Among the various disasters that can happen to a PC, one of the worst is hard drive failure. Not only because we can (and do) lose the stored data, but also because in the worst case scenario we have to buy a new hard drive, disassemble the computer and replace it.
Sometimes it is not even necessary that our PC’s hard drive or SSD is damaged or defective. It is enough to have used it for a while for it to gradually slow down.
Top 10 Tools to Diagnose and Repair a Defective or Failed Hard Drive
One of the good things about Windows is that it has an internal utility that we can use to check and repair errors on the hard drive. This is the famous CheckDisk or “chkdsk” program for friends. For more information on usage, see THIS POST. Spoiler: You can also use the chkdsk command to repair external USB drives and thumb drives.
The downside of the Windows CheckDisk utility is that it lacks a graphical user interface, which means you need to know all of the commands and use them properly. Next, let’s review some free programs (all with a graphical interface, of course) that will help us troubleshoot PC hard drive errors.
As the name suggests, it is a graphical user interface (GUI) for the Windows command chkdsk.exe. The application weighs only 1.2MB and does not need to be installed to use it. Simply select the drive to be repaired and choose one of the 3 options available: Read, Repair, or Repair and Recover.
A very easy to use, free application that allows us to repair the hard drive with just a few clicks. In addition, once the process is complete, we can access a registry with all errors detected.
Defraggler is a free program for defragmenting your hard drive. One of its properties is the benefit of being able to Defragment the entire drive or just individual folders and files. It works with both conventional hard drives and solid state SSDs, with NTFS and FAT32 file systems.
If you notice your PC slowing down, this is a great way to get all of your files back into their place on the hard drive, making it easier and faster to access the information. A simple but damn useful app.
TestDisk is a free, open source program that can be used to repair partition tables, recover deleted partitions, and restore the FAT32 boot sector from its backup. It also allows you to rebuild NTFS and FAT boot sectors, repair MFT and much more such as: B. Recover deleted files from your hard drive.
The application is portable and therefore does not need to be installed. Of course, it has no graphical interface and it runs in an MS-DOS window. It is available for DOS, Windows, Linux and macOS, among others.
EaseUS Partition Master Free
If you are looking for a program with a more modern design and a sleek and updated user interface, take a look at Partition Master Free from EaseUS. This free version, although limited, is fully functional and allows you to resize, clone, merge, format, delete, delete, and verify partitions without being an expert in the field.
A business-oriented pro version is also available with many other additional features such as partition recovery, operating system migration, disk conversion and dynamic volume management.
HDDScan is well known when it comes to diagnosing hard drive errors. It is a free freeware program that we can use to analyze RAID servers, USB flash drives, and even SSD drives. The application runs tests for bad blocks and sectors, displays the SMART attributes of the hard drive, and allows you to change some parameters such as AAM, APM, and others.
In short, a great utility to test hard drive health and thus predict its deterioration and thus prevent data loss. As a bonus, HDDScan also serves to display the hard drive temperature and to carry out performance tests (read / write).
Hard disk check (Puran software)
Another application that is very similar to CheckDiskGUI and essentially provides a graphical interface for the Windows tool chkdsk. This is a benefit as we make sure the program doesn’t do anything strange while it tries to repair the hard drive. Among its functions, you can repair multiple units with a single click, schedule scans for the next PC start-up (in case the hard drive is not recognized the first time), etc.
WinDirStat is a free tool to help you see how your hard drive is organized. That means we can see at a glance how much the videos or certain files are taking up, and maybe it will help us to see that a large part of the hard drive is occupied by junk files or we don’t need it.
Essentially, it shows disk usage statistics on a map, with each file represented by a rectangle whose area is proportional to the size of the file. If sectors or files on the hard drive are damaged and a very large rectangle is displayed in WinDirStat, this may be the cause of the problem.
Data Lifeguard Diagnostic / Western Digital Dashboard
If your hard drive is a Western Digital (WD) brand, the first thing you should do if you have a problem with your hard drive is to install the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic program. This utility allows you to run a test on the hard drive for diagnostic purposes.
Currently, WD has replaced the program with a similar program called WD Dashboard, which also allows firmware updates, hard drive erasure, PSID reversal, and SMART diagnostics, which is very interesting.
Exclusive tool for everyone who owns a Seagate hard drive. The SeaTools diagnostic program allows us to run several basic tests to see if the hard drive needs to be replaced. Available tests include SMART tests, short and long scans, and a hard drive repair feature.
It also includes other advanced features like audible test, setting the maximum LBA, erasing and overwriting, erasing and purging, and SED crypto erasing.
AOMEI Partition Assistant
This partition wizard is very similar to the EaseUS program mentioned above. There is a free “Standard” version with limited functions (but sufficient) and another “Pro” version for paying with more functions.
With the free version of AOMEI, we can create and manage partitions, scan for bad sectors and fix them with chkdsk, resize partitions, migrate, convert hard drives and much more. If the hard drive is damaged but a simple format is used to solve it, this utility allows us to do it without eating the glass too much.
Do you know of other utilities to diagnose and fix errors on a PC’s hard drive? Then don’t hesitate to leave your recommendation in the comment section. Thanks for staying until the end!