How to check Hard Drive Health (SMART) in Windows

Check Hard Drive Health (SMART) in Windows
Check Hard Drive Health (SMART) in Windows

Your computer’s hard drive is one of its most critical components, storing your operating system, software, files, and data. Monitoring the health of your hard drive is essential to ensure data integrity and prevent unexpected data loss. SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a feature built into modern hard drives that provides valuable information about their health and performance. Kindly see, Cyclic Redundancy: Resolve Data Error on Inaccessible Hard Drive, What are System Partition and Boot Partition in Windows?, and Best Free Disk Cloning Software to Clone a Hard Drive.

In this detailed guide, we’ll show you how to use SMART on a Windows-based computer to check the health of your hard drive. No matter how tech-savvy you are or how new you are to computers, this guide will help you keep an eye on your hard drive and take the right steps to protect your personal data.

Understanding SMART Technology:

SMART technology is integrated into hard drives to monitor their performance, identify potential issues, and provide early warnings of impending drive failure. SMART attributes, such as temperature, read/write error rates, and reallocated sector count, are continuously monitored and recorded.

By accessing SMART data, you can assess your hard drive’s health and take preventive measures before critical failures occur.

Here are other related guides How to transfer data from an old PC to a new PC, How to Solve “The parameter is incorrect” problem on External Hard Disk in Windows, Recover your data after system failure with Hiren’s boot.

Checking Hard Drive Health Using Windows Built-In Tools:

Windows offers command-line utilities to access SMART data. Here are two methods to check hard drive health using these tools:

Option 1: Using Command Prompt (WMIC):

Search for “cmd” or “Command Prompt” in the Start menu, right-click it and choose “Run as administrator.”

Open Command Prompt
Open Command Prompt as administrator

In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:

wmic diskdrive get status
Get Hard Drive status
Get Hard Drive status

Review the output to see the status of your hard drive. A status of “OK” indicates that the drive is healthy.

You can retrieve information regarding the potential failure of a hard drive by utilizing the WMI class MSStorageDriver_FailurePredictStatus:

wmic /namespace:\\root\wmi path MSStorageDriver_FailurePredictStatus
Predict Failure status
Predict Failure status

If the disk controller identifies no disk issues, the PredictFailure value should be set to FALSE.

Option 2: Using PowerShell:

Open PowerShell as an administrator by searching for “PowerShell” in the Start menu, right-clicking it, and selecting “Run as administrator.”

Open Powershell
Open PowerShell as administrator

Enter the following command and press Enter:

Get-PhysicalDisk | Select-Object DeviceID, OperationalStatus
Get operation status report
Get operation status report

Examine the results; an “OK” status indicates a healthy drive.

You can also access basic details about your disks by using the Get-PhysicalDisk cmdlet:

$(Get-PhysicalDisk | Select-Object *)[0]
General information on Hard Drive Health
General information on Hard Drive Health

You can also get possible hard drive failure information using PowerShell:

Get-WmiObject -namespace root\wmi –class MSStorageDriver_FailurePredictStatus
Get info on PredictFailure value
Get info on PredictFailure value

If the PredictFailure value is set to True, it is important to take note of the error code displayed in the Reason parameter.

You can obtain the values of certain reliability counters by executing the following PowerShell command:

Get-Disk | ForEach-Object { $_ | Get-StorageReliabilityCounter | Format-List }
View reliability counters
View reliability counters

To view information on some SMART attributes only:

Get-PhysicalDisk | Get-StorageReliabilityCounter | Select-Object -Property DeviceID, Wear, ReadErrorsTotal, ReadErrorsCorrected, WriteErrorsTotal, WriteErrorsUncorrected, Temperature, TemperatureMax | FT
View SMART attributes only
View SMART attributes only

Checking Hard Drive Health Using Third-Party Software:

While Windows provides basic SMART information, third-party tools offer more detailed insights into your hard drive’s health.

Option 1: CrystalDiskInfo:

  • Download and install CrystalDiskInfo from the official website.
  • Launch the program and select your hard drive from the list.
  • Examine the SMART attributes displayed in the program to assess your hard drive’s health.

Option 2: HD Tune:

  • Download and install HD Tune from the official website.
  • Run the program and select your hard drive from the drop-down menu.
  • Click the “Health” tab to view SMART data.

What to Do If SMART Indicates a Problem:

If SMART data shows that your hard drive might have problems, you need to take action right away. It is advisable to create a backup of your data from the disk onto a separate storage medium. Read, How to transfer data from an old PC to a new PC.

Afterward, it is recommended to perform a disk check using the default manufacturer SMART tool or other utilities such as CrystalDiskInfo and chkdsk.

Conclusion: Ensuring Your Data’s Safety:

Using SMART technology to check your hard drive’s health on a regular basis is a smart way to protect your files. By knowing the state of your hard drive and taking care of problems quickly, you can prevent data loss and keep your computer’s storage reliable.

Using tools built into Windows or third-party software gives you the power to stay in charge of the safety of your data and take the right steps when you need to.


Why is it essential to check hard drive health using SMART technology?

Monitoring hard drive health using SMART technology is crucial because it allows you to detect potential issues and receive early warnings of drive failure. By proactively assessing your hard drive’s condition, you can take preventive measures, such as data backup or drive replacement, to avoid data loss and system downtime.

Are the built-in Windows tools sufficient for checking hard drive health, or should I use third-party software?

The built-in Windows tools, such as Command Prompt and PowerShell, provide basic information about hard drive health. While they can give you a general idea, third-party software like CrystalDiskInfo or HD Tune offers more detailed and user-friendly insights. Using third-party software is recommended for a comprehensive assessment of your hard drive’s SMART attributes.

What should I do if SMART data indicates a problem with my hard drive?

If SMART data indicates potential issues with your hard drive, take immediate action. First, back up your important data to prevent data loss. Next, consult with a professional technician or consider replacing the hard drive. Addressing SMART warnings promptly can help you avoid unexpected drive failures and minimize the impact on your data and system performance.

I hope you found this article useful on how to check Hard Drive Health (SMART) in Windows. Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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