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Windows 7: External hard drives disk clicking

08 Mar 2015   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
External hard drives disk clicking

Hi, I'm in a bit of a panic right now because the unforeseeable happened.
Last night before I went to sleep I had turned off a plug that was connected to my usb hub with all my external hard drives connected to it.
Next thing you know they were all clicking!
*Note that I disconnected everything from the usb hub and went to sleep to deal with it tomorrow hoping that I was just tired and it was all in my head*
I didn't realise this until I woke up just now to turn the plug back on that the power to the hub was the reason.
They're not clicking now, ran error checks, all fine apparently but I don't believe that for a second.
Could someone please explain to me what disk clicking is and if this has caused any permanent damage to my hard drives?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2015   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

You are worried about the famed "click of death", the sound a hard drive makes when the heads crash or won't park. Normally when that death spiral has begun you will get disk errors and other problems along with it. Since you ran the disk checks and the results were fine then I believe you can think more in terms of a one-off situation due to the sudden power loss on the hub and less in terms of some permanent failure or damage.

I can't think of why they would all start clicking. But keep in mind that the drives receive power to run from the USB hub as well as any external power adapter connected to them. So there could be a logical reason.

To be sure I suggest also running the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic program on each of them. If those come out clean then I would move on. Lesson learned!

Hard Drive Diagnostic Procedure
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2015   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

All of my external hard drives are from WD, so I have the warranty to keep me safe, thank god.
I'll probably be sending them back to get new ones...
After the traumatic incident, I'm not going to risk keeping them.
Still shaking...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Mar 2015   #4

W7, W8.1

what disk clicking is
Low power makes disks click. You seemingly have 'only' (hopefully) experienced a problem with the usb hub power, with all disks still fine and no damage done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2015   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 4wd View Post
what disk clicking is
Low power makes disks click. You seemingly have 'only' (hopefully) experienced a problem with the usb hub power, with all disks still fine and no damage done.
4wd is right--with the hub power disconnected the drives were trying-but-failing to spin-up properly. This happened to me once and I was in a similar panic to yourself but it caused no damage to my drive that I could tell.

I think the fact that you disconnected all the drives as soon as you heard they were clicking, you should be all right. Had you let them do this all night, well then I'm not so sure they'd not have suffered any damage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2015   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Hello stuckstuck!

I would agree with everyone's statement above. Especially that the sound you heard was prompted probably from the hub itself.

Hearing clicking and beeping sounds from your hard drive can be terrifying. The thing is that hard drives could make a lot of noises on various occasions: when they spin up, power down, wake up from being idle, read/write processes etc. The trick is to identify and troubleshoot the noises in order to determine if they are a threat or normal occurences.

Normal sounds would include whining noise during drive spin-up, regular clicking or tapping sounds during drive access (mild ones), hard clicks when the drive heads park during power saving modes.

Abnormal sounds are high-pitched whining sounds, noises during mounting issues, tapping, grinding or beeping for long periods of time, for external drives – clicking or beeping at time of connection accompanied by non-detection problems, etc.

Usually, drives would give out errors at the time of clicking starting, to indicate they are failing, but sometimes it could happen very suddenly.

So do check your WD drives with the WD Data Lifeguard tool, make both Quick and Extended tests. I am sure they will come out just fine, so keep regular back ups of your information and you shouldn't have any worries.

Support Answers

In your case the disconnection was probably quite sudden and as 4wd said – low power makes disks click. So it was most probably the USB hub power that was the issue.

I would also suggest you to either turn off your PC or put it in to Hibernate state, while the hub with the external drives is still connected; this works as a Safely remove setting, so afterwards you could safely unplug the hub as well.

But in my opinion, your drives are fine and you don't need RMA at this point yet.

Cheers! :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 External hard drives disk clicking

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