SSDs may be a lot faster than mechanical hard drives, but they aren’t immune to failure, and can do so silently and without warning. Microsoft is aiming to avoid that potential disaster with a new drive health monitoring feature being added to Windows 10.
In the announcement for the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20226, Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, says this new drive health monitoring feature “is designed to detect hardware abnormalities for NVMe SSDs.” When such an abnormality is detected, a notification will appear on the desktop stating, “A storage device may be at risk of failure and requires your attention.”
There’s also a clickable link to load up Windows 10’s drive management and backup options, which also provides more detail on why Windows sent the notification.
Seeing this notification pop up is your signal to stop whatever it is you are doing and focus on backing up all your data. There’s a good chance that super-fast SSD you’ve been relying on (hopefully for several years), is about to reach its end of life.
It’s possible to check the health of a drive at any time in Build 20226. Simply navigate to Settings > System > Storage > Manage disks and volumes > Properties, where the Drive Health information is located. There you’ll see the estimated remaining life of the drive, its current temperature, and any warnings in red text. There’s also the option to “Back up now” for convenience.
If you don’t want to use the Windows backup option, there’s a number of great backup apps to choose between, and you can always take preemptive action by using an online backup service.