computer hardware

How to know if your hard drive is healthy or is dying

Here are all the tips to find out if the hard drive is fighting for the last breaths and then make a quick and easy check to see if it’s time to buy a new one

Every electronic device, however advanced and expensive it may be, has an expiration date inherent in its core.

Along the way, at some point the product will stop working and the user may find himself in a more or less unpleasant situation.

It could be the Smartphone to give signs of failure, thus forcing the owner to buy another in a hurry.

Or your laptop may look like it’s going to live a better life, with blue screens and strange codes running on the screen and loss of control over the device.

Always on the pc, there is also a hidden component, a silent worker that allows the whole machine to work: it is the hard drive.

Nothing is more important than him, because it literally allows the PC to work, either computer or laptop. And in case of problems on the hard drive, the whole structure is compromised, with the risk of losing all the data saved inside.

Unless getting rid of the data is voluntary.

Therefore, you need to be very careful, know how to be aware of any problems and then analyze the product to understand its state of health, before it is too late.

All signs of failure

You don’t need to have an expert’s eye to see if your hard drive is suffering. You’ll need a few simple tips to help even the most inexperienced of minds.

1. The computer is talking to you

There are some signs that need to be kept in mind over time:

  • slow computer when turning on, turning off, using programs, opening files and folders and, in extreme cases, until the mouse scrolls;
  • frequent sudden crashes;
  • blue screen of death“.

We specify that these are generic problems, associated with the most various causes, such as viruses, program crashes, RAM overload and much more.

But among many, they can also be associated with a hard drive failure, especially if they continue to occur over time.

2. Corrupted files

Did you realize that files have disappeared from memory without ever having deleted them? Yet the saving was successful without any kind of mistake.

This can be caused by a failure of the hard drive to keep the saved files, due to the deterioration of the internal memory.

3. Bad Sectors
yellow signs saying "no trespassing"

This term refers to areas of the device’s memory that are inaccessible or impossible to use to save data.

It can be a folder, a program, a multimedia file or in general any type of information. This is usually associated with a physical problem in the device that does not allow the reading of that type of information and to rewrite everything with new bytes.

4. Click of death

Of all the signs of imbalance that a hard drive can show, this is perhaps the deadly one, giving you the immediate assurance of dealing with a serious problem.

The click of death is the sound produced by the unit itself that attempts to write down or retrieve information, but without any success. This translates into a mechanical sound of agony for the machine, which continues to try and fail.

At this point, the advice is to no longer use the computer and turn to the experts to retrieve the data from the storage medium.

Checking your health

Facing these problems, especially if perpetuated over time, it is a good idea to take action to check the health of your hard drive.

Again, nothing too complicated; just follow a few simple steps to get the expected answer.

CHKDSK tool

It is not necessary to follow long procedures or install programs, as it is already present in Windows.

This allows you to scan your hard drive for problems and, if so, propose solutions to what has been found.

To access it:

  • open Windows Explorer and access This PC;
  • right-click on the memory you want to check (e.g. Windows C) and select Properties;
  • then go to the Tools category and click Check.

For Windows 7: A window will now open with the two options for the process, to be selected as needed, before finally clicking on Start.

For Windows 8/10: A window will open showing if any problems have already been encountered, or if the system is working properly, and below the Scan button, which is our goal.

S.M.A.R.T.

No, it has nothing to do with your Smartphone or even with the user’s level of intelligence. It is in fact an acronym that stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, precisely to identify problems on the device.

We will have to deal with a “raw” screen of the PC, beyond Windows, but that already said, nothing difficult.

To proceed:

  • open the Start panel, go to the search bar and write Command Prompt; then click on the icon that appears;
  • a black screen will now open with some written information about Windows; without moving the cursor, just type the following:

wmic diskdrive get model,status

and press enter
  • the name of your hard drive will now appear and, depending on the condition of your hard drive, two possible outcomes: OK, or PRED FAIL.

In the first case, everything is normal and at the moment there is no need to worry about the health of the electronic companion.

In the second scenario, the matter becomes serious. The analysis has in fact identified a problem in the hard drive and is therefore warning that the collapse is imminent

collapse controlled building

The limits of the test, however, are obvious: the device may collapse the next day or in 6 months, because no additional information has been shown. In any case, you should take the right precautions and find out about a new device.

Think about whether it will be better to equip yourself with an SSD or HDD in the future. There are many differences about these two systems, between performance, memory and prices and it is good to understand which is the best for you.

If you’re having trouble with your hard drive, don’t know how to recover data from it or you’re not sure how to move, just whistle: we’ll be ready to assist you.

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