Cyclic Redundancy Check Errors – Help and Advice

Clicking Hard Drive

Question: Yesterday when I was copying some files onto my external hard drive my laptop froze so I turned it off and unplugged the hard drive. Now it doesn’t work at all and isn’t readable on any of the computers. All my university degree show work was on this, all my work is digital and the files were not backed up. Makes clicking noise when plugged in but is unresponsive.

Answer: Oh dear, that’s not a good sign. I’d like to direct you to our page all about recovering data from faulty external hard drives, it give’s examples of what different things can go wrong with an external drive, plus some of the methods at our disposal for recovering the data. A clicking hard drive is nearly always due to a faulty read write head inside the drive. This is a physical problem and it caused by a hardware component becoming defective. It’s pointless trying any software to rectify the problem, instead the defective part needs to be exchanged with a compatible spare from a donor drive and the hard drive then needs to be rebuilt before the data can be extracted.

Western Digital Elements Cyclic Redundancy Check

Graphical representation of bad sectors on a hard drive | Data Clinic LtdQuestion: Western Digital Elements model WDBAAR5000ABK-00. External USB HDD. Cyclic redundancy check error.

Answer: From working with Western Digital hard drives for over 15 years, experience tells me that the hard drive has bad sectors. A WD hard drive that reports CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) errors can almost be guaranteed to have this problem. Also, my thinking is that the bad sector problem will be quite severe too. My recommendation is to power the hard drive down and keep it switched off as no further bad sectors will develop on the hard drive if it remains off.

As with the first problem in this post, bad sectors are not a problem to be tackled with software. A sector that has become ‘bad’ is extremely difficult to read or can not be read at all by the hard drive’s read write heads, but this doesn’t preclude the hard drive from trying. In turn this places considerable stress on the heads of the hard drive which will cause the hard drive to become even more unstable and can ultimately result in a head crash from which no data will be recoverable. However by using a hardware approach to rescue the data from bad sectors, excellent data recovery results can be achieved.

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