How to Identify the Noises of a Failing Hard Drive in Computer

To diagnose a physically damaged hard drive, you can identify if the hard drive is making strange sounds. But, it is a bit difficult to distinguish the abnormal noises of failing hard drive from normal sounds of computer operations. Now, this post will teach you how to identify it properly.

As we all know, the data stored in a hard drive, which is suffering serious physical damage, will absolutely get corrupted, say damaged PST file, etc. Thus, you have to diagnose and repair the physically corrupted hard drive as soon as possible. In general, one of the most effective ways to detect such a drive is to hear whether it is making any grinding sounds.

Identify the Noises of a Failing Hard Drive in Computer

However, unlike the earlier days, modern hard drives have been developed and advanced drastically. It only makes very little noise even though it is failing. Plus, due to the fact that a normally working computer will also makes some sounds, such as the sound of the fan and so on. Therefore, it is far more difficult for users to identify the noises of a failing hard drive nowadays. Thus, in the followings, we will teach you how to properly identify the sounds.

Normal Noises

You will hear some noises during your computer booting, working or shutting off. All of them are usually normal, as follows:

  1. When your computer boots up, its internal hard drive will also starts to spin up. At this time, you will surely hear some whirring sounds. It is because that the drive will get up from idle to full speed, getting into normal functions.
  2. In addition, when the hard drive works, you may hear some irregular clicking sounds occurring at 4 or 5 second intervals. Such sounds are normal as the drive heads are moving back and forth across the platters.
  3. Moreover, when you shut down your computer or it is entering sleep mode, it is possible that you will hear drive clicking as well. But it is normal in that it refers to that the drive heads are parking for standby.

Abnormal Noises

In contrast, abnormal noises of a failing hard drive are generally accompanied by strange behaviors on your computer, like the followings:

  1. Your computer system freezes or crashes.
  2. System cannot boot up as normal.
  3. Your computer hard drive cannot be recognized by the BIOS.

With these malfunctions on your PC, if you hear any of the followings abnormal noises, you can suspect that your hard drive is failing surely.

  1. If you hear repeated regular tapping or clicking sounds, chances are that the hard drive may be meeting up with a head crash.
  2. Also, the grinding or scratching sounds are more frightening as it means that the motor bearings fail and drive heads are scraping the surface of the drive platters. Both of them can be destructive.
  3. What’s more, at times, you may hear vibration sounds which can come from either the normal vibration in the mounting hardware or a hard drive failure.

Author Introduction:

Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including fix mdf and outlook repair software products. For more information visit

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