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Check the disk health with Acronis Drive Monitor

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There are lots of tools for checking the health of the hard disk drive on Windows PCs, but one that you may not have heard of is Acronis Drive Monitor. This is a free program that is quite useful to have on your computer and it monitors the health of the hard disk drive. It can warn you when things are about to go wrong - even before they occur so that you have the chance to put them right before disaster strikes.

Acronis Drive Monitor Acronis Drive Monitor (Windows)

Download it and install it and it runs in the background constantly keeping an eye on the disk. If the window doesn't appear on the screen when you run it, you can access it at the right-hand side of the taskbar. Right click it and select Open Acronis Drive Monitor.

There are four sections in the software and in the left-hand pane you can select Summary, Disks, Backup and Critical Events. Choose Summary and you'll see a status report for each of the other sections. You can either click one of the sections in the left panel or click in the summary to jump to a section.

One of the things reported in the summary is the hard disk drive temperature. The program monitors it and it can warn you if the temperature rises too high. Click Disks in the left panel and three tabs are displayed in the main part of the window. The Disk Overview tab shows the power on time - the length of time in days the disk has been spinning for. The disk health is displayed and you can see the disk drive temprature. The S.M.A.R.T. Parameters tab shows a detailed report of the disk drive, but the only information you should look at unless you are a geek, is the last column which should say OK against every item. The Events tab is a log of everything that happens, such as if the disk temperature rises above its normal level.

Acronis Drive Monitor

The Backup section is probably the least useful because it is designed to monitor Acronis backup software. It's fine if you have it, but not everyone uses it. Ignore this section if you don't

The Critical Events section is interesting and it examines the Windows Event Log and pulls out the items that concern the hard disk drive. You can instantly see if there has been a disk problem.

Acronis Drive Monitor

If there has, click Start, Computer and right click the disk drive icon. Select Properties from the menu and on the Tools tab of the Properties dialog, click the Check Now button in the Error-Checking section. Tick the option to Automatically fix file system errors. Click Start and then restart Windows.

Double clicking one of the errors in the Critical Events section opens a dialog that displays a brief description of the error. There is a link to get more information at the bottom. This opens a web browser and there may be further information or a link to Microsoft's website where the error is explained. It's quite useful, but don't get in a panic over the errors. All errors are worth investigating, but they might not be as serious as they sound.

Acronis Drive Monitor

Acronis Drive Monitor is a free program and it is well worth having if you don't already have something similar. Try it and see if your disk is working properly.