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    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    How to check a Hard Disk Drive's health?

    You start up your computer then suddenly you hear strange noises coming that seems to come from one of your hard drive. Naturally you start to worry. What if your hard drive is starting to fail? There is a way to check all  your hard disk's health using only what Windows offers.

    Yes, like any other device, a hard drive also has its own "life expectancy". Same thing with other parts of your computer, actually more so for it because a hard drive consist of a moving (rotating) part.

    So how would you determine if your hard drive is already dying? One indication that your hard drive is dying is when you start to see delayed right fail errors. Although a healthy hard drive may also encounter this error, it is more common on a drive that is starting to deteriorate.

    But if you wish to see all your drive's health there are many third party software that you can install which will do such a specific task, that is to monitor your hard disk's status. Be aware though that installing such third party software will contribute to your overall load and may even slow it down a bit or a lot depending on your hardware.

    But that is not what this is about, this is about using what you already have. This is Windows' Disk Management tool. Here is how:

    1. Go to control panel and click on Administrative Tools.
    2. On the Administrative Tools window, click on Computer Management.
    3. Under Computer Management, you will see several items listed on the left of the window. Look for Storage and expand it to reveal another set of list. Locate Disk Management and click it. Wait for several seconds while it propagates all hard drives connected to your computer. When it finally shows all the drives, it will also show each drives' status. In the example image below of my drive, all are healthy.

    Hard Disks Health Status
    List of hard drives with their health status shown under Disk Management of the Computer Management window

    Lastly, it a good practice to always make a back-up of the content of your hard drive. Do not wait until you see signs of failure before you start backing up your data since by that time some of your data may already get corrupted beyond recovery.

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