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Randy The Tech Professor

May 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

How I Predict And Prevent Hard Drive Failure: Five Great Tools

Hello everyone,

Many of my computer repair jobs involve the hard drive in one way or another. Lately I’ve been seeing about three hard drive failures per week. In a previous post I named two hard drive tools that I use frequently. In this post I would like to tell you about five great hard drive tools that will both predict and prevent hard drive failure. Great stuff!

1) CrystalDiskInfo: CrystalDiskInfo is a HDD health monitoring utility. It displays basic HDD information, monitors S.M.A.R.T. values and disk temperature. I use this tool on every computer that I repair!

2) HD Tune: HD Tune is a hard disk utility with many functions. It can be used to measure the drive’s performance, scan for errors, check the health status (S.M.A.R.T.), securely erase all data and much more. A very valuable tool to have in your tool kit!

3) HDD Health: HDD Health is a full-featured failure-prediction agent for machines using Windows 95, 98, NT, Me, 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7. Sitting in the system tray, it monitors hard disks and alerts you to impending failure. The program uses Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) built into all new hard disks, and can predict failures on your hard drives. A host of alerting features include email, local pop-up messages, net messages, and event logging, while using no system resources.

4) HDDScan: HDDScan is a freeware utility for hard drive diagnostics (RAID arrays, Flash USB and SSD drives are also supported). The program can test storage device for errors (Bad-blocks and bad sectors), show S.M.A.R.T. attributes and change some HDD parameters such as AAM, APM, etc. HDDScan can be useful for performing the regular “health test” for your drive and predicting its degradation, so you will be able to prevent data loss and backup your files before you will have to contact the data recovery service. Additionally, software can be used as the hard disk temperature monitor and reading/writing benchmark – performance graph is displayed for every test.

5) GSmartControl: An awesome hard disk drive health inspection tool! GSmartControl is a graphical user interface smart control tool for querying and controlling SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) data on modern hard disk drives. It allows you to inspect the drive’s SMART data to determine its health, as well as run various tests on it.

Professor Randy says: Being able to diagnose a failing hard drive is a must as a computer repair tech. Believe me, if you can save your clients hard drive and data you’ll have a customer for life. These five tools will help you do just that!


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