Tick, tick, boom! When hard drives go bad.

DrivesaversWhen my notebook computer refused to boot and made a rhythmic clicking sound every time I tried, I had to face the fact that the hard drive was dead, and as Action Front Recovery Labs writes in its “Data Emergency Guide” (http://www.actionfront.com/afdrl_emergency_guide.pdf) “There is no software in the world that can fix storage media with physical defects.”

“The most important thing about a dying hard drive is that it usually gives warning signs,” says Steve Lewis, owner of SLK Net (http://slk.us) and our library’s systems consultant extraordinaire. When a computer makes ticking, buzzing, or scraping sounds, or emits repetitive noise patterns like “pllllr, tick, pllllr, tick”, it is time to take emergency data recovery and hard drive replacement action.

“Back up your data immediately (if you are already booted up)”, advises DriveSavers (http://www.drivesavers.com/recovery_tips). Then, “shut down the computer to avoid further damage to the drive and its data.”

Why? “This symptom typically indicates a head crash that can destroy your data,” DriveSavers explains. “Hard drives spin with extreme speed – from 7,200 to 15,000 revolutions per minute – therefore extensive damage can occur in a short period of time.”

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