Buzzing sound coming from my HGST drive -- best way to do a complete backup?

I have a 4TB HGST drive from 2014 that is using about 2.29TB. I use it by plugging it into an external dock to use with Lightroom on my Mac. All of my photos and videos are stored on it and my last backup was about 2 months ago...

It just started making a strange buzzing sound. I ejected the drive and took it out. I am now concerned that it might be failing?

I want to plug it back in, though when I do, I want to be prepared to do a complete backup of the drive to another blank drive. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions for how I should approach this to minimize any chances of damage to the drive?

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  1. Hi there kathayes,

    Unfortunately, this could indicate that there's something physically wrong with the drive. Can you attach it in some other way, so you can make sure it is not the connection that is causing this?

    As for transferring the data, you have several options:
    - Cloning the drive onto another one. This would clone everything. (whole drive and eventually some errors or corrupted data if any)
    - Use some back up tool. (brand specific or a third party one)
    - Manually transfer the most important data and try one of the previous options.

    It may be a good idea to stop all the programs accessing the secondary drive. (if any)

    D_Know_WD :)
  2. Is there an advantage to using some cloning program to mirror the drive onto an empty one VS. just manually dragging all of my folders from the drive to a an empty one?

    Worst case scenario, if the drive stops working, I will need to have a specialist recover everything. Assuming that there is not extensive damage to the drive, I'm guessing it is just basic hardware issues, how difficult is it for a specialist to recover everything to another drive?

    Thank you.
  3. Best answer
    The cloning process would be stressful to the failing drive. It would clone everything, including the free space.
    Perhaps, it would be better to create an image. Check this out (third option):
    Or, you can take a look at another third party tool.

    The more you are accessing the drive, the harder it would be for the data recovery guys to get the data. It would really depend on what is wrong with the drive. It could be something with the mechanics of the drive. On the other hand, there could be something wrong with the platter. It would not hurt to contact some data recovery companies first I guess. See what they are going to tell you. Most of the HDD manufacturers offer their own data recovery services or have some trusted partners.

    D_Know_WD :)
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