|I was listening to the podcast Security Now, and they mentioned something similar. (For reference, Steve works with/on HDDs for a living):|
STEVE: I also picked up a comment, I don't remember now why, but I was watching you, Leo, on the weekend, on your Tech Guy show. And a caller was talking about their drive clicking.
STEVE: And the drive was no longer working, and it was clicking. And I hear that enough that I just wanted to address that briefly. That clicking is what the drive does when it is arguably at or past life, unfortunately.
STEVE: [T]he drive will put the heads out on the surface and try to obtain a servo lock. // [T]he drive's ability to lock onto this servo information is the first thing it does when it puts the heads out. If it's unable to acquire that servo information, it'll mov[e] the heads around, looking for it. That's the click you hear.
Still STEVE: [T]hat clicking is the drive's inability, essentially, to get itself going. There's nothing else it can do. And so what you hear is a clickitic, clickitic, clickitic, clickitic.
LEO: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
STEVE: And it's not until the drive achieves that servo lock that it . . . says, "I'm online." So essentially the drive is offline. There's nothing any software can do. Sometimes this is where you put the drive in the refrigerator because that's an old-school approach. But, I mean, you're literally - you don't have many boots left of this - on a drive that's doing that.
LEO: Well, now, let's distinguish that between a drive that's having trouble reading a sector and trying over and over again. That sounds a little bit like a clickety, too. That's like an eh-eh, eh-eh, eh-eh.
STEVE: Yes. There can be that. But I guess there's a - it's a louder, sort of distinctive sound which you will hear shortly after you power up the system where the drive is just kind of going geklunkit, geklankit, geklankit, geklankit, geklankit.