Software & Apps Apps 40 40 people found this article helpful HDDScan v4.1 Free Hard Drive Testing Tool Review A Full Review of HDDScan, a Free Hard Drive Testing Tool By Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated March 04, 2020 Apps Best Apps Tweet Share Email HDDScan is a portable hard drive testing program for Windows that can run various tests on all sorts of internal and external hard drives. The program is easy to use and all the optional features are easily accessible. Download HDDScan You may need to replace the hard drive if it fails any of your tests. This review is of HDDScan v4.1. Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review. More About HDDScan HDDScan is completely portable, which means you need to extract the files to make it work instead of installing it to your computer. After downloading the ZIP file, extract it using Windows' built-in extractor or some other free file extractor program like 7-Zip or PeaZip. Several files are extracted along with the main HDDScan program (like XSLTs, images, a PDF, INI files, and a text file), but to actually open the HDDScan program, use the file called HDDScan. To test a hard drive with HDDScan, choose a drive from the drop down menu at the top of the program, and then choose TESTS. From here, you can access all the tests and features that are offered; edit how the test should run and then press the right arrow button. Every new test will be added to the queue section at the bottom and will launch when each previous test is finished. You can pause or delete tests from this part of the program. HDDScan can run tests against devices like PATA, SATA, SCSI, USB, FireWire, or SSD connected hard drives to check for errors and show SMART attributes. RAID volumes are also supported but only a surface test can run. Some parameters can be changed, such as a hard drive's AAM (automatic acoustic management) details. You can also use HDDScan to start or stop the spindle of various types of hard drives and identify information such as the serial number, firmware version, supported features, and model number. You must be running Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows Server 2003 to use HDDScan. HDDScan Pros & Cons There aren't many disadvantages to this hard drive testing program: Pros: Scans many different types of storage devicesNot difficult to useSMART reports can be saved to a file like an MHT or TXT fileCommand line supportDoesn't need to be installed (portable) Cons: Only runs on Windows operating systemsNo option to install it to your computerNo built-in tips, descriptions, or help documents My Thoughts on HDDScan HDDScan is really easy to use. Once the program files are extracted, just open the application to immediately launch the program and start running hard drive tests. It's great that you don't need to install HDDScan to use it, but it's also nice to at least have the option to install software to your computer. Unfortunately, HDDScan doesn't. Something else I like is that there is a progress indicator to show how far along a test is from completion. You can see when the task started and you'll see when it ends, and double-clicking an active test shows the progress. This can be particularly helpful with really thorough tests that are done on large hard drives. Some hard drive testing software run from a disc and can therefore be used to check a hard drive running any operating system. While HDDScan doesn't require a particular OS to be on a disk to check it for errors, it can only be used from a Windows machine, which means you'll likely only be scanning other Windows hard drives with this program. Another thing I don't like is that HDDScan just shows the model and serial number as the drives from the selection, which makes it difficult to understand which one is the drive you want to run tests on. On this note, there also aren't any descriptions of the tests so you know what the differences are, which would be nice to have included. All that said, it's a great hard drive testing tool and I highly recommend it. Download HDDScan Once you've extracted the installation files, open the file called HDDScan to run the program.