How to use HDDScan

The condition of all components and peripherals of the computer requires constant attention from the user. Changes in operating mode, increased response times, or hardware failures can indicate significant problems with a variety of possible causes.

The hard drive is a special concern because the threat of losing all data is very real and highly undesirable. There are special programs that allow you to fully monitor the condition of the hard drive and other media, perform preventive maintenance and perform some recovery or repair operations. One of these programs is HDDScan, which should be considered in detail.


  • 1HDDScan – what is the program and what is it intended for
  • 2How to use the program: overview of features and capabilities
    • 1Installing the program
    • 2Overview of interface and functions
    • 3How to check the hard disk using HDDScan
      • 3.1Video: HDDScan diagnostics of a hard disk

HDDScan – what is the program and what is it for

The program is designed to maintain a hard disk, optimize and restore cluster sectors. It is able to interact with devices operating on different interfaces:

  • IDE;
  • SATA;
  • IEEE1394;
  • SCSI;
  • USB (there are some restrictions for work).

Using the program, you can check the hard drive and external media

When applied to hard drives, the term “interface” refers to the way to connect to the motherboard, hence the wide range of possible options. In addition, a survey of external drives connected via USB ports is carried out, as well as actions with RAID arrays. In fact, HDDScan is capable of working with any removable devices connected to a computer, if they have their own information storage.

The program performs testing, analysis of the state of the disk, restores bad sectors. It is noteworthy that she does not deal with file recovery, the functionality is focused specifically on testing and maintaining the hardware of the disk. Features of the program:

  • detailed information about the disk;
  • surface testing using different techniques;
  • viewing SMART attributes (device self-diagnostics that determine the remaining life and general condition);
  • adjust or change AAM (noise level) or APM and PM (advanced power management) values;
  • displaying the temperature indicators of hard drives in the taskbar to obtain the possibility of constant monitoring.

HDDScan is a free software that is freely distributed on the network in a portable version, that is, it does not require installation and can be launched from any external media. The software is easy to download from the Internet, the volume of the current version (HDDScan 3/3) is only 3.6 MB, which will not take up much space either on the hard drive or on the flash drive.

It is not allowed to run the program from USB drives that are set to read-only mode.

How to use the program: overview of features and capabilities

Despite the free distribution, the HDDScan utility has a fairly high rating among similar programs. At the same time, many users either have no idea about it, or know little about this tool. Taking into account the simplicity, accessibility, wide possibilities, it will be useful to get detailed information about the program and consider it in more detail.

Program installation

Since the program does not need to be installed, disk scanning can be performed by any user, even without administrator rights, unlike software installed on a computer. They register their details in the system registry, which is why only users with administrator rights can have access to them. The situation with HDDScan is much simpler. After downloading, just go to the program data folder and double-click on the HDDScan.exe file. The main window of the program will open, after which you can start working, no additional installation steps are required.

Overview of interface and functions

After launching the utility, two windows appear on the screen, located one above the other.

Visually, the program is divided into two parts, one of them displays information about the tested medium, the second – about its state

The upper window contains controls and procedure selection, the lower one is intended for displaying reports and scan results. In the upper left corner there is a window with a drop-down list containing the names of all storage devices installed or connected to the computer. On the right side, the main details of the hard disk installed on the computer are provided. In the center is a button, when you click on it, a list of available functions appears:

  • Surface Tests. Allows you to perform a series of tests for the drive errors. Different methods of reading or writing are used, the parameters of functioning are determined.
  • SMART You can call this function by pressing the button of the same name on the left, under the window with the name of the devices. Initiates a self-diagnostic process for disks.
  • SMART Offline Tests. A submenu is called up, offering one of the test options at different levels.
  • Temperature Monitor. The device temperature is monitored.
  • By clicking on this item, you can access additional functions of the utility.
  • Identity Info. Access to disk identification data.
  • Skin Selection. A purely decorative function that changes the colors of the program windows.
  • Build Command Line. Command line creation function.
  • Opens a window with links where you can read the user manual.

The program has an impressive set of functions

The program itself does not have its own help desk, which was done, most likely, in order to reduce its volume, but it creates some inconvenience when working offline.

The information window (bottom) contains various tables, graphs or maps that give a visual representation of the status, the progress of the verification process, the presence of failures or errors, etc. By default, a list of tests appears in order of order, double-clicking on any of them will show detailed information about the operation. You can turn on the Graph tab, which shows the graph of the task, or use the Map tab, which displays the relationship of the location of the blocks from the current point in time. By default, map creation is disabled, since it takes a lot of processor resources, which is irrational. There is one more tab – Report, which displays information about the completed task and execution parameters. Any test can be canceled and removed from the queue.

How to check a hard disk using HDDScan

Consider the possible actions when examining the condition of the hard drive.

Surface Tests

There are 4 options for checking the surface of the disc:

  • Reading data without transferring over the interface, checking the speed of reading data.
  • Checking the speed of reading with transmission.
  • A specially compiled test data block is written to the drive, the time of data transfer and recording is checked. Information in this block is lost.
  • Butterfly Read. The procedure is similar to the Read operation, but the check is carried out in a different sequence: first block, last, second, penultimate, etc.

To check the hard disk, the user is prompted to select one of the modes

In the center of the main window there is information about the numbers of the first and last blocks and the size of a separate block. The Read option is set by default. The program starts working after clicking the Add Test button, when finished, a report will appear in the lower window. You cannot run multiple tests at the same time.

Viewing SMART Settings

The procedure can be launched by clicking the button on the left under the disk name window, or selected in the drop-down list of program functions after clicking the central New Task button. When finished, a long list of check points will appear in the lower window. They are marked in green, yellow or red at the beginning of each line. If the green mark – the parameters are good, the yellow color signals some deviations from the norm, if the red – some malfunction is marked for this value.

If there is a green mark next to the attribute, then there are no deviations in the work

For some solid-state drives, there may be incorrect responses on certain points related to the design features of the devices.

SMART Offline Tests

There are three types of SMART testing to choose from:

  • Short test. A short test, about 2 minutes long. A surface check and a cursory test of sectors with questionable areas are performed.
  • Extended test. Extended test, lasts up to 2 hours. The disk assemblies are checked and a complete surface check is performed.
  • Conveyance test. Verification takes a few minutes. The nodes of the disk are examined, which may contain errors or malfunctions.

Temperature monitor

The current media temperature is displayed. An increase in temperature, especially when the disk is inactive, indicates a mechanical problem or a malfunction that has appeared. Two values ​​appear in the window, displaying the maximum allowable and current temperature (for devices with SCSI interface), or values ​​from the Airflow Temperature and HDA Temperature attributes (for ATA / SATA / USB / FireWire drives).

Viewing information (Identity Info)

This function shows all the parameters of the hard disk:

  • volume;
  • disk type;
  • supported modes of operation;
  • cache size, etc.

The resulting information can be printed or saved to an MHT file opened with a browser.

Additional Features

Possibilities of changing the acoustic parameters of the disk and regulating the power supply are provided.

Additional program options allow you to configure hard disk parameters

The program shows which functions are supported and which are not, allows you to set the spindle stop time to save resources and power the disk.

Changing “skins”

This function is purely decorative and does not affect the operation of the disc in any way. The opportunity to change the appearance of the program windows is provided. There are only two options for changing (by default). For fans, there is an opportunity to download other versions of the program design on the Internet, but this procedure has no practical value.

Command line

It is possible to create bat- or cmd-files containing a command line created to control certain disk parameters. If necessary, the file is launched, as a result of which the parameter is changed in the background.

It is difficult to determine the order of actions when checking a disk, since the user may be interested in any particular parameter and have little concern for others. Therefore, starting to work with the utility, you should carefully read the instructions and decide on the most important and essential operations for your equipment.

Video: diagnostics of a hard disk with HDDScan

The HDDScan utility allows you to get comprehensive information about the status, operating mode and supported options of the hard disk and removable drives connected to the computer. In addition to information, the user can change some parameters, organize the order of rotation of the spindle in the most economical mode.

The capabilities of the program are great, but they mainly relate to information support and do not apply to the recovery of lost or deleted files. Using HDDScan makes it possible to see a complete picture of the state and operating mode of the disk, make a forecast about the resource of the device, and perform some measures that increase the service life of the drive.

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