Free Windows-7 tools for tuning your HDD and Filesystem

Protecting Your Hard Drive and Filesystem On Windows 7


Following any OS release, there’s always a lot of excitement as well as a bunch of new wrinkles to iron out. Nowhere is this more true than with Microsoft’s Windows platform. While often touted as the easiest and most user friendly system out there, it tends to make up for that with more than its fair share of glitches and bugs.

As far as overall computer life is concerned, taking good care of your hard drive is of paramount importance. So here, in no particular order, are some of the best free software tools available at the moment for Windows 7 to keep your HDD humming smoothly and without incident.

Garbage Collection
Unwanted programs, applets, redundant files and other junk have a funny way of piling up over time so stealthily that, before you know it, you have untold Gigs of space eaten up by random trash. Rather than go through your entire registry entry by entry, these programs can easily sort through and rid your hard drive of all that detritus that you don’t need.

In this department, the clear winner head and shoulders above the rest is CCleaner. On any version of Windows, it’s an indispensable tool for ridding your filesystem of broken links, redundant files, dependencies for programs you either no longer need or have deleted already, and all sorts of other odds and ends. If you’d like to try something else, HD Cleaner is a solid alternative. Using either, you’ll save massive amounts of space and speed up your drive to boot.

Securing Your Data
Losing your work for whatever reason can be catastrophic depending on the project at hand, so backing up your files is a must. If you don’t trust cloud storage and would rather transfer your information to a secondary storage device, these helpful applications can smooth out the transition. Both Image XML 2.0 and Clonezilla are great programs to back up your drive, with HD Clone a respectable third choice.

If you do lose files for whatever reason, it may still be possible to recover them. For that, you’ll no doubt want to try Recuva, as well as Test Disk, two high quality free data recovery programs that can help you get back important files you thought you’d lost. While no software is 100% foolproof, either application will be your best shot at recovering any data that’s been misplaced.

Partitioning Disks
For a number of reasons, partitioning the hard drive may become a necessity for you. Whether you want to install other operating systems to choose from at startup, or you would like to put all your personal data on a separate partition away from system configuration files, these tools should get the job done. Gparted is a program that anyone familiar with Unix, Linux, and other Unix-like systems will be familiar with. Meanwhile, Paragon is another free alternative you may use.

File Monitoring and Analysis
While Windows7 comes with the standard disk usage analysis and monitoring tools you would expect of any operating system, sometimes more information is needed to get an accurate picture at to the health of your hard drive and what’s really going on inside. For this, you may need to download Speedfan or HDD Health to figure out more about your hard drive and how it’s doing. For file analysis you may also like Sequoia View 1.3 as well as the Windows File Analyzer for a better look.

Speed and Performance
Tracking speed and performance on your HDD is important because it gives you another metric with which to assess the health of your machine and to spot potential failures in the future, as well as take action to prevent them. For this, you’ll find that HD Tune 2.55 should serve all your performance monitoring needs. You can also a number of other free Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities if that isn’t enough for you.

Tweaking The HDD
If any of the other fine programs on this list have alerted you to a real or potential problem, Win AAM is a popular program that can help you set things right. Silent Drive is a respectable workhorse that will also allow you to optimize and organize your HDD to peak efficiency.

Starting Off With A Blank Slate
Occasionally, you’ll want to entirely and irretrievably wipe your HDD so that no data can be recovered. Most casual computer users are unaware that simply deleting a file from your disk won’t erase the information for good. It can still be retrieved by would-be identity thieves and hackers if the physical hardware should fall into the wrong hands.

Rectifying that issue can be done easily in a short time without any complicated and esoteric computer skills. For starters, you can download a utility known as Disk Wipe, which destroys any trace of your previous files by employing sophisticated algorithms to write over your unwanted files with random information, deleting any and all unwanted data. Sure Delete will also do the trick just fine.

Wrapping It Up
These applications are by no means a definitive list of all the useful and handy programs you can use to ensure the health of your computer’s filesystem and HDD in Windows 7, but it should give you a good head start. While there are many other software solutions out there to secure and optimize your system, these are the best that are currently available.

So there you have it. Have a pleasant tomorrow and happy computing!