Every drive makes a certain amount of noise, and the faster the drive, the higher pitched the sound will be. If your drive is making excessively loud or unusual noises it will almost certainly indicate a physical problem with the drive.
Some noises are more obvious indications of physical problems than others. You will find some examples below of sounds that indicate a severe physical problem with a drive.
The following sounds indicate a problem with the drive's spindle motor that is unable to spin up to speed when power is applied:
And here are some sounds of drives that have suffered damage to the heads:
And finally, the sounds we hope you will never hear, a most severe head crash:
If you hear any of these sounds, turn off the power to the drive immediately! You will greatly increase the chances of recovering some or all of the data on the drive if you later decide to send your damaged drive to us.