How To Perform A Hard Disk Health Check
Nothing last forever. Hard drives are not any different. When that happens data will is lost. There is no way around. However, there are ways to prevent your data being lost!
You probably heard this before? But, your hard drive will fail. The question is not if it will fail, but when it will fail and the only thing you can do is take the proper steps to limit your risk. The first step is always to make sure there is a backup plan in place and that recovery steps are quick and relatively painless. However, backups may not cover all of the data that is lost. There may be important files or updates made between scheduled backup points. So how can I limit the risk?
Check The Health Of Your Drive
Think about the health of your hard drive. You do not have to wait until there is an obvious issue before taking steps to save your drive. Before you lose your data, plan for regularly scheduled “checkups.”
Every drive manufacturer provides utilities that will check the health of your drive and offer differing levels of repair options. Most of these programs are capable or returning an early warning notice about the health of your drive, but are much more involved than a simple checkup needs.
Consider using a drive diagnostic utility instead. There are various diagnostic utilities available to download and when it comes down to it, the choice is up to your preference as to which one is best for you. Utilities like HD Tune are free and they will check your hard drive’s health and provide scans for errors and bad sectors. Most of the free utilities supports all internal and external drive formats including Solid State Drives, USB memory sticks, and card readers as well as supports most operating systems.
What To Do After The Scan
If you have no indication of errors or bad sectors your drive is functioning normally and, hopefully, will last until your next scheduled checkup. However, if you have found issues with your drive, you need to move forward and attempt to repair what you can. This is the time to use the diagnostics tools provided by your hard drive manufacturer. Rescan the damaged drive and use the repair functions to restore damaged drive function.
The Final Step
In case everything went well with the last diagnostics utility, your drive is now repaired and operating as it should. Now, backup everything on your drive, change your backup schedule to a daily cycle, save important files to a cloud storage file while in between backup cycles, and plan to buy a new hard drive to replace the one you just repaired. Remember, the drive you currently have now is a ticking time bomb and has to be replaced as soon as possible or you rick losing important data. Usually, the drive could last months or even a year before the next issue arises, but why risk it?