But also don’t power up your computer again!
Does this mean you have lost everything? Not necessarily!
We have discussed this in earlier blog posts as sometimes relating to a head crash. This is when the read/write heads literally strip the magnetic material off the platters of a drive, permanently taking the data with it.
However it is important to remember that a clicking drive does not always mean a head crash, as clicking can be caused by a number of other much less serious problems. It is very important to remember that when a disk clicks, you should never power the computer or drive up again, or you may cause permanent data loss!
The best idea is to send it to DriveFish for a free diagnosis. We know how important your data is to you, and we will always protect it and use the utmost care with your drive. If it does turn out your drive is suffering from a head crash, we will help you every step of the way in determining the best advanced recovery options if that is what you choose to do.
At DriveFish, we get personally invested in our customers and do everything we can to help get their data securely back to them.
When your disk arrives at the DriveFish headquarters, your order is scanned into our secured database (you’ll get an email letting you know we received it) and then assigned to an engineer. Then begins a process that is designed to make sure the integrity of your data is not compromised.
The notes you made about you disk are read and interpreted to help us understand whether the issue is logical or physical. If the issue is probably logical, your disk is immediately cloned to a hard drive we know is in perfect working order. This ensures that when we get to work trying to put your file system back in order, that we don’t aggravate any latent physical or hardware issues with the disk you sent in. Many recovery companies don’t bother doing this because it does take a long time and just adds another step to the recovery process. Anyone that you deal with should be able to promise you that this step will occur and that they know how to do it properly. Cloning is a must. The next time you power on the disk could be its last to work properly!
If the issue seems to be physical or hardware based (from reading your comments about the disk), we will do a disk inspection before spinning the drive up in an attempt to clone it. We will check the circuit boards, the power supply the internals (read/write heads, spindle, head actuator) and the platters – all in a clean room environment. One key thing we are looking for is a head crash. Not only will we check the surface of the platters for damage but will check the pillows (filters) under a microscope for any indication of magnetic coating on the filter. If we see any indication of a head crash – the process stops there and the disk is carefully put back together so we can advise you to go with an advanced recovery. We will never jeopardize your chances of recovery by trying to resolve a head crash here at DriveFish. That is not a job for us but rather our partner DriveSavers. Read more here about why this is important.
If there is no indication of a head crash we will solve the electronics or motor problem(s) if present, put the disk back together and attempt to clone the drive. The point is we never will just sit there powering your drive up and down trying to get it to mount. It is very important to take powering a malfunctioning drive very seriously – and at DriveFish we do just that! This ensures that regardless of whether we collect a fee, you can count on us to ensure your best chance of recovery.
Not neccesarily. If your disk is clicking that generally indicates that you have a problem with the read/write heads attempting to scan the surface of the platter. If you hear a clicking, grinding or other odd noice from your disk we suggest you shut it down immediately and send it in. If it is in fact a head crash, you may need advanced recovery.
It could also just be a problem with the electronics, motor, actuator arm or any number of problems. You best bet is to pack it carefully and send to us so we can give you the best chance of recovery. Don’t give up hope – if we recover your data you pay a reasonable flat fee!
A “head crash” is a term that describes what happens when the read/write heads of a hard drive touch the spinning platter causing damage to the magnetic coating that contains the data.
A hard drive is somewhat like a record player in that there are spinning platters (records) that are read by read/write heads on an actuator arm (the tone arm and needle). Instead of the r/w heads actually touching the platter though, it hovers just above it reading the data magnetically. Sometimes it’s a small bump or jarring of the disk, sometimes it’s a small piece of dirt or other particulate on the disk surface. Whatever the cause, if the read/write heads touch and chip or scratch the magnetic coating of the spinning platter(s), that is a head crash!
A head crash has to be handled carefully as once it happens and some coating has been scratched off the platter(s), the problem become worse very quickly. You have to catch it quick before all of your data is literally scratched off. A common disk speed is 7200 RPM – that’s almost 75 mph! A head crash occurring at that speed can be catastrophic.
Be smart. If you hear clicking, clunking, grinding or any other odd noises you could possibly have a head crash. We suggest you pack it up and send it to a company that you know will give you the best chance of recovery.