Fix Internal/External Hard Drive Making Clicking Noise and Not Booting?

You don't have to worry if your internal/external hard drive makes clicking sound and won't boot. We explain the reasons for the hard drive clicking sound and fix it in 4 practical ways.


By Lori / Updated on April 2, 2024

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Can You Fix a Hard Drive That Is Clicking?

“When the computer powered back up it made a loud repeated clicking noise which I tracked down to my Seagate hard drive by opening the cover. Since then I can't boot the computer - it keeps failing out to netboot (which goes nowhere). Does anyone know of a way to recover the disk? How to fix my clicking hard drive?”

Are you also facing the same problem, hearing a loud "click, click, click" noise when you start up your computer or connect an external hard drive to your computer. Clicking on the hard drive will make the data rendering inaccessible.

Hard drive clicking and won’t boot is the most common symptom. How to repair clicked hard drive and recover data from clicked hard drive? Don't worry. This page describes 4 reliable solutions to get your clicking hard drive working again and recover data from clicking hard drive quickly.


Before trying the methods to fix clicking hard drive and perform clicking hard drive recovery, let’s find out What does it mean if your hard drive is clicking and the symptoms for it.

What Does It Mean if Your Hard Drive Is Clicking

Hard drive clicking noise usually means there is a problem with your hard drive, also known as a hard drive click of death. In this case, the hard drive cannot read anything from the platter, so it resets the heads to try again. When you hear a hard drive clicking sound, you need to stop using it. If it is more serious, it will cause a hard drive click of death.

hard disk drive

Symptoms of Clicking Hard Drives

1️⃣ When the light is on normally, the disk makes a slight, low clicking sound.

2️⃣ When there is a connection problem, the disk slowly makes a slight clicking sound.

3️⃣ With the "hard drive click of death" issue, the clicks are very fast and make a loud "click, click, click" noise.

4️⃣ A sudden drop in file transfer speeds indicates that the hard drive may be on the verge of damage.

5️⃣ A laptop or PC that takes an unusually long time to boot may be an early sign of click of death.

4 Ways to Fix the Hard Drive Making Clicking Noise and Not Booting

If your hard drive makes clicking noise and won't boot, you can try the following 4 ways to fix the clicking hard drive and get the data off the hard drives.

Way 1. Check Hard Drive Connection

In most cases, insufficient power supply can cause the hard drive to make a clicking sound. The first thing is to check the hard drive connection. Here are the steps to troubleshoot a clicking hard drive:

1️⃣ Check whether the connecting cable is loose. If it is, unplug and replug the power cord, making a tight connection to the computer and drive.

2️⃣ Check the connecting cable for damage. If so, purchase a new cable and reconnect the clicking (external) hard drive to your computer.

3️⃣ Check whether the connecting cable is compatible. For example, a USB 2.0 cable connected to a USB3.0 external drive may not be recognized or even make a clicking sound. If so, change the USB port.

Way 2. Freeze or Cool down the Hard Drive

When your hard drive is overheating, your hard drive makes clicking noise. To solve this, you can try freezing the hard drive, here are the steps to freeze your hard drive:

Step 1. Open your computer or laptop case and clean the dust from the fan.


Step 2. Add an extra fan to your computer to cool down the hard drive.

Step 3. Stop using the computer and wait for the hard drive to cool down.

❌ Warning: Once the hard drive is back working, back up your data using free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard first, or recover data from the hard drive immediately. If the hard drive is too old, buy a new one and replace the old one.

Way 3. Recover Data from Clicking Hard Drive

When your internal/external hard drive makes clicking noise and won't boot, You can’t boot into the system, losing access to all data in the hard disk. Here’s an easy way to get your data back by using the clicking hard drive data recovery tool like MyRecover.

  • It can help you access your Windows system by creating a bootable media (USB flash drive or CD/DVD). Then, allow you to recover data from a clicking hard drive.
  • Free download and install MyRecover on a workable PC and connect a blank USB drive or CD/DVD to it.
  • During the bootable media creation process, all existing data on the media will be deleted. Please use an blank USB drive or backup your data first.
Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
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Part 1. create a bootable disk

Step 1. Download and install MyRecover

Run MyRecover.To create a bootable drive and recover data from clicking hard drive, choose "Crashed PC Recovery" on the left side.

crashed pc recovery

Step 2. Select a path to execute

Choose a USB drive or a CD/DVD bootable drive to create a boot drive based on your needs and click "Execute".



You can create a Windows PE-based boot disk in 3 ways: USB Boot Device, Export ISO file, and Burn to CD/DVD.

You can click "Add Drivers" to manually add other necessary drivers to the bootable disk so that more devices are available after starting WinPE.

Step 3. Format the USB flash drive

To continue the next step, your chosen bootable drive will be formatted, please make sure you have backed up the important data. Then click Yes.

confirmation window

Step 4. Create a bootable disk

The creation operation will run and you can check it. The process will take a few minutes.

creation process

Step 5. Complete the process

Then, you will see the creation success message. Also, you will be notified of the steps to boot from a bootable disk and then start the clicking hard drive data recovery.


After creating a bootable media, it is easy to recover data from clicking hard drive.

▶ Please connect the bootable disk to the unbootable PC > press F12, F2, F10, F11, Del, or Esc to enter the BIOS > change the PC's boot order > reboot computer and choose proper boot device such as a bootable USB drive > press F10 to save and exit.

Clicking Hard Drive Recovery Software
  • Recover 200+ file formats: Recover deleted Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, PPTX, ODP, CSV, WPS files, and so on.
  • Support various brands of hard drives: it can perform Toshiba, Transcend, ADATA, WD,Seagate hard drive clicking recovery, etc.
  • Support many loss situationssuch as system crashes, accidental deletion/formatting, virus attacks, and more.
  • Quick Scan &Deep Scan are supported torecover lost data or deleted data from hard drives.

Part 2. Recover data from clicking hard drive

Step 1. Launch MyRecover

Run MyRecover on your computer. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. Scan for deleted or lost files

It will automatically scan your hard drive and find all recoverable data. You can use the Search Box or the Filter feature to quickly locate your desired data.


Step 3. Select files and click recover

Please choose the files you want to recover and click Recover x files to restore hard drive.


Step 4. Choose a new location

Choose a new location to save the recovered files and click Select Folder to confirm it.

Select Location


To enjoy unlimited data recovery size and recover a large number of deleted/lost files, try to consider upgrading MyRecover to the Pro or Tech edition.

This software can not only perform HDD data recovery, and also support USB flash drive, SD card data recovery.

Way 4. Seek Help for Data Recovery Service

If the clicking sound persists, there may be a serious hardware problem, such as a damaged head reader or a damaged component on the hard drive. It is recommended to consult a data recovery service like DriveSavers, the experts at these centers can resolve issues like electrical faults or damaged heads by replacing components like the control board or heads.


Additionally, the data recovery service center maintains a clean room environment free of debris and airborne contaminants to maintain the integrity of your hard drive.

Why Does a Hard Drive Make a Clicking Noise and Won't Boot?

Often, if a clicking hard drive has sustained severe physical damage, it can be difficult to repair or recover data. It is necessary to know the possible reasons why a hard drive makes a clicking sound and won’t boot.

1️⃣ Dead head

The magnetic heads in a hard drive are also called read/write heads or RW heads. Once the hard disk head is damaged, data reading and writing will become impossible. There are 4 reasons why the head is dead.

Head aging: The magnetic heads may deteriorate over the life of the hard drive or due to design flaws.

Broken head: If the hard disk falls, causing the magnetic head to hit the platter, causing irreversible physical damage.

Damaged heads: Accidental events such as water or fire can damage magnetic heads.

Head misalignment: If the head is misaligned, a clicking sound may occur.

2️⃣ Preamplifier failure

A preamplifier (preamplificator/preamp) is located on the hard drive head and simplifies the signal that the head reads. If the preamplifier is damaged by high heat or shock, it will affect the reading and writing of data and cause a clicking hard drive sound.

3️⃣ Corrupted or scratched SA

The System Area (SA) stores critical parameters and information for normal drive usage. Corrupted or scratched SA can impact normal disk usage (like data read), and a live PCB swap may be needed for data recovery.

4️⃣ Damaged firmware

Firmware is an important part of the hard drive. If the hard drive firmware not updated or damaged may cause hard drive clicking sound. PCB swapping (replacement) is often used to resolve firmware issues. If your PC can boot, you can follow these steps to update the hard drive firmware, this way can also solve Crucial SSD is not detected.

▶ Press the "Win + X" to open Device Manager > right-click your clicking hard drive and select "Properties" > In the "Details" tab, select "Hardware Ids" and click "OK".

Choose Details Hardware Ids

Further Reading: Wrong Operations After Finding Clicking Hard Drives

When occur the issue hard drive cannot be recognized, most people will panic and make some incorrect operations. These errors can exacerbate the hard drive clicking problem, potentially causing additional damage and hindering the chances of successful data recovery.

Mistake 1: Restart the computer repeatedly

Some users repeatedly restart the computer when the hard drive makes a clicking noise and won’t boot. Prolonged restart attempts can lead to head-platter contact, causing scratches on the platter and affecting the data recovery.

Mistake 2: Forcibly copy data from all hard drives

If a single head is damaged, the hard disk can often be identified and the data directory structure can be read. Some users choose to force copy data, which may result in a crash or blue screen and continued damage to the disk.

And failing to close the damaged head in time may continue to scratch the platter. You could get data off an old hard drive in the right way.

Mistake 3: Open the hard drive at will

Some people choose to open the hard drive themselves to recover data and try to repair it. Opening the drive outside of its proper environment can cause irreversible damage, making data recovery and further use of the drive impossible.

Remove Laptop Hard Drive


How do I know if my hard drive is damaged?
Common signs include sluggish performance, unusual noises (clicking or loud sounds), and an increase in corrupted files. These symptoms indicate a failing hard drive and prompt action is recommended to prevent data loss.
Why my hard drive is clicking but still works?
Soft clicking can be a normal sound of the drive working, especially if the drive is functional. Drives often don't give warnings before failure, so clicking doesn't necessarily mean an imminent failure.
Why is your external hard disk clicking sound and not detected?
Mostly, an insufficient power supply or a broken/incompatible connection cable can lead to a clicking hard drive. You can change the USB port and ensuring a proper connection may help resolve the issue.
What to do with a failing or dying hard drive?
If your hard drive is failing or dying, making a clicking noise, there are 4 fixes for you to try.

Fix 1. Recover data from a bootable failing hard drive.
Fix 2. Back up data from an unbootable failing hard drive.
Fix 3. Review the dying hard drive by changing the power cable, updating disk drivers, etc.
Fix 4. Send the hard drive for repair if it's under warranty.
How to fix bad sectors on external hard drive in Windows?
You can fix bad sectors on external hard drives in Windows 10 or 11 in 5 possible ways.

Fix 1. Repair bad sectors on external hard disk with a troubleshooter
Fix 2. Remove bad sectors from external hard disk with disk check utility
Fix 3. Repair bad sectors on hard drive using error-checking
Fix 4. Fix bad sectors on external hard drive using repair-volume command
Fix 5. Perform a full format to remove bad sectors
How to recover data from hard drive with bad sectors?
You can try to use Professional Windows data recovery software like MyRecover can detect and recover data from hard drives with bad sectors.


If your internal/external hard drive makes clicking noise and won't boot, follow the above 4 possible solutions to repair clicking hard drives and recover data from clicking hard drives quickly and easily. In addition, understanding the symptoms, causes and some incorrect operations of hard disk clicking can help you further understand and solve this problem.

When you hear a sudden external hard drive clicking sound, please try to quickly copy data from the hard drive to rescue important files. Consider using the free Windows backup tool AOMEI Backupper Standard. This tool enables you to create backups of files, folders, or your entire system, allowing you restore files from backup quickly.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.