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Hard drive clicks very loud. Hard drive
Clunks. Hard drive is very slow.
So your hearing a loud clunk like sound from your
computer. If its only been making this sound for a short time,
!!!SHUT IT OFF!!! and find another computer to read this article from.
What you may be experiencing is what I refer to as the clunk or click of
death for your hard drive. Its trying to tell you that its not going to
live much longer and its time to be replaced. If your lucky you've
noticed it in time and shut your system off and will be able to copy the
drive without data loss.
If you find that you need a new hard drive and want to order one online,
we suggest the following vendor.
A hard drive is like a record player in a sense. The terms used for
the main parts in the drive use the same names as a record player. The
disks inside are called Platters, and the arm that reads and writes to
the drive is called a stylus. The picture above in the header for my
site shows what a hard drive looks like on the inside. The platters are
normally aluminum with a very thin magnetic coating that data is written
to. Some hard drives have glass platters with a similar coating on them.
Some drives have a single platter and some have multiple platters in
them. In the upper right corner in the picture you will see sort of a C
shaped piece of metal covering one end of the stylus that's a very
strong magnet. sometimes there's only one and some times there is one on
the top and one on the bottom of that end of the stylus. At the pointed
end of the stylus is where the heads are to read and write data to the
platter/s. Unlike a record player the heads don't touch the platters.
They ride on a very thin cushion of air away from the platters. If they
do touch for some reason they will damage the drive.
Okay, now you know the basics of how a drive works, now what causes
the loud click when the drive starts to fail. The loud click, clicking
or clunking is from the stylus slamming back and forth across the
platters. Its normally because it cant find sector 0. There are several
reasons that can cause this.
Here are a few of the most common problems
1. The disk is damaged where sector 0 should be.
2. The stylus is touching the platter and no longer has that microscopic
air gap. (This is the one I seem to find the
most of when I take apart dead drives.)
3. Circuit board failure. (The circuit board that
controls the stylus inside the drive.)
I have taken many of these Clunk of death hard drives apart to see if I
can find a reason for the problem and many have the stylus stuck in
the inner part of the platter and its like the center of the drive is
magnetized. So I emailed Western Digital support. Heres what I wrote and
the answers they sent back to me when I asked about the clunk of death.
I want to know what causes the clunk of death in a hard drive. I have
opened up several after they get this and the stylus does not travel
freely across the platter anymore and seems to be magnetized to the
platter. Especially the center of the platter. When they are plugged
into a system you can watch the stylus slam back and forth across the
platter. What makes the drive do this? I cant seem to find an answer as
to why they do this just that they have to be replaced. I would like to
explain to people what happened to the drive and WHY it needs to be
replaced. Thanks... Dale
Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and
Barring physical damage on the drive, such as bent pints or
broken connectors, the most common causes of drive failure are
A. Head crash, where the read/write heads make physical contact
with the drive's platters.
B. Motor failure, where the drive's platters will no longer
C. Electronic failure, where the circuit board, resistors,
capacitors, processors fail.
Physically dropping a drive can cause any or all of the above
three scenarios. A "clicking" drive normally comes from failure
A or C.
I wasn't completely satisfied with the
answer I got so I asked again. Here is my question and the answer I
received the second time.
My Question in response to the customer satisfaction email they sent
from the first question:
I got an answer but it wasn't specific to the question. Let me clarify
the question. I want to know why the stylus gets stuck to the platters
in a hard drive that gets the clunk of death. Its like the platters are
sector 0 and when they build up enough power to break loose they have
too much force and slam to the outside edge of the disk, returning back
to sector 0. What causes that. Thanks... Dale
Thank you for your reply.
If the read/write head makes physical contact with the platters,
that destroys both the platter and the read/write assembly. When
that happens, the controller board can never establish a
successful entry or "start" point to begin using the drive at
power up. Another way to think of it is like a record player
that lost its stylus.
I could see that was as close
as I was going to get to the question about seeming magnetized so I left
it at that. So as far as I can tell, there is no way to repair a drive
with the click or clunk of death. Just shut off the computer its in as
soon as you hear it and make a duplicate of the drive so you don't lose
your stuff. Data recovery from a dead hard drive can be very expensive.
If this helped give with the PayPal Make a
leave a comment with your Donation. Thanks... Dale
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