Can you tell me how many hours your hard disk or Solid State Disk has been running and how many times it has been powered on since you started using it in your computer? My Samsung 1 TB hard drive was powered on 106 times and has been active for 814 hours since I build my new computer a few months ago.
How I know that? I looked it up in the software Crystal Disk Info. This software basically displays all kind of information about hard drives and Solid State Disks and two that are not displayed in every other of that type are the two I mentioned above.
It does display all the usual information as well. It begins with the hard disk temperature, serial number, transfer mode, drive letters and supported features among other parameters. Two of the aforementioned parameters are worth a closer look if you are experiencing crashes or slow downs.
The temperature of the hard drive can be a cause for system crashes. It if goes to high it can lead to data loss and errors. The transfer mode can be interesting if you think that your hard drive is not as fast as it should be. Check the supported transfer modes of your drive and compare them to the one that is currently being used for it. It might very well be that it's not the fastest available.
Crystal Disk Info is a portable application that is compatible to Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows Server 2003 / 2008.
Update: Crystal Disk Info has been updated regularly. The latest version 5.1.1. offers a similar feature set as the previously reviewed version but has been updated to include information about new hard drive technologies. What's interesting is that you still get the power on count and power on hours of each hard drive connected to your system, be it platter-based or solid state drive.
It pays to keep an eye on the stats to know when it is time to exchange the hard drive for a new one. I suggest you consult the manufacturer's recommendations which will tell you the average working hours for the company's hard drives.
The new version offers alerts which can be useful to receive information about a failing hard drive and lots of advanced features like changing a drive's automatic acoustic management (AAM) feature or advance power management (APM) values. The former lets you reduce the noise a drive makes which may have an effect on the drive's overall performance, the second a drive's power consumption.
Crystal Disk Info is a complete solution for managing the hard drives that are connected to your computer. Best of all, it is free to download and use.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.