Both Seagate and Western Digital (WD) offer free diagnostic tools to test the physical condition of the hard drive. While Seagate SeaTools supports Seagate and Maxtor drives, WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic supports only Western Digital drives. Users who are looking for third-party a tool to test their hard drive(s) should try out HDDScan.
HDDScan is a free tool designed to diagnose hard drive for bad-blocks and bad sectors. This tool can provide you both basic and advanced information about your hard drive with a few mouse clicks. One can use this tool to perform regular health test of the drive as well.
HDDSCan supports IDE, SATA, SCSI, external USB drives, RAID volumes, Solid State Drive and USB Flash drive as well.
Like any other good diagnostic tool, this tool also displays your hard drive model number, firmware, LBA (Logical Block Addressing) and serial number. Identity Info feature displays information about LBA support, ATA version, logical sector size, physical sector size, cache size, RPM, interface type, and more. One can also use this feature to test if a hard drive supports data management, SMART self-test, free-fall control, password protection, power management, advanced power management and many other advanced features.
The best thing about this free tool is that it’s portable and doesn’t require an installation. Download HDDScan zip file extract it and run HDDScan.exe file start diagnosing your hard drive. Though it’s a portable tool, it can’t be run from a read-only device.
All reports can be printed or saved in MHT format. The current version (3.3) of HDDScan supports Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 operating systems. A user guide is also included in the zip file of the software. Novice users should go through the user guide before using this powerful tool.