Hard drive health is an essential part of the IT ecosystem

Don't wait until it's too late...

We have received many panicked calls from customers who have experienced a hard drive failure and more often that not, it's the only data source they have.

Documents, photo memories, videos, financial records, business data - gone within a blink as the hard drive has screeched to a halt, tearing a micro-thin line across the magnetic disks spinning at thousands of RPM.

Whilst hard drive technology is nothing new, and therefore more reliable than ever before, it always happens to someone else - until it happens to you.

We can't stress how important it is to make regular backups of your data and backing up isn't plugging in a USB drive and then putting it in the back of a drawer. True backup is only when the data is stored in separate locations - be that the cloud or off-site.

Cloud services can experience problems too and the provider often has no responsibility in terms of paying you for your lost business. The key is never rely on your data just being in one place.

Physical failure of components is thankfully quite rare but like any piece of engineering, they can go wrong or not live out it's life expectancy.

So how do you know if your hard drive is about to die?

Some failures are instantly catastrophic, e.g. they have no warning however there are usually signs and symptoms.  Strange noises, corrupted files, increased temperature, crashing during boot, and glacial transfer speeds all point to a potential failure.

Hard drives have a set of algorithms built into their internal software which can detect impending failure. This is called S.M.A.R.T -  Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology.   Its primary function is to detect and report various indicators of drive reliability with the intent of anticipating imminent hardware failures.

What use is that to you though? Well you could invest in some free or paid-for software that runs on your system that translate S.M.A.R.T information into something a bit more user friendly and that will give you alerts when something is awry. Examples include:

  • O&O DriveLed (Free to try, $29.95 to buy)

  • Active Smart (Free 21-day trial, $17.96 to buy)

  • CrystalDiskInfo (Free)

  • HDD Health (Free)

  • Acronis Drive Monitor (Free)

  • Ashampoo HDD Control (Free to try, $24.99 to buy)

  • Active@ Hard Disk Monitor (Free to try, $5.99 to buy)

Alternatively, you can do it nice and quickly directly within Windows 10. This only gives you very basic information - in fact, two words however it's a good initial approach before you investigate further or invest money.

Here's how:

Type "cmd" into the search bar and open the application. This will take you to the COMMAND PROMPT interface.

In the pop-up box, type the following exactly as written below and press enter:

wmic diskdrive get model,status

It will return Pred Fail if your drive's death is imminent or OK if it thinks the drive is doing fine.

Here at FusionTech, we can help you with all aspects of data storage. If you think your hard drive is failing, contact us and we can run some checks to determine the next course of action, get your data backed up and if needed, supply and install a new drive for you. 

Don't wait until it's too late, and ask yourself - how precious is my data?