Your system hard drive is actually the soul of the computer where all the important data is stored. Most computer components can be replaced, but if the data on the hard disk is lost, they can no longer be replaced unless you have already made a backup copy of it. All of this makes it very important to test the health of the hard drive on the computer. There are several ways to check the health of your system hard drive, from the built-in methods of Windows to the diagnostic tools of the hard disk drive. Follow us on DJI to explore all of these methods.
1- BIOS check
If you are using a relatively modern motherboard, you can test your hard drive in the BIOS without causing the slightest interference to the operating system.
Reboot your computer and after shutting down and then when it starts up again, press the Delete,, F2( F12or any key that the screen tells you) keys to refer to the BIOS.
Once you’ve entered the BIOS, the exact next step will depend on the manufacturer of your motherboard. For example, in the image below, you can see the BIOS model of MSI Mortar WiFi B550M. In this case, to test the health of the NVMe hard drive in Windows, you must follow the path “Settings -> Advanced -> NVME self-test”.
When you’re in the BIOS, it ‘s a good idea to check if the hard drive you want to assess is detected by your motherboard / computer. If you use Dell or HP laptops, you should check the health of your hard drive by going to the BIOS and looking for the Diagnostics option.
2- Optimization and integration in Windows 11
Traditional SATA hard drives may have largely given way to solid state drives, but they are still very popular and used. Using these drives is a cost-effective way to store data such as images, movies, and other non-heavy files.
SSDs have slightly different functions and do not require integration (because fragmentation is related to the physical storage of data on the drive that is not on the SSD); however, sometimes SSDs also need to be optimized.
If you feel that your non-SSD hard drive is slow, you should check how it is partitioned. You can do this using your Windows 11 built-in integration tool. Just go to the Search field and type “disk defrag”. Then select “Defragment and Optimize Drives”.
The free Defraggler app also does a great job of detecting and reducing fragmentation, but many people do not like to download additional apps for work that runs on the operating system by default. But if you are one of those people who are interested in installing the app to do this, you can also consider the MyDefrag app .
You can also do your SSD on Windows 11 using the integration and optimization tools, although Windows 11 itself has to do the whole process.
3- Using the tools of the hard drive manufacturer
Most major hard drive manufacturers offer powerful, free tools to monitor the health and performance of your hard drive. The first step in knowing which of these tools to use is to know the manufacturer of your hard drive.
If you know which company your hard drive is made of, you can skip this step. But if you do not know, you have Winto press the key and then type “device manager”. Finally, when the result is displayed on the screen, click on it.
In the Device Manager section, open the “Disk drives” section and write down the model number of your hard disk. Then Google this model number to use Google search results to find out who is the manufacturer of your hard drive.
After that, all you have to do is go to the relevant manufacturer’s support page and look for your hard drive tool. In order to make your work a little easier, we have provided you with links related to some of the biggest hard drive companies:
Each of these tools is slightly different in performance, but the important thing is that each of them has diagnostic features that allow you to test the health of your hard drive.
4- Windows CHKDSK tool
The CHKDSK tool is a built-in Windows tool that scans your hard drive and shows you system errors and bad sectors. This tool also displays any errors that endanger the health of your hard drive and will fix the error if possible, and if it can not fix the error, it will definitely notify you. This tool can be used to check the health of the hard drive and fix errors and bad sectors.
Open the search field and type cmd. From the results, go to Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
Now enter the command
chkdsk and press Enter to start the initial scan.
You can also use it
chkdsk /f /rto fix bad sectors and restore any readable data if possible. Another option is to use it
chkdsk /f /r /x, which first separates the drive. Microsoft has compiled a complete list of options that you can use to check the
chkdskhealth of your hard drive.
5- Using WMIC
WMIC is a command-line interface that allows you to perform many administrative tasks, including checking the health of your hard drive. In fact, this method uses the SMART feature (self-monitoring, analysis, reporting technology) to observe the status of hard disks and prepare a simple conclusion. This command is very simple and basic and gives us very little information, but it is a fast and built-in feature of Windows itself.
If you want to test your hard drives using WMIC, you must first press the Win+ keys R together to display the dialog. Now in the dialog that opens,
cmdtype the phrase and click OK to open the command prompt in Windows.
Type the following phrase:
Then press the Enter key. When the WMI interface is ready, type the following:
diskdrive get status
And after doing this, press the Enter key. In the following, the status of the system hard disk will be displayed to you with a short delay.
6- Using third-party tools to check the health of the hard drive
Using third-party tools to check the health of your computer hard drive will give you more information. These tools, like WMIC, use the SMART feature to access your data. However, you can use these tools to get more information in addition to the good or bad health of your hard drive on your system.
CrystalDiskInfo is a simple yet powerful tool for checking the health status of your hard drive . This application is free and very light, and also provides the user with all the information you need, including temperature, health status, type of hard disk and its features, and other features such as read and write error rates, rotation times, and so on.
After downloading and extracting the files of this app, select the tool that is suitable for your Windows 10. For example, we chose the 64-bit version. You can use between DiskInfo32 and DiskInfo64 whichever suits your system. This tool will run without installation.
In the Function menu you can select more than a few advanced options. You will also be able to check the health of your hard drive in Startup.
There are other third-party programs for checking the health of the hard disk, including Hard Disk Sentinel and HDDScan. These apps are very advanced and will naturally give you a lot more information, but if you are a regular user of your system, the CrystalDiskInfo app will be great for you.
You can use all the tools we introduced above to check the health of your computer hard drive on Windows 11. If you do not need more details then use your built-in Windows tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
1- How long will hard drives normally last?
A traditional hard drive will usually last 3 to 5 years, but if used with caution it will last longer; however, you should not throw away your laptop at that time. SSDs last about 10 years. However, hardware, like any other product, sometimes fails, so your hard drive may crash sooner or later.
2. What are the early signs of a hard drive failure?
You will usually receive alerts before the health of your hard drive is compromised. These symptoms may appear only a few weeks before the hard drive crashes, so you should get back to work immediately and back up your data. Some of the most common symptoms of a hard drive failure:
- Prolonged computer boot time
- Your system keeps crashing.
- The blue screen appears repeatedly.
- You get BIOS errors when booting the system.
- Your files will be lost (meaning that parts of it will be lost)
- File Explorer takes a long time to load files.
3- What is the effect of upgrading the system to Windows 11 on the health of the hard drive?
If your system meets your minimum needs and you have enough free space available, upgrading to Windows 11 should not have a significant impact on the health of your hard drive. Note, however, that Windows 11 changes from Master Boot Records, or MBR, to GUID Partition Table, or GPT, so older drives may need to be converted first.
4- Is it worth replacing a bad hard drive? Or is it better to buy a new computer?
The answer to this question depends on the age of your computer. If your computer is only one or two years old, buying a new hard drive will be much more reasonable and cheaper. For older PCs, you should also consider other hardware components. Are the components still compatible with most new programs and Windows 11?
If your answer to this question is no, it’s probably time to get a new PC if possible. Otherwise, you may end up buying only one new hard drive while your other hardware is losing its capabilities.
5. How can we increase the durability of our hard drive?
If you use an HDD, you need to take care of it, especially when it is spinning. Any impact, such as a laptop crash, can destroy your hard drive. Also, make sure that your computer is properly ventilated and does not overheat, as overheating can cause drives to break down sooner.
Production defects that may exist in its construction can not be avoided, but be careful to treat your computer well, as this will increase the life of the hard drive by up to a year. However, if you notice any problems, it should be said that it is too late and it is time to back up your data and buy a new hard drive or computer.
Checking the health of your computer’s hard drive is very important, and by doing so you can prevent your data from being lost. However, a hard drive failure can occur at any time. Using the methods in this article, you can check the health of your hard drive with just a few short steps whenever you want.
If you have any questions about hard drive health testing methods, please share them with us in the comments section