Yesterday my mom called me because here PC was taking awful long to power on (more than 15 minutes before it managed to get into Windows).

So I went to check her computer and I heard that her hard-drive is making clicking sounds and seems to be unable to read some of the boot data.

I know that hard-drive clicking sounds might be an early warning of HDD dying so I removed the HDD from her computer and took it to my computer in order to try making clone of the drive since I had another HDD of the same size lying around.

Now I know that cloning of the damaged HDD isn't best option as the drive might die in the process unless preformed by special tools which I don't have. But since my mom don't have any critical data on it I was willing to take a risk.

Any way the thing is that I managed to make a full clone of my mom's hard-drive without any problem. This seemed weird since on her computer it was having difficulties reading data needed for booting Windows.

So once I had full copy of all the data from the hard-drive I decided to go and use Western Digital Data Lifeguard to preform a diagnostic on the drive to asses the drive health.

Here is one of even weirder things and that is that Western Digital Data Lifeguard hasn't reported any problems with the HDD. S.M.A.R.T report hasn't reported even a warning what not an error. I also managed to make perform a full surface test without any problems. And during all this testing HDD hasn't released any clicking sounds.

So it seems that HDD is perfectly fine and that the problem might be caused by something else on my moms computer. Therefore I would like to know what part of my mother's computer might be causing clicking sounds coming from a healthy hard-drive so I can start fixing it properly

  • Did you hear the clicking when mounted to your computer for the backup? If so, it's likely an impending head crash. You might also hear the disks actually spin down as there are protection mechanisms to prevent loss of data so metal isn't just grinding metal. They attempt to spin back up again once the RW heads reset. The other thing it could be is depending on where your fans are and where your cords are hanging (power/data cables), one of them could be leaning in and hitting the spinning fan blades. – thepip3r Dec 4 '18 at 14:34
  • With some luck, the clicking sounds didn't come from the drive and can be identified by ear while running the computer with the case open. The 15 minutes wait could have come from Windows Update doing its thing. – harrymc Dec 4 '18 at 14:59
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    PSU failing and not being able to provide enough power could be an alternative cause IMO. – TiO Dec 4 '18 at 16:19
  • +1 On TiO's Comment. I have this 2.5 hdd sata adaptar to usb, once my friend gave me his 2.5hdd with some movies to hook it up and watch something. Y pluged it in and it started to make clicking sounds and it was not prompting on the PC, bro was freaking out. Got another cable with and extra input for more juice and it was fixed. So probably you have a sketchi psu, maybe full of dust and on overheat the current drops. Swap the PSU and test, if you are going for a cheap one, buy it with a high nominal watts rating, so it wont overheat on small loads. Or do the right thing and buy a good one. – dmb Dec 4 '18 at 16:45
  • @thepip3r No I haven't heard any clicking sounds when disk was in my computer.Also there was no performance issues with it at the time. I have managed to do a full clone of the hard-disk and then even a full surface scan of the HDD with Western Digital Data Lifeguard all in about 3 hours time. Now considering that we are talking here about 500 GB WD Blue HDD I would say that there was no performance issues. – SilverWarior Dec 4 '18 at 17:10

Possible non-hard-drive sources of clicking that I have experienced : loose cables being hit by fans, unsecured panels or clips moving in response to fan or other vibration, loose screws in the case moving in response to vibration, unsecured PCI graphics cards.

As suggested in a comment, I suggest putting it together with the new HD, inspecting for loose parts, booting it up, and watching her use it. It might be a situational issue.

Unlikely for you : A poorly-installed CPU water cooler boiling off can make some clicking noises and promptly fail.

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