Many free programs for testing hard drives are available on the market to help you scrutinize your hard drive whenever you suspect it has a problem.
Alternatively, you can use Windows pre-installed tools such as the CHKDSK Command and Windows Error Checking tool. These ten tools are reliable and free.
10 Free Hard Drive Testing Software
This free hard drive testing software works best for home users. The SeaTools for DOS & SeaTools Bootable options can independently run from any OS on a different CD or USB drive. In any case, you can install the SeaTools for Windows option for your PC.
The software is ideal for advanced and standard testing for both external and internal drives. In simple terms, the program is suitable for professional computer services. Luckily, it features an easy to use interface. It works well with Windows XP and Windows 10.
- The SeaTools for Windows is compatible with any hard drive manufacturer.
- Its SeaTools for DOS is compatible with any OS.
- The software works well on both outside and inside of Windows.
- SeaTools for DOS is not efficient on RAID controllers.
- The software is only compatible with Windows.
- It takes a long period to install.
2. HDD Scan
HDD Scan is a free tool that is compatible with all hard drives, regardless of the manufacturer. The software features a surface test and a SMART test.
It seems to be updated frequently, supports most hard drive interfaces, is very portable, and easy to operate. The tool is compatible with Windows Server 2003, XP, Windows Vista, 7, Windows 8, and 10.
- The software is compatible with all hard drives.
- It is portable and requires no installation.
- HDD Scan is easy to use.
- It comes with the surface test and the SMART test options.
- The software is compatible with all modern Windows devices.
- It does not allow you to install it on your PC.
- The provider does not offer a manual guide on how to use different options of the program.
- It is only suitable for Windows devices.
3. Disk Checkup
This tool is free hard drive testing software that is compatible with most hard drives. The software displays SMART info such as temperature, seek error rate, spin-up time, and reading error rate. It also features extended and short disk tests.
Nevertheless, the Disk Checkup software does not support hard drives that feature hardware RAID and SCSI connection. It is compatible with Windows Server 2003/2008, XP, Windows Vista, 7, Windows 8, and 10.
- It features a small download size.
- The program comes with an easy to operate and well-organized user interface.
- You can set it up to send email notifications on certain events.
- It will help you to keep track of the SMART feature to avoid hard drive failure.
- It is not free for business and commercial use.
- The software is not compatible with hardware RAIDs and SCSI.
- It is only suitable for Windows devices.
G-Smart Control software provides several hard drive tests to offer you a detailed report on the overall hard drive health assessment.
It will enable you to view and even save SMART readings such as the calibration retry count, multi-zone error rate, and the power cycle count.
The software features three different self-tests. They include conveyance self-test, extended self-test, and short self-test. The conveyance self-test takes up to five minutes, and it aims to check on damages that might happen when you transport the hard drive.
The extended self-test will take up to 70 minutes and seeks to examine the entire hard drive surface. On the other hand, the short self-test can last up to two minutes and detects if the hard drive is completely damaged.
You can download it for your Windows devices as a regular program featuring the standard installation or a portable program. Well, it works with Windows XP and Windows 10.
The software is also available for Mac and Linux devices. Besides, it also comes as a Live USB or Live CD program.
- It provides a portable version of the program.
- The software offers SMART features to view options.
- It works wel with Mac, Linux, and Windows devices.
- The software provides three different reliable tests.
- It provides too much information when submitting results.
- The software is not compatible with some RAID and USB devices.
- It does not provide a detailed report.
This tool is free hard drive diagnostic software that comes with features that are compatible with most hard drives available on the market. You will download it and install the program on your operating system to diagnose your hard drives.
Unfortunately, the Windows Drive Fitness Test is only compatible with internal hard drives and USB devices. It works well with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, and Windows 10 devices.
- It can enable you to erase your hard drive.
- The software offers the SMART attributes feature.
- It will allow you to test more than one hard drive simultaneously.
- It provides the option for further testing to get better results.
- The software comes with two HDD testing functions.
- It is easy to use.
- It only works well with Windows.
- The software will be unable to change a saved LOG file.
- It provides no tips, instructions, or tutorials.
This software is a free diagnostic tool that works well with Samsung hard drives. Other people would prefer to call it the ES-Tool.
The hard drive testing software is available in an ISO image that you can burn on USB drives or CDs. For that reason, it is one of the most flexible hard drive testing tools available on the market.
The software will perform better on Samsung devices than other software options that are more suitable for Windows tools. Well, it can also run from a bootable floppy disk for portability.
Since it is a bootable program, you will require a working OS and hard drive to burn the program to a USB device or disc.
- It enables users to erase data from their hard drives.
- The software is easy to use.
- It can allow you to test hard drives regardless of the Operating System you are using.
- Its user interface features complicated texts.
- You must access a functioning computer to assess your hard drives.
- It is suitable for testing the Samsung HDDs alone.
This software describes a free hard drive testing tool that you can download as a bootable or Windows program. It works with an array of drives and ISO files. The software will complete your test in the shortest period, providing a compiled report.
- It offers additional standard details about the hard drive.
- The software will enable you to scan internal and external HDDs.
- Its Windows version is easy to use.
- It offers a bootable option for non-Windows users.
- The windows version works well with HDDs from an array of manufacturers.
- You can run it from within Windows.
- The DOS program is a bit complex if you compare with the Windows option.
- The DOS program involves a more complex procedure to set up.
- Its DOS program is only compatible with Western Digital HDDs.
This software describes a Windows-based and free hard drive testing tool. The software does not feature thorough tests like for other programs, and it offers fewer options. Nevertheless, it can be an additional solution to your hard drive testing tools.
The program is suitable for people who face problems with testing their HDDS using ISO-based tools while seeking an alternative to their Windows default options.
It is only compatible with Windows 95 and Windows XP. Also, the latest version of the program works well with Windows 8 and 10.
- The software is available in portable mode.
- It is easy to understand and use.
- The program will enable you to tweak an array of options.
- It will allow you to test all hard drives (external and internal) regardless of the operating system’s file system.
- The software will write data on the hard drive to ensure it gets reliable results from the test.
- It features no recent improvements, upgrades, or new features.
- The software does not offer the option to install on the computer.
- It is only compatible with Windows devices.
This hard drive testing software comes with features that are suitable for Fujitsu hard drives. It comes with a bootable DOS version that can work independently of the OS and the Windows version. Nevertheless, the bootable version is most suitable for floppy disks.
The software comes with two different tests. They include the Comprehensive Test and the Quick Test. The Quick Test will last up to three minutes, while the Comprehensive Test period will vary depending on the type of Hard Disk. It is compatible with all Windows versions.
- It is available in floppy versions for non-Windows devices.
- The software comes with two drive testing options.
- It is easy to use.
- It can only work well with Windows devices.
- The floppy version of the program is complicated.
- It does not work with flash drives and CDs.
- The software only works for Fujitsu hard drives.
10. HD Tune
The HD Tune software describes a Windows-based tool suitable for internal and external HDD tests, memory card tests, and SSD tests.
It will allow you to run an error scan, check your HDD health status with Reporting Technology & Self-Monitoring Analysis, and run a benchmark read test.
The software is also compatible with Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
- The program is simple to use.
- You can save information from the program in a screenshot and also copy it to the clipboard.
- It comes with an array of productive tests.
- It will enable you to test several types of hard drives.
- It only offers personal and home use options.
- The software only works well with Windows 7.
- It will not enable users to export text file results.
How to Choose the Best Hard Drive Testing Software
A reliable hard drive testing tool must be a helpful utility program that will enable you to complete an array of computer disk checks & functions such as logical volume management and disk partitioning.
It would be best if it can perform additional tasks such as disk formatting, disk checking, renaming volumes, and mount points.
Different operating systems are compatible with different hard drive testing software. In any case, these programs can recognize and adjust various file systems of diverse operating systems. You must check on the software analyzers, cleaners, and checkers to choose a reliable tool.
Disk cleaners describe the hard drive testing tool’s feature that enables it to find and delete unwanted or unnecessary files from your hard drive. The purpose of deleting such files might be to protect privacy, eliminate clutter, or free up disk space.
Examples of unnecessary files include web caches, old backups, trash, and temporary files. Privacy risk files include log files, local shared objects, and HTTP cookies.
You should not mistake this feature with other programs such as data erase software (securely deletes files), registry cleaners (Microsoft Windows registration), and antivirus software (delete malware). Nevertheless, some hard disk testing tools can delete malware.
This feature of the hard drive testing software will help to increase the amount of data you can store on your hard disk for a particular size.
This feature works unlike the file compression feature, which will enable you to compress specific files. The disk compression utility feature must work independently.
The hard drive test software you choose can be more reliable if it comes with a disk compression utility allows you to compress all the information you would like to store on your hard drive independently. It should be a reliable software that can help you to override the standard operating system functions.
Since the hard drive test software can access the hard disk through functions independent of the OS, they can add a considerable amount of disk access. Nevertheless, they might complicate the error recovery on the volume that it affects.
This feature will enable the hard disk testing software you are using to scan your hard disk and locate areas or files that are somehow corrupt. It will also find files that you did not save correctly and eliminate them to help the hard drive operate correctly.
You should not outlook this feature for it is crucial for locating unnecessary files and cleaning up substantial amounts of space on your hard drive.
Some hard drive testing tools can complete an entire surface scan to find the hard drive’s bad sectors. Other programs will only check the logical structure of the hard disk’s files.
Disk Partitioning and Formatting
You must check on this feature since it will enable you to generate low-level file systems and disk layouts. The operating system you use will typically provide you with the program to perform this function on your hard disk.
However, it would help if you make sure that the hard disk testing tool you choose feature this option for convenience and flexibility.
Disk Space Analyzer
This feature will enable the hard drive testing tool to analyze disk space usage. It will perform this function by calculating all the files and folders available on the hard disk.
Next, it will provide a graphical chat to show the disk space usage distribution across your files and folders.
Generally, your hard drive might contain vital data. Thus, it would be best to ensure that you check on its condition occasionally to avoid loss of data.
You must consider using the best hard drive testing software available on the market for you to get the best results. It would be best to use reliable testing tools that are free of charge but can still provide quality functionality.
Choosing to use tools that come with some or most of the features we discussed above can promote productivity. The hard drive testing tool that you choose should be practical and must serve an array of functions.
Above all, you must ensure that it is compatible with your devices. Also, you must opt for secure software, privacy, and top-level flexibility.