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Hard drive utility

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Recently I bought an external Seagate 1.5TB hard drive, but I felt that diagnostics should be run on the drive because of all the negative reviews I saw concerning Seagate's 1.5TB drives (which a firmware update fixes). My research turned up HDDScan as the best option.


HDDScan is a free utility with an impressive list of features:


Supported storage devises:

  • USB HDD (see Appendix A).
  • FireWire or IEEE 1394 HDD (see Appendix A).
  • RAID volumes made of ATA/SATA/SCSI HDDs (surface tests only).
  • USB Flash (surface tests only).
Storage device tests:
  • Verification in linear mode.
  • Reading in linear mode.
  • Erasing in linear mode.
  • Reading in Butterfly mode (synthetic random read).
  • Reading and analyzing S.M.A.R.T. parameters from ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire HDD.
  • Reading and analyzing Log Pages from SCSI HDD.
  • S.M.A.R.T. tests running on ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire HDD.
  • Temperature monitor on ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire/SCSI HDD.Additional features:
  • Reading and analyzing identity information from ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire/SCSI HDD.
  • Changing AAM, APM, PM parameters on ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire HDD.
  • Reporting defect information on SCSI HDD.
  • Spindle start/stop function on ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire/SCSI HDD.
  • Reports can be saved in MHT format.
  • Reports can be printed.
  • Skins support.
  • Command line support (NEW).
  • PC with CPU 1.5 GHz and RAM 256 Mb.
  • OS Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2 or SP3 or Windows Server 2003 (with restrictions).
  • The program shouldn’t be started from read-only device.
Being able to edit the IDE features on my external drive was a nice surprise. I can change the automatic acoustic management, the power management, advanced power management, and even manually spin down the drive. There's even a feature to disable the Seagate power management built into most of their external hard drives (where it automatically powers down when idle), though the disabler is not completely guaranteed to work. Part of why I like this is because now I don't have to rely on installing the Seagate software to manage the drive's idling.


Even though I haven't used it, being able to build command lines and save them as cmd or bat files might be useful. You can run the file and HDDScan will start in background mode, change the selected parameters and then close automatically.


Overall I'm quite impressed with the features and it being free, certainly worth checking out if you need a hard drive utility.

Edited by djsilver666666
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