Three days ago I tried booting up my computer and it wouldn't boot. The hard drive made a clicking sound. (click-click click-click click-click, kind of like the click it makes when it first starts up normally). I pulled off the panel and jiggled the power and data cable. I was not able to boot into windows normally, but I was able to boot into safe mode without any clicking. I successfully accessed several files like text files and images, nothing was corrupted. So, I figured everything was OK but that the OS was messed up or something.
I didn't think much of it. I had another hard drive in the computer with the same OS loaded onto it that I hadn't used in about 3 years, so I just switched the data cable to the old drive, thinking that I would back up the files on the clicking drive when I found the time.
Today I tried accessing the clicking drive. I can't access it at all. All it does is click. In fact, if I have it hooked up on the same cable as the drive I am using now, the computer will not boot--the main drive won't be found by the BIOS.
I found some information suggesting that the power pins might be loose. I pulled the drive out and checked, they were not loose. I also read a suggestion to get a small hammer and bang on it. I'm not going to do that.
I'll try that step of unplugging the data cable while leaving the power cable attached later.
I've had this computer for about 7 years now. I have never experienced a hard drive failure before.
Anyone have any suggestions, tips, or similar experiences?
I back up my critical data regularly. At most, I'll lost about 9 days of critical stuff, since that was the last time I burned critical files to CDR. But, I do have a lot of other non-critical stuff on there that I would hate to lose. Pics, vids, mp3s, personal notes, etc. If there is anyway to find a fix for this problem at home, I'll try it. I'm not interested in spending $200 - $300 to ship this off to get the data recovered. It isn't worth that much.
Also, does anyone know what kind of equipment professional data recovery companies use to recover data on hard drives? I'd be interested in learning more, but I haven't found any real info.