We cannot overstate the importance of your hard drive to your computing life, seeing as all of your precious data, settings and other files are stored on it. Backing up is a vital part of everyday life, but it’s always better not to have to deal with file restoration or recovery, which is why it’s vital that you keep an eye on your hard drive’s health. That way, when your drive approaches the end of its physical life, you’re given enough prior warning to source a replacement and transfer your data across before it gives up the ghost.
CrystalDiskInfo is the perfect tool for the job – not only is it completely free, but it’s also capable of monitoring your external hard drives as well as your internal ones, which makes it pretty much unique among free disk-monitoring tools. It provides a health rating based on your drive’s SMART status, plus will list its temperature, enabling you to see just how hot your drives are running. Investing in drive-cooling technologies such as a laptop cooler or hard drive fan can significantly extend the length of your drives’ life, and CrystalDiskInfo will help you determine if it’s necessary and what effect such cooling has.
It’s simple to use, and can be left on in the background providing you with regular updates. This is the portable version of the program for those who don't want it cluttering up their hard drive.
Note this is the portable version of CrystalDiskInfo.