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I have a problem with my external hard drive, I was copying a huge amount of data (approx 100 gigs) from it to another hard drive, suddenly an error popped up and told me that the operation could not be completed. I clicked cancel and tried to copy the files again. But the hard drive was ticking and it actually couldn't copy anything and would not eject. So I shut down my computer and tried to reconnect the hard drive again, but it just ticked, and the drive could not be read. I even tried it with another laptop, it said the parameter is incorrect. It showed a drive letter in my computer, but I couldn't browse the drive and had problem ejecting. So how can I save my files?

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Unfortunately, a clicking hard drive is always a bad sign :( Try booting a linux live cd and see if you can access your drive from there. I would also suggest you try connecting your hard drive directly to your PC and see if that helps, although I doubt it to be honest. See here for more info about hard drives clicking: – Kryten Feb 3 '13 at 16:50
The hard drive was ticking... as in 'its repeatedly tries to recalibrate its heads'?' (Compare the sound with ) – Hennes Feb 3 '13 at 16:50
I listened to those sounds, my sound was similar to none. My ticking sound is very slow, like the sound of ticking of a watch, ticking like every half second. – Wise Feb 3 '13 at 17:18
@Wise - The sound still points to failure. At this point its unlikely the data can be saved. – Ramhound Feb 7 '13 at 18:42

If your hard drive is making a loud clicking sound then your hard drive is probably dead (mechanical failure). Therefore recovery software shouldn't be able to help. If you really need the data inside you can try send the hard drive to data recovery center which is prohibitively expensive.

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Actually it's not very loud, it's hard to hear. But I don't understand why it should be dead. I didn't drop it or anything :( – Wise Feb 3 '13 at 16:56
What problems had you been having with the drive? If you're lucky it may be a loose connection:… – Kryten Feb 3 '13 at 16:58
@Wise Broken hard disk isn't always caused by dropping or impact. It can happen due to many factors such as, the age of the drive, manufacturing defect, heat, vibration, magnetic field, etc. I have couples of old hard disks my self that produce clicking sound. And I just RMA one recently. Luckily I have backup, so I'm covered, it's always a good idea to keep backups :D – chmod Feb 4 '13 at 8:01
@Wise However, from your comment, it doesn't look like you have a bad head. Because bad head clicking sound are usually distinctive clicking sound in pattern. My guess is you are probably having a bad sector on your drive and it's trying to remap the bad sector. – chmod Feb 4 '13 at 8:09
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I showed my hard drive to a technician and unfortunately, it turned out that it had a bad head. The guy told me that it can't be fixed, the data could be recovered only by purchasing another hard drive identical to mine, and replacing the bad head with the new one, then the data could be read and after that, both hard drives are out of order, and the procedure of replacing was costly as well. So I guess I have to kiss my data goodbye, such a sad ending.

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