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I have a laptop HP ProBook 455 G1. 50% of the time when laptop is writing(hdd led is blinking) I hear a clicking sound and it is definitely my hdd. It started a few months ago, but I wasn't worried since I hadn't noticed any problem while running and was thinking that the clicking sound were normal since it is a mechanical drive. But now the clicks are becoming more frequent and I found out 3 big missing files(around 12GB), they were from the gta 5 installation and I am almost 100% certain that I didn't delete them. The S.M.A.R.T. status is good. I am getting a bit worried about the hdd and I don't know what should I do since I don't have any ways of backing those files up(I have 200+GB worth of data). Should I get a new hdd or am I fine.

I hope that the hdd is fine since the cost in my country(Serbia) is high. 60$ for a 2.5" 500GB 5400RPM drive, that is the cheapest you could get.

I bought the laptop 2 years ago and I've been using it intensively.

The hdd in the laptop is: HGST HTS541075A9E680 - 698.64 GB(It should be 750GB, but it says 700GB)

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    I wouldn't risk it, consider it dead. – adampski Nov 2 '16 at 17:48
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    As soon as a hard drive starts clicking, you should back up all of your data, get a new hard drive, and consider the old one dead. It's possible that the clicking hard drive could work for several months, but at any point it could just die. – DrZoo Nov 2 '16 at 17:55
  • This is almost always a sign of a failing hardrive " But now the clicks are becoming more frequent and I found out 3 big missing files(around 12GB), they were from the gta 5 installation and I am almost 100% certain that I didn't delete them." The other effect should be degrading performance. If lucky, machine will become cranky and slower just before it dies. Otherwise, one day everything is gone. – bvaughn Nov 3 '16 at 19:07
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There can be multiple sources for the clicking of a hard drive such as:

  • The hard drive heads hitting the internal head stop. Often called the Click of Death.
  • In the case of an external hard drive clicking it may be due to a loose connection, faulty cable or a faulty power adapter
  • Some graphics card drivers
  • The hard drive may be on a non-level surface
  • Normal hard drive clicking sounds
  • Highly fragmented hard drives
  • Resolved by updating the hard drive firmware
  • Power supply related problems
  • Hard drive sharing same power lead as graphics card
  • Power saving settings
  • Loose cable connection
  • Intel storage matrix update
  • Faulty circuit board on the hard drive
  • Hard drive platter issues

    Reference: http://harddriveclicking.net/

But best thing to do is to backup your data ASAP and get a new one, or pretend like this one is going to die tomorrow and treat any data on it as already deleted. This drive could very well run seamlessly for months and die or could die tomorrow.

As stated in my below responses, if your budget for backup is limited, you can consider all sorts of free online backup solutions such as:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • One Drive
  • many others, just search on Google.

Another cheap way to backup is just to burn your data to DVDs/CDs/BluRays.

  • The problem is I don't have a place to back the files up, and if I get a hdd now, how to move the files to the new hdd? – user659390 Nov 2 '16 at 17:53
  • You can use google drive / One Drive / DropBox. If you have more data than that, I suggest getting an external HDD. Worst case scenario, backup the files to a few DVDs. There are also plenty of other online options, but these are the easiest free ones. – IronWilliamCash Nov 2 '16 at 17:54
  • This could be a problem, cause then I need so spend money on external hdd and internal hdd which is going to be expensive, about 140$ for cheapest laptop hdd and external hdd. – user659390 Nov 2 '16 at 17:57
  • If money is that much of an issue, I suggest free online backups and/or burning your data to DVDs. – IronWilliamCash Nov 2 '16 at 18:00
  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review – Ramhound Nov 3 '16 at 0:13
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If it is spin-media, yes, consider it at risk of immediate loss. That being said, I would pull a backup ASAP if you do not have some type of redundancy or DRP in place. Then replace the drive to prevent further loss.

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