Microsoft has just released a new build to Windows Insiders that has a new feature that keeps a closer eye on your storage, particularly on NVMe SSDs. Build 20226, which rolled out to testers yesterday (Sep 30), includes 'Storage health monitoring to protect user data', at least that's what Microsoft is saying on it's official Windows Insider blog.
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Microsoft has a point when it says that recovering data from a failed drive is frustrating, and if that data is really important to you, it certainly can be expensive too—I used to work for a data recovery company, and you can hit silly money very easily. The obvious mantra here is to back up regularly… like we all do (yeah right), but being forewarned about an imminent failure can also help divert disaster.
For us gamers this may not seem quite so necessary, especially as cloud saves are now fairly commonplace, but even these can go wrong, and that game you've sunk hundreds of hours into may still use local saves. In which case being warned that there's something amiss with your drive could give you enough time to save your most important files.
This kind of monitoring is often available from the drive manufacturers already, but tends to require you checking the health status of your drives on a regular basis, which let's face it isn't always the case. Having Windows keeping an eye on your drives for what Microsoft terms 'hardware abnormalities' strikes us as a good idea, especially as Windows doesn't always play nice with your SSDs.
If you do get a warning, Microsoft suggests "It is strongly recommended that users immediately back up their data." All good advice.
The new 20226 build also includes updates to the Your Phone settings (does anyone use this?), as well as numerous changes and improvements, and a healthy amount of fixes as well.