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I have a 1TB Seagate HDD in my computer that's recently started clicking every time I turn my computer on. The HDD will stop making the clicking sound but will occasionally then start clicking again.

Why am I hearing this clicking sound?

I can access my data fine. I copied 3GB of data off it as a test. I could then open those files fine.

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Pretty much. This even has a name - Click of Death –  RJFalconer Apr 24 '14 at 15:25
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@ageis23 - The drive is about to fail. You need to transfer all important data off the computer as quickly as possible. You more then likely will not be able to access all the data on it because of the mechanical failure that has happened. –  Ramhound Apr 24 '14 at 15:58

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Often is read-write actuator trashing around. Never fun.

If you're feeling keen you can compare sounds with those from this handy list: http://datacent.com/hard_drive_sounds.php

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Woah! what a great resource for determining how a drive is failing. +1 for that! –  Richie086 Apr 24 '14 at 15:52

As Elliott stated, it is very likely going to die soon so back up everything on it as soon as you can.

You can check some things related to it's health using SpeedFan (http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php)

Download, install and launch it then switch to the S.M.A.R.T. tab and select your drive from the Hard disk drop down.

A summary will be shown and you can click the Perform an in-depth online analysis of this hard disk button for a better explanation and also the Extended test or Short test can be performed.

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+1 But, as I mentioned - back up the data first! It might fail during the test, and then getting the data back is a very expensive proposition (or you start trying the freezer trick). –  Elliott Frisch Apr 24 '14 at 15:20
    
Very good point Elliott, I have updated my answer. –  Shevek Apr 26 '14 at 17:29

I strongly recommend that you back-up your data, and be prepared for that drive to fail. As you intuited, that is an indication of impending drive failure.

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