Be your own network admin with the help of these free hard disk checking tools.
Were you scared of that yellow Windows crash screen? There is something more sinister that can befall the digital man. A hard disk failure or crash! It’s much like losing the wallet or a bag. This post is a primer on hard disk checking tools that can prevent much agony and frustration.
Laptops are the worst devices to be hit by a hard disk failure. We keep confidential information there, and often fail to back it up on cloud. And in that case, it’s difficult to give the hard disk for repair or data recovery.
So what to do to avoid getting burnt by a hard disk failure?
Luckily, makers of hard drives foresaw such issues, and offer us free hard disk checking tools that we can keep and use when there is time. Here is round up of these and other third party tools to check or test hard drives.
Free to Download Hard Disk Checking Tools
HDDScan – Free HDD Diagnostic Utility
This is a free utility to run a health check on hard disks (IDE, SATA, SCSI, etc.), and even flash or USB drives. This is only a health check, and does not fix flaws and errors.
There is no need to ‘install’ the software, and the reader interface is cool and simple. Users can generate a quick SMART report, run read and write tests, and apply tools contained in the utility.
HDDScan comes with a host of features, and displays graphical reports for easy understanding.
A typical report will indicate hard disk performance on criteria such as – read/write error rate, spin up time, seek error rate, start/stop count, and temperature.
HDDScan allows three types of tests:
- A Short test lasts for a minute or two, and checks small parts of the drive surface along with testing electronics.
- The Extended test can last from 30 minutes to even 60 hours based on disk size. The extended test checks the main electronics and the entire disk surface.
- A Conveyance test lasts several minutes, and looks into the drive logs for indications of incorrect storage or transportation.
Fujitsu Free Hard Disk Checking Tool
This utility is tried and tested and meant only for Fujitsu Toshiba hard drives. For those outside the tech world, this tool makes life easy with a friendly interface.
Download this tool from the link, and after accepting the user agreement, the program window will pop-up, presenting options to run a short or extended test.
Run the test you have time for (no user intervention is needed, so the extended test can be left to run overnight).
Samsung HUTIL (ES Tool)
This free drive checking tool is for Samsung hard drives. The utility works on all operating systems, and is run from a bootable floppy disk. The tool offers a DOS like GUI and that makes it a bit user unfriendly. This makes it rather challenging for non-technical guys, but those who like to experiment a bit can take the plunge. You will need to burn an ISO image of the file to a CD and then boot from the CD.
Seagate SeaTools for Windows
Available for safe download from the Seagate site and easy to install, this is a must-have hard disk health checker for all kinds of drives.
After installation, run the program, and it will check for compatible disks. This may take some time, after which the interface will splash. Select the drive, and from the Basic Tests options, select the test to be run. The options are:
- Smart check
- Short drive self check
- Drive information
- Short generic
- Long generic
The Test Status field on the right shows the progress. The test can be aborted any time using the option on the tool bar. To run another test, check the drive box again and select the new test to be run. Another tool bar option is of System tools, a hany way to access OS related information.
Download Seagate’s free hard disk check and test tool
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