How to Monitor and Maintain the Health of Your Old Hard Disk Drives Using Crystaldiskinfo and Other Tools

Question:

How reliable are the 2 1TB hard disk drives in my HP proliant ml310e gen8 v2 server, which have been running for 70000 hours? What are the indicators of potential failure in crystaldiskinfo, and are there any alternative tools for error detection?

Answer:

Hard disk drives (HDDs) are one of the most important components of any computer system, as they store and retrieve data. However, HDDs are also prone to wear and tear, and can fail over time due to various factors such as mechanical stress, heat, power surges, or human errors. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the health and performance of HDDs, and to backup important data regularly.

One of the tools that can help with HDD monitoring is crystaldiskinfo, a free software that displays various parameters and attributes of HDDs, such as temperature, spin-up time, power-on hours, read/write errors, reallocated sectors, and more. These parameters can indicate the current and potential problems of HDDs, and help users to take preventive or corrective actions.

However, crystaldiskinfo is not a definitive tool for HDD reliability assessment, as it relies on the self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology (SMART) data provided by the HDDs themselves. SMART data can vary depending on the manufacturer, model, and firmware of the HDDs, and may not always reflect the true condition of the HDDs. Moreover, some HDDs may not support SMART data at all, or may have disabled it by default.

Therefore, it is advisable to use other tools and methods for HDD error detection, such as:

  • Disk check: A built-in utility in Windows that scans the HDDs for file system errors and bad sectors, and attempts to fix them. It can be accessed by right-clicking on the HDD in File Explorer, selecting Properties, Tools, and Check. Alternatively, it can be run from the command prompt using the command `chkdsk /f /r`.
  • Disk defragmentation: A process that optimizes the HDDs by rearranging the data fragments on the disk, and reducing the gaps between them. This can improve the HDD performance, and reduce the wear and tear. It can be accessed by right-clicking on the HDD in File Explorer, selecting Properties, Tools, and Optimize. Alternatively, it can be run from the command prompt using the command `defrag /c /v`.
  • Disk benchmarking: A method that measures the HDD speed and performance using various tests, such as sequential read/write, random read/write, access time, etc. This can help to compare the HDDs with other models or standards, and identify any anomalies or degradation. There are various software that can perform disk benchmarking, such as CrystalDiskMark, HD Tune, or ATTO Disk Benchmark.
  • Disk cloning: A technique that creates an exact copy of the HDD data, including the operating system, applications, settings, and files, on another HDD or storage device. This can help to backup the HDD data, and to restore it in case of HDD failure or replacement. There are various software that can perform disk cloning, such as Clonezilla, Macrium Reflect, or EaseUS Todo Backup.
  • In

conclusion, the reliability of the 2 1TB HDDs in the HP proliant ml310e gen8 v2 server, which have been running for 70000 hours, cannot be determined solely by crystaldiskinfo, as it depends on various factors and parameters. It is recommended to use other tools and methods for HDD error detection, and to backup the HDD data regularly. This can help to prevent data loss, and to extend the HDD lifespan.

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