If you feel you are having problems with your Hard Drive some manufacturers have Diagnostic Software. Running these programs can quickly identify an issue or eliminate the Hard Drive as the source of a problem.
Is your Hard Drive making strange noises? Listen to manufacturer specific noises that indicate a defective drive
Identifying your Hard Drive Make and Model Number
If you are unsure or unaware of the Make and Model Number of your Hard Drive(s) use one of the following utilities to provide that information, in order to make effective use of this guide.
Belarc Advisor - Free Personal PC Audit
EVEREST Home Edition
The following is a brief description of the various tools and links to the respective manufacturers organized alphabeticaly.
Fujitsu offers some useful tools and some that should only be used with expert advice. The utilities listed below can be used safely by the average user. Other tools available on the linked page can be harmful and should only be used to correct a specific issue with full knowledge of the consequences.
Diagnostic Tool Ver. 6.3 (For IDE/ATA Hard Disk Drives)
2 diagnostic modes:
Quick Test - does random seek/read tests. (Approx. 1 minute)
Comprehensive Test - also performs surface scan. (Approx. 6 minute)
* Runs only under DOS from a bootdisk.
Diagnostic Tool Ver. 6.3 (For SCSI Hard Disk Drives)
3 test modes:
Quick Test - a basic operational test. (1 to 3 minutes)
Standard Test - also performs Read/Write test. (20 to 25 minutes)
Extended Test - also verify and surface test. (30 to 70 minutes)
* Supports Windows NT/98/2000/2003/XP
* Requires Adaptec's ASPI32 driver.
Fujitsu Erase Utility
All the above utilities are available from, Fujitsu Support and Downloads
Note: This program works only with any FUJITSU IDE/ATA hard disk drives
This procedure performs a pseudo-formatting to the drive. It erases all of your previous data and reinitializes it to "00" pattern. By performing this task, you will be able to erase the whole user area including your Master Boot Record, Partition Table, FAT (File Allocation Table), and all the files and data it refers to. Use this program if you want to be sure your drive is clean.
All the previous data will be lost when performing the 'Erase' task.
Please backup all your important files and data before running this program.
Hitachi has taken over the IBM DeskStar/TravelStar line.
Drive Fitness Test
Choose from a bootable floppy, a binary bootable floppy for non-Windows systems or a bootable CD image.
This download creates a self-booting DOS diskette to run the DFT utility. The Drive Fitness Test (DFT) provides a quick, reliable method to test SCSI and IDE hard disk drives, including Serial-ATA IDE drives. The Drive Fitness Test analyze function performs read tests without overwriting data. However, Drive Fitness Test is bundled with some restoration utilities that will overwrite data.
OGT Diagnostic Tool
The OGT diagnostic tool is a failure analysis tool for Ultrastar 10K300, Ultrastar 15K73, and DK32XX products.
Use this tool instead of DFT for Ultrastar 10K300, Ultrastar 15K73, and DK32XX drives only.
Performs diagnostic testing and failure analysis.
Windows version only.
The OGT will perform necessary tests to the drives and can perform failure analysis automatically
All Hitachi Downloads
Maxtor, Samsung and Seagate
Since Seagate has aquired Maxtor, and Samsung, one diagnostic tool is used for all 3 drives:
OnTrack Data Advisor
Note: Support for FAT formatted partitions only
This utility includes a Ram testing function as an added bonus.
Quick Functional Test.
Performs random reads and seeks on the hard disk to check for catastrophic physical problems.
SMART Status Check.
Informs you of any warnings or alerts that have been set by the hard drive. SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a technology embedded by manufacturers into many hard drives to offer an early warning of failures.
Complete Surface Scan.
Verifies the physical integrity of the hard disk platters by reading every sector on the hard disk.
File Structure Test.
Reads and verifies the integrity of the File Allocation Tables (FAT) on DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95, 98, Me, NT*, 2000* and XP*. Checks critical boot sectors, reads the Master Boot Record and cross-checks partition tables and CMOS.
System Memory Test.
Exercises and verifies the integrity of the memory in the computer system and detects defects and errors
Note: Support for FAT formatted partitions only
This utility works with any Hard Drive.
Data Advisor® is a simple, yet powerful computer diagnostic tool for assessing the condition of your computer system. Data Advisor quickly assesses the health of your hard disk drive, file structures, and computer memory by identifying problems that could cause data loss. Don't worry if you can't boot your system to Windows; DataAdvisor is self-booting, so it runs even when your system won't. This comprehensive computer diagnostic tool can be used to both diagnose current problems and/or as part of a regular maintenance program to identify potential problems that could lead to data loss.
Various harddrive tools:
Western Digital has a variety of tools. All the following Tools are available from Western Digital Service and Support
Data Lifeguard Tools 11 for Windows
If your computer system already has a hard drive installed with an operating system of Windows 98SE or greater, you should use the Windows version of Data Lifeguard for best results.
Data Lifeguard Tools 11 for DOS
The DOS version is required if installing a hard drive in a new system without existing operating system support.
VIEW INSTALLATION TUTORIAL - Instructions on how to connect your new hard drive to the computer.
SETUP YOUR HARD DRIVE - Setup a hard drive already connected to your computer.
DRIVE-TO-DRIVE COPY - Copy all the files or a specific folder from one drive to another.
HARD DRIVE INFORMATION - Jumper Settings and other technical information about your hard drive.
Use this if you are installing a Slave Drive, are having drive size recognition problems or to copy a drive.
How to use the Data Lifeguard Tools 11 CD to partition and format a drive larger than 137GB (128GB binary) in Windows 2000/XP.
How to use Data Lifeguard Tools 11 to install, partition, and format EIDE hard drives larger than 137GB (128GB binary) in Windows 98SE/ME.
Data Lifeguard Diagnostic
Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows
The Data Lifeguard Diagnostic Tools are used primarily for determining the physical condition of your hard drive. If you are having computer problems which you suspect are hard drive related, you can test your drive with this tool.
This diagnostic can be run from within Windows. How to test a drive for problems using Windows Data Lifeguard Diagnostics.
Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS (Floppy)
This download makes a bootable floppy. OPTION 2: Creating a diagnostic disk from downloading the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS.
Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS (CD)
This download makes a bootable CD. How to create a Data Lifeguard diagnostics bootable CD.