Your hard drive is arguably one of the most important parts of your system, as it stores all of your data. Here are a few quick and easy tips for how to keep track of the health and capacity of your drive.
See The Total Count of Files & Folders
Sure, this is a relatively useless number to know, but it is none-the-less still interesting to find out just how many total files there are on your computer. It is without fail a much higher number than you’d expect. Here’s how to find out exactly what that number is.
- Open up a Finder window (Cmd+N when at your Desktop)
- Click open the “Applications” folder
- Scroll down to the “Utilities” folder and open it
- Within the “Utilities Folder”, open an application named “Disk Utility”
- Select your hard drive from the list on the left (The default name will be “Macintosh HD”, unless you’ve changed it)
- At the very bottom of that window, you will see “Number of Folders” and “Number of Files”
Here’s an example of what you’ll see:
Verify & Repair Your Hard Drive
As one of the hardest working parts of your computer, your hard disk can sometimes have some issues that the operating system is able to repair. To make sure that everything is just how it should be, go through steps 1-5 again above to open up your Disk Utility. Once it is open, take the following steps to verify and, if need be, repair your disk.
- Select your hard disk
- Click “Verify Disk”
- Wait several minutes (Your computer will likely be quite slow during this process)
- If all is well, you’ll get a green message stating that there are no errors and you’re done
- If all is not well, you’ll get a red message telling you what the issue is and to click “Repair Disk”
- Click “Repair Disk”
Check Total vs. Remaining Disk Space
The average users now-a-days likely has significantly more storage space on their primary hard drive than they will ever need. If, however, you want to or need to know how much total space you’ve got and how much free space you’ve got left, here’s how.
- Go to your Desktop
- Select the icon for your hard drive
- Control-Click on the drive and select “Get Info” (Alternately, you can hit Cmd+I on your keyboard)
- The info screen will show you the total disk space available, the remaining free disk space, as well as other pertinent information about your drive
- Alternately, you can also press the space-bar after step 1 to bring up a preview screen with significantly less info than the full get info screen, but will still tell you the total and remaining space.
Missing Hard Drive!?
For one reason or another you may have inadvertently or possibly even intentionally removed your hard drive icon from the desktop. Don’t worry, though, if you’re able to boot up and use your computer your hard drive is definitely still there, but its icon is just hidden and you simply need to unhide it.
- Go to your Desktop (Finder)
- Click the “Finder” menu on the top left of your screen and select “Preferences” (Cmd+,)
- At the top of the window that opens, select the “General Tab”
- Select the very top check box, named “Hard disks”
- That’s it! Your disk’s icon is back on your desktop
S.M.A.R.T. Status Checking
This one is a biggie. If you check your S.M.A.R.T. status (Also known as “Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology”) and it’s failing, your hard drive has seen better days. Here’s how to check whether or not your hard drive is in imminent danger of failing.
- Following the steps at the beginning of this post, open up the Disk Utility application.
- Select your hard disk product name, listed directly above your hard drive name
- Look at the bottom right-hand side of the screen and you will see the “S.M.A.R.T. Status”
- If it says “Verified”, that means you’re fine
- If it says “Failing”, continue reading
- Don’t Panic
- Do not turn your computer off, as it may not boot back up again
- Back up any data that you haven’t already backed up (which in an ideal scenario should be nothing, because we all back up everything daily, right!?)
- Once your system is all backed up, you’ll need a new hard drive. Either replace it yourself if you’re confident enough to do that or bring it to your friendly neighborhood Apple service provider to do it for you.