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How to Troubleshoot Hard Drive is Making Noise

Hard drives are an extremely important component of a computer system. It houses your precious data and allows you to access it anytime. If the hard drive isn’t working properly, it will become almost impossible for you to access your files and run any programs on your PC. The hard disks are made up of a number of smaller parts which work in combination with each other. A small amount of sound is produced when the hard disk is being used especially when the read/write heads are functioning. However, if the sound level increases and you feel that the hard drive is making noise then it might be an indication of a problem.

Part 1: Why does the Hard Disk Make a lot of Noise?

Hard disks generally don’t make much noise. They operate quietly and only make a sound when you are accessing them or when they are being shut down. The amount of sound that the hard drives produce is negligible and is usually drowned by the noise created by the cooling fan. However, if you start hearing clicking or grinding sounds coming from the hard drive that are different from the normal sounds produced by it then it is a sign that something is wrong. Before you can start taking measures to troubleshoot the problem of hard drive is making noise, you need to be able to distinguish between the normal and abnormal sounds produced by a hard drive.

Part 2: Normal sounds include:

Part 3: Abnormal noises include:

Part 4: How to Troubleshooting Hard Drive Noise

The following methods and solutions can be used for troubleshooting purposes if you find that your hard drive is making noise which it isn’t supposed to make.

  1. Solution 1: Ensure that the noise is being created by the hard drive and not by any other component of the computer. To check this, you will have to turn off your computer and detach the cables connected to the hard drive. This includes both the data and the power cables. After doing this, you need to turn the system on and check for the noise. If the noise is still being created then the hard drive is not to blame for it. The components that might be causing the noise include the fans or the power supply. Check them out and see if the noise is coming from them.
  2. Solution 2: Find out if the noise is indicative of a problem with the data cable or the drive itself. To determine this, you will have to turn off the computer and attach only the power cable of the hard drive before turning it back on. If the noise stops, the cable is the culprit and needs to be replaced. However, if the noise continues then the drive might be the reason for it. Try connecting the data cable to the hard drive and then starting the computer. If you hear the noise then the cable is definitely the cause of the noise and checking with a good cable is the right course of action. But, if the noise continues even after the data cable has been replaced then the issue might be related to the drive itself.
  3. Solution 3: troubleshooting the noise issue is to remove the hard drive from its brackets after shutting down the computer and placing it on an insulated surface. You can also try connecting the hard drive to a different system or plug it into an alternate drive bay. If the noise stops when you turn on the computer then the drive bay or the mounting brackets are at fault and need to be inspected closely. However, if the noise continues, then it is a definitive indication that the drive is faulty and needs to be replaced as quickly as possible.
  4. Solution 4: Run diagnostic software to check the hard drive for errors. Make sure that all other unnecessary components are disconnected from the system and all other programs are closed down when the diagnostic software is running. This will ensure that the results produced by the software will be accurate. The diagnostic software may be able to find the bad sectors on the hard drive and stop the system from using them again but it won’t be able to fix the physical damage sustained by a hard drive. Thus, even if the diagnostic software resolves the noise issue it would only be temporary, at best.

Part 5: Tips for Hard Drive Noise

To conclude, it is safe to say that hard drives aren’t known for making noise. However, they do produce some whirring and clicking sounds which are completely normal. If you find your hard drive is making noise which out of the ordinary then you can make use of various troubleshooting methods to solve this issue. The following are some tips that you need to remember when dealing with a noisy hard drive.

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