What Causes a Computer Hard Drive to Make a Grinding Noise?

by Shanika Chapman

If your hard drive has begun to make a grinding noise that you do not usually associate with the typical use of your computer, there is a strong chance that your hard drive is failing or about to fail. This can be a disastrous event because important documents, photos and even your music collection may be lost. If you are experiencing grinding noises from your hard drive, there are a few options you can take to protect your data.

Diagnosis Software

There are many free hard drive diagnostic programs available online, such as SpinRite. These programs determine the portions of your hard drive that are bad and prevent the computer from using them to store data. Keep in mind that this will not fix your problem, but it will help give you the time needed to back up your important data.

Back Up Your Data Immediately

If your hard drive is still functioning, stop reading and back up any important data you have now, because your hard drive may stop working at any time. Use an external hard drive, CDs, DVDs or--in a pinch--there are even online storage options available.

Professional Data Recovery

There are many companies, such as DriveSavers, with more sophisticated machinery that have the ability to recover your data in many cases from a hard drive that is no longer readable. For a fee, you can send them the failed hard drive and they will recover as much data as possible.


Don't open your computer if it is still under warranty. Instead, check your user's documentation and call the manufacturer. Opening your computer will usually void the warranty.

Preventative Measures

To prevent a failing hard drive from losing valuable data, start backing up your important data on a regular basis. This ensures that nothing important will ever be lost by a typical hardware failure.

About the Author

Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.