My computer has always had a loud (Fujitsu) hard drive drive. Since I bought it in 2007, its ticking has been noticeable during normal activity.
Increasingly, it's made loud CLACK sounds (every now-and-then) as if the head is docking improperly.
Minutes ago, it just made an awful screeching sound, and now I know it's time to say goodbye.
A quick scan on HDTune shows no bad sectors.
What's the safest way to recover my data from this still-functioning drive (that is, transfer it via USB to an external)? Should I turn the computer off for the time being? Put it in stand by? Please provide detailed directions; I'm trying to avoid using the computer (which is why I've given up after a few minutes of Googling this).
What about chkdsk? Is that sort of activity likely to push the drive over the edge?