Can I recover photos from a hard drive making the ‘clicking sound of death’?

Anonymous March 4, 2014


My external drive is making the ticking noise of death. And as you can guess, I haven’t backed it up.

I now am facing the problems of lost photos. I saw on another post that someone said it could be a software problem.

So any chance that with the ticking noise of death that I would still be able to recover my photos?

  1. Guy M
    March 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    You could give a SATA/IDE to USB adapter a try. If the platters spin at all, you should be able to access the drive as though it were an external hard drive. Mind you, you need a working computer to do this as well.
    You can get SATA/IDE to USB adapters on eBay from China for about $5. I bought one and use it work. Love it.
    But if that doesn't work, then Oron is right on the money. You'll need a data recovery expert.

  2. Oron J
    March 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    You can't recover your data using a software-only solution, since the clicking sound of death is a hardware problem. However, a data recovery bureau should be able to cover all your data, since this fault does not usually damage the actual platters of the hard drive. Search for "data recovery" or similar on Google and contact two or three bureaus to get quotes for recovery. It won't be cheap, but hopefuly will be affordable. Good luck!

  3. Svenja R
    March 4, 2014 at 8:47 am

    No i cant access it at all.

    So does that mean its gone forever?
    thanks for your quick reply

    I was trying to search live Cd, not 100% what i was looking at though.

    • Hovsep A
      March 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      no it doesn't mean that the hard drive is gone forever, it can be still recovered, for instance you can buy identical hard drive then try to switch the disk from the bad one to the new one case.

      when you go to device manager do you see any yellow sign?*

      for Livecd you can try Hiren's bootcd

    • Svenja R
      March 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Hmmm its pretty old, dont actually even know what brand it is hahaha. Is ther maybe someway that I can find out what kind it is? and if i do find out, would it be safe for a non computer person to just swicth the disks?

      Ok today i did something pretty crazy and kinda stupid.
      saw something about putting it in the freezer and i started doing that for about 10min till i researched some more and people saying that condensation still gets inside even if its in a zip lock bag. obviously.

      So i quickly took it out, it was still fine a little cooler.
      So i thought i would try it in my computer and it started beeping funny and then it stopped and tried to install itself. Was unsuccessful though. And it wasnt clicking anymore. Took it out and tried again, started clicking a little in the beginning but then stopped.

      Then went to device manager and it shows but has an exclamation, and cant access it. I go through trouble shooting and now it says, driver missing. And I have no idea what external it is, but the automatic search for the driver doesnt show up, and dont know where to look for it on the internet either.

      Have a maybe messed it up even more?
      Or is this hope hahaha

      Thanks so much for all the help

    • Hovsep A
      March 5, 2014 at 10:43 am

      well freezer liked freezing hard drive:)
      1) go to run and type cmd, right click and run as administrator
      2) type: diskpart and hit enter
      do you see your external hard drive?

      while the external hard rive plugged try this
      Tips for solving problems with USB devices

  4. Hovsep A
    March 4, 2014 at 6:50 am

    if you can access the hard drive from windows explorer then you can backup files, or you can use live cd to do backup. You can try some software to regenerate the hard drive.


    HDD Regenerator

    if the problem is mechanical/hardware then software will not help in repair.

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