If you use your PC every day and it works fine, even if there doesn’t seem to be anything to alert you that something is failing, it doesn’t hurt to check the status and performance of your hard drive. For this there is Crystal Disk: we are going to explain what it is and everything you can do with this tool.
Crystal Disk is a developer that offers two very effective free programs: Crystal Disk Info and Crystal Disk Mark. We have tested them and the truth is that they do their job very well. Let’s see what each one is for.
Crystal Disk Info check the status of your hard drive
Crystal Disk Info shows you a lot of values to see the status of the hard drive. When you open it, it will give you a series of values and parameters. Let’s analyze them:
Measure hard drive temperature with CrystalDisk Info
One of the first things it shows you is very important: temperature. The best way to know the temperature values that your hard drive can handle are the manufacturer’s specifications:
- Look in the manual of the hard drive operating temperature specifications.
- If you don’t have the manual, CrystalDiskInfo tells you the brand, model and hard drive capacity.
- Copy that value, paste it in the Google search engine and look up operating temperature specs. If you get those specifications on the manufacturer’s website, the better.
The temperature of the hard drive also depends on:
- The type of hard drive: whether it is a mechanical HDD or an SSD hard drive.
- What the hard drive is doing.
- Room temperature: if you live in a place that is very cold, very hot or you have air conditioning.
- cooling system that you put on the PC.
What you should do is check with CrystalDiskInfo the temperature of the HDD at different times when using the PC: power on, normal operation or playing. Also look at the C2 line, there it tells you the current temperature and what is the worst temperature for the hard drive.
Ideally, they should be more or less stable temperatures (for example, between 32 and 39 °C). If the temperatures are very high or very low and the variations are very pronounced peaks, something is happening. If it exceeds those indicated by the manufacturer or reaches the worst indicated by line C2, the problem is more serious.
Crystal Disk measures the health status of your hard drive
CrystalDiskInfo also informs you about the state of health of the hard drive. The results according to color are as follows:
- Green: the most optimal state of the hard disk, is it new or has little use.
- Blue: this is the normal state of an optimal hard drive that has been running for some time.
- Yellow: caution, the hard drive has several factors that indicate that it may fail or end up damaged.
- Red: your hard drive is very bad, if it hasn’t crashed it’s a miracle, but you may still be able to rescue the stored data, although the backup process may not be completely done or you may have a lot of problems doing it.
- Gray: the hard drive is only detected and is useless.
This state depends on all those values that you see under the state in a box. You must be aware of the values indicated in lines C4, C5, C6 and C7, indicating pending sectors, uncorrectable, CRC errors (corrupt or incomplete files). If CrystalDiskInfo tells you in the status that the hard drive is fine but records some data in C4, C5, C6, C7, even though it’s low, that means the hard drive might be starting to go bad, although it’s really a lot to explain this. more complex than that.
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Download CrystalDisk Info
Crystal Disk Mark measures the performance of your hard drive
Crystal Disk Info is very complete and you have already seen everything you can do with this tool. If you want to do a more exhaustive analysis use CrystalDiskMark, which is used to measure the performance of your hard drive. It’s perfect to see if that hard drive you bought performs what the specifications say or if you want to measure the performance of your drive over a given time and verify that its reading and writing speed standards are not lowering.
How to set Crystal Disk Mark
Once put into action, the first thing you see is the default test:
- Number 5, which are the passes that will be made. You can change it to more or less tests.
- 1 Gb, which is the size of the sample you are going to test.
- The disk to do the test, if you have several you can select them.
- The value in which you want to see the result: MB/s, GB/s, etc.
These defaults are the most common tests for any hard drive. Some hard drives give better results with a larger test size, others with a smaller test size. The upper menus are used to customize the test and the results: you can choose by write peaks, read peaks, combined, read only, write only, etc.
To know the ideal results of these tests and to be able to compare, surely you can find results of the most popular laptops and hard drives on Google. In other cases, you can see how the HDD or SSD performs compared to the data measured by the manufacturer but the latter always usually measures them in the most favorable conditions.
Both programs have the option in the “File” menu to save the results as text or as an image, so that you can make a follow-up record and then you can make a detailed analysis of the results in a given time.
This is all you can do with Crystal Disk. In conclusion: If you do the daily tests for a few days and you don’t see variations, your drive is working fine, don’t worry. If your hard drive is displaying uneven temperatures, has more and more bad sectors, and/or is failing in read and write speeds, it’s time to start thinking about backing up your data and investing in another hard drive.
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