Check your hard drive health every day – automatically

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If your hard drive starts to show signs of failure, you want to know that as soon as possible. Here’s how to get that alert nice and early.

Crystal Disk Info

When someone says to you, “I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?” what do you say? For me, I am a “bad news first” kind of person. Get it out of the way and on to the good stuff. And if it pertains to my computer, even more so.

If my computer’s hard drive is having a problem, I want to know about it as soon as possible. The earlier it can be detected, the earlier it can be fixed. It also means there’s less of a chance of losing any important data (even though I do two different backups every day).

So I have a system that is completely automated, and it checks the health of my computer’s internal drive daily. And here’s some good news:

  1. This process/system is completely free
  2. It’s easy to set up

Here’s how you do it.

First, you install a little program called Crystal Disk Info. I’ve written about it before. You can get it here. There are different programs listed on the website but what you want is CrystalDiskInfo Standard Edition. Just click on the Installer option, and it will download. Then you can install it. It won’t try to sneak anything else on to your computer.

So now you have it installed, but it doesn’t do anything unless you double click the desktop icon to run it. When you run it, it will show you a window with a button that says Good, Caution, or Bad. That’s really the only indicator you need to look at. If it says Good, just close the window and go on with using your computer. If it says Caution or Bad, your hard drive is most likely in the process of failing so we need to deal with that.

But I said this whole thing is automated, right? That means we need to set it up so that you don’t have to try to remember to run Crystal Disk Info regularly. Here’s how:

Open the program, then at the top click on Function. In the drop down menu, look for the word Startup, and click it.

Crystal Disk Info


This means that every time your computer starts up, Crystal Disk Info will run automatically. And you’ll see the report about your hard drive’s health.

For me, that means every single day. My nightly routine, when I’m done using my computer for the day, is to restart it and then plug in the overnight backup drive. So when I restart it, I see the drive health report first thing.

If you don’t do this, your computer’s drive could be in the process of failing for several days or weeks and you wouldn’t even know about it. Better to find out early and take action!

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Mary Putnam
October 11th, 2021

Looks like I am running in the caution zone it says reallocated sectors. I am hoping to hold out till windows 11 is out there with the bugs out of it. This machine has windows 10 but cannot be upgraded to 11. Nice little program.