How To Check Hard Drive
If you store anything on your computer that is important to you, you should know how to check a hard drive. The hard drive is where all the data on a computer, such as documents, music, and the operating system is stored. Over time, the hard drive can deteriorate and may need to be replaced. Luckily, modern hard drives come with a feature which allows you to check and monitor their health. This is called SMART, which stands for self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology. There are free programs that you can use to view this information. Follow these steps to check a hard drive.
What you will need:
- Computer running Windows
To maintain the health of the drive
- Disk defragmentation rearranges data on the drive so that information can be found faster. To do this, press the windows and r key.
- Type in defrag C: and press enter. This will begin the defragmentation of the drive. It may take a few minutes to a few hours.
- Another operation that can be done is running scan disk. This will essentially check the hard drive for errors and attempt to correct them. To run this operation, open My computer or Computer, depending on the version of Windows.
- Right click the hard drive and select properties.
- Go to the tools tab at the top.
- Click check now to run scan disk. Click the start button.
- The computer will probably schedule to scan the disk the next time the computer starts. If you want to scan the disk now, restart the computer and scan disk should run.
To check the health of the hard drive:
- Open your internet browser and go to http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php. You can also search for Speedfan and go to the download page.
- Under download, click on the link called Speedfan 4.40. There may be a new version of the program, but click Speedfan followed by the version number still in that case.
- Download and run the installation. The default settings should be fine, so just follow the prompts.
- A Speedfan shortcut will be placed on the desktop. Double click this shortcut to run the program.
- Close the hint that is shown at start up. You can disable hints at start up by clicking the checkbox next to this option
- Click on the SMART tab at the top of the program.
- Use the selection menu to the right of the hard disk label by clicking the down arrow. If there are multiple hard drives in your computer, they will be displayed here. You can view any of the hard drive's information that you want by clicking on the name of the hard drive from the list.
- After selecting one of the hard drives, you will be shown a list of information for that drive. Any errors or warnings will be shown. If information is normal for an attribute, the green OK symbol will be shown to the left of the attribute.
- There are bars at the bottom that show the fitness and performance of the drive.
- There is a button to perform an in-depth analysis. This will launch your web browser and give you even more information about the health of the hard drive.
- If SMART data is not available for your hard drive, it may not support this, or you may need to enable SMART data in the BIOS for your computer. Setting the BIOS is different on all computers. You should be able to find how to do this on the computer manufacturer's website or in the documentation.