I’ve got this old Seagate FreeAgent desktop external hard drive that I’ve been using for about five years. I think it’s five – it may be more. Its primary use has been as my main drive.
Through the years, I’ve gotten accustomed to storing pretty much everything on an external hard drive that’s backed up to another external, which is backed up to another external. So I have the Seagate and two Western Digitals. For the record, I’ve never loved the Seagate and I very much love the Western Digitals. The reason I store on an external drive is because of what I have learned to be the high rate of disk failure in laptops. Now that I’m using a laptop as my primary computer, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to use the internal drive.
But wait – you probably want to know why I didn’t just use the internal drive on my laptop as the primary and then simply back up to externals. I considered that, but ever since I went paperless, pretty much everything I own is stored digitally. Bank statements, tax returns, records, etc… The internal drive isn’t encrypted and the two Western Digitals are. If I were to ever lose the laptop due to forgetfulness or theft, my life would be an open book. I’m not particularly fond of that happening. So I keep the laptop clean.
This morning, I started hearing a sort of click, click, click in the Seagate drive that I’ve never heard before. It would happen intermittently – there would be nothing and then clicking. Strange.
I knew something was up. I’ve been around computers long enough to know when I hear something “not good.” I did a quick Google search to quickly learn that my hunch was correct – that my external hard drive was failing.
HDD Clicking Not Normally – Click of Death
I didn’t need any more evidence. I’ve been through this before, so I quickly made one final backup of everything that was stored on the drive and unplugged it. It now resides on the floor, waiting for my foot to crush any remnants of what it once held.
Guys – if you have a hard drive – any hard drive, whether it be internal to a desktop or a laptop, and it starts clicking, give it the boot. I’ve watched horror stories unfold to many a friend through the years. They put way too much trust in a piece of electronics and paid dearly because of it. I think the worst episode was with a girl I used to work with. She stored everything on her laptop – work files, pictures, anything you can think of. One day, it stopped working. I think she suffered the blue screen of death though. No clicking (that she admitted to), no odd behavior, no nothing. Just didn’t work anymore.
Sometimes, I feel like a geek for backing up my data too much. I feel like I’m putting way too much emphasis on what I carry on these drives, but in reality, all I’m trying to do is avoid the pain I’ll surely feel one day if I didn’t do things the way I do.