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All tests to check the status of a hard disk

Is your hard drive no longer working properly? Suddenly writing and reading files has become very slow? There can be many problems affecting mechanical disks, especially after years of non-stop use. In this guide I will show you how to test a hard drive from top to bottom with all the tools available for free on the internet, in order to check the health of the hard disk and if necessary intervene with a replacement before the data is lost.

Hard disk test: which ones to perform

To find all the information necessary to understand the performance and health status of the hard disk, various free programs are available that you can download from the internet, each specialized to perform particular disk tests.

Speed ??test

The first simple test you can perform will allow you to understand the writing and reading skills of your disk, so as to find out immediately if there is any inconsistency (it may take more than one test to see the differences due to failures or malfunctions). test the speed of a disk using the free program CryDiskMark, available for download from the following link.

DOWNLOAD |CrystalDiskMark

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<p>To use this program make sure the right hard drive is selected, then click the button <em>All</em> to start the tests.Wait a few minutes to collect data on the speed of the disk in various scenarios and with different types of files and at the end mark the results.Repeat the test after an hour, a day and 3 days for see if there are discrepancies in the write or read values. Only consider variations greater than 20% of the best value as problematic.</p>
<h3 class=Testing data collected from disk (SMART)

The hard drive has a monitoring system called SMART (Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology), able to display some vital parameters for disk operation and to signal the user if there are anomalies or possible failures. The program to read this type of data (stored in a controller chip hard drive) CrystalDiskInfo, available for free from the following link.

DOWNLOAD |CrystalDiskInfo

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<p>You can immediately check the health of the disk through the feedback offered by the program (which indicates in a very simple way the status of the disks under the heading <em>Disc status</em>) The various parameters can also be viewed in detail in the list at the bottom of the program, make sure they are not too close or have exceeded the threshold value. Some parameters in yellow may indicate problems in sight or possible breakages, while items in red indicate a heavily damaged disc that needs to be replaced immediately.</p>
<h3 class=Advanced test for the disc surface

Another program that you can use to test a hard disk looking for any bad sectors or blocks EaseUS Partition Master, available for free from the following link.

DOWNLOAD |EaseUS Partition Master

EaseUS Partition Master

To test the hard drive, first start the program. Select the hard disk from those displayed (helped by using the disk numbers assigned by Windows and the capacities shown in the dedicated column). Finally use your voice Surface test, present in the menu on the left as soon as you select a hard disk (be careful not to select the single partition, otherwise this item will not appear).

Hard disk surface test

A new window will open where the progress of the surface test will be shown: a long and laborious test where the program checks the integrity of the blocks and sectors of the hard disk in search of errors. The test can be very long (even longer 4 hours), let it work until the end to find out if there is any problem on the disk.If at the end of the test there are one or more bad sectors it means that the time to think about replacing the disk and backup all the data contained in it as the breaking or total damage of the impending disk.

Partition integrity test

With the program I mentioned above you can also check the integrity of the individual partitions of the disk. Select the partition you want to test and in the left side menu select the item Check partition.

Check hard drive partition

You will be able to find out any errors or problems present in the partition and try to correct them before they get worse. However, I advise you to make a backup copy of all the important data present on the partitions with errors and repeat the surface test to find any type of problems. hardware.