Solid state drives (SSDs) marked a huge improvement over older mechanical hard drives, swapping out moving parts for a sturdier and faster all-digital design, but they introduced one fatal flaw that HDDs never had: a maximum number of writes. This can be particularly scary for owners of more expensive SSDs, but don’t worry, Microsoft plans on giving you a heads up if your NVMe is on its way out, so long as you’re on Windows 10.
Each time an SSD stores something, its NAND flash memory begins to degrade until you’re eventually left with a very expensive paperweight, leaving the data you had stored mostly unrecoverable and expensive to even attempt. Sadly, these catastrophes can’t be prevented, but with a health checker baked into Windows 10, you can be warned when your NVMe SSD is at risk of failing so you can back up important files.
Currently, the feature is only available to Windows Insiders on build 20226, meaning you’ll have to wait a little longer to get the same safety net over on the live build.
If there’s an issue with your NVMe drive, you’ll receive a pop-up warning so you can take action. If you click on the notification or simply want to check manually by heading into the Storage Settings, you’ll see a warning in red text below ‘drive health’, and you should probably get backing up your content.
We actually recommend backing up your content frequently anyway, whether you opt for cloud storage’s convenient online access, or a more secure offline external USB device. That way, you’ll never again have to endure the headache of losing something irreplaceable.
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This isn’t exactly a new feature, as there are select manufacturers that offer tools for you to take care of your storage devices, but Windows 10’s automation does take a lot of the manual hassle out of combing over your device regularly. One can only wonder whether the PS5 and Xbox Series X will get similar features with their newfound switch to NVMe SSDs.