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Windows 7: Hard drive health questions?

27 Feb 2015   #1
Double

Windows 10 Home 64-bit
 
 
Hard drive health questions?

Hi, I'm curious about my hard drives' health and have some questions? I have information about my PC in 'My System Specs' below. My laptop PC is about 5 years old. It mostly stays put, but has traveled about 2-3 times in its lifetime. When I'm done using it, I always put it to sleep.
  • Rarely, I will wake my computer up from a room that got cold overnight. When this happens, i can hear the hard drive trying to wake up. I assume this is normal, but is this bad? Should i shut it off after this happens, or should i let the PC warm up first? The hard drive doesn't make any unusual noises when the room is warm. Because of where it is located in the house, the cold sometimes can't be helped.
  • If you use the cloud to sync files, and your hard drive starts to go bad, can any damage done to files also be synced? If so, what is the safest way to avoid a problem like this? I could use the 'Events' tab on the Dropbox website to check for any unauthorized changes, but depending on how rapid the hard drive decides to fail, using it to undo changes could become time consuming.
  • I need recommendations for a good hard drive diagnostic health tool i can use to check my hard drives' health? I haven't noticed any problems with it so far, but i just wanna check.
  • When i do need a new hard drive someday, how should i go about getting one? Can i get any brand? Can i get a storage capacity larger than the one it came with? Can i get an SSD? Can it be easily replaced yourself, or would this be too hard for a regular user to do?

Any advice on these would be appreciated


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Feb 2015   #2
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Try one of these
Download the latest diagnostic software and utilities from the manufacturer of your hard drive(s).
In you case, Hitachi seems right
Downloads | HGST Storage



They are not hard to replace, but you have to be careful not to damage anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #3
rvcjew

7 Pro x64, 10 Pro x64
 
 

You could also try something like crystal disk info and see if it thinks anything is amiss. Try HGST first though. Just unzip it before using it (installer had ads so I did not link it) /62506/CrystalDiskInfo6_3_0.zip
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Feb 2015   #4
mibaup

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Wanted to join this discussion too because I'm curious: If we're talking about a mechanical hard drive, isn't it possible that even if all diagnostic tools show that the drive is OK in terms of sectors etc..can't it just snap one day? I mean it's so gentile, maybe after a few years the Disk read/write heads or some other gentile mechanical parts can just break due to fatigue without warning? Even if you took care of it real good?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #5
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

You are correct, very often the drive goes without warning. We tell our people always back up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #6
SaNdMaN82

Windows 7 Profesional x64
 
 

You should read the specifications for that drive, in regard of the operative temperatures... Of course it is not normal for it to 'struggle' to star working...
You can check the smart information for the drive, and also download the manufacturer's utilities for diagnostics...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Double View Post
When I'm done using it, I always put it to sleep.


I need recommendations for a good hard drive diagnostic health tool i can use to check my hard drives' health?

When i do need a new hard drive someday, how should i go about getting one? Can i get any brand? Can i get a storage capacity larger than the one it came with? Can i get an SSD? Can it be easily replaced yourself, or would this be too hard for a regular user to do?

You'd be foolish to rely on a hard drive health program as much of an indicator. Supposedly healthy drives drop dead all the time. Back your stuff up to some other drive.

I wouldn't agonize over which hard drive brand. Laptops typically use 2.5 inch SATA drives. If you are actually shopping for one, post the make and model number of your laptop and someone will try to steer you to a decent choice. Yes, you can get a larger drive. You also should be able to use an SSD, but they are relatively low capacity and relatively expensive.

It's an easy enough job to simply replace the drive, but it can be more complex to get Windows and your data installed onto the new drive. But nothing you couldn't do with a little coaching.

I'd hate to rely on the cloud as my only backup. Do a backup to some device in your house at least occasionally (daily or weekly?).

If I understand you correctly, you never shut your laptop off. You just put it in sleep mode. Not sure why you'd do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #8
topazkitty

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

You can try checking for bad sectors and other hard drive abnormalities with GSmartControl its the program I used when I found out my Segate drive was going bad. It first started with 680 bad sectors then in a matter of days it went to 30,000 plus. Backups are important.

GSmartControl :: Home & News

If you scroll down on the downloads page there is a windows version available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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