It’s important for us to be aware about the health of our hard disk in order to prevent any fatal disk failure which results in loss of important documents. Nowadays there are many free hard drive testing tools available to help you determine what, if anything at all, is wrong with your hard drive.
Tools like Windows Error Checking and the chkdsk command are included in your Windows-based operating system already but some others, like the ones listed below, are available from hard drive manufacturers and other developers. Depending on the issue found, you may need to replace your hard drive if it fails as recommended by these hard drive tests.
- Seagate SeaTools
Seagate Sea Tools is a free hard drive testing software that comes in two forms for home and professional users.
SeaTools for DOS supports Seagate or Maxtor drives and runs different test from your operating system on its own CD or USB drive, making it highly reliable.SeaTools for Windows is a software that installs on your Windows system. You can do basic and advanced testing of any kind of drive whether its internal or external from any manufacturer.
- HDD Scan
HDDScan is a free hard drive testing program for all types of drives, no matter who the manufacturer is. There are several tools included in HDDScan, including a SMART test and a surface test. The program is very easy to use, portable, supports almost all drive interfaces, and quite user friendly.
This program can run various hard drive tests with detailed results and give an overall health assessment of a drive. You can view and save SMART attribute values such as the power cycle count, multi-zone error rate, calibration retry count, and many others.
GSmartControl can run three different self-tests to find drive faults:
Short Self-test: This takes around 2 minutes to complete and is used to detect a completely damaged hard drive.
Extended Self-test: This takes around 70 minutes to finish and examines the entire surface of a hard drive to find faults.
Conveyance Self-test: This is a 5-minute test that finds damages that occurred during the transporting of a drive.