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5 Ways To Check Your Hard Drive’s Health

In this article, I’m going to teach you five different ways on how to check your hard drive’s health. By using these five ways you can determine if your hard drives are healthy or failing. 

You will learn how to automatically fix certain hard drive problems, check if your hard drive is overheating, and you can even see how long your hard drives have been running since the first use. You can also get an estimate of how many more days it will run be before failing.

Let’s get started.

Command Prompt

The quickest and easiest way to check your hard drive’s health is to use the command prompt. This test only takes a few seconds. Just click in the search box in the taskbar and type CMD then click on the command prompt tab.

Now type “wmic diskdrive get status, model” and press enter. Within a few seconds, you will see all of your hard drives listed. If this test finds that your drive or drives are healthy you will see “OK” in the status column next to each one.

But if one of your hard drives has “Pred fail” next to it in the status column, backup that drive’s data as soon as possible because this message strongly indicates that your drive will fail in the near future.

This is a pretty basic test but it’s good to try, as it only takes a few seconds to run.

Windows Check Disk

This test can take about five minutes or a few seconds if no problems are found. Check Disk can check the health of your hard drives, flash drives, and memory cards. Also, it can automatically fix certain problems too.

To run “Check Disk”, go to “My PC” and right-click on any drive you want to test and select properties. Then click on the tools tab then under error-checking click on check then scan the drive.

This test will now check for the file system errors, corrupted files, bad sectors, and lost clusters. Once the test is finished a popup message will appear. If your drive is OK you’ll see the message saying “no errors were found.”

If the message says “errors were found and fixed by this test”, it could be that you have no more problems with your hard drive. But if errors were found that this test could not fix or if this test completely freezes on you then backup your hard drive straight away because this is a strong sign of a bad drive.

Also Read: HDD vs SSD vs External SSD for Gaming

Crystal Disk

For this, we’re going to use a program called Crystal Disk Info. This program will continuously keep an eye on your hard drive’s health. It will give you a lot of information about your drives in a simple format.

To get this software, go to the Crystal mark website and download the crystal disk info. It is available with different themes but if you want a smaller file that can be quickly downloaded then chose the standard edition. 

After installing, start the program and you will see the hard drive’s health status, temperature, the total number of hours the drive has been powered on in its lifetime, the number of times it is started up, and there’s a lot of other information about the drive. 

If there are multiple drives in the PC then you can simply click the right arrow button next to the drive’s name to see the other drives. You can also navigate drives from under the top menu bar.

If there is a problem with one of your drives it will tell you in the info box below. All blue dots in this section indicate that the hard drive is good, a yellow dot is a caution, and a red dot means the drive is bad.

So, if you see a yellow dot anywhere in the infobox you will most likely have a bit of time before the hard drive fails completely. Though, I would recommend backing up straightaway just to be on the safe side.

If you see a red dot in this section, back up your drive immediately because a red dot indicates that the drive will fail very soon but hopefully you will see all blue dots which tells you that your drive is completely healthy.

This program runs in the background but uses very little system resources so you shouldn’t notice any difference in your computer’s performance.

Hard Drive Manufacturers Software

You can use your hard drive manufacturer’s software for testing the health of your hard drive. For example, if you have a Western Digital hard drive you can download their software called “Data Lifeguard Diagnostic” which can test the health of any Western Digital hard drive.

The reason why it’s a good idea to use the manufacturer’s software is that it can test technologies that are specific to their particular hard drives.

If you have a Seagate or Maxtor hard drive then check out their software called “SeaTools” to check the health of those hard drives. 

SeaTools for Windows

For Samsung solid-state drives, you can download their software called “Samsung Magician”. It is very good for testing the health of their drives.

If you’re not sure which hard drives you have then click in the search box and type “System Information”, and then click on the system information tab. Now click on the plus sign next to components then the plus sign next to storage and click on disks.

Here you can see your hard drive manufacturer next to where it shows the model. If you have more than one hard drive then scroll down to see other drives. You can google these model numbers to find out who makes these hard drives.

Hard Disks Sentinel

This program can check the health of your hard drives, flash drives, memory cards, and NAS (network-attached storage) devices. There is one free and three paid versions of this program. This software is more advanced and good for professionals.

I would recommend the pro version as it can repair hard drive problems plus it can check your hard drive’s health. At the time of writing the article, the pro version costs about $30, which is a one-off payment.

You can visit their website HDSentinel, download the free version and install it. Once it’s installed run the program and it will give you lots of information about your hard drives such as their health status, temperature, number of days they have been powered on in their lifetime, and an estimate of how much longer the hard drives will last before they fail.

As this program monitors your drives in the background you can run any one of its tests at any time. There’s an overview of your drive’s temperature readings, smart information, hard drive information, logs, current disk performance, and alerts.

You can set up alerts for different tasks. For example, if you’re away from your computer you will be notified by email if there’s a problem with one of your hard drives. You can even set up this program so that it automatically backs up your drive as soon as it detects a problem.

Also Read: Common Computer Problems DIY Workaround

Final Words

There is a chance if you are using a laptop that it has a built-in app where you can check the hard drive’s health. I have Acer Predator Helios 300 that has a built-in app called “Acer Care Center”, which lets you check the battery health status.

A hard drive can stop working at any time without any warning at all so it’s always a good idea to backup any data that you care about just in case. 

I hope this article helped you detect a failing hard drive before it’s too late. Most of the problems can be solved by these methods.

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