How to Check Your Hard Drive’s Health

Every hard drive dies eventually. Here’s how to prepare for its demise.

00:00 Introduction
00:33 Checking your hard drive’s S.M.A.R.T. Status
01:18 CrystalDiskInfo and DriveDx
01:54 What to do if your hard drive isn’t doing well

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– It’s a fact of life. Every
hard drive dies eventually. And when it’s near death,
you’ll see the signs. Strange noises, corrupted
files, crashing during boot, And glacial transfer speeds all
point to the inevitable end. Solid state drives, or SSDs,
don’t have moving parts But their storage cells
do degrade a little bit Every time you write to
them — meaning, they too Will eventually fail,
although SSD reliability Is much better than it used to be. Even if you’re not hearing
strange noises coming from it, It’s important to check in
on your hard drive’s health Every now and then to see how it’s doing. First, check your hard
drive’s S.M.A.R.T. status. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis And Reporting Technology. It’s a feature that monitors
different drive attributes In an attempt to detect a failing disk. That way, your computer will
automatically notify you Before data loss occurs and
the drive can be replaced While it still remains functional. To check your drive’s health on Windows, You can manually check the
S.M.A.R.T. status of your drives From the command prompt. Just type CMD into the search
bar and open the application. In the popup box, run the following. And if everything worked
out, there should be words On the screen right now and
you should type them in. It will return Pred Fail if
your drive’s death is imminent Or OK if it thinks
the drive is doing fine. For a more detailed
reading of your drives, The CrystalDiskInfo
for Windows, it’s free, Or DriveDx for macOS, which
is $20 with a free trial, These will both offer a more
detailed S.M.A.R.T. information Than your computer provides on its own.

However, drives with Caution
or Pred Fail readings Won’t necessarily fail tomorrow. They could chug along for a year or two Or be dead as a doornail in a week. But if you’re getting warnings, It’s time to back up your files Before your drive kicks the bucket. Now, it’s not time for
a full backup though. You don’t want to stress the
drive with too many reads Or it could fail while
you’re backing it up. Copy just the most important
files to an external drive. Then do a full drive
clone with something like EaseUS Todo Backup Free on Windows Or Carbon Copy Cloner on Mac. In the end, it’s not a
matter of if your drive Will fail but when. All hard drives fail eventually. And if you want to avoid
losing your important files, You absolutely have to back
up your computer regularly, Including when the drive is healthy. I know, you’ve heard all this before But are you actually doing it? The good news is you have options, From Backblaze to Mac’s
built-in Time Machine feature, Cloud-based backup is worth it.

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