Windows Drive Fitness Test v0.95

A full review of the free hard drive testing tool

Windows Drive Fitness Test (WinDFT) is a hard drive testing program from the Western Digital company, and previously owned by the Hitachi company. However, you need neither a WD nor Hitachi hard drive to use WinDFT.

WinDFT includes not only two hard drive testing functions, both of which have extended capabilities for a deeper test, but also the ability to view SMART attributes and to erase a hard drive.

Hitachi Drive Fitness Test

This review is of Windows Drive Fitness Test version 0.95. Please let us know if there's a newer version we need to review.

More About Windows Drive Fitness Test

WinDFT is built for the Windows operating system, but it can't scan the hard drive that Windows is installed to. This means that while you can install the program to Windows, you can't use it to scan that particular drive.

Instead, only USB and other internal hard drives are supported. If a connected hard drive isn't compatible with WinDFT, a prompt will display to say so and the drive will not be listed.

Every drive that's listed shows the serial number, firmware revision number, and capacity. Double-click a hard drive to view its SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) status or place a check next to it and click the Quick Test or Ext Test (Extended Test) button to run a scan. You can select one or more drives from the list before running a scan to have all of them tested consecutively.

The Utilities button is an extended menu over the one that's shown on the main window. From there, you can use Windows Drive Fitness Test as a data destruction program by clicking the Erase Disk button to delete the entire hard drive with the Write Zero method of data sanitization.

That menu can also be used to erase the MBR or to run the Short Test or Long Test.

Depending on the test you choose, and if no errors are detected, you'll be told that the ReadErrorCheck, SmartSelfTest , and/or SurfaceTest have passed.

A basic LOG file can be created with WinDFT to include basic drive information and status on any test that was run. It'll include the error result and the time the scan was performed.

You may need to replace the hard drive if it fails any of your tests.

Windows Drive Fitness Test Pros & Cons

There are benefits as well as disadvantages to using Windows Drive Fitness Test:

What We Like
  • Can run a scan against multiple drives in consecutive order

  • Easy to use

  • Shows very basic drive information

  • Also lets you erase a hard drive

  • Includes a portable option

  • Should work with all versions of Windows

What We Don't Like
  • Can't scan the drive that has Windows installed to it

  • The LOG file is saved in the program directory by default

  • Doesn't include even basic instructions

Our Thoughts on Windows Drive Fitness Test

We like Windows Drive Fitness Test because of how easy it is to use. You don't need any special knowledge or skills to run the program and there are basically only a few buttons.

It'd be nice if you could choose where the LOG file is saved to, but it's really not that big of a problem because you can still find it in the "C:\Program Files\WinDFT" directory.

The main concern with this program is that you're not told what the different tests are for or how they're helpful. There are four different buttons for running tests but at no point does Windows Drive Fitness Test actually explain the use of each of them.

  • Quick Test: Runs a so-called "SMART Short Test" that should finish in less than one minute.
  • Short Test: Executes a "Surface Short Test" that isn't as short as it might seem. This test took over two hours to run on a 1.5 TB hard drive.
  • Ext Test: This is an extended test that's also labeled as a "SMART Extended Test." It runs a test similar to Quick Test, which is another SMART test, but does so more thoroughly, which is why it takes much longer to finish.
  • Long Test: Also called a "Surface Long Test," is similar to Short Test but digs a bit deeper.

The portable edition of Windows Drive Fitness Test is included in the ZIP download, called WinDFT.exe. Use either of the other two files to install the program on your computer.

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