Let’s begin with the easiest option to check your hard drive’s health, the Defragment & Optimize Drives application which comes with your windows. Defragmentation (or defrag) is the process of reorganizing data stored on the hard drive. All related fragmented data pieces are put back together and lined up in a successive, clean, and neat fashion. Defragmentation not only enhances the disk health but overall improves the computer performance.
If you’re using a traditional hard disk drive on your PC, then you’ll need to check the fragmentation of your HDD constantly. This is because a fragmented hard disk drive slows down every action you do on your PC, from shutting down a PC to opening a window to browsing the Internet.
So, this is how you can defrag and optimize your disk drive:
- Go to Windows Start
- Type “defrag”
- Open the “Defragment and Optimize Drives” and click “Optimize” to start the defragmentation process.
After defragmentation is finished, you’ll notice that your PC is once again fast to when you installed Windows. Bear in mind that some Windows versions to defragmentation as a scheduled task. Also, from this same utility window, you’ll be able to check the hard drive (system) health before and after you do defragmentation.
Another way to check the health status of your hard drive and find to fix any errors is through their manufacturer’s utility tools. Any HDD, whether it’s from Seagate, Toshiba, or Samsung, comes with its software utility tool to let you check its status.
If you do not know the brand of HDD inserted into your laptop PC, follow the below steps to find out:
- Go to Windows
- Type Device Manager and click on Disk Drives
- You’ll find the name of your HDD maker
- You can double-click the disk drive to get more information and properties. For example, you’ll be able to see the status, policies, volumes, current driver, details, and event.
Using the windows CHKDSK command is another way to check your challenging drive health. Short for Check Disk, CHKDSK is a Windows system tool for DOS, IBM, Windows, and other systems. The tool verifies the file system’s integrity and fixes its logical errors.
To use the CHKDSK command:
- Go to Windows “Start”
- Type “cmd” to open the command prompt app
- Now type “CHKDSK” on the command prompt window and hit enter
- This will run a scan and show you the status of your HDD
And not only the “CHKDSK” command can show you the status, but it can also fix the errors if used with its parameters like /f, /r, /x, or /b.
Another way to test a hard disk drive on a pc and determine its health is through the Basic Input/Output System, most commonly known as BIOS.
BIOS is a firmware that comes along with your motherboard. It is the first piece of software that starts when you press the “On” button of your laptop/desktop. BIOS connects your hardware to the OS installed on your PC – the process is called Boot.