5 Sounds Signalling It's Time To Backup Your Data And Replace Your Hard Drive

You don't need to spend months studying computer repair just to notice the signs of hard drive failure. Since most laptops and desktops still feature mechanical hard drives that get noisy as they break down, you can use your ears to know when it's time for an emergency backup. Take your machine in for prompt repair if you notice any of these five serious sounds.

Rapid and Repetitive Clicking

It's normal for the hard drive to click a few times when starting up or accessing a different sector. However, the repetitive and loud noise known as the click of death is due to skipping and resetting in the head actuators. As these parts attempt to check and read the disk, something causes the process to fail and restart from the beginning. Clicking like this indicates you are on borrowed time and your hard drive is counting down to failure.

Grinding and Squealing

If your daily work routine is interrupted with the grinding metallic noise like a power drill cutting holes through sheet metal, it's most likely coming from the hard drive. Loose parts and jammed actuators lead to surprisingly loud and irritating noises. If the noise is intermittent and not loud, you may have enough time for a quick backup, but there's no guarantee your drive won't crash immediately either.

Make sure to get the computer inspected right away when you first hear any squealing or ringing noises. In some cases, these sounds come from vibrations between the fans or hard drive and the case. Let a professional determine where the grinding noises are coming from before you rush to replace a part that might still have plenty of life left in it.

Musical Notes and Tones

When it's the spindle getting damaged and causing failure in the hard drive, you might hear some truly strange and confusing sounds coming out of your case. Different models of hard drive produce unusual noises like

  • Electronic musical notes, creating a random song similar to early cellphone ringtones
  • Whistles and chirps, mimicking bird song in an eerie way
  • Constant humming or even groaning.

Don't assume that new noise you're hearing is coming from your smart phone or a social media application. It might be your hard drive dinging and chirping instead of a notification that you've received a message from a friend.

Whining and Buzzing

When the drive is badly damaged and irreparable, the sounds tend to get louder and more intense. Hard drives that are too damaged to even start often emit a high pitched whining noise as you start the computer and send power to the part. If you're hearing this and your hard drive is still working fine with no other signs of damage, you might have failing mounting hardware instead. This causes the vibrations to buzz loudly on the case and frame, which may be accompanied by whining too.

Beeping and Chirping

Finally, check the manufacturer's support documents to find out if those beeps and chirps you're hearing mean anything specific. Many hard drive suppliers set up automatic warning noises to indicate a disk failure, a disconnected power supply, or other common issues. Can't find any information about your hard drive's noises? Let a professional repair technician inspect the drive and test it to figure out what you're dealing with.

Catch the problem in time and you can save every file, setting, and program before a failure wipes everything out. Once your information is backed up safely on a spare drive, getting the computer working again only takes a day or two. Don't just wait until the hard drive fails completely when you can act at the first sign of a problem.

For more tips, contact a company like Nation's First Office Repair.