My external hard disk drive only works when I hit it!

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rambomhtri

Joined Nov 9, 2015
317
I know it may sound funny, but 1 month ago I put an old hard disk drive from a laptop in my external USB case. Plugged it to my PC, formatted to NTFS and saved it. Today I wanted to use for the "first time" (as an external hard drive), but when I plugged it in, it started to make a noise every second, like a "click" or something, like trying to turn on. My PC was not recognizing anything. Then I hit it with my hand, and suddenly, it started to work, my PC recognized it and it was working fine.

I did this 5 times, and every single one was the same. I plug it in, it starts to make a noise every second, in a loop, and when I hit it, it starts working normally.

What can be happening?

It seems it needs extra power to start the engine, lol, in form of slaps, :D

Should I trust this HDD to move and save photos and stuff?
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,002
There is a site somewhere in the Web where somebody took the pain to record the noise that dying HDDs make.

All my clicking HDDs died soon after. BACKUP and move on.
 

Thread Starter

rambomhtri

Joined Nov 9, 2015
317
I don't have anything important in that drive. As I said, I formatted it a month ago. If it's dying, it's weird that slapping it will make it work. Couldn't be a problem with the electric engine?
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
That would be motor and not engine. And yes it is likely a problem with the motor if it starts to spin after striking it. My dishwasher was experiencing the exact same thing before it died.
 

Hypatia's Protege

Joined Mar 1, 2015
3,223
@rambomhtri

Whatever the (internal) failure mode, the unit it is not practically serviceable - Once opened (sans clean-room facilities and in-house specifications) the drive will be treacherously unreliable at best... While I genuinely admire your industry (as evinced by your preference for 'user-side solutions') - I'm bound to say 'resurrection' of HDDs is truly a blind alley...

Aside from verifying power/signal connection integrity, replacement is your only reasonable option --- Should you choose to 'proceed regardless' -- Please do yourself a favor and never trust it with important data - Even if the drive seems to be working!!!:eek::eek::eek:

Best regards
HP:)
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
25,098
The bearing lube in old hard drives can dry out and create too much static friction for the motor to start the platter.
Hitting it breaks this stiction and the motor then has enough torque to run.
Obviously such a drive is on the way to total failure and should not be used to store any important data.
 

bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
20,564
Hello,

When I was a student and did not have the money to buy a new harddisk, I had a computer with a harddisk that would only start-up when I shaked the harddisk.
It worked for quite some time that way.

Bertus
 
Hello,

When I was a student and did not have the money to buy a new harddisk, I had a computer with a harddisk that would only start-up when I shaked the harddisk.
It worked for quite some time that way.

Bertus
Might I safely assume that new HDDs were significantly more expensive at the time?:D

Best regards
HP:)
 
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