Check hard disk health & performance with HD Tune

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Check hard disk health & performance with HD Tune
Jim Hillier
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January 26, 2011 - 6:21 pm

[url=http://www.hdtune.com/download.html:86g105nm][b:86g105nm]HD Tune (Free)[/b:86g105nm][/url:86g105nm] is arguably the best freeware available for performance benchmarking and checking the health of hard drives. If you have any doubts at all about the status of your hard drive, HD Tune can provide a useful health report and help identify any bad sectors.

HD Tune opens up with the Benchmark screen displayed by default. From here you can select which drive to work with (if you have more than one) including any external drives. Across the top, from left to right, you will see the hard drive selection panel with drop down menu, current hard drive temp and four icons. The first three icons provide various methods for saving/recording results and the fourth leads to a simple

Hiamovi
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January 31, 2011 - 4:23 am

This HD Tune is a handy and useful tool to check Hard disk performance...
Easy to use and freeware, I'm glad to have this a...
Thanks for sharing this...

MerleOne
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February 18, 2011 - 8:02 am

Hi,
I would also consider the free version of HD Sentinel, which is truly exceptional when it comes to analyse SMART data from USB HDD. There a few nagging windows and several restrictions in the free version, still, I find it very useful.

grr
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March 6, 2011 - 8:30 am

Jim,
Thanks for sharing this appz.

Does the error scan use the Windows default or does it have its own scan algorithm?

Thanks,
Grr

MerleOne
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March 6, 2011 - 12:36 pm

Don't know about their scan algo, I would bet it differs from Microsoft's one, but that's just a guess.

In the pro version, there is a non destructive read/write test which is not part of windows scan.

Jim Hillier
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March 6, 2011 - 3:55 pm

Hey Grr - HD Tune uses its own scanning system, completely separate from Windows.

HD Tune scans the [i:tzv57qab]entire[/i:tzv57qab] surface of the hard drive too, not just used space.

Cheers.....Jim

MerleOne
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March 6, 2011 - 4:29 pm

chkdsk /f /r checks both used and free space. Whether the check algo is the same in HDtune, I wouldn't know. There is a unique feature in HDTune, it's the "quick" mode, where the HDD is rapidly scanned. This can help detect very large defects. For just a few bad sectors, the full check is required.

Also, there is a difference between chkdsk and other non Microsoft software. When chkdsk encounters a bad sector, is tries to move as much data from it to another location and marks the sector as bad in the filesystem.

Non MSFT tools don't make any changes on the filesystem.

Jim Hillier
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March 6, 2011 - 4:52 pm

Hey MerleOne - Nice to see you back again.

According to Wikipedia; Windows (since XP) [i:14y2g9ge]cannot[/i:14y2g9ge] identify bad sectors across the entire surface of the hard drive BUT HD Tune can:

[i:14y2g9ge]"When the hard drive finds a read/write/verification error, it marks this sector as "reallocated" and transfers data to a special reserved area (spare area). This process is also known as remapping, and "reallocated" sectors are called remaps. Unfortunately, [u:14y2g9ge]on modern operating systems, such as Windows XP and onwards, "bad blocks" cannot be found while testing the surface, as this feature was removed. However, 3rd-party applications such as "HD Tune" can reveal bad sectors across the entire surface, even on partitions that are hidden"[/i:14y2g9ge][/u:14y2g9ge]

If we are to believe Wikipedia (which I tend to do ), it would also be safe to assume the HD Tune scanning system must be different to the one currently being utilised by Windows.

Cheers now....Jim

grr
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March 12, 2011 - 7:02 am

Thanks Jim. I would try it out.

Flying Dutchman
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April 5, 2011 - 3:06 pm

Hi there,

Coming in a bit late, but going over to the site I noticed that under HD Tune it says "Supported operating systems: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7", yet the last version was released "12 February 2008".
What gives?

And does it support Win7 64bit?

I am human

Jim Hillier
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April 5, 2011 - 5:41 pm

Yes FD, you are quite right. Seeing how Win7 was not released until late 2009, the dates do not compute. I hadn't even noticed that myself.

I can tell you though, HD Tune [Free] works perfectly on my Windows 7 64-bit system.

Cheers.....Jim

Flying Dutchman
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April 6, 2011 - 4:40 pm

Thanks Jim, will give it a try.

I am human

jonw9
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May 19, 2011 - 11:48 am

When HD Tune does reveal bad sectors, what can you do about them?

[quote:8vbj2nfm]According to Wikipedia; Windows (since XP) [i:8vbj2nfm]cannot[/i:8vbj2nfm] identify bad sectors across the entire surface of the hard drive BUT HD Tune can:

[i:8vbj2nfm]"When the hard drive finds a read/write/verification error, it marks this sector as "reallocated" and transfers data to a special reserved area (spare area). This process is also known as remapping, and "reallocated" sectors are called remaps. Unfortunately, [u:8vbj2nfm]on modern operating systems, such as Windows XP and onwards, "bad blocks" cannot be found while testing the surface, as this feature was removed. However, 3rd-party applications such as "HD Tune" can reveal bad sectors across the entire surface, even on partitions that are hidden"[/i:8vbj2nfm][/u:8vbj2nfm][/quote:8vbj2nfm]

MerleOne
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May 20, 2011 - 10:27 am

1/ Quickly backup all important files to another physical disk, or even better, image it using Active@FileRecovery or an equivalent, just to be on the safe side. When your data is safe, whatever method you used (however don't use tools that will retry forever to read bad sectors, in some cases it will increase the HDD degradation, leading to ultimate failure).
2/ Try to correct the bad sectors using either HDDRegenerator from dposoft.net (I think) or Derevitalize. HDDRegen 2011 seems to be the most powerful, but it's more expensive than Drevitalize.

jonw9
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May 20, 2011 - 5:55 pm

Thank you. I did a scan with HDDRegenerator, and found many bad or delayed sectors. Given the option to pay $60 for that recovery software or $62 for a new and much higher-capacity hard drive, I chose the drive. Very helpful.

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