In this video, learn how to ensure that disk drives and storage media are in good shape, how to check for disk errors, and how to and fix them. Optimize disk performance.
- [Voiceover] Your PC's mass storage system is perhaps one of the most vital pieces of hardware in the computer. That's where you store your stuff. the things you create, your work, your photos, and other important files. I refer to this hardware as mass storage, but you'll also see the terms hard drive or disk drive used because some computers use Solid State Drive, or SSDs. The term mass storage covers both, yet no mattter what the device's name, keeping your PC's mass storage happy and healthy is important.
The first place to view storage on your computer is the This PC window, a name I can't stand because it contains the word "this." So forgive my awkward phrasing. Press the "Windows" and "E" key combination to summon a File Explorer window. From the Address bar, choose This PC. The Devices and drives area lists mass storage devices attached to your computer. Here you see the primary storage device drive (C:).
This is a boot drive which contains the Windows operating system, which is what this little icon means. This system features an optical drive, an external hard drive, plus thumb drives. You might also see additional items in this window down here, such as network locations, media servers, and other devices not directly attached to the PC but available over the network. This File Explorer window shows the Drive icons in Tile view. If your screen is different, click the View tab, and in the Layout group, choose Tiles.
The Tile view has an advantage in that it shows storage capacity for each device. This is an important bit of information. When the capacity gets too high, the thermometer bar changes its color from blue to red. To view more details, right-click a storage device. For removable storage, ensure that the media is in the drive. I'll click on the primary storage device and choose Properties. The Properties dialog box lists more storage details. You also see access to the Disk cleanup button as well as the option to compress the drive.
I cover these features in another movie. The Tools tab lists commands for error checking and optimizations. In Windows 10, you pretty much don't have to mess with these tools. Windows automatically schedules error checking and optimization. If you suspect storage problems, you can run a manual check. Click the Check button. Here you see confirmation that Windows has already checked the drive and not found any issues. If you're experiencing problems, however, you can click the Scan drive button to check for issues.
If there are any found, the Check Disk utility attempts to fix them. Be aware, this tool isn't magic. Back in the old days, people thought that running Check Disk would cure all kinds of ails, like a snake oil cure. Instead, it may find and fix errors, but it's not a universal drive error fix-it tool. Click the Optimize button to defragment the drive. Again, this is something Windows does automatically, so a manual check isn't necessary, and especially if you have a Solid State Drive, or SSD, do not run optimization, as it can damage the drive.
If a storage device required optimization, you'd see a high percentage value in the current Status column. Finally, remember that the best thing you can do for mass storage issues is to create a system image and run regular backups. That way you know that the storage media's contents are safe, no matter what happens to the drive.
- Diagnosing the causes of PC issues
- Troubleshooting hardware and software
- Performing startup and system restore steps
- Accessing the Task Manager
- Using the Registry Editor
- Fixing Windows
- Maintaining storage drives
- Restoring network connectivity