Noisy Hard Drive Could be Trouble

Noisy Hard Drive Could be Trouble. However, when powering on your computer occasionally you will hear very slight noises coming from the hard drive, this is normal. The drive will get power to it, and spin up to the proper speed which is usually between 5 and 10 thousand RPMs. The RW head is connected to an actuator arm and hovers slightly above the surface of the media, which is also known as the platters, once the drive has properly spun up to speed. (The amount of space between the RW heads and the actual platter itself is about 1/10th of a human hair!) That’s basically a very, very thin wisp of air. With these tight tolerances there is not much (if any) room for errors or mechanical instability.

Noisy Hard Drive could Indicate a Head Crash

It’s well documented that if the RW heads do make impact with the platters as they are spinning at thousands of revolutions per minute, that depending upon the location and the extent of impact, this can have severe and sometimes catastrophic results.

In some cases the data can basically be etched completely off of the platter making chances for data recovery difficult and in some extreme cases, downright impossible.

Unfortunately, many people will find out all too well exactly how a hard disk drive works after they have had one suffer from a mechanical failure, which is commonly referred to as a ‘head crash’. This terminology can be slightly misleading as even though you hear the heads inside the hard drive clicking, they may not have made impact with the platters. This is also where you start to realize that all of your hard work, family photos, company information, email contacts, entertainment, and more is all stored on your hard drive. There once was a time way back in which if your hard drive did crash, you would have it repaired as opposed to spending nearly $1000 on a new 10 Megabyte hard drive. Hard drives have certainly come a long way since then and now hard drives are disposable components. Usually however, your data is not.

Even to those folks who are a little less than ‘tech savvy’ when you hear a failing hard disk drive, you generally get a feeling that something is definitely not right. It’s not uncommon for a failing hard drive to become very noisy and make clicking, ticking or grinding sounds. Sometimes this is also called “The click of death”. Usually they are unmistakable sounds of a mechanical failure; however there are also numerous instances in which a hard drive will fail or crash with absolutely no warning whatsoever.

CAUTION! If you do hear any unusual or any unusually loud sounds coming from your hard drive, SHUT DOWN your computer IMMEDIATELY!

This could indicate an imminent hard drive failure, could help avoid further damage and could also very well save all of your data. If you do power up as normal, I would certainly try to backup all of my critical documents onto another hard drive or USB device as soon as possible. (That is providing that you do not currently have an up to date back up.)

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