When using a computer, you may find some noises start coming from your hard drive, like buzzing, grinding, scratching, squeaking, clicking, etc. What should you do when your hard drive is making noise? Now, follow these instructions mentioned in this post from MiniTool. As well, some information on a noisy hard drive is also introduced.

Hard Drive Making Noise

For a hard drive, it has moving parts. When they move, they can create sound. To put it another way, like a car engine, your hard disk can be noisy but still healthy. This situation is normal and normal hard drive sounds that you expect to hear is a low humming or quiet whirring noise when booting up it or accessing data.

Tip: Internal or external hard drives can make some noise but you won’t hear noise from SSDs since they don’t have moving parts like traditional hard drives. Want to learn more information on HDD and SSD? This post – SSD VS HDD: What’s the Difference? Which One Should You Use in PC is what you need.

However, some noises indicate that something is seriously wrong, for example, repetitive clicking, very noticeable humming/buzzing, grinding, vibration, screeching, squeaking or scratching.

In the following parts, we will help you determine if the hard drive is really faulty. If yes, what you should do before all the precious data is gone is also introduced here.

Hard Drive Making Noise: What to Do?

Determine If the Noise Really Comes From Your Hard Drive

As mentioned above, it is normal for the hard drive to make some noise. The sound is always low-pitched and relatively unobtrusive. So, the first thing you should do is making sure the actual source of the noise comes from your hard drive rather than a different hardware component.

Just power off your computer, unplug the power and data cables from your hard drive and boot up the computer. If you still hear the noise, it is clear that your hard drive doesn’t have a sound issue. If the noise is gone after plugging in the power cable but returns if you attach the data cable to your disk, it is necessary to replace the data cable.

If this cannot help you know if your hard drive is making noise, try some other scenarios to really pinpoint the source.

Screw Issue

Rattle sound usually comes from some loose screws. If you hear a rattle, shut down your PC and tighten all the screws. If you hear the rattle around inside, it is possible that a screw comes off inside. Just remove the offending screw and use a new one.

Computer Making Buzzing Noise – Fan Issue Sometimes

A computer has other components like a fan, disc drive, or other things that can make noise.

If your PC is working for a specific task like a memory-hogging video game, you can find the fans running faster to keep the hardware cool.

If you hear a strange sound like buzzing, perhaps there is something that obstructs the normal functioning of the fans or the blades hit each other. Just open your computer, clear the dust and check the blades of the fans.

CD/DVD Is Making Noise

CD-ROM and DVD disc drives can also generate noises when it is accessed. Usually, the disc drive noise should be a soft whirling or spinning sound that is only generated when accessing the disc drive. Just remove the CD/DVD to fix the noise.

After some checks, if you make sure the noise like loud buzzing, grinding, scratching, squeaking or vibration comes from your hard drive, now follow these tips below.

Something to Do If You Ensure Hard Drive Making Noise

Let’s know the unnormal hard drive noise when reading or idle again:

  • Hard drive making buzzing noise
  • Hard drive grinding noise
  • Hard drive squeaking
  • Hard drive vibration
  • Platter scratch noise from hard drive or hard drive scratching noise

If you hear a noise, take action now!

Tip: In addition, you may find the situation – your hard drive beeping or clicking. If yes, refer to this post – [SOLVED] Seagate Hard Drive Beeping? Here Is What You Should Do!

Option 1: Run a Disk Diagnostic Software or CHKDSK

Actually, many pieces of hard drive diagnostic software are available on the Internet. Which one should you use to test your hard disk? You can use one in the top 10 list, for example, HD Tune, Seagate SeaTool, HDDScan, HDD Regenerator, etc.

When running the diagnostic program, you should close down all the other programs and disconnect any other devices so that the result is exact.

Note: Some repair software can show you the disk status and mark the areas of the hard drive that are failing as “bad” to prevent the computer from using them in the future. But it won’t fix a hard drive that’s failing. Then, you can take measures for data protection after clearly knowing the disk health problem.

Or you can use the Windows built-in tool – CHKDSK. In the Command Prompt window, type chkdsk x: /r (x means the drive letter or the bad hard drive) to locate bad sectors and recover readable information.

chkdsk r command

What to Do If I Find Bad Sectors on Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7?
What to Do If I Find Bad Sectors on Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7?

Have you ever met the issue bad sectors on hard drive? What can you do if your hard drive has a bad block? This post will show you.

Read More

Sometimes the diagnostic software couldn’t be helpful for the hard drive making noise fix, but sometimes the hard drive noise can be stopped by the program but the case is only temporary since the hard drive may continue to fail until it is useless completely.

To keep your disk data safe, make a full backup and replace the hard drive no matter which situation you encounter.

Option 2: Back up Your PC Data in Case of Hard Drive Making Noise

One of the best ways to back up your data is using an online backup service like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.

Tip: Our previous post – Google Drive VS Dropbox: Which Is Your Best File Storage Choice is helpful for you.

In this way, your files are kept in the cloud and less vulnerable to being destroyed or lost. Information on how to back up data to the cloud can be found from the Internet, so, we won’t describe much.

Additionally, another backup method is to use free backup software. This is a fast method for PC backup. When getting a noisy hard drive, you can try MiniTool ShadowMaker to back up your important files via imaging or sync methods to any external or removable media storage.

Besides, you can use it to clone the failing hard drive to a working hard drive after shielding the bad sectors that are found by CHKDSK.

Right now, download MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition by the following button and install it to your Windows 10/8/7 computer for a 30-day free trial. To use all the features all the time, upgrade it to Pro or an advanced one via MiniTool Store.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Then, let’s see how to back up the disk data via disk cloning.

Step 1: Run MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Step 2: Click Tools in the navigation bar and then choose Clone Disk from some utilities.

MiniTool ShadowMaker clone disk

Step 3: Select the source disk (the failing hard drive) and target disk (a new hard drive). Then, click OK to start the cloning process.

choose source disk and destination disk for cloning

1. The target hard drive should have enough disk space to hold all the contents of the source disk. This post – MiniTool Programs Help to Clone Hard Drive to Smaller SSD is helpful for you.
2. You should not store important data to the destination disk since the cloning process can destroy all the data of that disk.

Step 4: The cloning process will take some time and you can check the box of Shut down the computer when the operation is completed.

perform cloning process

Step 5: After finishing the disk cloning, you should ensure the computer is turned off, then remove the failing hard drive and put the cloned disk to the original place. Then, you can reboot your computer from the new disk.

1. If your PC won’t boot from the cloned hard drive, what should you do? Refer to this post – Cloned Drive Won’t Boot | How to Make Cloned Drive Bootable to get solutions!
2. In addition, you can back up only your important files to an external hard drive instead of disk cloning, replace the bad disk and then install a new system to the new hard drive.

MiniTool ShadowMaker can back up your PC data easily when you encounter this situation – hard drive making noise, like buzzing, grinding, scratching, squeaking or vibration. Now, get this backup software to keep data safe. Also, you can share it with your friends on Twitter.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

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Recover Data from Noisy Hard Drive

In addition to PC data backup, you can also recover data if you encounter these situations – hard drive grinding noise, hard drive making buzzing noise, hard drive scratching noise, hard drive squeaking, etc.

How can you get data from the hard drive that is making noise? MiniTool Power Data Recovery, professional data recovery software for Windows, can be a good assistant.

With it, you can retrieve files from multiple storage devices including SSDs, HDDs, external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, pen drives, CD/DVD discs, etc. During the scan, the existing data and deleted or lost files can be found and recovered.

Now, you can get the Trial Edition of this program on your PC to check if it can find your needed data.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery and then go to the Hard Disk Drive section.

Step 2: Choose the hard drive that has buzzing, grinding, scratching or other noise and then click Scan for a disk scan.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Tip: Before the scan, you can use Settings to make some advanced settings, for example, only scan specific data types.

Step 3: Then, this recovery software is scanning your hard drive. This will take some time.

Step 4: After the scan, go to check if it finds some files that you need. If yes, the trial edition won’t help you perform the recovery and you need to register it with a license key that you can get via MiniTool Store.

register MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Step 5: Then, check the files you need and click Save to recover them to a local place like an external hard drive.

After getting your important data, now you should replace your hard drive that is making noise.

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Bottom Line

Is your hard drive making noise when idle or reading, for example, buzzing, grinding, scratching, squeaking or vibration? After reading this post, you should know what you should do when getting hard drive noise – just keep your disk data safe and replace the bad disk with a new one.

On the other hand, it is best to tell us if you have any questions when using our software or have any suggestions. Here, you can leave your idea in the comment part below or contact us via [email protected].

Hard Drive Making Noise FAQ

Is a hard drive supposed to make noise?
Hard drives have moving parts and they can make noise when things move. Usually, the noise is low-pitched.
How do you know when your hard drive is going bad?
There are some signs of impending hard drive failure. To know when your hard drive is going bad, you can refer to this post – Here Are 6 Signs Indicating Hard Drive Failure, Check out Now.
Do solid-state drives make noise?
Generally, SSDs are completely silent and don’t make noise since they don’t have moving parts.
What causes clicking noise in hard drive?

Hard drive making clicking noise is caused by many reasons, as shown below:

  1. Weak/damaged heads
  2. Insufficient power
  3. Service Area (SA) issues
  4. Damaged HSA (Head Stack Assembly)
  5. Read/Write heads misalignment
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