These are the major causes of a clicking drive:
This is one of the most common culprits. Have you recently dropped your external drive? Or has it been exposed to extreme heat or cold in any way?
If your hard drive has been dropped, exposed to fire, or had water spilled on it, this can cause the clicking to occur.
Wear and Tear
Hard drives don’t last forever. If you’ve had a hard drive for years and it recently started clicking, then it could just be failing. Just like a car engine that finally gives out, so can a hard drive.
Usually, this happens when the actuator arm wears out and malfunctions.
Sometimes your hard drive won’t be receiving enough power due to a defective power supply unit. If you have an alternative power supply source, then you can test this to see if it’s causing the clicking. These issues can also be caused by power surges and electrical storms. Your hard drive circuit board could also be a related issue.
Read/Write Head Misalignment
If the read/write heads are out of alignment due to dropping, or not carefully handling your hard drive, then you’ll hear the clicking hard drive noise to occur.
Service Area Issue
There is a portion of your hard drive where manufacturer data is stored; this is known as the service area. If this becomes damaged, your hard drive won’t operate correctly. The actuator arm will swing back and forth, trying to find the information, leading to the clicking you’re hearing.
Damaged Disc Platter
If the disc platter has sustained damage, then the actuator arm won’t work properly. It’ll attempt to locate the platter and swing back and forth, resulting in a clicking sound.
A lot of hard drives will fail due to manufacturing errors, faulty parts, or issues with the firmware. If you have a relatively new hard drive that hasn’t sustained any damage, then this could be the problem. Usually, this will be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty; however, they only cover the drive, not the data that’s on it.