Be Ready!!! It’s Time To Check Status Of Your Hard Disk

Research proven it that approx 90% of all information is being stored in magnetic media and mostly on hard disk drive. Despite of all these things, there is little very published work on disk drive failure pattern and key factors affecting its lifetime. There can be various reasons responsible for hard drive failure.

Hard-Drive-Inspector-logo

We all know “Prevention is better than cure” . So, this quote is also applicable if talking about the hard disk. If you literally don’t want to loss valuable of lovable data from your disk, then it’s quite important to check or monitor it on regular basis. Although, these days, along with the enhancement in technology and features, it’s not so much difficult task. As, Hard Disks now came with some extra added features like Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology or SMART that helps the device itself to monitor its own health and deliver out signals if it is failing in any case.

Still, it’s good habit to check hard disk status time to time. Actually, apart from CD/DVD drive in the system, the hard disk is the only stuff with moving parts as it keeps spinning at the speed up to 7200 revolutions per minute, it doesn’t matter for anything you are doing or not on your computer. And because of this, wear and tear can takes place and file errors or even bad sectors on the disk itself can be occur. Additionally, bumping or dropping the PC(preferably laptops), power surges can cause error as well.

1. You can do it with the help of inbuilt tool facilitated in Windows and that one of CHKDSK(for Check Disk).

CHKDSK

CHDSK is a command that can looks for cluster errors along with file problems. It’s impossible to feel of having any hard disk error until you run CHKDSK or another program. Let’s use CHKDSK. Actually, there are two ways to do this, a graphical and a command-line version.

For Graphical Version : Click Start and then → right-click the drive to check (usually C:) → further click Properties and go to Tools tab → From there, click the Check Now button

A window will be appeared containing two options
“Automatically Fix File System Errors (checked by default)”
“Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors”

Initially, leave box boxes unchecked and click on Start and wait for a report and click on the details arrow in order to achieve the full report.

1.chkdsk-windows

It’s great, if not found any error. And if discovered, then re-run CHKDSK with ‘Automatically fix file system errors’ checked. Note that if you are trying to run this on your Windows partition, a message will be appeared stating that file system is in use, and do you want to check for errors the next time you start your computer? In that case, click on ‘Schedule disk check’ so that the next time you restart computer, the CHKDSK utility will run before Windows starts up. After completion of this, an onscreen report will be generated.

For second option that will cause CHKDSK to perform a sector-by-sector surface check of the hard disk, some time will be taken. In case if Check Disk finds a bad sector, it starts to recover any information stored in the sector automatically and also it marks the sector as defective with the intension that no any information can be stored there in the future.

2. In order to check the health status of your hard disk, you can use the WMIC or Windows management Instrumentation Command-line. Actually, WMIC is a command-line and scripting interface that simplifies the use of Windows management Instrumentation that is WMI and systems managed through WMI. You can carry out so many administrative tasks like searching computer model name, serial number of your Windows computer with the help of WMI command.

Know More about WMI command

In Windows based operating system, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is the infrastructure for data management data operations . Although, Write WMI scripts or applications to automate administrative tasks on remote computers but WMI also supplies management data to other parts of the operating system and products, for example System Center Operations Manager.
The following global switches are available:

/NAMESPACE           Path for the namespace the alias operate against.
/ROLE                Path for the role containing the alias definitions.
/NODE                Servers the alias will operate against.
/IMPLEVEL            Client impersonation level.
/AUTHLEVEL           Client authentication level.
/LOCALE              Language id the client should use.
/PRIVILEGES          Enable or disable all privileges.
/TRACE               Outputs debugging information to stderr.
/RECORD              Logs all input commands and output.
/INTERACTIVE         Sets or resets the interactive mode.
/FAILFAST            Sets or resets the FailFast mode.
/USER                User to be used during the session.
/PASSWORD            Password to be used for session login.
/OUTPUT              Specifies the mode for output redirection.
/APPEND              Specifies the mode for output redirection.
/AGGREGATE           Sets or resets aggregate mode.
/AUTHORITY           Specifies the <authority type> for the connection.
/?[:<BRIEF|FULL>]    Usage information.

Reference :  http://www.thewindowsclub.com/

For more information on a specific global switch, type: switch-name /?

The following alias/es are available in the current role:

ALIAS                    - Access to the aliases available on the local system
BASEBOARD                - Base board (also known as a motherboard or system board)
                           management.
BIOS                     - Basic input/output services (BIOS) management.
BOOTCONFIG               - Boot configuration management.
CDROM                    - CD-ROM management.
COMPUTERSYSTEM           - Computer system management.
CPU                      - CPU management.
CSPRODUCT                - Computer system product information from SMBIOS.
DATAFILE                 - DataFile Management.
DCOMAPP                  - DCOM Application management.
DESKTOP                  - User's Desktop management.
DESKTOPMONITOR           - Desktop Monitor management.
DEVICEMEMORYADDRESS      - Device memory addresses management.
DISKDRIVE                - Physical disk drive management.
DISKQUOTA                - Disk space usage for NTFS volumes.
DMACHANNEL               - Direct memory access (DMA) channel management.
ENVIRONMENT              - System environment settings management.
FSDIR                    - Filesystem directory entry management.
GROUP                    - Group account management.
IDECONTROLLER            - IDE Controller management.
IRQ                      - Interrupt request line (IRQ) management.
JOB                      - Provides  access to the jobs scheduled using the schedule service
LOADORDER                - Management of system services that define execution dependencies.
LOGICALDISK              - Local storage device management.
LOGON                    - LOGON Sessions.
MEMCACHE                 - Cache memory management.
MEMORYCHIP               - Memory chip information.
MEMPHYSICAL              - Computer system's physical memory management.
NETCLIENT                - Network Client management.
NETLOGIN                 - Network login information (of a particular user) management.
NETPROTOCOL              - Protocols (and their network characteristics) management.
NETUSE                   - Active network connection management.
NIC                      - Network Interface Controller (NIC) management.
NICCONFIG                - Network adapter management.
NTDOMAIN                 - NT Domain management.
NTEVENT                  - Entries in the NT Event Log.
NTEVENTLOG               - NT eventlog file management.
ONBOARDDEVICE            - Management of common adapter devices built into the  
                          motherboard (system board).
OS                       - Installed Operating System/s management.
PAGEFILE                 - Virtual memory file swapping management.
PAGEFILESET              - Page file settings management.
PARTITION                - Management of partitioned areas of a physical disk.
PORT                     - I/O port management.
PORTCONNECTOR            - Physical connection ports management.
PRINTER                  - Printer device management.
PRINTERCONFIG            - Printer device configuration management.
PRINTJOB                 - Print job management.
PROCESS                  - Process management.
PRODUCT                  - Installation package task management.
QFE                      - Quick Fix Engineering.
QUOTASETTING             - Setting information for disk quotas on a volume.
RDACCOUNT                - Remote Desktop connection permission management.
RDNIC                    - Remote Desktop connection management on a specific 
                           network adapter.
RDPERMISSIONS            - Permissions to a specific Remote Desktop connection.
RDTOGGLE                 - Turning Remote Desktop listener on or off remotely.
RECOVEROS                - Information that will be gathered from memory when the
                           operating system fails.
REGISTRY                 - Computer system registry management.
SCSICONTROLLER           - SCSI Controller management.
SERVER                   - Server information management.
SERVICE                  - Service application management.
SHADOWCOPY               - Shadow copy management.
SHADOWSTORAGE            - Shadow copy storage area management.
SHARE                    - Shared resource management.
SOFTWAREELEMENT          - Management of the  elements of a software product installed 
                           on a system
SOFTWAREFEATURE          - Management of software product subsets of SoftwareElement.
SOUNDDEV                 - Sound Device management.
STARTUP                  - Management of commands that run automatically when 
                           users log onto the computer system.
SYSACCOUNT               - System account management.
SYSDRIVER                - Management of the system driver for a base service.
SYSTEMENCLOSURE          - Physical system enclosure management.
SYSTEMSLOT               - Management of physical connection points including ports, 
                           slots and peripherals, and proprietary connections points.
TAPEDRIVE                - Tape drive management.
TEMPERATURE              - Data management of a temperature sensor
                           (electronic thermometer).
TIMEZONE                 - Time zone data management.
UPS                      - Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) management.
USERACCOUNT              - User account management.
VOLTAGE                  - Voltage sensor (electronic voltmeter) data management.
VOLUME                   - Local storage volume management.
VOLUMEQUOTASETTING       - Associates the disk quota setting with a specific disk volume.
VOLUMEUSERQUOTA          - Per user storage volume quota management.
WMISET                   - WMI service operational parameters management.

 To know more or for more information on a specific alias, type: alias /?
CLASS     – Escapes to full WMI schema.
PATH      – Escapes to full WMI object paths.
CONTEXT   – Displays the state of all the global switches.
QUIT/EXIT – Exits the program.

Lats see a example:
QFE command is often use to find out the list of hotfixes or security updates applied on the system.

How to use:
Open the command prompt and type in wmic qfe. This will give you the list!

Output:

Screenshot
Images Source : thewindowsclub

3. In order to check the health of your hard disk natively, open command prompt window. Primarily type wmic and press enter button. Then after, type diskdrive get status and then again hit Enter.

In case of having fine status (of hard disk), a message with OK will be seen and in case, if window facing any problem in retrieving the SMART information, it means your hard disk is facing any issues and this will be shown in form of text in return message.

cmd-wmic-600x339
Images Source : thewindowsclub

If your hard disk is facing any problem, then it will be better to keep watch on the noise that a dying hard disk makes and backup all the data manually of by using any effective third party software. It will be also good, if you replace older hard disk with new one as dying or sick disk can damage all your data and for every one of us, data’s worths more as compared to money.

Know More At :  http://www.hdsentinel.com/

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