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I got a 500gb WD5000AAKS harddrive which I plug in to my Ubuntu 12.04 machine using a sata->usb converter (which is working perfectly with other harddrives of the same model), but it is just making weird clicking noises and is not being recognized by the computer.

Is their anything software-wise which I could try to diagnose and/or fix the problem?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The drive is almost certainly dead or dying, and there is very little you can do with software in this situation. I would recommend freezing the drive, then arranging to use it while frozen (run power and IDE into the freezer). Once you take it out of the freezer, liquid condensation inside as it warms will damage it further.

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+1 for the freezer trick. Might get you enough time to save critical data, but not much longer. Definitely sounds like the dreaded Click of Death. – techturtle Jan 24 '13 at 21:56
I uploaded a sample of the sound here: As you can hear, the hard drive is not even really spinning up. Any ideas? – Zulakis Jan 24 '13 at 22:12
Between the sound and the lack of spin-up, I'd say the motor is bad or the spindle is stuck. The freezer might still help, but you'd best plan what you need to copy first because it probably won't last long. – techturtle Jan 24 '13 at 22:20

No spin-up could mean bad electronics. If you have access to other drives of AAKS line, check if another one has the same firmware number and swap the board. You can get data back or confirm a motor failure. I did that with seagate's back in the days, just have in mind that you could destroy that other board too. You have to calculate what's more important - data on that non-spinner or another drive.

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