If you value the data on your computer, you must take good care of the hard drive.

Your hard drive is not just a vital computer component, it is also irreplaceable. Hence, you need to check hard disk health on Windows and Mac systems from time to time.

If you haven’t created a backup, checking the hard drive health on your PC is the only way to assure your valuable data doesn’t get damaged or erased.

There are a couple of ways with which you can check your hard drive’s health on Windows and Mac PCs. You can check the health of your hard drives with some inbuilt tools, along with some third-party assistance.

So, let’s have a rundown of ways to check hard drive health on Windows & Mac.

1. Scan with Built-in Tools on Windows

You can use a built-in tool as your first move to check the health of the hard drive. For Windows users, the CHKDSK tool helps you find system errors. The tool checks for bad sectors on your hard drive.

If you’re using Windows 10, the CHKDSK tool not only scans your hard drive but also fixes the problems. When the CHKDSK tool runs its disk checkup scan, it also lets you know the potential risks to your hard drive’s health.

To use CHKDSK tool on Windows,

  • Open the File Explorer window
  • Go to My Computer (if you’re using Windows 10, open This PC folder from your desktop)
  • Now, select the hard drive you want to scan
  • Right-click on it
  • Click on ‘Properties’ from the drop-down menu
  • Go to the ‘Tools’ tab in the Properties window
  • Click on the ‘Check now’ button

Scan with Built-in Tools on Windows

Here, a dialog window pops up. You can tick the checkbox for two options –

  • Automatically fix file system errors
  • Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors

Put a check on both these options and click on the ‘Start’ button. The CHKDSK tool scans your hard drive and fixes the problems automatically.

This process could take time from minutes to hours, depending on your hard drive capacity, stored file size, and bad sectors.

2. Scan with Built-in Tools on Mac

Mac users can use the disk utility feature to check hard drive health. The Disk Utility scan on Mac computers is equivalent to the CHKDSK tool on Windows systems.

To check hard drive health on Mac with Disk Utility,

  • Go to the Applications>Utilities folder
  • Launch the Disk Utility app
  • Now, select the hard drive from the menu on the left side
  • Click on the tab that says ‘First Aid
  • On the lower-right corner, you’ll see a tab that says ‘Verify Disk’ – click on it

Scan with Built-in Tools on Mac

Now, your Mac window shows details of the hard disk checkup. This way, you can see the how the scan went through.

You’ll see a list of system errors highlighted in red. You can repair these errors by performing a disk recovery on your Mac.

Click on the tab that says ‘Repair Disk’. If the tab is disabled, then click on ‘Repair Disk Permissions’.

Here, you can allow your current Mac user profile to repair the disk. Now, go back to find the Repair Disk tab activated.

3. Use Free Tools from Manufacturers (For Windows Only)

Every hard drive manufacturer offers free and robust tools to monitor and fix hard disks. These tools can also display the performance of your hard drives.

The first thing you need to do is know the make of your hard drive. To find out details about the hard drive,

  • Press ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ key to open the Run dialog box
  • Type ‘msc’ and click on OK
  • This opens up the Device Manager window
  • Now, go to Disk drives section and expand it
  • Note down the hard drive’s model name and number displayed here

After you know the make, find your hard drive manufacturers’ website and download the tool from there. Here are the links for disk checkup tools from popular HDD manufacturers.

You can use these tools if you don’t know to how to check if the hard disk in working or not.

4. Try WMIC with Command Prompt (For Windows)

You can also use a command-line interface such as the Windows Management Instrumentation Command (WMIC) to check your hard disk’s health.

WMIC performs many tasks, one of which includes checking the hard disk health. With WMIC, you can see the status of your hard drive using S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology).

It is a basic command, so you may find the information insufficient. Even so, the WMIC is an inbuilt and quick tool to check hard disk health on Windows.

Try WMIC with Command Prompt (For Windows)

To check Windows hard disk with WMIC,

  • Press the ‘Windows’ and ‘R’ key to open the Run dialog box
  • Type ‘cmd’ in the box and press the Enter key
  • This opens the Command Prompt window
  • Now, type ‘wmic’ and hit the Enter key
  • Let the command execute to ready the WMI interface
  • Now, type ‘diskdrive get status’
  • Press the Enter key

Consequently, the Command Prompt window shows the status on your hard drive. That’s how you know if the hard disk in your Windows computer is working or not.


Use Backup or Recovery Tools

Use Backup or Recovery Tools

For Windows systems, you can always enable a backup or recovery feature.

As a utility, a hard disk recovery feature won’t just check the health of the hard drive. It will also store the data to a safe sector.

Windows 10 users can create a backup for their hard drive to an external drive. The built-in tool is called File History and it is available in all latest Windows computers.

  • Connect the external drive to your PC
  • Go to Settings app
  • Click on Update & Security
  • Go to Backup section
  • Click on the ‘+’ icon next to ‘Add a Drive’
  • Now, choose the external drive connected to your PC

Thereafter, Windows 10 automatically archives your system files to the external drive. You can always disable the recovery by turning the Backup slider to ‘Off’.

Also, make sure that the external drive has enough space for your backup.

5. Use Third-Party Tools

Lastly, you can try using a third-party disk checker to diagnose hard drives on Mac and Windows. There are several third-party tools that can check disk health on Mac and Windows effectively.

To name a few,

Remember, you can go for third-party tools only when the built-in tools on Windows and Mac systems fail to check hard drive’s health.

Please share your feedback on how these methods have helped you check hard drive health on Windows and Mac computers. You can let us know with the comments below.

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