Looking for a quick and easy way to check the performance of your hard drive? Maybe you just swapped out an old SATA drive for a new SSD? Want to make sure that the SSD actually is giving you some real performance benefits? Well, you can use a program called HD Tune to monitor your hard drive’s performance over time.
HD Tune also has other features like the ability to scan your hard drive for errors, securely erase data, etc. It comes in a Pro version and a Free version. You can see the differences here:
Basically, for viewing read performance, detailed drive info, SMART status and error checking, the free program is perfect. If you want to also see write performance, however, you’ll have to purchase the Pro version or find another program.
To start a performance check on your hard drive, open HD Tune, choose a hard drive from the drop down at the top and then click on Start.
Let it run to 100% and then you’ll get some stats on your hard drive like minimum, maximum and average data transfer rates, access time, burst rate and CPU usage. Note that the above graph is working off a virtual machine with the hard drive located on an external NAS, so the values are all over the place. You should see a fairly consistent graph on an internal hard drive. This is a great way to see the performance difference between a SATA and SSD drive on your computer.
The Info screen will give you detailed information about the partitions on the hard drive and what kind of features your hard drive supports, such as S.M.A.R.T, etc.
You can view the health and perform an Error Scan which will go through each block on the hard drive and show a green box if everything is OK and a red box if something is damaged.
HD Tune is a great free tool to quickly get some nice stats about your hard drive. If you want more detailed info, it might be worth the $35 to get the Pro version. Enjoy!