beeping hard drive
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What does a

beeping hard drive

sound like?
Click on the image below for sounds that damaged drives make.

hard drive sounds

Recovering data from a beeping or buzzing hard disk drive, By Don Anderson

The leader in recovering data from drives that are beeping or buzzing!

Accepting drives from all over the world!
Click on the shipping link up top!

Our popular commercial starring Don Anderson as "Jim", and Michelle Carvalho as "the beautiful woman". Watch how Jim drops his laptop with his critical presentation on it!

When a laptop or portable hard drive has been dropped a beeping or buzzing sound will usually be heard when attempting to power the drive back on.

A beeping or buzzing hard drive, most common in Seagate and Western Digital drives, could mean several things. If you cannot hear the motor spin up then the heads could be stuck to the platters (stiction), or the motor seized. The main cause of a beeping hard drive is due to heat or a drop. If the data i important then DO NOT continue to tinker with it as you will just hinder any chances of a successfulrecovery. Clean room repair is almost always needed in these cases.

What happens to the drive when it's dropped and why is it clicking or beeping now? Take a look at the images below.

The first image shows the arms bent from a drop. They are in the parked position on the ramp. This is a good thing becauase the platters didn't become damaged from this scenario. Remember that the data is stored on the platters and read magnetically. If the platters have any sort of damage that area of the drive is unreadable. If the damage is severe enough the drive could be unrecoverable. Notice the sensitive actuator arms, and the tiny magnetic read/write heads at the ends of the arms that float on top of the platters. These heads never come in contact with the platters but float much like a airplane wing a fraction of the width of a human hair from the platters.

The second image shows stiction. If you were to put your ear up to your hard drive when attempting to power it on you would hear beeping and the the motor would not spin up. This is rare in 3.5 inch drives but very common with laptop and portable 2.5 inch drives.
If the drive isn't tampered with after the drop then the success rate is very high. This drive has been tampered with by inexperienced technicians resulting in severe damage (surface scratching) of the platters.

When the drive is dropped, 9 times out of 10 the drive is on when this happens. The heads crash into the platters and become damaged or bent resulting in a clicking sound. A clean room head replacement is required in such cases. Sometimes when a drive is dropped a beeping or buzzing sound can be heard. The motor could be seized up requiring a platter swap or stiction can occur when the heads come into contact with the platters. These are all level 3 clean room recoveries.
dropped hard drive recovery
dropped hard drive recovery

Do not continue to power on the drive or attempt any kind of do it yourself fixes when you drop a drive

90% of the time when a drive is dropped and the heads come into contact with the platters there is also some damage on the platters as a result. If you continue powering on or trying any "instant" fixes, the platters can become damaged further hindering your chances at a successful recovery by anyone!

“"When I dropped my portable drive, it had all my critical business and personal information on it. ”
-Steve A., Philadelphia, PA


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questions and answers

A brief interview with Don Anderson, owner of Tri-State Data Recovery, LLC regarding his business and procedures.

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data recovery advice

Do not open your drive.

Do not cook your drive.

Do not freeze your drive.

Do not continue to power the drive on.

Do not run checkdisk.

Do not bang the drive.