Bring that retro hard drive clicking sound back into your life with this little device

Audio player loading…

Close your eyes and cast your mind back. Back to the sounds of your first gaming PC, and the noises emanating from its beautiful, beige (was it once white?) case. The gentle whirr of the fans, the bell-chime boot sound that welcomes you into a vast, digital world, and falling asleep to the incessant clicking of a merry, overnight defrag. Oh, the nostalgia.

If you're having a hard week, or just fancy a little blast from the past, the HDD Clicker will let you enjoy the sounds of a spinning platter—even as the age of the hard disk wanes (opens in new tab).

We've been discovering the ins and outs of the HDD Clicker from Arne Schmitz of Root42 (via PC Watch (opens in new tab)). He's dedicated to retro gaming and tinkering with old tech, and explains that the device is meant for retro gaming builds to simulate the noise of a hard disk.

"A lot of the old hard drives have failed, they're cumbersome, they're loud, they're slow. So usually what we do nowadays: we take compact flash cards instead of hard disks. The advantage here being that many of these are more or less compatible to regular old ATA hard disks because it's basically the same interface." 

He makes it clear that's not always the case, but the main takeaway is that just because the HDD is pretty much defunct doesn't mean you should be robbed of the joys of the hard drive ASMR as you use your device. This way, you'll also be sure never to be subject to what Arne calls the "Dreaded clicks of death when the hard disk was dying."

The device was designed by matze79 who posted their development on the Vogons forum (opens in new tab). The final design, now available on Serdashop (opens in new tab) is "directly pluggable on HDD molex power" according to dreamblaster, who helped matze79 make their design a reality.

Your next upgrade

(Image credit: Future)

Best CPU for gaming (opens in new tab): The top chips from Intel and AMD
Best gaming motherboard (opens in new tab): The right boards
Best graphics card (opens in new tab): Your perfect pixel-pusher awaits
Best SSD for gaming (opens in new tab): Get into the game ahead of the rest

The HDD Clicker is, by default, set to high volume Quantum mode, but the listing says you can "put some tape on the buzzer hole" for Medium volume LGR mode, or on the speaker directly for a Low volume modern HDD mode.

While writing this, I'm happy to say I rediscovered the soothing sounds of the PCs of old and am now on a bit of an ASMR journey. Now, I understand why people enjoy the nostalgic click of a HDD, or even tactile button clicking ASMR (opens in new tab), but much of the ASMR landscape (even those related to gaming PCs) still makes me rather uncomfortable (opens in new tab). Maybe, I'll just stick to falling asleep to a little defrag.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.