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  • (01. January 2010., 09:27:49)

Author Topic: Hard Disk Tools  (Read 1722 times)

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Hard Disk Tools
« on: 19. January 2013., 10:59:45 »
I stumbled upon this great page that gives an overview of pretty much all hard disk tools. So if you are afraid your hard drive is crashing or if you want to keep an eye on your disk's health, go here:

Regulary updated, I put a copy paste of the current page below:
   Acronis Drive Monitor
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: - Released: 2011-11-25   Windows: XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7
File Size: 18.0 MB   
"Acronis Drive Monitor is a free, downloadable software application developed by Acronis to monitor server, workstation and PC hard disk drives.
"Why should you use Acronis Drive Monitor?
We all depend on instant access to data stored on our hard drives — buried inside PC laptops, workstations and servers — but those disks are vulnerable to severe failures that can cause you to lose business and personal data. Acronis Drive Monitor alerts you to problems that may indicate an imminent failure so you can be prepared to handle it without data loss."

   Active SMART
License: Shareware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: - Released: 2012-03-16   Windows: 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7
File Size: 6 MB   USB version available here
"Active SMART allows you to monitor the S.M.A.R.T. parameters of your hard disk to detect fault conditions. It uses special algorithms to predict the date of a possible drive fail. It also gives you full information about your hard disk. Various monitoring modes and alerting options are available. The built in messaging features allow for system administrators to be notified of impending hard disk failure on any machine on the network."

License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 4.0.0 - Released: ???   Windows: XP, Vista, 7
File Size: 13.9 MB   Both 32- and 64-bit compatible
"CheckDrive offers you an easy way to check your hard drives for errors. CheckDrive may detect and fix hard drive errors that might appear on system crashes or when switching off your PC without a proper Windows shutdown. If you ever had a system crash then CheckDrive is for you. CheckDrive is completely free! Download it today to check your system for hard drive errors.

License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2013-01-07
Version: 5.2.2 - Released: 2013-01-07   Windows: XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7
File Size: 6.76 MB   Portable version available on-site
Both 32- and 64-bit compatible   
"CrystalDiskInfo is a HDD health monitoring utility. It displays basic HDD information, monitors S.M.A.R.T. values and disk temperature."

License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2013-01-16
Version: 3.0.2e - Released: 2013-01-16   Windows: XP, Vista, 7, 8
File Size: 3.8 MB   Portable version available on-site
Both 32- and 64-bit versions   
"CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds."

   Darik's Boot and Nuke
License: GNU GPL - Open Source   Last Reviewed: 2012-09-11
Version: 2.2.7 - Released: 2012-09-11   
File Size: 11.1 MB   
"Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.
"Platform Support:
Hardware — DBAN has all available SCSI disk drivers. DBAN has all available IDE disk drivers and extended chipset tuning support. DBAN runs on all 32-bit x86-class computers (Athlon, Pentium, and others) with at least 8 megs of memory. If you find an incompatible machine, then please report it.
Software — DBAN supports all Microsoft platforms and securely destroys FAT, VFAT, and NTFS filesytems. DBAN also supports all unix platforms and securely destroys ReiserFS, EXT, and UFS filesystems. FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Linux, BeOS, QNX."

   Disk Redactor
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: - Released: 2010-10-26   Windows: 95 through Windows 8
File Size: 389 KB   
"Disk Redactor is a disk wipe utility that prevents deleted files on your media (which includes hard and floppy disks, and even flash drives) from being recovered. NTFS file system and FAT32 file system are supported."

License: Free for personal use   Last Reviewed: 2012-08-11
Version: 3.1.1005 - Released: 2012-08-11   Windows: XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7, 8
File Size: 1.20 MB   
"PassMark DiskCheckup allows the user to monitor the SMART attributes of a particular hard disk drive. SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a feature on a computer's hard disk for providing various monitoring indicators of disk reliability. If SMART is enabled on a hard disk, the system administrator can receive analytical information from the hard drive to determine a possible future failure of the hard drive.
"DiskCheckup displays the current values of the SMART attributes, along with the Threshold value for that attribute. If an attribute drops below its threshold, the drive cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet its specifications in the future.
"DiskCheckup also displays device information, such as the drive geometry, serial number, model number, media rotation rate, and supported features."

License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 1.05 - Released: 2010-06-12   Windows: XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7
File Size: 40 KB   Portable
"DiskCountersView displays the system counters of each disk drive in your system, including the total number of read/write operations and the total number of read/write bytes. It also displays general drive information, like disk name, partition number, partition location, and so on."

License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 2.4 - Released: 2010-03-25   Windows: XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7
File Size: 288 KB   
"DiskView shows you a graphical map of your disk, allowing you to determine where a file is located or, by clicking on a cluster, seeing which file occupies it. Double-click to get more information about a file to which a cluster is allocated."

License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 2.01 - Released: 2006-11-01   Windows: XP, 2003 and higher
File Size: 80 KB   
"DiskMon is an application that logs and displays all hard disk activity on a Windows system. You can also minimize DiskMon to your system tray where it acts as a disk light, presenting a green icon when there is disk-read activity and a red icon when there is disk-write activity.
"Read and write offsets are presented in terms of sectors (512 bytes). Events can be either timed for their duration (in microseconds), or stamped with the absolute time that they were initiated. The History Depth dialog can be used to specify the maximum number of records that will be kept in the GUI (0 signifies no limit)."

   Drive Health
License: Shareware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 2.5.194 - Released: 2010-07-31   Windows: XP, Vista, 7
File Size: 896 KB   Both 32- and 64-bit compatible
"Drive Health is a Windows program that helps you to estimate your hard disks Life Resource. This tool allows you to predict possible HDD failure and prevent losing the critical data. To estimate hard disk life our program uses special S.M.A.R.T. technology that is supported by the most of hard disk manufacturers. By implementing this technology the Drive Health provides access to the hard disk drives reliability monitoring, and keeps you informed about any potentially dangerous degradations of performance or reliability of your HDDs. The smart monitoring program eats minimum CPU and memory resources and can be run as a NT service."

   Drive Manager
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-06-25
Version: 4.2.0 - Released: 2012-06-25   Windows: All
File Size: 1.2 MB   Portable
"Drive Manager is a small and useful tool that makes it easy to retrieve drive information for all your drives at a glance. It runs as a standalone EXE file and displays Label, Type, Size, Used, Available, Format, Serial number and Percentage free for each local and removable drive. The information is refreshed every 20 seconds — double-clicking opens the drive in Windows Explorer. Drive Manager also allows you to create a substitute drive letter for a local folder, and to hide drives from Windows Explorer.
"In the New Version of Drive Manager:
•   SMART information for hard disks.
•   Disk information and flags.
•   CD/DVD information and drive capabilities.
"This utility has been created to not require an installation to run. It can be carried around on a thumb drive, CD or DVD and then run on different machines without the need to be installed first. There are no runtime libraries required to be installed first."

   Drives Monitorupdate
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2013-01-16
Version: 10.7 - Released: 2013-01-16   Windows: XP, Vista, 7, 8
File Size: 241 KB   
"Drives Monitor utilizes Performance Monitor data to visualize physical or logical disk activity. For each physical/logical disk, % active time and bytes read and written per second is displayed. It does not require any 3rd party applications.
♦   Shows % active time and bytes read and written per physical/logical disk
♦   Logical partitions on the same disk are grouped
♦   Automatically reconfigures if disks are added or removed
♦   Allows for excluding certain drive letters or numbers"

   Emsa DiskCheck
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 1.0.77 - Released: 2006-08-06   Windows: 9x, Me, NT, 2000, XP, 2003
File Size: 193 KB   
CD/DVD/HDD Disk Diagnostic Utility
"Emsa Disk Check is a dual-purpose utility, for disk checking (prescan and full disk reading) and also benchmarking. What it does, is scanning/reading the entire contents of a disk (CD, DVD or hard drive; or even floppy) and show any read errors that may appear, but also show drive speed information, progress statistics etc. It was designed with simplicity in mind, but usefulness for the user. Emsa DiskCheck has the following main features and characteristics:
¤   useful to quicky and fully scan removable disks like CD, DVD for surface defects like disk scratch problems, bad CD-R/RW DVD-R/RW writes, etc.;
¤   can check CD-ROM, DVD, hard disks, even floppy disks;
¤    useful for benchmarking a drive, be it CD, DVD or HDD;
¤   shows 'locked' files on disks;
¤   useful speed comparison (shows the 'X' multiplier speed comparison with CDs and DVDs) with possibility of switching in CD/DVD 'X' mode;
¤   it scans/reads a disk fully until completion or user stop, at the maximal speed available;
¤   reports progress, statistics (files, folders, time elapsed, estimated time remaining);
¤   reports any errors encountered (error count and log entry for each);
¤   prescan accesses the disk table of contents and computes file information, showing the total number of files and folders and total space on disk before running the full scan."

   Hard Disk Indicator
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 1.3 - Released: 2003-08-26   Windows: 2000, XP
File Size: 146 KB   Portable
"Is your PC out of sight? Add your hard disk's LED to your system tray."

   Hard Disk Size Barriers
Information Only   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
"One of the most common problems people have with hard disks, especially when trying to add a new hard disk to an older system, is the frustration of finding that not all of the hard disk is actually accessible. This is almost always due to BIOS and operating system issues that are a result of short-sighted planning done by the people that invented hard disk structures, access routines and operating systems many years ago. Fortunately, there are now solutions to most of these problems. This section takes a complete look at these issues so you can finally understand what these barriers are all about.
"Each of the barriers is described in its page title with a name that briefly summarizes the reason for the barrier, and also the capacity figures generally associated with that barrier."

   Hard Drive Eraser
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 2.0 - Released: 2009-01-28   Windows: XP, Vista
File Size: 617 KB   
"Hard Drive Eraser is free Windows application that permanently erase the data on whole volumes (hard drives). It does so by filling the magnetic surface multiple time with a useless binary data. It is a known fact that it is impossible to permanently destroy data just by formatting hard drive. It doesn't matter if you use Windows formatting or pay for a commerical disk formatting program. It wont work. In it's essence formatting drive is same as deleting files in Windows and than removing them from Recycle Bin. Just a small bits of information (links to files) are removed but the files still reside on hard drive and it is very easy to recover them using either commercial solution or one of applications for data recovery. That's why you may want to use Hard Drive Eraser, to shred the drive partition beyond any possible recovery. Features of Hard Drive Eraser:
•   Securely erases whole volumes, disk drives, partitions or floppy drives.
•   Overwrites data multiple times using one of four advanced algorithms which assure erased data can not be recovered.
•   Works with all file systems (NTFS, FAT32, FAT).
•   Simple, light weight and optimized for speed.
•   Peter Guttman method for users paranoidly concerned about security of their data."

   Hard Drive Inspector
License: Shareware - $29.95   Last Reviewed: 2012-12-17
Version: 4.11.151 - Released: 2012-12-17   Windows: XP, 2003, Vista, 7, 8
File Size: 2.6 MB   
"Modern hard drives support S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) that was specially developed to detect upcoming disk failures. Using this technology Hard Drive Inspector can monitor the current state of various life-critical parameters describing a disk's reliability and performance. Hard Drive Inspector analyzes this data and warns the user if the parameters indicate a critical reduction of disk reliability. Timely alerts make it possible to copy the data and replace an unreliable disk, thus preventing information loss."

   HD Speed
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-08-01
Version: - Released: 2012-07-24   Windows: 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7
File Size: 83 KB   Portable
"Measures both sustained and burst data transfer rates of your hard disks, cd/dvd-roms, flash cards/sticks, floppys, etc. Realtime graphical display."

   HD Tune Pro
License: Shareware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 5.0 - Released: 2011-11-01   Windows: 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7
File Size: 1.5 MB   
"HD Tune is a hard disk utility which has the following functions:
¤ Benchmark: measures the raw performance
o Transfer Rate
o Access Time
o CPU Usage
o Burst Rate
¤ Hard Disk information which includes firmware version, serial number, disk capacity, buffer size, transfer mode
¤ Hard Disk Health
o S.M.A.R.T. Information (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)
o Temperature
o Power On Time
¤ Copy text to clipboard
¤ Copy screenshot to clipboard
"It will also test USB drives, Disk-on-key and Compact flash cards (in a card reader)."

License: Free and Shareware   Last Reviewed: 2012-12-15
Version: 4.2.2 - Released: 2012-12-14   Windows: XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7
File Size: 16.9 MB   
"HDClone duplicates the content of harddisks. It copies from one disk to another on a physical level. Depending on the sizes of the harddisks, a complete or only a partial image is created.
"The Free Edition of HDClone offers all necessary abilities to copy a complete hard disk onto another, larger hard disk. This can be utilized to migrate an existing installation to a new hard disk as well as for data rescue. The Free Edition is real freeware without obligation to buy and is intended for the short-term usage at no cost.
"The Basic Edition of HDClone is conceived for occasional utilisation, especially for migrating complete installations, backups, data rescue, and system restore. Besides USB support and higher performance, it also offers arbitrary copy directions (not only small to large like the Free Edition). Furthermore, it contains extended options for backup ('Disk-to-Partition-Backup'), system restore (partition copy), and data rescue ('SafeRescue' mode).
"The Standard Edition of HDClone is conceived for regular and professional use. Besides support for USB 2.0 and IDE-CompactFlash, it also offers a verifying mode for data reconciliation with the target medium and high copying performance."

   HDD Health
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-06-07
Version: 4.2.509 - Released: 2012-06-06   Windows: All
File Size: 975 KB   
"HDD Health is a full-featured hard drive failure-prediction agent. Sitting in the system tray, it monitors hard disks and alerts you to impending failure. The program uses Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) built into all new hard disks, and can predict failures on your hard drives. A host of alerting features include email, local pop-up messages, net messages, and event logging, while using no system resources."

License: Shareware   Last Reviewed: 2012-12-15
Version: 4.0.192 - Released: 2012-12-12   Windows: XP, 2003, Vista, 7
File Size: 7.1 MB   
"Knowing about a possible failure in the work of your hard drive means having time to prevent all your data from being lost. HDDlife is a usable program that will allow you to control the health of your hard drive using an intuitive interface. Just run the program and it will show you the list of your disks with the percentage of their health left, as well as their temperature. Main features:
¤   Controlling the health of your hard drives using the S. M. A. R. T. technology.
¤   Constantly monitoring the state of your hard drives in the background mode.
¤   Displaying the temperature of your hard drives.
¤   Disk free space info and control.
"The current version supports IDE, Serial ATA and SCSI disks with standard controllers, while external, IDE RAID and SCSI RAID controllers are not supported."

License: Freeware - Donations appreciated   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 1.4 - Released: 2011-07-30   Windows: NT, 2000, XP, Vista
File Size: 41 KB   Portable
"HDHacker is a stand-alone micro-util that saves, visualizes, restores the MBR (from a physical drive), the BootSector (from a logical drive) or any sector from a disk too. It can be used, for example, to save and restore a particular boot manager (as LILO, for example) in case of a Windows new setup (that, obviously, overwrites it).
"An MBR and BootSector backup can also be useful for simple precautionary purposes too, in fact sometimes viruses or other OS (Linux) setup could overwrite them and/or alter them, so it is impossible to start up previous OS and/or have access to datas stored on the disk."

License: Free   Last Reviewed: 2012-09-19
Version: 3.8.0 - Released: 2011-01-28   Windows: XP, 2003, Vista, 7
File Size: 7.8 MB   
"The Free Edition of HDShredder deletes hard disks and other storage media ultimately and reliably. Afterwards, these media can be sold or dumped without any risk that former data can be restored, even not with recovery software. The Free Edition is real freeware without obligation to buy and is intended for the short-term usage at no cost. In case of more frequent usage, we recommend using one of the higher editions since they offer additional options which are optimized for regular or professional use.
"The download package contains HDShredder as a self-booting application. You can easily create a bootable floppy disk or CD/DVD on Windows with only few mouse clicks. A floppy image, ISO image, and manual (PDF) are also enclosed."

   Large Drive Tools
License: Shareware   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 1.12 - Released: 2007-12-10   Windows: 9x, Me, NT, 2000, XP
File Size: 347 KB   
"Large Drive Tools contains 16 useful features packed into one powerful low-level disk tool make this a must for any PC user. Self-Bootable Disk or CD-ROM requires no operating system to operate. Supports any BIOS accessible drive including very large drives and RAID volumes 200+Gb and larger. If your drive can boot an operating system, you can work on it with Large Drive Tools. Features:
Θ   View Drive Information
Θ   Blink Drive Light
Θ   Scan Entire Drive for Media Defects
Θ   Repair Master Boot Record
Θ   View or Edit Partition Table
Θ   View or Edit Entire Drive
Θ   Delete All Partitions
Θ   Analyzes and Updates Common Boot Sectors
Θ   Erase Entire Drive
Θ   Erase Entire Drive

   SeaTools for Windows
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-12-27
Version: - Released: 2012-12-27   Windows: XP, Vista, 7, 8
File Size: 20.4 MB   Requires: .NET Framework 4.0
Both 32- and 64-bit compatible   
"SeaTools for Windows is a comprehensive diagnostic tool that helps you quickly determine the condition of the disc drive in your external hard drive or computer. It includes several tests that will examine the physical media on your Seagate or Maxtor disc drive and any other non-Seagate disc drive.
"SeaTools for Windows tests USB, ATA (PATA/IDE), 1394, SATA and SCSI drives. This product is completely data safe.
"Note: OneTouch drive users should use the diagnostic feature built into the OneTouch Manager."

   Sector Editor
License: Freeware - Donations appreciated   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 1.4 - Released: 2009-09-13   Windows: 9x, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7
File Size: 53 KB   
"Allows displaying, editing, printing and searching of disks by invidual sectors. The information can be displayed and edited in both ASCII or hexadecimal. Sectors can be copied and exported to files. Allows chunks of data to be exported to file and imported, very helpful for manually recovering lost data."

   Sector Inspector
License: Freeware   Last Reviewed: 2012-08-15
Version: 5.2.3790.1108 - Released: 2011-03-31   Windows: NT, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista
File Size: 121 KB   
"Sector Inspector is a flexible diagnostics tool for safely collecting disk and file system-related data for offline analysis. Sector Inspector has additional features that allow backup and restore of sector ranges for use with other disk editing tools. Because low-level disk access is performed, administrator privileges are required to use most features of Sector Inspector."

License: $89.00   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-29
Version: 6.0 - Released: 2004-06-07   
"SpinRite prevents mass storage systems from crashing or warns the user of pending catastrophe. If SpinRite is not used until after a crash, it skillfully picks up all the pieces, recovers your data, and puts everything back together again. SpinRite is the most capable, thorough, and reliable utility that has ever been created for the long term maintenance, recovery, and repair of mass storage systems. SpinRite has had imitators. They've come and they've gone. But no other utility has ever matched SpinRite.
"SpinRite v6.0 recognizes and operates on ALL file systems. It can even be used to repair and recover Apple Macintosh and Tivo hard drives by temporarily moving them into an Intel-based PC. It can also be used to check the health of drives that have not yet been formatted. SpinRite v6.0 brings along and automatically boots a copy of the FreeDOS operating system, so it will run even if you have no 'DOS'. It can create bootable diskettes, CD-R's, USB Flash drives and other media."

   Storage Review
Information Only   Last Reviewed: 2012-10-26
" attempts to address a topic that seems sadly neglected in the online community: hard disk and storage-related performance. No, they're not glamorous. No, we can't come up with loads of interesting screen shots and pictures (hard drives tend to look very similar to one another after a while). Hard drive performance is, however, vital to the overall performance of your PC. Instead of competing for your attention with the 'other guys', attempts to supplement the excellent hardware coverage already out there with news and reviews of storage-related products. We have become the Internet's leading independent storage authority."

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Hard Disk Tools
« on: 19. January 2013., 10:59:45 »


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Re: Hard Disk Tools
« Reply #1 on: 19. January 2013., 11:04:37 »
Free utility that belongs on every Windows machine, is Acronis Drive Monitor. It warns you about Windows event logs (made after boot-time check disk!) and other problems (SMART) that may be found. When your drive faileD, this tool warns you about it. . But also look at HardDisk Sentinel (discussed in detail, here:,8087.msg20515.html#msg20515)

IF I need to physically check the harddrive for errors, I nowadays just use Linux's badblocks command.
For example:
     badblocks -v -sn -c 250000 /dev/sda

This will do non-destructive read-write test of the whole disks. Bad blocks found? Re-run the test and see if you can get your drive fault-less again. If not: throw drive away ;p **
** EDIT: not entirely true - do not throw away just yet. Read:,8055.msg20407.html#msg20407 first...

Linux live discs are plenty around. You could use Ubuntu or Paragon Backup Boot CD (very easy finding correct device names for disks - among others but check it yourself here:,7583.msg18826/topicseen.html#msg18826).


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Re: Hard Disk Tools
« Reply #2 on: 20. January 2014., 19:48:33 »
Specific tools to WIPE / securely erase hard disk...

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