How Do I Test My Hard Drive for Problems?

Use special testing software to check for hard drive problems

The easiest way to test your hard drive is by using hard drive testing software. These programs are specially designed to check every tiny part of the hard drive for issues and then report anything it finds.

Test Your Hard Drive Using Free Diagnostic Tools

Some of the very best hard drive testing software programs are free. See our Free Hard Drive Testing Programs list for several that we recommend.

In all modern versions of Windows, Microsoft includes a program called Error Checking that performs some very basic tests such as hard drive scanning. It even attempts to correct errors as it finds them.

Most other free hard drive testing programs are supported by the hard drive manufacturers themselves and are much more powerful. Seagate, Hitachi, and Western Digital all make very popular testing programs. Their software is included in our testing programs list.

Dismantled hard drive
Chris Parsons/Stone/Getty Images

Purchase a Retail Hard Drive Testing Software Program

If the free programs don't offer enough features, pick from options with even more powerful testing and correcting tools.

Here are a few of our favorite commercial hard drive tools. They might seem a little pricey but depending on the value of the data on your dead or dying hard drive, it may be worth a shot.

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