Data recovery from beeping/buzzing hard drives

It's not a noise you want to hear coming from a drive, but all may not be lost. (18 Sep 2015)

Beeping or buzzing hard drive

Here is a picture of a very common problem that we see in the data recovery workshop all too frequently these days. This is what is known as ‘stiction’, or excessive 'static friction’.

Why is my hard drive beeping?

The client sent the hard drive in to us as his local computer repair centre could not recover the data, the symptoms reported were "hard drive beeping". The read/write heads on this drive had become ‘stranded’ on the platter surfaces either due to an abrupt shutdown whilst the drive was working, or more likely, some form of impact had occurred to the drive or its host device, and would now not allow the hard drives motor to spin the platters.

This is particularly common in laptop hard drives (but not exclusively) and 2.5” form factor portable external drives, and we see this type of issue on a daily basis. As this failure will require the use of a clean room (sterile environment) to perform the initial repair, it can be more costly than a straight logical or indeed electrical repair. Thankfully though, if approached correctly and with the correct techniques applied, a very high percentage will be almost 100% recoverable.

Hard drives with stiction - data recovery experts

As we said above, a large proportion of hard drives with static friction (stiction) will be recoverable, however, as the very nature of the failure is usually impact, this will mean that the read write heads on the hard drive will have come into contact with the platter surfaces, and undoubtedly caused some physical, or indeed magnetic damage.

If we are very lucky, then these areas of damage will be away from any sectors on the hard disk drive that contain user data, if not then we can deploy specialist data recovery techniques and equipment to work around these now inaccessible areas of the hard drive to recover as much as possible from it.

A cautionary note...if your data is important to you, then please, please seek a data recovery specialist to help you if your hard drive is beeping. From time to time we receive hard drives where a DIY attempt to remove the stuck read/write heads has gone horribly wrong, causing damage to the platter surfaces and rendering the data (or at least parts of it) beyond recovery. If carried out correctly, there is a high likelihood of getting your data back, often at a lower price than you think. 

As always, EADR are happy to inspect your hard drive and assess the damage caused by static friction. We'll provide a diagnosis to recover your data without obligation. Speak to one of our friendly team now to arrange on 01953 667977.

Get in touch

To find out if we can help recover YOUR data, call us on 01953 667 977 or email us at to arrange an inspection of your faulty device. We will be able to provide you with a no-obligation quotation within 24 hours of receipt.