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How to Easily Check Hard drive Health on Windows | 4 Effective methods

Knowing how to check hard drive health will aid you in monitoring hard drive conditions and taking necessary actions to recover files on the hard drive if it is failing. If you wish to check the health of your damaged hard disk or crashed hard disk, it can be done as long as it is detected. A hard drive is the most integral part of the storage system on the computer. All the computer information from the Operating system to your personal files resides on the hard drive.Hence it is extremely rewarding to know how to run diagnostics on your hard drive and regularly check the hard drive for its health.

As there are two types of hard drives that are majorly in use today: hard disk drives and solid-state drives. While we primarily focus on HDD or traditional hard disk drive in the following write-up, some ways presented blow to check hard disk health may also be applied for an SSD.

After applying the below methods to check hard drive health, follow the steps in the last section in case you need to recover files from the hard drive before it fails for good.

If you have lost data on a hard drive that is predicted to fail or is malfunctioning, use Remo Recover: the advanced data recovery software. With a systematic approach, Remo Recover carefully understands the bad sectors and recovers files from the hard drives. This makes Remo data recovery software most suitable for failing hard drives.

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4 Most Effective Ways to Check Hard Drive Health on Windows?

Below-listed are the effective methods on how to easily check the health of your hard drive.

Method 1: Use CHKDSK to check the health of your hard disk.

Method 2: Use WMIC Command to automatically monitor the health of your device.

Method 3: Diagnose your hard disk before it gets booted by using BIOS and UEFI program

Method 4: Install the application developed by the manufacturer of your hard disk.

Method 1: Run CHKDSK in Windows 7/8/10/11 to Check for Hard Disk Health

CHKDSK is a basic Windows hard drive diagnostic tool that checks the integrity of the hard drive. It is also capable of repairing certain problems in the hard disk drive like bad sectors, file system errors, unfound clusters, and file directory errors. As these issues occur only in a traditional hard disk drive that has moving parts it would not be beneficial to run it on an SSD. Here is a tutorial on how to run CHKDSK on a hard drive

Step 1: Once the computer has booted click on the Windows button and in the search box type in cmd

Step 2: Right-click on the best match suggestion that says command prompt and select Run as administrator

Step 3: In the command prompt window type in chkdsk C: command and hit enter, replace C with any other drive letter to scan the corresponding volumecheck hard dive health using chkdsk1

Step 4: After three stages of running scan on HDD the below report is showncheck-hdd-using-chkdsk2

Step 5: If the final report is shown as seen below your hard drive is healthycheck-hdd-using-chkdsk3

However, if there is any reported error type in the command chkdsk C: /r to repair any file system errors or bad sectors. If this doesn’t solve the hard drive malfunction refer to recover files from the hard drive section.

Method 2: Check Hard Drive Health using WMIC Command [S.M.A.R.T]

WMIC stands for Windows Management Instrumentation Command-Line, it is a command interface that lets the operating system access and notifies the information of and hardware through the S.M.A.R.T feature.

This self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology (S.M.A.R.T) is a feature that enables the hard drive to automatically monitor hard drive status, however, with WMIC command we can know the status of hard disk drive alone.

Any additional information requires a third-party application to be downloaded on the computer.

Step 1: Press on the Windows button and type in cmd

Step 2: Right-click on the command prompt displayed as a suggestion and select Run as administrator

Step 3: In the command prompt window type in wmic as shown below and press enter

Step 4: Now type in the command diskdrive get status and press enter

Step 5: If the reported status is OK then the hard drive is healthycheck-hdd-using-wmic

If the reported status is Unknown, Caution or Bad refer to the last section on how to recover files from the hard drive.

Method 3: Check Hard Drive Health without Booting into Windows

Every computer has a software program called BIOS or UEFI which enables the operating system to connect with the firmware of the computer. As the computer boots, this software program initially loads followed by Windows.

BIOS /UEFI enables you to run diagnostics on the computer even before the computer boots. This diagnostics can be used if the computer is not booting into windows or the hard drive is inaccessible.

The procedure to run pre-boot diagnostics on a hard drive varies depending on the manufacturer. Hence check with your manufacturer site to find and run preboot system diagnostics if you don’t find it below. 

Dell and Lenovo: Keep tapping F12 as soon as the computer is trying to boot until you see the boot menu and select Diagnostics from the screen.

HP: As the computer is trying to boot repeatedly tap on the Esc button until you see the boot menu and hit F2 to begin diagnosticsRefer the last section on how to recover files from the hard drive in case the computer is not booting up.

Method 4: HDD Manufacturer Application

All the manufacturers of hard drives develop applications to monitor minute details of a hard disk drive including health. Hence you can download the application from the hard drive manufacturer’s website. Follow the below tutorial to know the installed hard drives manufacturer:

Step 1: Press Windows + R on the keyboard

Step 2: Type msinfo32 run command and hit run to see the system information

Step 3: From the system information windows displayed expand the Components by hitting on “+”

Step 4: Find Storage and hit adjacent “+” to find Disks

Step 5: Click on Disks to find the manufacturer and model of the disk drivehdd-manufacturer

You can use the above information to find an application and check hard drive health

Recover files from hard drive or backup if the hard drive is fount not healthy or failing?

If all or one of the above ways to check hard drive health returns failure/unknown/bad result, the primary goal is to salvage as much data on the hard drive as possible.

  • If the computer is booting up and the hard drive is being detected, you can backup all your data onto an external hard drive.
  • Once you have backed up all your data, check if any file system failure or bad sectors have caused any data loss
  • If you have lost data, recover files from the hard drive using data recovery software
  • If you have an unbootable computer remove the hard disk and connect it to another computer to access and recover files from the hard drive

How to Recover Files from a Hard Drive if it is found not Healthy?

Losing your precious data can be very disheartening. It might mean losing your favorite pictures, documents, or any other important files.

Fortunately, you can always get back lost data as long as the hard drive is being detected and left unused after data loss.

Make use of Remo Recover, a renowned tool built specifically to recover various file types such as images, audio files, video files, texts, documents, etc, from any storage device. the tool is compatible with all the newest versions of Windows and Mac.

Remo Recover is now free to download.

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5 simple Steps to Recover files from an unhealthy hard drive using Remo Recover

Click on Download and install Remo Recover by clicking on the above download buttons.

Step 1: After launching the hard drive file recovery software, select Recover Files and click on Scan after choosing the drive that needs file recovery.

Note: In case the files are severely corrupt or the hard disk was formatted you can click on Recover partitions.

Step 2: Now select the drive or partition that needs data recovery on the hard drive.

Step 3: A scan of the hard drive takes place and the recovered files from the hard drive are listed

Step 4: Double click on each file to preview and test if the software could recover files from the hard drive

remo recover preview recovered photo

Step 5: Activate the software. Save the recovered files onto any location of your choice.

remo partition recovery save screen

A Quick-Recap:

Understanding and monitoring the health of your Hard Drive regularly is very important for your data. An unhealthy or virus-infected hard disk makes your data inaccessible. So it’s important to run an anti-virus scan every now and then. And have a backup of your important data saved on multiply safe locations. You can refer to this article to know 4 of the most effective ways to check the health of your hard drive. 

Hope you have found this article helpful. If you have any additional questions feel free to drop them in the comments section. 

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Tony Landry

Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives and Cloud storage networks.

He has published more than 200 articles in Remo Software blog. He actively engages in research and problem-solving techniques to consistently generate great web content. Fixing various hardware problems on computer and storage devices along with a great knack for fixing Outlook errors, Tony is also the fun-time IT guy for all his work friends. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys cycling.

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