How would you check the health of Western Digital External drives?

Posted on 2012-09-10
Last Modified: 2012-09-12

I've got a couple Western Digital external drives. I'd love to know if they're ok or if it's time to start backing them up.

I'd really appreciate if you guys could share your ideas on how you check yours and whether those tests are really accurate. I'm running Win 7 Ultimate, btw.

[I ran the software from WD and it said everything's ok.]

Thanks for your time.
Question by:gam8
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    "You don't have to backup all your files, just those you want to keep."

    IMO there is no fail safe way to tell the "health" of a drive.  Generally check the SMART parameters and the WD software.  If everything appears good, then you should generally be ok.
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    If you run Western Digital's Data Lifeguard and both the Quick Test and Extended Test run OK without errors, then your drive is likely okay.    Also, be sure to view the S.M.A.R.T. data for the drive -- if any parameters are out of spec, the drive is likely failing.    

    HOWEVER,  it is ALWAYS time to back up your data.    Drives WILL fail -- and you'll not always get any warning.      I tell everyone that if there's ANYTHING on your computer that you don't want to lose, assume it's going to fail at midnight and be sure you've backed it up TODAY.     The comment above ["You don't have to backup all your files, just those you want to keep."] is very accurate.
    LVL 91

    Assisted Solution

    >>  How would you check the health of Western Digital External drives?  <<   well, there is no such thing as a health thermometer, or monitor for disk drives
    Only tools available from WD are Diag and Smart report, as noted above

    Since all drives will fail -  you always have to keep a backup

    for completeness, here is how i handle bad drives
    LVL 46

    Assisted Solution

    Run the Safeguard tool from Western Digital. It is most proper utility to test the HDD health.
    LVL 70

    Assisted Solution

    I believe noxcho meant to say "Data Lifeguard" ==> the same thing I suggested above [in ]

    Western Digital doesn't make anything called "Safeguard"  :-)
    (although they do talk a lot about safeguarding your data with their external drives)
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    Oops, yes, gary right :) Looks likes mixed it with someone else and WD makes Lifeguard. Thanks for correction (I am getting older and older).
    LVL 42

    Assisted Solution

    by:Davis McCarn
    CrystalDiskInfo is a great tool to check your drives health status:

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