If it's a drive in an enclosure, I'd start with seeing if you can remove it, and plug it directly into a computer or transplant it into a different external enclosure. If it's USB powered, often the USB port will not provide enough power to run it, and you'll get funny noises/no response from the drive.
I've had a pretty good success rate with freezing drives to recover data from a dying/dead drive. Much simpler and cheaper then most other methods of data recovery.
Freezing the drive shrinks everything inside, sometimes freeing up stuck/seized/trapped components, or keeping an overheating component from shutting the drive down right away.
Stick the drive in a ziplock bag(to seal out moisture) in the freezer.
While it's freezing, set everything up to quickly transfer your files off the drive if it does work. After a couple hours in the freezer, plug the drive in and see what it does. It may only work for a few minutes, for hours, or weeks. Pull your data off as fast as you can, if it stops again, re-freeze it and start where you left off. I've frozen drives 3-4 times to get everything off.
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Thank you all for your answers. I'll try and see what works.
I was trying to recover files from an external drive which had been formatted and was without its case and fittings as it had been used as an internal drive. Be careful that you dont use an extension usb cable as I had done for convenience to reach the floor standing PC because the clicking was a sign of underpowering. When i reconnected the original short lead, the clicking disappeared and the drive reappeared in windows explorer. Thanks for the advice on this site. Good work.
thx man totally forgot about under powered hdd's making COD sounds. put a 1A vs the 500mA charger I misused in my adapter and the problem went away!
Funny enough. I just had this issue. I thought I would use an express expansion card with 2 USB 3.0 slots on my laptop to speed up the file transfer. Nope nope nope. Transfer froze up and the drive started clicking.
Hooked it back up directly to a 2.0 port on the laptop and no issue.
Brand new WD 4TB portable drive. Less than 1 day since I purchased it lol.
par Bivens PC
I had same clicking problem and my icon wouldn't work right, all I did was buy new cord for my hard drive and it works like new again. So I guess it was the cord and the loose connection in the cord was the problem. Good luck on yours