Your hard drive is the soul of your personal computer; the place where all your most important data is stored. While most personal computer components can be replaced, the invaluable data on your hard drive can’t if you haven’t created a backup. For this reason, ensuring your hard drive stays healthy is crucial, according to www.maketecheasier.com.
Below are the best methods you can deploy to check your hard drive’s health.
The HDD manufacturer’s tools
Most major hard drive manufacturers provide free robust tools to monitor your hard drive health and performance. The first step to knowing which one to use, of course, is in knowing the make of your hard drive.
If you don’t know the make of your hard drive, press the Win key, type “device manager” and click it when it appears in the search results.
In Device Manager, unstack the “Disk drives” option and make a note of the model number of your hard drive. Next, type the model number into Google to bring up results that will show you the make of the hard drive.
After that, go to the manufacturer’s support page and search for their hard drive utility. Some of the biggest hard drive brands include Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung, and Adata.
Each of these tools functions a little differently, but most importantly, each one has diagnostic features that let you test your hard drive health.
Windows CHKDSK tool
Windows CHKDSK Tool is a built-in Windows tool that will scan your disk to find system errors and bad sectors and show if there are any problems with your hard disk. It will both scan and fix problems it can fix and will let you know if there is a bigger problem that it can’t fix. You can use this tool to check hard disk health and fix bad sectors and errors, if possible.
To use CHKDSK, right-click on the drive which you would like to check for errors, and select “Properties.” Then click on the “Tools” tab, and then click on the “Check now” button.
A dialogue will open up with two options to fix errors and scan for bad sectors. You can select these options if you want to fix errors and bad sectors; otherwise, you can just click on “Start” to get a basic report of hard disk problems (if there are any).
This tool is very basic and focuses on finding system errors and bad sectors. It will just let you know if there are any big problems and nothing more, so only use it as a basic hard disk checking and fixing tool.
WMIC is a command-line interface that lets you perform many administrative tasks, including checking hard disk health. It uses the S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) feature of hard disks to see status and provide a simple conclusion, like “OK” or “Pred Fail,” etc. It is still a very basic command that offers very little information, but it is quick and a built-in feature of Windows.
To check a hard disk with WMIC, press the Win + R buttons to open the Run dialogue.
Type cmd and click “OK” to open the Windows command prompt.
Type wmic and hit Enter. When the WMI interface is ready, type diskdrive, get status and press Enter again. You will see the status of your hard disk after a short delay.
Third-party hard disk health checking tool
You can also use a third-party hard disk health-checking tool that will offer much more information than just good or bad status. These tools use the same “S.M.A.R.T” feature of hard disks to fetch data, just like WMIC. However, they provide all the details to you, instead of just showing good or bad status.
For this purpose, CrystalDiskInfo is a really simple, yet powerful, tool. A free-to-use tool is extremely light and offers all the required information such as temperature, health status, hard disk type and features, and other attributes like read/write error rate and spin-up time, etc.
The standard tool comes as a four-megabyte.exe file, and its installer contains ads, so make sure you use the “Custom Installer” option and uncheck the side tool (ad). Once installed, all you need to do is launch the program, and you will see all the information about your hard disk(s) in the main interface. The tool will also check the hard disk health after every 10 minutes (by default) and alert you if there is anything wrong.
There are also other third-party hard disk health-checking tools like Hard Disk Sentinel and HDDScan. These are much more advanced with loads of extra features, but for an average user CrystalDiskInfo should work perfectly.
USB-C (Universal Serial Bus Type-C) is the industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power. The USB Implementers Forum, the group of companies that has developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard, developed the USB-C connector. It counts more than 700 companies in its membership, including Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung.
This is important, because it is part of why USB-C has been so readily accepted by PC manufacturers.
It is now found on all manner of devices from simple external hard drives to smartphone charging cables. But while every USB-C port looks the same, not everyone offers the same capabilities.
USB-C’s support for sending simultaneous video signals and power streams means that you can connect to and power a native DisplayPort, MHL, or HDMI device, or connect to almost anything else assuming you have the proper adapter and cables.
The USB-C spec even includes audio transmissions, but so far, it has not replaced the 3.5mm headphone jack on computers as it has on phones like the Essential Phone PH-1. This and many other high-end Android phones, such as the Google Pixel 2 XL, use the USB-C interface for charging and data transfer instead of their former go-to, micro USB, even if they also include a conventional 3.5mm headphone jack.
Make sure to check the specs on any PC you are thinking of buying, because not all USB-C ports are alike. So far, every one supports both data transfers and power delivery over USB-C. But while the USB-C standard supports connecting DisplayPort and/or HDMI displays with an adapter, not every PC maker has connected the ports to every system’s graphics hardware.
Have you only one USB-C port? Don’t fret, there are now multiple USB-C docking solutions available, both from PC manufacturers like Dell and HP, and third-party accessory makers like Belkin, Caldigit, and OWC. These docks can recharge your laptop, give you access to extra ports including Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0, and VGA, and add support for multiple monitors.
Why you need USB-C
The presence (or absence) of a USB-C port is increasingly becoming a consideration when buying a PC. If you buy an ultrathin laptop, it will almost certainly have a USB-C port, which will catapult you into the ecosystem automatically. If you’re more of a lover of desktops, you’re almost certain to find the ports there, too, particularly on high-end and gaming desktops. In a few years, USB ports using the old Type-A style connector will be much harder to find.