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Grinding And Clicking – Symptoms Of A Failing Hard Drive
A Silent Hard Drive Is A Healthy Hard Drive
A fully functioning hard drive should, in the majority of cases, be completely silent. When they are working correctly there is no reason for a hard drive to make any kind of noise. However, one of the first physical symptoms of a failing or damaged hard drive is a clicking or grinding noise. This noise typically means that because of physical damage the drive is having to work even harder than normal in order to compensate for the existing errors. Some drives may experience a clicking noise when in use, especially older ones, on a permanent basis and if this is the case then you shouldn't have any reason to worry.
How To Recognize Audible Symptoms Of A Failing Drive
If you have only just begun to experience this noise then there is greater cause for concern, especially if it is either a continuous noise or seems to happen for no obvious reason. As a general rule newer drives make less noise, but again this isn't a hard and fast rule. If the drive is completely brand new then you should be covered on the manufacturer's warranty in order to have the item exchanged. If you have had the drive for some time and it has just started making noises or if you hear a grinding or screeching noise then there is a very real chance that you have a failing hard drive.
Why Hard Drives Fail
Hard drives can fail over a period of time. While they are more robust than ever before they are still delicate and still contain a number of delicate components. This means that a build up of dust, too high or low a temperature over a period of time, or even bumping a hard drive can cause it to start failing. When it does start to fail you will typically begin to experience more problems. Software and system error messages can become common place along with corrupt and damaged files. Your system may also begin to run slower and you may experience other problems too.
The Options To Recover Your Drive
A failing hard drive is difficult to remedy in itself. The hard drive is usually beyond repair and it is certainly cheaper to look down an alternative route of saving the content of the hard drive and purchasing a new one. New hard drives have become very inexpensive and there are a number of ways it is possible to retrieve the information from a hard drive that is about to fail. It is even possible to recover a lot of the information once the hard drive becomes otherwise inoperable.
Manually Copying Data To Another Drive
The most cost effective way of recovering a failing hard drive is to manually copy the files to another hard drive. This is achieved by placing the existing (failing) hard drive as a secondary drive with a new drive as the master. Then, all the contents can be copied across using Windows Explorer. This less marginally less expensive than the other options but it is extremely time consuming and you may struggle copying some of the operating system and general system files across so have a system restore or installation disk to hand before you begin.
Cloning Your Drive To A New Drive
Another method is to create an image of the hard drive and then clone this image onto a new hard drive. The principle is essentially the same and it means copying all contents of the file from your failing hard drive to a new drive so that the new drive is identical in every way to the old one, except that it isn't failing. Third party drive imaging software is available that makes the process a simple, intuitive, and speedy process. Most users are advised to take this course of action rather than manually attempting to copy files.
Recovering Data After The Drive Fails
Alternatively, if your drive has become so corrupt that you have already lost access to it or the majority of your files have become corrupt you should consider using recovery software. This software will scan the chosen hard drive to look for files that can be recovered. The results will be displayed and you will be given the option of where to save the new files (typically, you should choose a new hard drive as the save location). This gives the added bonus that many of the corrupt files or files that have become inaccessible may become usable again.
The Advantages Of Software Use
Both drive imaging software and data recovery software have become much more affordable. They cost around the same as any software package would cost you making them two very viable options when required. Automated software like this can help to prevent errors and typically maximizes the success rate when attempting to copy large amounts of data. It is also much more trouble free than attempting any manual methods of saving data from a failing hard drive.
Failing Hard Drive Fixes
Hard drives are delicate pieces of equipment. Dust, temperature, humidity, and even stability need to be maintained to a good level to ensure the long life and optimum performance of the average hard drive. They have become more robust than they have previously been but without proper care and attention they are prone to failing. A failing hard drive can sometimes be recognized by a screeching, grinding, or clicking noise that you have not experienced before. When this occurs it is time to take action in order to prevent a complete loss of the data on your drive.
There are third party programs available that can be used to copy or clone your existing drive to a brand new one. These applications help to ensure that all information is copied properly and accurately. Typically, you will be able to continue working and using your computer in an identical fashion once the cloning has completed.
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