My hard disk has started making clicking sounds and when I start up Windows it said that it detected problems with my disk. I have some pretty important data on the disk (including our company’s accounts). Should I be worried?
When your hard disk starts making strange sounds it’s a sure sign that you should start getting worried. A disk is a pretty delicate device that consists of a number of platters spinning at a very high speed. Each surface has a magnetic “head” that floats on a layer of air reading and writing data from the disk. This data is packed so close that a square inch holds millions upon millions of bits of information. Hopefully that gives you an idea just how delicate a hard disk is.
Hard disks are one of the few components in a computer that has moving parts and so is prone to failure, even if they are rated for tens of thousands of hours. They are particularly susceptible to knocks and bangs as this can dislodge a head and force it to bump into the disk surface. As you can image, as the data is packed so close, a simple scratch can cause you to lose a huge amount of data.
Clicking is a bad sign and is an indication that your disk is on it’s way out. If you can, take a backup of all your data, buy a new disk and transfer all your data to that. However things aren’t always that simple. If there has been damage to the disk itself, to the head that reads the data, or to the circuitry that the disk requires to work, then you might be looking at getting a professional company to recover your data. There are a number of outfits around that can do this, but I came across one called DTI Data that seem to have a great track record in hard disk recovery, with testimonials by Shaggy and Matt Geiger to name a couple.
One of the great thing about DTI data is that they offer free upfront flat rate price quotes on all hard drive repair. They also offer a data guarantee and all single hard drive recoveries are “no data no charge” (the only exception to that rule is if the drive has been opened somewhere else, which is fair enough). They also sell all the software they use for recovery which was developed in house. And best of all (if you really need all the trimmings), they have a Class 100 clean room, which is necessary to open and repair hard disks.
I’m hoping you won’t require any data recovery resources, but good luck, disk problems aren’t a nice thing to have to recover from.