Testing Hard Drive Errors

Hard drive errors can occur over time, as the mechanical parts inside of them began to fail. SSDs can also be subject to errors but the issues happen for different reasons and can often be remedied by updating the latest firmware. HDDs aren’t as lucky and usually will continue to fail. This guide will help you troubleshoot your hard drives and look for potential problems.


Although you can perform basic disk checking functions in Windows, it’s a good idea to use a dedicated testing tool to give you a better report on your HDD(s). Such tool is called HDDScan, which can be obtained for free at:


When downloaded, you should extract the contents of the file somewhere where they will be easily accessible, such as a folder on Desktop called HDDscan, for example.

To run the program, you want to run the HDDScan.exe application. (HDDscan if you don’t have file extensions turned on)

When the program runs, you will need to select your drive or RAID Volume from the SELECT DRIVE drop down menu. Once you have the drive selected that you want to test, you want to click on the blue orb and choose SURFACE TESTS.

For regular testing, you do not need to do erase and Butterfly read. ONLY DO READ AND VERIFY tests. Only one test can be done at a time. You choose the test by clicking on the appropriate radio button, click on Add Test. You will notice that the test began and will notify you when it’s completed. Once the verify test completes, add Read test and let it finish as well. When both tests are completed, you can examine results of each.

Interpreting the Results

Once both tests are complete you will have access to the reports in the Test Manager area. You can double click on the completed test to pull up reports. Here you can see items such as speed, map and report.

Speed should be fairly consistent for SSDs and gradually falling for HDDs. If your line is not gradual or constant it may indicate a problem with the drive.

Next item is the Map, which shows you response time for operations and lists any bad sectors you may have. The goal here is to have the majority of reads within 300MS. If you have too many sectors reading at over 500MS or worse, BAD (marked RED), it indicates HDD issues and should be replaced.

You can also perform SMART tests that can also indicate drive failures. Smart reports indicate items that are in good condition, gives warnings for items that are over the limit and indicates failure for items that are extremely high.

This should be enough information to determine if your drive is failing. You can also use dedicated manufacturer tools such as SeaTools by Seagate and others.


*Disclaimer: AVADirect and its Staff are not responsible for any damage to software/hardware, loss of data or personal injury by following our How-To guides. These guides are provided only as an aid to help you troubleshoot system problems. If you do not feel comfortable performing these steps its always best to send in your system to a local repair shop or contact an appropriate technical support line for additional assistance.