How to Examine And Monitor The Health of Your Hard Drive

Martin Wilson

Jun 28, 2022

When it comes to computer components, few are as critical as a hard disc. Everyone has heard the advice to defragment hard drives and remove unnecessary files to ensure that all of our data is as clean as possible. The drive will eventually fail, no matter how much you care for it.


Sometimes you can tell its coming; other times, it comes out of nowhere, and other times it just won't start up. If you use a P.C. for an extended period, you will undoubtedly see the demise of your hard drive. Hard drives are incredibly intricate and difficult-to-understand equipment. The most important parts are the magnetic platters that hold the data and the head that reads and writes the data.


Get a SMART Mind


The Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART) function is the first way to monitor a hard disc. Most current hard drives and S.S.D.s include a built-in diagnostic system that alerts you when your drive is experiencing problems. In terms of SMART, drive manufacturers can adopt various methodologies, but they all tend to focus on the same metrics, such as read error rates and mechanical shock.


The SMART system is usually in the background, but there are several methods to bring it to the foreground. Windows command-line utility W.M.I.C.W.M.I.C., short for Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line, is the most straightforward method (utility).


The Crystal Disk Data


Crystal Disk Info can provide you with extra information if you like. There is a lot of information about your discs that CDI may display, but most users will only need to see the top portion. CDI uses a color-coding scheme to indicate the health of each drive: Good (blue), Caution (yellow), Bad (red), and Unknown (white) (gray). If you observe any other statuses besides Good, it's important to pay attention to your hard drive's state.


However, there is a caveat to using SMART status monitoring. It's not a sure thing. Consider this 2007 Google study: A whopping 36% of the drives analyzed for this study had no SMART problems before failing, according to the authors.


More than SMART


The health of your hard drive may be monitored using SMART, but you should also pay attention to how your drive acts and sounds. The hard disc is the most likely culprit if you hear a grinding noise from your computer, for example.


Both its demise and its dysfunction are imminent. Your drive can do strange things even if you don't hear a funny noise. It can cause frequent crashes, many error messages, strange folder and file names, and performance issues. Although these symptoms often indicate imminent drive failure, they aren't always.


The Best Ways to Check the Health of a Hard Drive

HDD Toolkit for Manufacturers:


Start using the built-in tools on your hard drive to complete the job. Tools included in the hard drive utility may help you do an HDD health check to see if there are any issues with your hard drive. However, the data gleaned from these instruments is often limited. To keep an eye on your hard disc, you should utilize monitoring tools rather than the HDD manufacturer's products.


C.H.K.D.S.K


The Windows C.H.K.D.S.K. utility can be used if you're using Windows. Scan and resolve file system issues with the /f command in this simple Windows application. Although C.H.K.D.S.K. does not solve all faults, you should still consider utilizing an external tool to fix the remaining issues. As a precaution, you should also take the time to make a backup of your hard drive before running C.H.K.D.S.K


Mac


Mac users must use Disk Utility to verify the health of their hard drives. Using the "First Aid" option in the Disk Utility, select "Verify Disk." Various indicators linked to the health of your hard drive will be displayed in a window, with items that are OK appearing in black and those that have issues in red.


External Tools


S.M.A.R.T– Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology – is used to describe hard drives' self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting systems. An additional tool like CrystalDiskInfo is required to view this information. S.M.A.R.T status may be found on your hard drives using this open-source tool, which is easy to use. Everything should be in "Good" condition once you've installed it. "Bad" indicates that the drive is close to death. It would help if you kept an eye on it since "Uncertain" signifies there is no reliable information.


Windows 11's Hard Disk Health Monitor


Keeping an eye on your computer's health will help it last longer. To prevent unexpected data loss, you should keep an eye on your Windows 11 hard drive condition. A computer has many additional components, like a processor, memory, battery, and so on. Your hard drive is only one of them. Because of this, you must keep an eye on all of these resources.


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