All hard drives fail; that's just a fact of computing. About three years into a computer's life, I start to worry and keep a close eye on my computer. Eventually, every drive will give out and break down due to mechanical failure.
Sometimes a drive will go without warning. But many times, there will be signs in advance, like unexpected noises. Click here to learn 5 signs of a failing hard drive.
Bonus tip: That's why you often hear me talk about having a backup solution to avert disasters from hard drive failures.
Fortunately, there is a better monitoring solution than listening for noise. You can monitor your system in real time to make sure that your files are rescued in case of a disastrous failure. Click here to learn how to save your files from a dying hard drive.
Did you know that there's a program that can automatically keep tabs on the state of your computer for you? Even better, you can see exactly what you need to know at a single glance.
All new drives and computer motherboards have a monitoring system called S.M.A.R.T. This keeps records of drive statistics to determine its health. You just need a program to read the stored information.
CrystalDiskInfo is such a program. It gives you all the technical and S.M.A.R.T. information about your drive and can even include temperature.
Most of the information is very technical, but don't worry; the program also includes a simple Health Status meter you can read at a glance.
To download the program, navigate to the CrystalDiskInfo download page and click the green "Download Now Sourceforge" button in the middle of the page.
Note: This is a portable program so some anti-virus software may flag it as a malicious program. Don't worry; it's perfectly safe. I have tested it myself.
Your download should begin immediately. When the download is complete, open and run the installation package.
Select your language to continue. When the installation is complete, select the option to run CrystalDiskInfo. When the scan is complete, you can see a snapshot of your hard drive and the state it's in.