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Every time my HDD turns off - whether because I shut down my PC or Windows turns the HDD itself due to Power Plan settings - it makes a clicking noise, similar to the sound of fan lightly hitting a cable. I really can't remember when did this start. Is this normal or a sign of incoming drive failure? I do have backups.

[UPDATE]

Recording - the noise I'm concerned about occurs at about 6 seconds in. Also at about 4-6 seconds regular operating sound of the HDD in question is audible at higher volumes. Background sound is my PC's frontal fan running.

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If it's just one click then it's probably just the read/write heads parking/unparking which is supposed to happen. Still, if it has suddenly got a lot louder then it could be a bad sign and if you are getting multiple loud clicks in quick succession then I would start to worry. –  James Jul 12 '13 at 11:57
    
Does it sound similar to this? –  Jason Bristol Jul 12 '13 at 12:31
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Nowhere near that and it's just a single click. I've checked several "HDD failing" noises on the internet and none sounded like mine. I guess I should just record it and post that. Would it be ok with superuser's rules to repost the problem once I get the recording? –  Dralax Jul 12 '13 at 12:42
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No, it would be a duplicate, just edit this question. –  who.knows Jul 12 '13 at 13:13
    
You might want to run any HDD diagnosis tool capable of retrieving SMART information from the disk (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.). If the drive is broken, chances are that the SMART status will tell. –  Zero3 Jul 24 '13 at 3:20

1 Answer 1

If you have important data on your hard drive, then back it up immediately. Hard drives should never have a noticeable click, period. I'm not saying it is going to go anytime soon, but its not worth the risk. If you need to hold out on getting it a new drive, then at least make sure the most important information is safe.

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I can assure you it is fairly normal for a drive to make a clicking or clunking noise when the heads load/unload. On certain performance drives like a 3.5" Western Digital Black series it may be much more noticeable than on a quiet laptop drive. I would only be worried if the noise has changed. –  James Jul 13 '13 at 14:39
    
So you are saying that sitting at your desk you should hear clicking when a hard drive is inside a case with multiple fans spinning? That's kind of ridiculous. Perhaps if you have it an an enclosure nearby or your case is open and you are checking things out, but certainly you should not hear noises under normal operations. –  Renegade91127 Jul 18 '13 at 0:41
    
My point was that most disks will make that noise; whether or not you will be able to hear it over the noise of fans/background noise is another matter. Certainly I can hear it very easily on a MacBook Pro despite the fact that the hard drive is generally almost silent, simply because the laptop is virtually silent. The OP doesn't say what specific setup they have. –  James Jul 18 '13 at 15:01
    
I've finally got the recording and added it to the original post. Regarding my setup: it is rather quiet when idle. I can actually hear the HDD's normal operation and I'm now starting to wonder if that's abnormal as well. –  Dralax Jul 18 '13 at 18:03

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