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I have a 500GB HDD on my desktop, and there are two partitions as C and D. The computer would not start and shows me a error message.

Notice - Hard drive self monitoring system has reported that a parameter has exceeded its normal operating range. Dell recommends you that you back up your data regularly. A parameter out of range may or may not indicate a potential hard.

So I took the hdd out of the desktop and made a USB external HDD. My laptop recognizes the hard drive as “I” drive and “J” drive. I am able to click “J” and see folders and files. But there is no response when I click “I” while it makes weird clicking sound.

Can anyone explain why I drive doesn't work while J drive works on same physical hard drive? Is there anyway that I can fix?

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    Different sections of the disk can have different disk platters assosiated with it. If you are getting clicking noises its time to stop using the drive. – Ramhound Oct 24 '13 at 13:39
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As @Ramhound said, this is the possible issue with your drive. The other thing could be the mechanical failure, meaning that the actuator arm(s), suffered mechanical issue.

In situations when the actuator arm have to read the high (outermost) and low (innermost) sectors after suffering the mechanical failure, it will knock and only read the sectors as far as it can extend due to mechanical issue restriction

I have right now the HDD (Toshiba 500GB) where I cannot use one partition, but I'm using the second partition for more than a year now. The S.M.A.R.T. test clearly stated that my HDD have a unrecoverable failure but my second partition still working flawlessly (for now). I am not using that partition for any important data but I'm accessing it daily and writing, reading, and deleting the data daily.

I can confirm you that I have had a chance to see HDDs to work this way for years (old Maxtor D740X-6L 20GB from 2001 I think started with clicking in 2004, as I recorded in its service book, and still working believe it or not), but on the other hand it can die in few minutes or hours.

So you can use this HDD, but please do not rely on it to store any important data. Use it as is since you might end up with completely unusable HDD

  • Now I see what is going on. Thanks. I assume that my only bet is asking a professional to recover the data. That costs more than $1000 when I asked. – Hoorayo Oct 24 '13 at 16:28
  • No, you can try with some recovery programs. In most cases I was able to recover the large portion of data from the inaccessible partitions. Probably you will lose some data, but maybe you will be lucky to save the important data :). So, before paying try some recovery programs; but don't do that via USB. Attach the HDD in your computer – Nikola Dimitrijevic Oct 24 '13 at 16:32
  • What did you use for the recovery? I tried with Recuva, but it was not able to access the drive. My laptop recognised the drive as "I", but the software can't use the drive when I tried to select it. But I will have to try from Desktop too as you recommended. – Hoorayo Oct 24 '13 at 16:44
  • You can try with this partedmagic.com . It's a cheap solution (linux based) and I managed to recover a lot of data. if it doesn't work it will not be a huge impact on your budget :) – Nikola Dimitrijevic Oct 24 '13 at 17:02

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