I have a Pi B2 which I am using as a home server running Transmission, Sabnzbd, Couch Potato & SickBeard. To the PI I have attached an old internal hard disk made external (80 GB). This is where everything is downloaded to.

The problem is that at random intervals my HD head crashes. All off a sudden I can hear the head of the HD clicking. At that point I either have to reboot the Pi or have to remove and reconnect the drive. Sometimes it fails every few minutes; sometimes it runs for 2-3 days before failing.

Currently I am using a always running shell script that tries to unmount and mount the drive whenever it becomes inaccessible. But it still fails.

From this I guess that internal hard disk probably needs more power. My reason to believe this is that when I tried to make it external the vendor gave me a casing with a Y cable.

Will the problem solve if I replace the HD with an external HD of a similar size? I have seen external HDD with 250GB and all coming with just a single USB cable. Please advice.

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    What type of filesystems are on the HDD? If of ext# (where # is 2, 3 or 4) type then when the system reboots it'llfsck them - because they were not shut-down cleanly - and there should be error messages and (as root) you will probably find things savaged into the lost_found directory at the root of each file-system when it gets recovered and mounted. Those are signs of file-system corruption, also you will want to look through the system log files (files in /var/log/) for data there saying there were issues with accessing the drive or its contents - those are signs of drive failure.
    – SlySven
    Feb 22, 2016 at 18:42
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    Power could be an issue - if you have the naked drive in front of you, can you report the power requirements (it will be something like 12 Volts X Amps and 5 Volts Y Amps) - you can get a rough maximum power value from (12xX + 5xY) Watts. A single normal USB port (5V 0.5A) can supply 2.5 Watts - so you can see why the recommendation is to supply that from a POWERED USB Hub (and that "extra" USB lead is an abomination that is often used to try and get more power for this type of device). Oh, also, welcome to the Raspberry Pi part of the Stack Exchange network!
    – SlySven
    Feb 22, 2016 at 18:49
  • @Mathew Paret If you have a multimeter, check the voltage on your Pi as suggested in my post below. Feb 23, 2016 at 3:22

2 Answers 2


An audible clicking is a pretty good indicator that your HDD is on its last legs. It's probably crashing, then managing to recover at another point. You mention it's old, and by the capacity (80 GB), I'm guessing it's very old.

My suggestion would be to replace the drive.


It seems that your power adapter is not adequate for the job. You need at least a 2A (or more) to drive your system as Pi will take about 700-750ma.

Stay away from some cheap adapters that say that they are 2A but they are not.

Use a USB power monitor in series with your power supply. It will tell you the current voltage being supplied by the power supply and the current drawn by the Pi.

USB Power monitor

Adding HDD from RPi Hardware post:

Adding a USB hard disk drive. A HDD will take quite a lot of power as it starts, maybe an amp or more. It the power supply for this also supplies the Pi then this could overload things and cause trouble.

Troubleshooting Power Issues (From RPi hardware post):

If you think you have a problem with your power supply, it is a good idea to check the actual voltage on the Raspberry Pi circuit board. Two test points labelled TP1 and TP2 are provided on the circuit board to facilitate voltage measurements.

Use a multimeter which is set to the range 20 volts DC (or 20v =). You should see a voltage between 4.75 and 5.25 volts. Anything outside this range indicates that you have a problem with your power supply or your power cable, or the input polyfuse F3. Anything inside, but close to the limits, of this range may indicate a problem.

Measuring VoltageMultimeter

Also read this post.

  • Is there anything I can do other than working withe power adaptor? Feb 22, 2016 at 16:22
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    power your drive independently (not from the same power adapter as your Pi). Feb 22, 2016 at 16:41
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    @ChetanBhargava: reread the question. This is very unlikely to be a power issue.
    – Jacobm001
    Feb 22, 2016 at 17:20
  • @Jacobm001 a power issue does cause audible clicking IMHO. This occurs when the head positioning motor doesn't get enough current and it keeps on trying to re-position the head arm. Hence audible clicking. Feb 22, 2016 at 20:36

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