HDD Clicker v0.2 Restores Aural Ambience of Pre-SSD Life

Retro computing enthusiast Matthias Werner has shared his design for a device that recreates the characteristic operational noise of a hard disk drive (HDD). 

The HDD Clicker v0.2, brought to our attention by Liliputing, is said to be both nostalgic and useful. Nostalgic for the ambience, and useful for providing audible feedback in sync with data access and transfers using your shiny new SSD (Solid State Disk).

(Image credit: Matthias Werner)

It may be 2022, but there are still PC users out there who are only now enjoying their first delightful taste of NAND flash storage — having previously relied exclusively upon spinning rust storage. However, as with any change, some people — such as Tom’s Hardware Managing Editor Matt Safford, who has promised to never buy a hard drive again — may miss aspects of what they had before. 

They probably won’t miss the slower access and loading times of HDDs, or the relatively heavy weight and fragility (especially important in a laptop), but they might miss the signature clicks, ticks, and whirs an old HDD emanated when powered up and put to work. There must be some people like this, hence Matthias Werner and his €25 HDD Clicker.

Pre-built sale version of the HDD Clicker (Image credit: Matthias Werner)

The noisy gadget isn’t primarily targeted at PCs, though. As a retro computing enthusiast, Werner has upgraded various old computers with fast and capacious storage, and in a video explains that the HDD Clicker can add the missing noise to people who have added cool retro solutions to their systems, such as floppy or HDD to flash adaptors. If you watch the video you will see his retro system is an i486, and its IDE HDD has been swapped for a CF adaptor.