Functions, benefits, and types of disk utility software

Computer disk health is the main factor that determines the overall computer health and the difference between losing and protecting data. Disk utility software is used to manage storage devices and specifically hard disks. As with any other type of utility software, their main objective is to optimize computer operation and secondary storage devices.

These utility programs are used to manage storage disks by cleaning, formatting, and data backup among other functions. Different types of disk utility software are disk defragmenters, partitioners, analyzers, cleaners, checkers, and compression among others. They benefit the computer by ensuring it is optimized for operations in matter storage devices.

Functions of disk utility software

There are many types of disk utility software and each has at least one main function that they achieve.

  1. Cleaning up the computer disk by removing temporary files and other unnecessary files that are filling the space.
  2. They are used in software types of maintenance where they are used to monitor disk health and report any problems for action.
  3. To save on disk space they are used to compress data in a form that they reduce in size and can be retrieved faster in case they are needed.
  4. To start using any secondary storage device, you must format the drive first. Disk management software helps format and prepares the disk for use.
  5. Most of our laptops and computers come with one physical disk but when you boot the system you may realize they are more. A utility called disk partitioner is used to split one single physical disk into multiple logical disks. The operating system sees the disk as a separate disk that can be worked on separately in all aspects.
  6. Disk management software also checks the disk for any sectors or blocks of the disk that are corrupted. It checks for sectors that cannot be read or written by RAM, has corrupted data, or have any other related errors.

Types of disk utility software with examples

There are main types of disk management software that are used in modern computers and most are compatible with different types of operating systems. For Apple products, some of the examples below may not work. These are mostly for Microsoft Windows operating system utilities.

Disk compression utility 

These are software that is used to compress the disk to be able to carry more data of the same size as the disk. It is applied on the whole disk rather than the specific file like when using file zip. Compression and decompression of data are done automatically when writing to or reading from respectively. On the Windows operating system disk compression is not set to default, you need to activate it. During the process of compressing and decompressing the disk that uses this technology has a relatively low operation.

Examples of file compression utility software

  1. WinZip
  2. WinRAR
  3. 7-ZIP
  4. MacZip
  5. MacRAR
  6. Zip Extractor 

Disk checkers utilities

The software scans the disk for any errors, or bad sectors try to correct them, and gives a report on the status of the disk. Chkdsk is the most common command on the Windows operating system to carry out a disk check. Checker utility software can check for file errors or bad sectors which means some physical part of the disk that cannot be read or written to.

Examples of disk check utilities

  1. Chkdsk for Windows computer
  2. HDDScan
  3. Hard Disk Sentinel
  4. DiskCheckup
  5. GSmartControl
  6. EASIS Drive Check

Disk space analyzers

The software scans the disk and gives an analyzed report on what is occupied which space. They can show which space is used for files, videos, images programs, etc. Some programs can even allow you to explore more and delete files to increase free space. Otherwise, after you check those files that are taking up space you can manually delete the files.

Examples of disk check software

  1. SpaceSniffer
  2. TreeSize
  3. WinDirStat
  4. Disk Analyzer
  5. JDiskReport

Disk Cleanup Tools

These are programs that are used to optimize the disk by removing unwanted and unnecessary files. It removes, cache data, old registry information, and temporary files, and empties recycle bin among other functions.

Examples of disk cleanup programs

  1. CCleaner.
  2. Treesize.
  3. BleachBit
  4. CleanMyPC.
  5. WinZip System Utilities Suite.
  6. CleanMyMac X.
  7. Clean Master

Disk Partitioning Tools

These utility programs are used to logically divide a single disk into multiple independent disks. Most partitioning utility they have also the capability of disk formatting. They can be used to extend disks to bigger spaces or shrink them to a smaller size.

Examples of partitioning

  1. MiniTool Partition Wizard.
  2. Paragon Partition Manager.
  3. GNOME Partition Manager.
  4. EaseUS Partition Manager.
  5. AOMEI Partition Assistant.
  6. Disk Drill.
  7. Acronis disk director

Disk Defragmenter

When the user continues using the system some files may be moved to a different location as fragments. Disk defragmenter consolidates these files back to their location. This increases file access speed hence the system is optimized.

Examples of disk defragmenters

  1. Windows inbuilt defragmenter
  2. Defraggler
  3. Disk speedup
  4. Wise care 365
  5. Ultra Defrag

Backup Software

Backup programs are used to create a copy of files of the whole system. They should also have data recovery capabilities to restore the system and file in case of data loss. They can support automatic backup of the system to a specified disk location.

Examples of backup software

  1. CloudBerry lab
  2. Backblaze
  3. NAKIVO backup
  4. File cloud
  5. Mini tool power data recovery
  6. AOMEI Backupper

Benefits of using disk management programs

  1. The software help optimize the overall computer operations
  2. When they are used well they increase the speed of the system both booting time and response time.
  3. They can be used to recover files in case they are corrupted.
  4. Manages space by managing how files and data are organized and used on the disk.
  5. Disk utility helps to remove useless and temporary files.
  6. Keep the computer system safe and secure.

Windows 10 disk management tools.

Microsoft Windows is the most used type of operating system on PCs and it comes with its own disk management and optimization tools. We discuss the most common types and how to use them.

Windows disk cleanup and compression utility

windows have incorporated this function in all partitions of the disk. To Access then open the property of any disk partition. Right-click on the drive of interest > click on properties >general. You will be presented with the window below. 

To carry out a disk cleanup click on the button and the process will start. To enable drive compression of file check on the checkbox to start compression.

disk cleanup and compression utility on Windows

Windows 10 disk checker and defragmenter.

These are used to check for disk errors and consolidate data and files that were defragmented in the process of the system use.

To access them, still when on the interface above click on tools. It will open the window below. 

Disk check (chkdsk) and defragment on Windows

To use any of the utilities just click on it and follow the wizard to complete the process.

Windows disk management tool

 It is used to manage the hard disk and any other drive that is installed on the computer. To open disk management on Microsoft Windows 10, open the control panel > Administrative tools > Computer management > Storage> Disk management. You will be presented with the window below

NOTE: don’t use the utility if you are not sure what you are doing since you delete critical system files.

Disk management tool on windows OS

Disk management is used to partition, shrink or expand the drive. It has other functionality such as creating a Virtual disk, changing the drive path and letter, deleting a partition, and formatting the drive among other functions.

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