When I booted my computer today, it wouldn't progress past BIOS. One of the drives ( the one holding the OS, of course ) spins up, goes "click click", and then spins down and repeats the process.

How recoverable would you say this drive is (or not)?

The drive is a Western Digital WD3200JD 320GB


That seems to be not an uncommon problem with WD drives. About half of my drives I had from WD exhibited that problem sooner or later. As long as you get it running again (might take hours) you probably can get your data off of it again, depending how long it survives before going into that click-click routine again.

But for all practical purposes the drive is dead. The only thing you could hope for would be that you still have warranty on it.

  • 1
    Yeah, I'll toss it in the freezer as I've seen recommended as a very temporary fix, and see what happens. I've had WD drives fail frequently in the past as well. I guess I'm done as their customer. – Ian Aug 16 '09 at 21:46
  • Drive brand-loyalty is always funny. Personally I won't touch Maxtor after having a half-dozen fail in a month (between me and friends); I've had great luck with WD, a couple have arrived DOA but the ones that have arrived working are still working (knock on wood). – STW Aug 16 '09 at 21:57
  • I guess I'm more into Drive Model loyalty. See this post: serverfault.com/questions/7952/… Sometimes the models for different brands are better than others! – JFV Aug 16 '09 at 22:03
  • Yah, just do your research on any drive series you are looking at purchasing. – Troggy Aug 16 '09 at 23:39
  • Has been referred to as the Click of Death - apparently old Iomega Zip drives used to do this when they died. The freezer trick might work for getting your data off of it, but I wouldn't count on it. – Jamie Penney Aug 17 '09 at 1:13

Before you try the freezer thing (and yes, it sometimes works. I successfully used this trick once myself before), try changing the drive's power source. Sometimes an underpowered drive trows up the click symptoms as well.

If possible, use a different power supply. You do not have to swap out the current PSU, just attach the failing drive to a second PSU. If that is not an option, try using a different connector from your current PSU that might be on a different 12V rail.


I once had a HDD fail in a similar way (clicking noise) that I recovered by giving the drive a good whack on the side, as if something had got stuck.

Not a recommended way to fix it naturally! if you can find another way to recover the data then go with that as you might make it worse, but if you get desperate, take the drive out & hit it against something and give it a try again. (if all else fails it might just make you feel a bit better!)

If it does come back to life get all the data off and bin the drive!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.