Sometimes when I boot my laptop the hard drive makes a clicking sound (every time 16 times), Windows does not start and I am stuck on the boot screen (note: F2, F4 or any other key do not respond).

The problem happened the first time a month ago and now it has become more frequent. I am able to boot my windows 8.1 after a few attempts. The number of attempts are also increasing now, from 2-3 earlier to 10 or more now.

I have performed disk check up from disk properties, it shows no error (maybe due to the disk working fine at that time). My hard drive is a Samsung HN-M750MBB 750.1 GB.

Can you suggest me something that I can try to stop the clicking sound and save my drive?

Additional information:

  1. I have tested using crystaldiskinfo 6.52 and hd tune pro. Crystaldiskinfo shows 1 error that is with "current pending sector count" showing raw values as 0000002. HD tune pro shows 2 errors: the one above and second: calibration retry count. Pictures here. (Last night when I checked my disk using the above two software: there was no "current pending sector count error" in both of the software.)

  2. Active smart found no errors.

  3. The sound is like a clicking bomb timer. Listen to it here: http://1drv.ms/1N5JP9j

  • 48
    This is a bit like your car is on fire but you think you can save it because the engine light hasn't come on yet. The SMART readings are irrelevant when you can hear a fault directly.
    – JamesRyan
    Nov 24 '15 at 10:37
  • 1
    Any non zero "current pending sector count" is always an indicator that the drive is no longer in prime condition; in servers, you would replace the drive at short notice for that alone, clicking or not clicking. Nov 24 '15 at 12:34
  • 2
    "Can you suggest me something that I can do to stop the clicking sound and save my drive?" - Get a new HDD your current HDD is not functional. It does not matter if no errors are being reported, your drive is clicking, that means there is a mechanical failure.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 24 '15 at 12:38
  • 1
    Shreyansh when there is not enough power the drive will fail to spin up, it does not cause clicking. People have told you what is wrong.
    – JamesRyan
    Nov 24 '15 at 13:35
  • 2
    It certainly could be a power issue. I once ran into a "server" while doing some volunteer work whose hard drives trashed most of a track whenever a power brownout happened. I replaced the power supply with something better than a $20 "sparkle" and added a UPS and the hard drives were fine after that. A hard drive demands either 5V power or 0V power. 2V is right out.
    – Zan Lynx
    Nov 24 '15 at 17:35

Backup. Backup. Backup.

(Just to be sure you hear me).

According with datacent [1] this is the sound of a Toshiba laptop drive with bad heads making clicking or sweeping sound on boot up. [s2]. This one [s6] instead it is not the record of a motorbike but what you risk to listen in a near future. (see note).

As spotted before the clicks you are listening at the start-up are the sounds produced by the heads in the attempt to align properly. If you listen each time exactly 16 times it means that this the limit defined in its firmware. It stops because continuing it will break more quickly (or it can scratch the surface of the disk creating problems more difficult to be solved).

It can be generated by a mechanical failure, incoming or just come, as well as by an inadequate power supply. It means that it is getting to be broken or is not getting enough power to fully spin up.

If there are no reason to think that the cable is faulty, or not securely plugged, this lack of power can be due to the computer power supply if you recently added other devices (or substituted) and you have increased the overall request. But in a laptop this is a rare case.

As alternative it can be the laptop power supply that is ending its life, rare too if compared with the average life of an HDD.

The fact that this problem is becoming more frequent usually means that a bigger one or an irreparable one is approaching.

If you want to be sure you can try to identify the sound of your HDD [1] [3] and the problem you are up to face giving some interpretation to the SMART[4] report [5] you provide.

An HDD will not break only because the disk surface is damaged, but even because the head can be: check for example on the wikipedia page about SMART [4] which data is reported as potential indicators of imminent electromechanical failure, but remember that many of those indicators are not absolute ones. In general an increasing value spots a problem even if not reported as a red one.

The links with an s are sounds in mp3 format and you may need to download to listen or to go to the reference page [1] .

ps> Did I just said you? Backup, now.

  • 7
    ps> backup now :-) It is always more wise.
    – Hastur
    Nov 24 '15 at 11:55
  • I have my data backed up again. Thanks to you :D. As you said i think the problem is with the power supply. I think so because, when i am trying to boot my system out of the clicking sound (by turning off and trying again), the laptop will turn on immediately after the battery is run out and power cord is attached. NO MORE TRIES it boots in one go! This has been noticed from last 2 times. So i am not sure if this is the reason. What do you have to say about that? Thanks.
    – shreyansh
    Nov 24 '15 at 12:10
  • 1
    I think that is the noise of the heads. It seems similar to the one reported as a head failure (see in the answer the link to s2). If you have the possibility to test your computer with a different working battery (before you go to buy it) and you will not listen this noise it could be only a power problem. If you can test instead with a different working HDD (It should have similar power requirements) and you listen again the noise, you can suppose it is a power problem. But remember that to listen this sound is not a good omen so try to fix the situation and be ready to accept the fate :)
    – Hastur
    Nov 24 '15 at 13:20
  • 2
    @JamesRyan Your opinion on the Question is appreciated, but its definitely not the answer. Hastur on the other hand tried to present an approach by which I can try and find if the fix is possible or not(he maybe wrong or not). You (like many others) do not show a problem solving attitude at all, which is sad. I wish you success in life.
    – shreyansh
    Nov 24 '15 at 17:39
  • 2
    @shreyansh there is a way. First you need a cleanroom because the slightest spec of dust inside will destroy the drive. Then you need an identical drive with a working motor/head mechanism and swap the platters. OR you could just put the 2nd identical hard drive in your laptop and use it!
    – JamesRyan
    Nov 24 '15 at 19:53

Clicking indicates a mechanical problem with the drive, or a faulty platter where the heads cannot align properly. They are seeking to the limit defined by the drive's firmware. The drive is defective; time to get a replacement.

  • 3
    I'd also limit how much you're using it until you can backup the data. The more you keep at it, the faster it will push towards death.
    – Papa
    Nov 24 '15 at 5:21
  • 9
    The drive is failing, the clicking is a classic symptom of impending failure, there is no fix... One of these times it will not boot. What you are describing is a classic case of "impending doom", backup your data as soon as possible and get a replacement, the drive cannot be saved.
    – acejavelin
    Nov 24 '15 at 5:27
  • 1
    I have backed up my data already. I used another software, Active smart this time to analyse the problems AND THERE WERE NO ERRORS .(1drv.ms/1NMzW1b)
    – shreyansh
    Nov 24 '15 at 5:43
  • 8
    @shreyansh You don't understand, this is a mechanical problem, the platters, sectors, and blocks may be perfect, but the drive will fail to spin soon due to a mechanical failure, not a logical or data failure ...there is no "fix", replace the drive
    – acejavelin
    Nov 24 '15 at 5:47
  • 4
    @shreyansh The cause is that you have platters spinning at 5400 revolutions per minute and at least one is making contact with something it shouldn't, most likely a head. It happens to HDD as they age or get dropped or if they have minor defects. Thankfully yours gave you warning before its demise, which is now inevitable.
    – user351775
    Nov 24 '15 at 7:07

Looking at your text and comments, I think you may misunderstand what a "hard drive is". The hard drive is the bit inside the computer which stores the information, not the laptop itself.

You need to replace the hard drive in the laptop - which is probably worth about US$50-US$100 excluding labour - you don't need to replace the whole laptop.

[ I get the impression you misunderstand because you quote the hard drive as "samsung NP300E5Z-AOJIN 750GB" - which is a laptop model, rather then the actual hard drive - which is displayed in the CrystalDiskInfo snapshot, but too small for me to read).

  • I understand what a hard drive is. I have tried to pull it out and confirmed the sound is coming from the drive itself.The hard drive model is Samsung HN-M750MBB 750.1 GB.
    – shreyansh
    Nov 24 '15 at 5:48
  • @shreyansh as you know how to pull it out, I'd say that it is time to switch to a new drive. I recommend you to get a SSD.
    – ave
    Nov 25 '15 at 15:17
  • @ardaozkal Your recommendation is inappropriate for this question. The choice of SSD or HDD should be based on the individual's specific needs after taking into account the various trade-offs between factors such as speed, capacity, cost, and reliability. It is simply not the case that a SSD is a "better" choice than a HDD, as it depends on the requirements, and in many cases a HDD will be better. We can't possibly know the OP's requirements based on his question. Nov 25 '15 at 19:08
  • 2
    @JonBentley SSDs don't have moving parts, the issue shreyansh had was caused by the heads of HDD. If s/he was using a SSD, this issue wouldn't happen at all (other issues might have happened, but not this one). While it is totally up to him/her, as I stated in my comment, it is a recommendation, however, I should have clarified it. I will be more careful in the future.
    – ave
    Nov 25 '15 at 19:26

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