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Microsoft is testing a new feature for Windows 10 that will alert you if your SSD drive is failing. Microsoft is also testing an update to Your Phone that will allow it to work with multiple devices.
Both features arrived as part of Windows 10 Insider Build 20226 for the Dev Channel, Microsoft’s laboratory for future features. The Dev Channel is truly experimental, meaning that these two new features may or may not become official features of the operating system.
Fortunately, both are straightforward. An aftermarket SSD may ship with utility software that monitors an NVMe SSD drive’s health, but Windows itself does not monitor the drive. In this test feature, Windows 10 will add NVMe SSD drives to its monitoring processes, and let you know if it’s about to fail. If you then go into the Windows 10 Settings menu for Storage (Settings > System > Storage > Manage disks and volumes > Properties) you’ll see that the SSD drive in question is listed as unreliable. In that case you’re advised to back up everything.
“Attempting to recover data after drive failure is both frustrating and expensive,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “This feature is designed to detect hardware abnormalities for NVMe SSDs and notify users with enough time to act. It is strongly recommended that users immediately back up their data after receiving a notification.”
The other interesting addition is a new device-management capability within the Your Phone app. Generally speaking, users own a single phone, and can link it to Windows 10. But for those with more than one phone, or for those who are transitioning from one phone to another, being able to see both devices within Windows 10 can be handy. (In my case, for example, a new phone didn’t quite replicate all of my most recent texts, which caused me to go back and forth between phones for a week or two.)
With the new settings page, you can link a device, remove an older device, or switch between active devices within the app itself. Each device also has its own device card with wallpaper that’s synchronized between the phone and the PC.
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As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats.