An external hard drive that uses USB 2.0.

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Any one know how to fix clicking noise?

When I plug it in to my laptop or any computer it no longer gets recognized. On top of that I hear a slight clicking noise inside when it is powered on. Anyone know how I can fix this or get my data back? A lot of important stuff on there.

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Thank you all for your answers. I'll try and see what works.

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I was trying to recover files from an external drive which had been formatted and was without its case and fittings as it had been used as an internal drive. Be careful that you dont use an extension usb cable as I had done for convenience to reach the floor standing PC because the clicking was a sign of underpowering. When i reconnected the original short lead, the clicking disappeared and the drive reappeared in windows explorer. Thanks for the advice on this site. Good work.

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If it's a drive in an enclosure, I'd start with seeing if you can remove it, and plug it directly into a computer or transplant it into a different external enclosure. If it's USB powered, often the USB port will not provide enough power to run it, and you'll get funny noises/no response from the drive.

I've had a pretty good success rate with freezing drives to recover data from a dying/dead drive. Much simpler and cheaper then most other methods of data recovery.

Freezing the drive shrinks everything inside, sometimes freeing up stuck/seized/trapped components, or keeping an overheating component from shutting the drive down right away.

Stick the drive in a ziplock bag(to seal out moisture) in the freezer.

While it's freezing, set everything up to quickly transfer your files off the drive if it does work. After a couple hours in the freezer, plug the drive in and see what it does. It may only work for a few minutes, for hours, or weeks. Pull your data off as fast as you can, if it stops again, re-freeze it and start where you left off. I've frozen drives 3-4 times to get everything off.

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thats the option, i forgot to mention.

my friend works for a company doing recovery of valued data. once they got to recover the whole DB of one of the servers of The National Bank of Slovakia... off course, there was no backup...

anyways, one of the ways he mentioned to me was, to freeze HDD, or at least to get its temeperature as low as possible. it only lasted a few minutes, but they managed to get most of the data back...

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thank you sweet baby jesus and this commenter. I plugged my hard drive into a different USB port and it stopped clicking. My thesis, and 5 years of work are saved!! thank you Eric!

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bullshit....if it's clicking, it's mechanical.

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It worked for me

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ok im trying now, how long

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This is going to sound very dumb, but I one time fixed a hard drive clicking problem where my disk was not reading properly, by turning my computer (or in your case your external hard drive) upside down. This seemed to re-seat the needle head onto the disk, and my computer has worked great ever since.

I originally laughed my friend off for giving me this absurd suggestion of turning my computer upside down so that it would turn on, but it worked, and I owed him a solid thank you. :) It's a very slight chance, but you never know.

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+ I love unusual repairs

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Was he called Bruce?

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I fixed mine like that too. It was on a lenovo flex edge 15. In my case, I opened up my laptop, took out the terabyte hard drive and flipped it upside down and put it back in. Problem is totally fixed now and nor more annoying noise.

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I just fixed mine this way .. and it really sounded very clever .. it might not fixed it completely but at least I had the chance to recover my files .. thanks a lot sir

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I just managed to get my clicking drive working by plugging the usb lead into one of the ports on the PC instead of a hub.

Data currently being transferred to main hard drive before being backed up to Dropbox!

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i am afraid, this drive is beyond repair. if the clicking noise is there, usually, the logic board of the drive is broken. you cannot buy them, cannot change them... if drive is in warranty, get it replaced. for data recovery, i would suggest some specialist firm, they have lot more options and experiences...

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or try to change the power supply for it. sometimes it goes wrong...

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If you can find the same drive model you could swap the boards and give it a try. Lot cheaper than a clean room job.

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Segate told me that each controller board is "married" to the HDD to which it attached, and the tracks and cylinders are unique to the controller board that is attached to it. I bought a controller board for a Segate external drive that was exactly the same model code. It did not fix the problem (clicking) and my data remains locked in the inaccessible drive! There is a data retrieval company (Crucial Data Recovery Support) which will "attempt" to recover your data (no guarantees). They charge $750 if they are successful (from 1 - 100%) and $0 if they cannot recover any data at all (0%).

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I found a shop that have successfully recovered 3 hard drives for me, their pricing is very reasonable: http://hddsavers.com/

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I've just followed Paul Jones's suggestion and it seems to have worked. No more clicking and it allows me to delete OSX back-ups which it didn't before. Fingers crossed. any yes I am going to back it up elsewhere. It's a Belkin powered hug by the way. Thanks Paul.

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Take off the logic board from the hard drive. Set it as level as possible on a good work surface with some washers wood blocks, ect... Use a heat gun on the hi setting, heat the board for about 30 seconds to a minute while constantly moving the air gun around. So as not to heat one spot too hot and burn something. Hold the heat gun higher up and reduce heat. You are cooling the board with out letting it cool too fast and get possible stress cracks. What you have just done is a reballing on the logic board. flip over and repeat. Works about 50% of the time.

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