How to Check Hard Drive Health?

By: Park Oskar

How to Check Hard Drive Health?

As told by every one that, we never know that when would our hard drive fail! However this is not true, we actually do not know this because we don't want to know it! We have taken our hard drive as taken for granted. Today there are many tools present in the market which can easily act as shield for your drive and provide early information about the hidden problem of your hard drive.

Let me ask you some basic question:

Which processor you are using?

Which is the speed of the processor?

What is the size of the RAM?

I am sure most of you would have answered them, lets me ask some other question.

What is your hard Drive Version?

What is the ideal temperature of your hard drive?

How many Bad Sectors are there in your hard drive?

So, how many questions are answered? You must be thinking that there is no need to know all these, I would say that you are right, till your hard drive doesn't crash. It's better to start taking care of our Hard Drive Health. From my past experience I would suggest Stellar Smart is a very good Hard Drive Monitor Tool.

You can download the demo version from here http://www.stellarinfo.com/hard-drive-monitor.htm You can also try other software present in the market. As I have used the above mentioned software, I would be using this software to make you know how to become the doctor of your hard drive. Now let's give little time to our hard drive as this little time can save us from losing all our critical data.

Stellar Smart gives you the basic information about your hard drive, like

&bull Hard Drive Version

&bull SMART Feature (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)

&bull Model Number

&bull Serial Number

&bull Firmware Revision

Other Advanced Information about your hard drive:

&bull Total Sectors

&bull Number of Cylinders

&bull Number of heads

&bull Total Sector per Track

&bull Disk Size

&bull Physical Buffer Size

These information are basic information of your hard drive which you normally do not require it however, sometimes knowing this information can help you in solving other issues related to your hard drive.

Bad Sectors in your hard Drive

Knowing the bad sector in your hard drive is very important is really important, by checking the amount of Bad sector you can conclude how much vulnerable your drive is..

Stellar Smart: Scan Hard disk

This feature helps you to know the number of bad sectors in your hard drive, if you find lots of Bad sector, then better take the backup and change your hard drive.

Monitor your hard drive temperature

High temperature can harm your hard drive so you should always monitor your hard drive temperature, or you can set some temperature such that you're your hard temp goes above it, you receive an alarm for that. Some times dust enters the hard drive motor and hinders the motor to run smoothly and the temperature rises and this can lead to hard drive failure. However if you are using some temperature alert then you can save yourself from losing data.

Stellar Smart provide an option to monitor the hard drive temperature.

You can set the warning temperature & shut down temperature. If the temperature of your hard drive reaches the preset warning temperature value then the software will give you the alert messages. And if it attains the shut down temperature then system will automatically shut down.

According to me this is very important tool, because you come to know about the temperature of your drive. Usually temperature doesn't go above a limit, however if it goes that means that there is some problem with your drive and you better start taking backups of your important file Or get you drive properly diagnosis.

Some common hard disk attributes which Stellar Smart makes you aware with are:

Raw Read Error Rate

Indicates the rate at which read retries is requested. Lower values indicate that there is a problem with either the disk surface or the read/write heads.

Spin Up Time

Describes the amount of time it takes to spin the disk platters up to their rated rotation speed (usually 5400 or 7200 Revolutions per minute). Values above 80 should be considered good. Values between 70 and 80 are acceptable.

Start/Stop Count

Indicates the total number of drive start/stop cycles (including both power on/off switching and suspend/wakeup switching).

Reallocated Sectors Count:

Indicates the amount of the spare sector pool that is available. Spare sectors are used to replace sectors that become bad for some reason. A value of 100 means that no sectors have been replaced so far and a value of 1 means that spare sectors have been exhausted due to many replacements.

Power On Hours Count:

Indicates how long the disk was working (powered on).

Spin Retry Count:

Indicates the number of times the disk was unable to spin its platters up on the first attempt (lower values mean more retries).

Temperature:

Indicates the temperature of disks equipped with thermal sensors.

Ultra ATA CRC Error Count:

The UDMA controller performs error checking on the data it receives from the Hard Disk, ensuring that the data was not damaged while being transmitted over the cable. Each time an error is detected, the controller requests a retransmission, thus slowing down the overall transfer speed. Lower values of 'Ultra ATA CRC Error Count' correspond to a higher number of errors, usually indicating a cabling problem

Write Error Count:

Indicates the rate at which write retries are requested. Lower values indicate that there is a problem with either the disk surface or the read/write heads.

Recalibration Retries:

Indicates the number of times recalibration was requested. A low value (multiple recalibration) usually indicates some head positioning problem.

I am sure all these information about you hard drive will help you to identify the basic problem with your drive and you can save your self from losing your important data. However if you loose your critical data you can try some data recovery software or data recovery service.

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