Imagine that you are working on an extremely important document, that you are red-hot writing nonstop, and suddenly your computer’s hard drive has a heart attack and everything goes to hell. Only those of us who have lived it know what that feeling of “it can’t be happening to me” that keeps you in shock for the first few minutes before you start screaming like a hysterical.
Obviously, with the benefits of the cloud or saving backup copies from time to time the drama could have been avoided, but it would not have hurt to have a tool to check the health of your hard drive from time to time. Therefore, today we bring you seven free applications so that you know what the status of your discs is.
CrystalDiskInfo is a complete tool that will show you information about the SMART parameters, the temperature, the serial number, the manufacturer, the number of times it has been turned on, the hours it has been running and a lot of data referring to each of your hard drives.
It also analyzes the status of external hard drives and has a warning feature that you can set to warn you when one of your drives is getting too hot. It is an Open Source program, and it has a portable version so you can always carry it with you. You know, for when you go to repair your friends PC.
The first thing that stands out about HDDScan is that it is a program that does not require installation, so you can also carry it on a USB stick and run it directly on any computer. The interface seems to be taken from ten years ago, but as a tool it is one of the best you can find. Especially for options like the graphs that it shows you after the surface scans.
It warns you about excess temperatures, shows you the SMART and puts at your disposal several verification tests, reading and erasing data. It also looks at transport damage, perfect for when a hard drive is mailed to you or purchased from a store. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that you should try not to run their scans while you have other applications open that are using the hard drive.
EASIS Drive Check
If you are a person without too much technical knowledge who wants easy to understand visual analytics, EASIS Drive Check is possibly the application on this list that you like the most. It is so simple that when you run it, it will only give you two options: perform an analysis of the SMART values or a surface test.
The first will take only a few seconds and will show you the data as you see in the image, in a very visual way with red areas to tell you the factors in which it may be lacking. The surface one is much more exhaustive and it will take you at least two hours, but you will know in detail if it has any bad sectors.
HD Tune offers the possibility to perform a graphical analysis of internal or external behavior hard drive, analyze bad sectors, SMART and display power-on times as well as lots of other general information. It also measures the temperature, and in fact puts an icon on your toolbar that shows you the temperature of your hard drive at all times.
Unfortunately, the free version has been discontinued for several years, so if you want better results you will have to pull a PRO version (the one of the capture) whose license costs 25 euros. Even so, it has a Free Trial with which we can perform quick scans.
Although not as powerful as the previous ones, DiskCheckup is a simple tool with which you can do basic diagnostics of the status of your hard drive. With it, you can monitor the status of the disk, configure alarms for too high temperatures and inform yourself by saving a history of SMART data
It does not have graphs or complicated metrics that you will not know how to read, but it does includes a reading and writing test so you can know how it is performing. Come on, if you are not a computer expert and you settle for knowing if things are fine, you have more than enough.
Acronis Drive Monitor
Don’t be fooled by the old look of the Acronis Drive Monitor interface, because although as the previous one it is not an advanced tool, it is possibly one of the easiest to understand on the list. On the main screen it will show you your discs and their state of health, with an overview with the temperature, a general note of their health and the time they have been running.
Next to it you have two other tabs where you can easily view SMART parameters and an events tab for any errors. On the left side you will have the view of the app, a Backup section in case you have downloaded the Acronis backup application and a list of errors or critical events.
And we end up with the simplest yet, because HDD Health is a simple monitoring tool that you will be working quietly in the background with an icon in the toolbar that, when you move the mouse over it, will show you the health status of your hard drives in a pop-up.
Double clicking on this icon will open the application with a few visual indicators of health and temperature, and in the drive menu you will have the option to analyze its SMART parameters. You can also activate alarms for when there is little space left or the health of the hard disk is low, or see a list with all the information extended with the data of each of your discs.