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Clicking and Screaming: The Sounds of Hard Drive Death

If you’ve ever wondered head crash, a stuck spindle, or bad bearing sound like you don’t have to wonder any longer. This collection of hard drive audio recordings catalogs all the ways a HDD can bite the dust.

DataCent, a data recovery service, shares a catalog of recordings they’ve made during diagnostics of various HDDs. The recordings showcase different HDD problems from different manufacturers. You can listen to head crashes, unstable heads, seized spindles, and more. Whether to tune your ear so you can diagnose hard drives yourself or just to cringe at the sound of so many disks dying, you can check out the whole collection at the link below.

Hard Drive Sounds [DataCent via Gizmo Richards]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/6/11

Comments (5)

  1. Hatryst

    But my HDD died unexpectedly, gave this sound on the very day it died, and there’s nothing that can be done about it now :(
    CSOD: Clicking Sound of Death

  2. flink

    The last drive crash I heard was the fixed platter on an old HP 7906 (10MB fixed + 10MB removable).

    We took it apart to replace the heads and platter and ended up surveying it as a total loss. As the heads wrapped themselves up on the platter, they pulled on the drive coil so hard that it we couldn’t adjust the heads enough to read the new platter.

    $13k (1984) to replace it. I’m sure glad drive space doesn’t cost as much as a car.

  3. Graham Armitage

    I have had that issue before when my hardrive died during a back up all things, it would have made a good beat though

  4. xana452

    On my old computer, every time I’d start it up it made a NASTY grinding sound. Like so bad that it scared me. I’d hit the case and even rock it, and it didnt stop. The only complaint I have with this one is its noisy on its bootup. Other than that its good.

  5. John

    I’m using the disk out of a dead HDD as a coaster right now :D

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