Tips For Troubleshooting Hard Drive

Your hard drive contains all of your important data, like the Windows Operating System, pictures, music, and other data you do not want to lose. Keeping track of the health of your hdd is a dubious chore. Unfortunately, most people do not realize there is a problem before it’s too late and they lose all of their data.

You can spot early warning signs of imminent failure if your hard drive has SMART technology. SMART stands for Self-monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology and will often give you a notice if the drive is experiencing problems. If you see a warning like that at boot, be sure to backup you data and buy a new drive.

hard drive troubleshootingUsing Third Party Software to Monitor Your Drive

You can use applications that help keep an eye on your drive. HDD Health is one of those applications. It can give you valuable info about the the disk’s temperature and overall health. It can also give you all of its SMART statistics.

It also shows valuable hdd information, such as the model number, partitions and remaining space.

But unless there is a glaring problem with the drive, there is no way to tell if it is about to fail. In fact, hard drives can fail suddenly and without warning. These tools should be used in addition to the SMART technology built into the drive.

How to Diagnose Problems With Your Hard Drive

Generally speaking, if you begin getting errors or blue screens that you cannot recover from, or if you occasionally cannot boot into Normal Mode or Safe Mode, then your hard drive might be on the way out. Problems will start intermittently and gradually grow worse. If you start experiencing these problems, you can try running chkdsk. Chkdsk will repair errors (if you specify that) and make sure data is no longer written to those areas of the disk. To run a chkdsk, right click the hard drive and select Properties. Under the Tools tab, click Check Now in the Error Checking area. A box will pop up. Choose Automatically Fix Errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. You will likely need to reboot before the check begins and it could take quite a while.

Make sure the size of the hard drive appears correctly in the BIOS and in My Computer. For instance, if the drive once reported it was 20 Gigs and now reports as 13 Gigs, there could be a problem.

Listen for strange noises from the hard drive. You have been using your PC for a long time, if the hard drive begins making scraping, churning or any other sounds out of the ordinary, then it could mean the drive’s actuator arm is damaged or perhaps the ball bearings on the spindle are starting to go.

Resolution Summary:

  1. Pay attention to any SMART warnings at boot.
  2. Use third-part monitoring software like HDD Health.
  3. Run chkdsk–error checking under Properties and Tools.
  4. Pay attention to the size of the drive.
  5. Listen for any strange sounds coming from the hard drive.
  6. Backup your data regularly.