Many users still rely on magnetic hard drives – HDDs – for backing up large data capacities. To prevent data loss, it is vital to keep your hard drive healthy. We will show you how to check HDD health in Windows 10.
Check HDD status under Windows 10
Even if SSDs are slowly outstripping them, many users still rely on magnetic hard disks – HDDs for backing up large data capacities. It is true that this component – like pretty much all other parts of your computer – can easily be replaced in the event of a defect. However, this does not apply to the valuable data that is stored on it. Because of this, it is vital to keep your hard drive healthy. How to check HDD health on Windows 10 without the help of third party software:
If you are already using a relatively modern mainboard, you can do the HDD check in Uefi without having to boot into Windows 10. To do this, restart your PC and after repeatedly switching it off and on, press the Del, F2, F12 keys or the key shown on the start screen to open your Uefi. Once you are at Uefi, the exact instructions will depend on your motherboard manufacturer. On our Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero we find the option via the “Advanced” area and then under “HDD / SSD SMART Information”.
A modern Uefi can read out the SMART data directly from mass storage devices – this saves you a tedious start into the operating system.
If you feel your HDD is slowing down, you should check how fragmented it is. To do this, you can use the defragmentation tool built into Windows 10. To do this, simply enter defragmentation in the search line next to the Windows 10 symbol and then click on “Defragment and optimize drives”. Select the appropriate drive in the system tool and click on “Analyze”. If fragmentation is found, click on “Optimize” (formerly “Defragment”) for this drive.
To check your hard drive for system errors and bad sectors, you will find another integrated tool in Windows 10 with CHKDSK. It shows you errors, scans and fixes problems (where possible). It also notifies you if there is a major problem that it cannot fix. With this tool, you can check the health of the hard drive as well as fix bad sectors and errors if it is able to do so.
To use CHKDSK, open Windows Explorer, right-click the drive you want to check, select Properties, and click the Tools tab. Now click on “Check”. In most cases you will get a “No Verification Required” message. This is because Windows 10 will automatically check for hard drive problems. However, you can always do a manual check if you want.
The CHKDSK tool integrated in Windows finds and corrects problems on data carriers. To use it, right-click on the drive concerned and select “Properties -› Tools “.
Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) is a command line interface that can be used to perform a variety of administrative tasks, including checking the health of the hard drive. WMIC uses the SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) function of hard drives to check the status and to provide a simple conclusion, such as “OK” or “Pred Fail”. It is a very simple command that provides very little information, but is a fast function built into Windows.
To check a hard drive with WMIC, please press the Win-R keys. This key combination opens the “Run” dialog box. Now enter cmd here and click on “OK” to open the Windows command prompt. Then type in wmic and then press Enter. When the WMI interface is ready, type the diskdrive get status command and press Enter again. After a short delay, the status of your hard drive will now be displayed.
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