Your hard drive is the lifeblood of your PC, the place where all your most important data is stored. While most PC components can be replaced, the priceless data on your hard drive cannot be replaced if you haven't created a backup. For this reason, making sure your hard drive stays healthy is crucial . (Does anyone understand the boring pun related to the hard drive?)

There are several ways to check the health of your hard drive - from Windows built-in methods to your HDD manufacturer's diagnostic tools, this article explains the best methods.

1. Optimize and defragment in Windows 10

Traditional SATA hard drives may have given way to much faster solid-state drives, but they are still very popular and are still an affordable way to store things like images, videos, and other non-strenuous types of files. SSDs work a little differently, and while they never need defragmentation (because fragmentation relates to where data is physically stored on the disk, which is not a factor in SSDs), they sometimes need optimization.

Optimize and defragment in Windows 10

If you feel like your non-SSD hard drive is slowing down, you need to check how fragmented it is. You can do this using Windows 10's built-in defragmentation tool (type "defragment" in the Start menu. Then go to "Defragment and optimize drives"), then select the drive and click "Analyze". If fragmentation is detected, click "Optimize" (previously called "Defragment") for that drive.

In fact, we found that the free Defraggler app does a better job of detecting and reducing fragmentation, but not everyone wants to install additional apps when the functionality is built into the operating system.

You can also optimize your SSD in the Windows 10 Defragmentation and Optimization Tool, although Windows 10 should take care of the process automatically.

2. Use the HDD manufacturer's tools

Most major hard drive manufacturers offer free and robust tools to monitor the health and performance of your hard drive. The first step in knowing which one to use is, of course, knowing the brand of your hard drive.

Use the HDD manufacturer's tools

If you know the brand of your hard drive, you can skip this part. If it doesn't, hit the Ganar, type "device manager" and click it when it appears in the search results.

In Device Manager, unstack the "Drives" option and note the model number of your hard drive. Then type the model number into Google to bring up results that will show you the brand of the hard drive.

After that, go to the manufacturer's support page and search for your hard drive utility. To help you, here are the links to the relevant download pages for some of the major hard drive brands:

Each of these tools works a little differently, but more importantly, each has diagnostic features that allow you to test the health of your hard drive.

3. Windows CHKDSK Tool

Windows CHKDSK Tool is a built-in Windows tool that will scan your disk for system errors and bad sectors and show if there are any problems with your hard drive. It will analyze and fix any problems it can fix and let you know if there is a bigger problem that it cannot fix. You can use this tool to check the status of your hard drive and correct bad sectors and errors if possible.

To use CHKDSK, right-click the drive you want to check for errors and select "Properties", click the "Tools" tab, then click the "Check Now" button.

Windows CHKDSK Tool

A dialog box will open with two options for fixing errors and searching for bad sectors. You can select these options if you want to fix errors and bad sectors; otherwise, you can click "Start" to get a basic report of hard disk problems (if any).

Windows CHKDSK Tool box

This tool is very basic and focuses on finding system errors and bad sectors. It will let you know if there are any major problems and nothing else, so use it only as a basic hard drive check and repair tool.

4. Use WMIC

WMIC is a command line interface that allows you to perform many administrative tasks, including checking the status of the hard disk. It uses the SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) feature of hard drives to view the status and provide a simple conclusion such as 'OK', 'Pred Fail', and so on. It's still a very basic command that offers very little information, but it's fast and a built-in Windows feature.

To check a hard drive with WMIC, press the GanarRbuttons to open the Run dialog box. Type cmdand click "OK" to open the Windows command prompt.




and hit Enter. When the WMI interface is ready, type:

diskdrive get status

and hit Enter again. You will see the status of your hard drive after a short delay.


5. Use a third-party hard drive health check tool

You can also use a third-party hard drive health check tool that will provide much more information than good or bad. These tools use the same "SMART" feature of hard drives to retrieve data, just like WMIC. However, they give you all the details, rather than just showing a good or bad status.


For this purpose, CrystalDiskInfo is a really simple but powerful tool. It is a free-to-use tool that is extremely lightweight and offers all the required information, such as temperature, health status, type and characteristics of the hard disk, and other attributes such as read / write error rate and activation time, etc.

The standard tool comes as a 4MB .exe file and its installer contains advertisements, so be sure to use the "Custom Installer" option and uncheck the side tool (advertisement). Once installed, all you need to do is launch the program and you will see all the information about your hard drive (s) on the main interface. The tool will also check the status of the hard drive every 10 minutes (by default) and alert you if there are any problems.


There are also other third-party hard drive health check tools like HDD Sentinel and HDDScan . These are much more advanced with many additional features, but for an average user CrystalDiskInfo should work perfectly.


You can use the tools mentioned above to check the status of the hard drive on your Windows PC. If you don't need additional details, the built-in Windows tools should work just fine. If you're having trouble with Windows 10 updates, read our list of the latest Windows 10 update problems and how to fix them. We also have a helpful guide to checking CPU temperatures in Windows 10.

This article was first published in January 2016 and last updated in December 2021.

Take Your Knowledge to the Next Level

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable sources and recommendations from the experts. If you are not able to fix the problem even after following the tutorial, please visit your nearby service center.


Luke is passionate about fostering student involvement and connection. He studied psychology for his major and likes learning about the past. Luke aims to specialize in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. .

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