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Two simple ways to check the health of your computer’s hard drive to prevent data loss

The hard drive is an integral part of your PC, it’s where all your most important data is stored. Although any PC component can be replaced, we still want the hard drive to work stably, without any damage that causes data loss. Therefore, it is very important to regularly check the hard drive.

There are many different ways you can check the “health” of your computer’s hard drive, from Windows built-in methods to hard drive manufacturer’s diagnostic tools. However, to make it simpler, you can use the following two simple suggestions.

Use tools available on Windows

Most hard drives today (both SSD and HDD) are equipped with SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) technology. This is a technology that allows self-monitoring and reporting of hard drive problems. Based on this technology, Microsoft has integrated into the Windows operating system a feature that allows users to check the status of the hard drive on your computer, thereby seeing how damaged the hard drive is. and needs to be replaced.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

To use this feature, from the main Windows interface, you press to call the RUN dialog box with the keyboard shortcut WIN + R and enter the command “cmd”.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

The Windows Command window appears, type the command line “wmic diskdrive get model,status”, and then press the Enter button to execute.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

Windows will check the status of the hard drive based on the drive’s built-in SMART technology. At the returned results, if the “Status” entry is “OK”, it means the computer’s hard drive is still in good condition and has no problems to worry about.

This feature will check all hard drives on the computer, including portable hard drives connected to the computer.

Use specialized software

In case you need to check more carefully and in more detail about the status of your computer’s hard drive (including removable drives, USB…), such as the “health” status, the read/write speed of the hard drive, etc. , you can rely on specialized software called H2testw.

H2testw is very compact and free, allowing users to test hard drives, removable drives, USB and other data storage devices such as memory cards or even the internal memory of mobile phones, camcorders … to check for errors on these devices.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

Readers can access

this address

to download the latest version of H2testw.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

After downloading, please proceed to unpack the package, and find the EXE file of the software, double click on it to use immediately without installation.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

By default, the interface of the software will be in German, please click the English option for ease of use.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

From the main interface of H2testw, click “Select target” and navigate to the partition of the hard drive to be checked, then click OK.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

After selecting the partition, set up an inspection task for the selection. In the Data volume section there are 2 options, you leave the default option (as shown), then press the “Write + Verify” button (or “Verify”) to start the checking process. A message dialog box appears, click OK to continue.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

Testing will take place. H2testw will automatically create some special files with large capacity (equal to the free space available on the USB or drive partition under test), and then the software will proceed to read those files to test the read and write capabilities as well as the access speed of the storage device.

Two simple ways to check the health of your computer s hard drive to prevent data loss | Tips

After the test is finished, the software will provide the results. Based on the information provided by the software, you can determine if your hard drive is faulty or not so that you can take measures to back up your data before it’s too late. If the results appear with the message “Test finished without errors.” means that the device has just been tested with no errors.

For peace of mind, you should use H2testw to check each partition on your hard drive to get a final result on the health of that hard drive. After the test is over, the files created by the software to serve the test will not be deleted, you must delete these files yourself (format *.h2w). These files will be contained in the hard drive or USB partition that has just been checked by the software, you must delete them to regain the storage space occupied by them.

In case the hard drive error or unstable condition is detected during the check process, you should back up the important data on the hard drive to another storage device or cloud storage services (DropBox, Google Drive…) and should replace the hard drive on the computer, avoiding the possibility of a damaged hard drive causing data loss.

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