issue that your computer might be encountering. If the problem is internal, then the disk check will perform the necessary actions to try to repair them. Your computer will prompt a reboot. Patiently wait for your computer to re-start and check if the clicking sound still persists.
  • Take apart the computer. If the clicking is still present, you will now need to remove your hard disk. Shut down your computer and begin the dirty work. Check your computer’s manual and study the part, which tells you how to remove your hard disk from your CPU. At this point, decide on whether you want to push through with the work or just bring your entire CPU to a trusted repair center.
    If you decide to perform the operation, then read on. Use a precise screwdriver to open your hard disk. An aluminum tape around it secures some older hard drives. Remove this tape and open the hard drive. This strip of foil is actually a security against dirt and dust. Newer hard drives no longer have this tape so don’t bother finding it. Screws hold newer hard drives together. Get the proper tools and open it.
  • Check the actuator arm. Hard drives, depending on the capacity, can have one to three platters and an actuator arm. The actuator arm holds the heads that allows data writing on disk surfaces. Often times, the arm causes the clicking sound from your hard drive. Check if there is any accumulated dirt in the arms. If you see some grime, then gently wipe them using a small paintbrush or dust remover. Use a dust sprayer and spray some, aim at about 8 inches away from the unit. Gently spray around the arm. This will guarantee that any dust or dirt will be removed.
  • Put the hard drive back together. Try re-attaching the hard drive to your computer. Run a check if the sound is still there. If the clicking sound is still present, repeat the steps and clean the whole hard drive for any dirt or dust.

Make sure that you turn off your computer each time you remove the hard drive. Do not attempt to remove the hard drive while your computer is running, this will completely damage your computer. If the clicking sound persists even after you’ve cleaned the whole thing, then chances are, the hard drive needs to be replaced. Try seeking a professional repairman before you decide.


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