13 Best Free Hard Drive Testing Tools (May 2024)



what we like
  • Works inside and outside Windows

  • completely free

  • SeaTools for DOS works on any operating system

  • Windows tool lets you test hard drives from any manufacturer

what we don't like
  • SeaTools for DOS can be difficult to use and install

  • The DOS version can only handle 100 errors before restarting

  • The DOS version may not work well with RAID controllers

Seagate SeaTools is free hard drive testing software available for home users in two forms:

SeaTools Bootable and SeaTools for DOS support Seagate or Maxtor hard drives and run independently of the operating system on their own USB drive or CD respectively.

SeaTools for Windows is installed on your Windows system. Use it to perform basic and advanced tests on any type of drive (internal or external) from any manufacturer.

Seagate's program is excellent. They are used by professional computer services to test hard drives, but can be easily used by anyone.

The Windows version should work with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP. There is also a Linux version.

For those looking for SeaTools Desktop, SeaTools Online, or Maxtor PowerMax software, please note that the above tools supersede all three. Seagate now owns the Maxtor brand.


G intelligent control

what we like
  • Choose from three different tests

  • Available for Windows, Linux and macOS

  • Allows you to view the SMART properties of a drive

  • Portable version available

what we don't like
  • Not all USB and RAID devices are supported

  • When you export information, it includes everything , not just the specific results you want to save

GSmartControl can run a variety of hard drive tests and provide detailed results, as well as an overall health assessment of the drive.

View and save SMART attribute values ​​such as power cycle count, multi-region error rate, calibration retry count, etc.

GSmartControl runs three self-tests to find hard drive failures: the short self-test takes approximately 2 minutes to complete and is used to detect a completely damaged hard drive; the extended self-test takes 70 minutes to complete and examines the entire surface of the hard drive to find faults. The inspection is a 5-minute test designed to detect damage that occurred while the drive was in transit.

The program can be downloaded as a portable program for Windows or as a regular program with a normal installer. The latest version is available for Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Vista, but you can get outdated versions for older Windows versions. It is also available for Linux and Mac operating systems and included in several LiveCD/LiveUSB programs.


hard drive scan

what we like
  • Applies to all hard drives

  • No installation required (portable)

  • Easy to use

  • Includes SMART testing

  • Runs on all modern versions of Windows

what we don't like
  • Only runs on Windows

  • No built-in help documentation or usage tips

  • The program cannot be installed on your computer (it automatically runs as a portable program)

HDDScan is a free hard drive testing program that works with all types of drives, regardless of manufacturer. It includes SMART testing and surface testing.

Some of the reasons I chose this app are because it's easy to use, completely portable, supports almost all drive interfaces, and seems to be updated regularly.

The official system requirements state that you need to be running at least Windows XP, so it should work with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Vista, including Windows Server 2003.


disk check

what we like
  • Track SMART attributes to predict hard drive failure

  • Can be configured to send you emails when certain events occur

  • Well-organized and easy-to-use interface

  • Small download size

what we don't like
  • Do not scan SCSI or hardware RAID

  • Free for home/personal use only, not for commercial/enterprise use

DiskCheckup should work on most hard drives. Displays smart information such as read error rate, spin time, seek error rate, and temperature, as well as short-term and long-term disk tests.

Details in the SMART section can be configured to send an email or display a notification when their properties exceed the manufacturer's recommended thresholds.

DiskCheckup should work correctly on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP as well as Windows Server 2008 and 2003.


Samsung and Tier

what we like
  • The hard drive is tested regardless of the installed operating system

  • Not too difficult to use

  • Also lets you delete data from the drive

what we don't like
  • Only tested Samsung hard drives

  • Not as easy to install as desktop-based programs

  • Must have access to a work computer to set up the program

  • Text interface (no buttons to click)

  • Has not been updated for many years

Samsung HUTIL is a free hard drive diagnostic utility for Samsung hard drives. HUTIL is sometimes called ES-Tool.

This tool can be used as an ISO image for burning to a CD or USB drive. This feature makes HUTIL independent of the operating system and overall better than testing tools designed for use in Windows. HUTIL can also be run from a bootable floppy disk.

Since this is a bootable program, you will need a working hard drive and operating system to burn it to a disc or USB device.

HUTIL will only test Samsung drives. It will load and find your non-Samsung drive, but you won't be able to run any diagnostics on the drive.


Windows Drive Suitability Test (WinDFT)

what we like
  • very easy to use

  • There are two hard drive test functions

  • An option allows you to perform in-depth testing for better results

  • Allows you to test multiple drives in succession

  • SMART attributes can be viewed

  • Also lets you wipe your hard drive

what we don't like
  • Unable to scan primary hard drive where Windows is installed

  • There are no tutorials, instructions or tips included with the program

  • Unable to change where log files are saved

  • Applies to Windows operating systems only

  • No more updates

Windows Drive Fitness Test is free hard drive diagnostic software for most drives available today.

The download link below installs the Windows Drive Fitness Test software to a Windows operating system, but you cannot use the program to scan a drive with Windows installed. Only USB and other internal hard drives can be scanned.

If you are running Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, or XP, you can install WinDFT on your computer.


HD tuning

what we like
  • Test multiple types of storage devices

  • Includes useful tests

  • Information can be saved to screenshot and copied to clipboard

  • The program is not confusing to use

what we don't like
  • Unable to export results to text file

  • Officially only available for Windows 7

  • Allowed for home/personal use only

  • Not updated since 2008

HD Tune is a Windows-based hard drive tester that works with any internal or external hard drive, SSD or memory card.

You can use HD Tune to run benchmark read tests, check health using self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology, and run error scans.

Windows 7, Vista, XP, and 2000 are said to be the only supported operating systems, but I've used HD Tune in Windows 10 and Windows 8 without any problems.


Western Digital Dashboard

what we like
  • Run from within Windows

  • really easy to use

  • Also displays basic information about the drive

what we don't like
  • Scan Western Digital drives only

Western Digital Dashboard is free hard drive testing software for Windows that allows you to run a variety of hard drive tests.

It supports viewing Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) information. There's a "Brief Test" option that performs a relatively quick self-scan, and an "Extended Test" that checks the entire hard drive for bad sectors.

The tool can also be used to wipe a hard drive using the "write zero" data cleaning method.


Microsoft Windows built-in error checking

what we like
  • No download required

  • Also try to fix any hard drive errors

what we don't like
  • Only runs on Windows

  • Lacks features found in other free hard drive testing software

Error Checker, sometimes called scandisk , is a hard drive testing tool included with Microsoft Windows that scans your hard drive for a variety of errors and corrects many of them.

It's built into all modern versions of Windows.

10 out of 13

Fujitsu Diagnostic Tools

what we like
  • One of the easiest to use hard drive testing applications

  • Provides two hard drive test functions

  • Runs from within Windows, but if you don't have Windows, there's also a floppy version

what we don't like
  • Only tests Fujitsu hard drives

  • Bootable programs only run from floppy disks (not CDs or flash drives)

  • The floppy disk program is not as easy to install and use as the Windows version

  • Desktop program only runs on Windows

Fujitsu Diagnostic Tool is a free hard drive testing tool designed specifically for Fujitsu hard drives. It is available in a Windows version and a bootable DOS version that is independent of the operating system. However, the bootable version is designed for floppy disks and does not provide images for use with CDs or USB drives.

Two tests are available: "Quick Test" (approximately three minutes) and "Comprehensive Test" (time will vary based on hard drive size).

The Windows version is said to work with Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP. It may also work well in Windows 11 and Windows 10.

download :

The Fujitsu Diagnostic Tool will only perform hard drive testing on Fujitsu drives. If you have any other brand of hard drive, try one of the manufacturer-independent tests listed at the beginning of this list.

11 out of 13

Free EASIS driving check

what we like
  • Scan results can be automatically emailed to you

  • Run a surface scan to check for errors

  • Show SMART attributes

  • Check for errors on internal and external hard drives

  • Scan results reveal useful information

what we don't like
  • There has been no update for a long time (the last officially supported operating system was Windows 7)

  • Only available for Windows computers

  • Doesn't include as many features as most other hard drive testers

The free EASIS Drive Check is a hard drive tester that includes two main test utilities - Sector Test and SMART Value Reader.

The SMART test lists more than 40 values ​​about the hard drive, while the sector test checks the surface of the media for read errors.

Once completed, the report for any test can be read directly from the program and configured to be emailed to you or printed.

The free EASIS Drive Check is said to work on Windows 2000 through Windows 7, but I tested it successfully in Windows 10 and 8 as well.

12 out of 13

Macrorit Disk Scanner

what we like
  • Beautiful visuals that are easy to understand

  • No installation required

  • Applicable to various Windows operating systems

what we don't like
  • Does not include features found only in the paid version

  • Free for personal/family use only

  • Scan only one drive at a time

  • Include external links you may have accidentally clicked on

  • Infrequent updates

Macrorit Disk Scanner is a simple program for checking bad sectors on your hard drive. It's easy to use and you can start using it right away as it's completely portable and requires no installation.

The majority of this screen serves as a visual representation of the scan's progress and clearly indicates whether damage is present.

It runs on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP. Windows Server support is available to paying customers.

13 out of 13

Ariolic Disk Scanner

what we like
  • Check all hard drives for bad sectors

  • Show which files are affected by the error

  • Portable (no installation required)

  • The interface is very clean and is not distracting or confusing to use

what we don't like
  • HFS not supported (NTFS and FAT file systems only)

  • Show ads after every scan

Ariolic Disk Scanner is similar to Macrorit Disk Scanner except that it performs a read-only scan of the drive to check for bad sectors. It has a minimal interface with just one button, and it's easy to know if any part of the drive contains bad sectors.

One thing that is different from Macrorit Disk Scanner is that Ariolic Disk Scanner lists files that have read errors.

I tested Ariolic Disk Scanner in Windows 11, 10, and XP, but it should work on other versions of Windows as well. The program is portable and is just over 1 MB in size.