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Posted on Apr 13, 2010 in PC Maintenance, Troubleshoot Windows | 0 comments

HD Tune tutorial 2 – Hard drive diagnostics and spotting faulty drives

Now that HD Tune is installed, we can begin to use it to perform a hard drive test. In this video, we’ll show you the benchmark test and the Error scan test. These tests are useful for finding errors both on the disks surface and problems with the hardware associated with controlling the disk.

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Additional notes

The benchmark test is useful for detecting intermittent problems with hard drives, but how do we interpret the data that the benchmark test presents? A regular (non solid state) hard drive will produce a graph similar to the one shown below:-


Healthy drive in HD Tune


By contrast, the graph shown below was produced by a faulty drive. Notice how the speed dipped to almost zero at some points during the test:-


Faulty drive in HD Tune


Remember that the benchmark test graph will be more erratic if another program writes or reads from the drive during the test. For example, if Windows reads from the drive, a sharp drop in the blue line will be seen. This is normal and does not indicate a problem with the drive.

If the benchmark test gives you reason to suspect a fault with a hard drive, then test the drive in another machine if possible. Problems with disk access can be caused by faults on a computers motherboard or simply a bad driver and may not always be due to a faulty hard drive.

A healthy drive should also show all green in the error scan test.

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