My Hard Drive is Making Funny Noises

Lunaflora's hard drive is making a clicking noise. She asked the Answer Line forum for advice.

That isn't good. Hard drives are mechanical devices, but they're not supposed to make clicking noises. The drive is almost certainly failing.

If it's an internal drive, you need first make sure that the noise is actually coming from the drive, and not, say, a fan. Turn off your computer, open your case, and turn it on again. Listen for where the sound is coming from. If you're not sure, use a cardboard tube--one from a role of paper towels will do. With one end at your ear and the other at different parts of the PC, you can easily determine the click source.

Internal or external, don't trust your data to a hard drive making strange sounds. Make a backup. Now! If it's your boot drive, make an image backup so you can restore your operating system as well as your data. Otherwise, copying all of your files will do, just as long as you copy all of them.

If you continue to use that drive, back it up as often as possible.

Better yet, don't continue to use that drive. Replace it.

Read the original forum discussion.

Add your comments to this article below. If you have other tech questions, email them to me at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

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