HDD surface test utility please

  bines 09:50 27 Apr 2005

I would like to check a hard drive completely for any errors. I want to know particularly if there are any faulty sectors which have already been flagged to prevent their use.

Can anyone advise on a suitable utility which will do this job. Chkdsk shows no errors but would it show 'hidden' faulty sectors?

I use Windows XP Home on an Acer laptop.


  DieSse 10:51 27 Apr 2005

"I want to know particularly if there are any faulty sectors which have already been flagged to prevent their use"

IMHO I can't see any benefit in knowing this, even if t'were possible.

The only deep tests that you can readily obtain will be from the drive manufacturers website - eg Seatools for Seagate drives, or you could look at the test equipment here click here

You could also try a SMART analysis from here click here or here click here

But what can you do with such information, even if you know it?

  bines 14:48 28 Apr 2005

Thanks for the reply.

This is a new laptop and once, on boot up, Windows insisted on doing a detailed disc scan. It reported two faulty sectors.

I want to be very sure that there really are faults because if so I need to get a replacement under the warranty. It's no good me returning the unit if I can't show any faults.

I believe that if there are any surface faults on a brand new drive it will only be a matter of time before it fails completely - or am I wrong in this assumption?


  Chegs ® 16:05 28 Apr 2005

Just because there are a few dodgy sectors,does not mean the drive is going to fail.I have an ancient 400Mb HDD that still works fine as is,yet DOS Scandisk reports dozens of dodgy bits.The OS is quite clever,it recognises failed sectors and simply marks them as unusable.Thats why(during install)the screen usually shows a message similar to "Checking disk(s) integrity"

  Peter 17:35 28 Apr 2005


I've used SpinRite in the past and found it very good/effective. Try click here for more information. By the way, it is NOT free.


  DieSse 22:40 28 Apr 2005

All hard drive manufacturers will take SMART failures as evidence for drive replacement.

Seatools, or the equivalent for other drive manufacturers, will do exhaustive read tests, and will report all errors - they are free downloads. Spinrite, I have never actually used, but it has a good reputation too.

  DieSse 22:41 28 Apr 2005

PS - to enable the drive to report SMART errors, you need to ensure it's activated in the BIOS.

  woodchip 22:50 28 Apr 2005

Windows is as good as you will get for scanning the drive

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