HDDScan – Free HDD Diagnostic Utility

/ Ver. 4.1 /

HDDScan is a freeware software for hard drive diagnostics (RAID arrays servers, Flash USB and SSD drives are also supported). The program can test storage device for errors (Bad-blocks and bad sectors), show S.M.A.R.T. attributes and change some HDD parameters such as AAM, APM, etc.


HDDScan can be useful for performing the regular "health test" for your drive and predicting its degradation, so you will be able to prevent data loss and backup your files before you would have to contact the data recovery service.

HDDscan is a free – noncommercial utility designed to prevent and detect errors on majority of storage devices however it is not meant to fix or repair physically damaged data storage devices (ssd, hard drives, removable drives or mobile phones.

If your device is making any abnormal noises stop immediately, do not try to turn on the device and contact a professional data recovery company.

DigiLab Data Recovery Services is recommended and approved by the developers of the HDDScan utility.

Additionally, software can be used as the hard disk temperature monitor and reading/writing benchmark – performance graph is displayed for every test.

Capabilities and Requirements:

Supported storage devices:
  • IDE (ATA) and SATA HDD.
  • External USB drives and all major USB boxes (see Appendix A).
  • FireWire or IEEE 1394 HDD (see Appendix A).
  • RAID volumes made of ATA (IDE) / SATA / SCSI HDDs (surface tests only).
  • USB Flash (pen drives) – surface tests only.
  • SATA / ATA SSD – solid state drives.
Storage device tests:
  • Verification in linear mode – helps to determine if your drive needs data rescue, has recoverable errors or in its perfect shape.
  • Reading in linear mode – simpler, but faster disk check.
  • Erasing in linear mode.
  • Reading in Butterfly mode (synthetic random read).
  • Reading and analyzing SMART parameters from ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire HDD.
  • Reading and analyzing Log Pages from SCSI HDD.
  • SMART tests running on ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire HDD.
  • Temperature monitor for 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.
  • SSD SMART and Identity reports.
  • Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2003 (with restrictions), Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 (NEW).
  • The program shouldn’t be run from a read-only device/media.

User interface

Main view

Main view

Control elements:
  • Select Drive drop box - contains a list of supported storage devices in a system. The list contains models and serial numbers of the devices. Icon defines possible storage type.
  • S.M.A.R.T. button – generates S.M.A.R.T. attributes report.
  • TESTS button – shows pop-up menu to select read and write tests.
  • TOOLS button – shows pop-up menu to select available drive’s controls and features.
  • More button – shows drop-down menu with program controls.

  • When you click on TEST button, the pop-up menu offers you one of the tests. If you select any test – the Test selection dialog will be opened.
  • Test selection pop-up

  • When you click on TOOLS button, the pop-up menu would offer you to choose one of the following options.
  • Tools selection pop-up

  • DRIVE ID – generates Identity information report.
  • FEATURES – opens ATA or SCSI features control
  • S.M.A.R.T. TEST – activates a dialog with Short, Extended and Conveyance S.M.A.R.T. tests.
  • TEMP MON – starts temperature monitoring task.
  • COMMAND – opens a dialog that can build command line for the program.

Test Selection Dialog

Test Selection pop-up

Control elements:
  • FIRST SECTOR – determines first Logical Block Address (LBA) for testing.
  • SIZE – a number of LBAs for this test.
  • BLOCK SIZE– indicates Block Size for testing (in LBA sectors).
  • Previous button – returns the program on the Main screen.
  • Next button – adds the test into a tasks’ queue.
Tests capabilities and limitations:
  • Only one test at a time. Author wasn’t able to get stable test results with two or more simultaneous tests.
  • Verify test may have restrictions on Block Size with 256, 16384 or 65536 sectors because of Windows limitations.
  • Verify test may work in unreliable way on USB/Flash devices.
  • In Verify mode device reads block of data into drive’s internal buffer only and checks for consistency, there is no data transfer through an interface connector/cable. The program measures operation time for each block. The program tests blocks one by one from minimum to maximum.
  • In Read mode device reads block of data and transfers it thorough interface to the host controller. The program reads block of data into a temporary buffer and measures time of operation for each block. The program tests blocks one by one from minimum to maximum.
  • In Erase mode the program prepares block of data field with special pattern and an LBA number. The program sends the block of data to the drive and the drive writes the block (All previous data in the block on the drive will be overwritten with the pattern and cannot be recovered after that!) The program measures operation time for each block. The program tests blocks one by one from minimum to maximum.
  • Butterfly Read mode is similar to Read mode difference only in blocks’ order. Blocks are tested by pairs. The first block in the first pair will be Block 0, the second block in the first pair will be Block N (where N is number of last block for testing). Next pair will be Block 1 and Block N-1. Test ends in the middle of the testing area. The program measures operation time.

Tasks Manager window

This window shows a tasks queue. All surface tests, S.M.A.R.T. tests and Temperature Monitor tasks will be displayed in the Tasks Manager Window.

Double clicking on a task line will open task information window (alternatively you can select Show Details option from the menu of the Tasks Manager).

Test information window

This window contains information about selected test. Test could be paused or stopped and report with results can be generated.

Graph Tab:

Displays testing speed for each block. Information is represented as a graph.

Graph Tab

Map Tab:

Displays response time for each block. Information is represented as a map.

Map Tab

You can select “Block Processing Time” in milliseconds. Every tested block that would have taken operation time longer than the “Block Processing Time” would be logged in the Report tab.

Report Tab:

Contains information about selected test and each tested block on a drive which responding time was longer than the “Block Processing Time”.

Report Tab

Identity information

Report contains information about physical and logical parameters of HDD. Report can be saved to an MHT file.

Identity information example

S.M.A.R.T. report

Report contains information about drive’s performance and “health” described in attributes. Green icon means – attribute values are normal. Yellow icon marks important attributes which may indicate HDD’s malfunction. Red icon indicates abnormal attribute values.

Report can be saved to an MHT file.

SMART report example

Temperature monitor

Monitor allows evaluating HDD's temperature. Temperature is indicated on the Task bar and in an information window.

Temperature monitors on the Task bar

For ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire drives the information widow displays two values. The second value is shown on the Task bar and represents temperature from HDA Temperature attribute.

The first value indicates temperature from Airflow Temperature attribute.

If the second value is not supported be the drive then the fist value will be shown on the Task bar.

Temperature monitor for ATA/SATA HDD

For SCSI drives the information window shows two values. The second value is shown on the Task bar and represents current temperature.

The first value indicates maximum allowed temperature for HDD.

Temperature monitor for SCSI HDD

S.M.A.R.T. tests

The program can run three types of tests

  1. Short test – lasts about 1-2 minutes. The test inspects drive’s main electronics, scans small part of drive’s surface and checks sectors from the Pending-list (such sectors may have read errors). This test recommended for a quick drive testing.
  2. . Extended test – could take 0.5-60 hours, depending of the size of the drive. The test inspects drive’s main electronics and scans the whole drive’s surface.
  3. Conveyance test – usually lasts several minutes. The test inspects drive’s main electronics and logs that may have records which could indicate incorrect transportation or storing.

The SMART Test can be selected from the SMART tests dialog that can be called by pressing SMART TESTS button

SMART Tests Dialog

After selecting, the test will be added to the Tasks queue.

SMART Tests details window can show progress and completion status.

S.M.A.R.T. test information window


The program might be able change some parameters for ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire HDD:

  1. AAM – this function changes drive’s acoustic. If this function enabled drive’s noise may be decreased by smoothing HSA’s seek operations. HDD could lose some performance.
  2. APM – this function allows power savings by temporary decreasing spindle’s rotation speed (including complete stop) when drive is in idle.
  3. PM – this function allows setting spin-down timer. If drive is in idle spindle would be stopped after the time set in the timer. If any program requests HDD access the internal timer will be reset and spindle will continue to spin.
  4. The program can also start or stop spindle immediately. If any program requests HDD access drive’s spindle will spin up.

Features window for ATA/SATA HDD

For SCSI/SAS/FC drives the program can show defect-lists and start or stop the spindle.

Features window for SCSI HDD

Command Line Dialog

HDDScan can build a command line and save it to .cmd or .bat file. When you run such file the program starts in background mode, changes selected parameters and closes automatically.

Build a command line

Appendix A: USB and FireWire HDDs

If USB/FireWire HDD is supported by the program, tests, S.M.A.R.T. capabilities and additional features may be executed on the drive.

If USB/FireWire HDD is no supported by the program, only tests can be executed.

USB/FireWire HDDs supported by the program:

Storage device Controller chip
StarTeck IDECase35U2 Cypress CY7C68001
WD Passpopt Unknown
Iomega PB-10391 Unknown
Seagate ST9000U2 (PN: 9W3638-556) Cypress CY7C68300B
Seagate External Drive (PN: 9W286D) Cypress CY7C68300B
Seagate FreeAgentPro Oxford
Vantec CB-ISATAU2 (adapter) JMicron JM20337
Beyond Micro Mobile Disk 3.5" 120GB Prolific PL3507 (supported only USB)
Maxtor Personal Storage 3100 Prolific PL2507
Maxtor Personal Storage (USB2120NEP001) In-System ISD300A
SunPlus SPIF215A
Toshiba USB Mini Hard Drive Unknown
USB Teac HD-15 PUK-B-S Unknown
Transcend StoreJet 35 Ultra (TS1TSJ35U-EU) Unknown
AGEStar FUBCP JMicron JM20337
USB Teac HD-15 PUK-B-S Unknown
  Prolific 2571
All Drives That Support SAT Protocol Majority of Modern USB controllers

USB/FireWire HDDs which are probably supported by the program:

Storage device Controller chip
AGEStar IUB3A Cypress
AGEStar ICB3RA Cypress
AGEStar IUB3A4 Cypress
AGEStar IUB5A Cypress
AGEStar IUB5P Cypress
AGEStar IUB5S Cypress
AGEStar NUB3AR Cypress
AGEStar IBP2A2 Cypress
AGEStar SCB3AH JMicron JM2033x
AGEStar SCB3AHR JMicron JM2033x
AGEStar CCB3A JMicron JM2033x
AGEStar CCB3AT JMicron JM2033x
AGEStar IUB2A3 JMicron JM2033x
AGEStar SCBP JMicron JM2033x
AGEStar FUBCP JMicron JM2033x
Noontec SU25 Prolific PL2507
Transcend TS80GHDC2 Prolific PL2507
Transcend TS40GHDC2 Prolific PL2507
I-O Data HDP-U series Unknown
I-O Data HDC-U series Unknown
Enermax Vanguard EB206U-B Unknown
Thermaltake Max4 A2295 Unknown
Spire GigaPod SP222 Unknown
Cooler Master - RX-3SB Unknown
MegaDrive200 Unknown
RaidSonic Icy Box IB-250U Unknown
Logitech USB Unknown

USB/FireWire HDDs not supported by the program:

Storage device Controller chip
Matrix Genesis Logic GL811E
Pine Genesis Logic GL811E
Iomega LDHD250-U Cypress CY7C68300A
Iomega DHD160-U Prolific PL-2507 (modified firmware)
Iomega Prolific PL-3507 (modified firmware)
Maxtor Personal Storage 3200 Prolific PL-3507 (modified firmware)
Maxtor One-Touch Cypress CY7C68013
Seagate External Drive (PN-9W2063) Cypress CY7C68013
Seagate Pocket HDD Unknown
SympleTech SympleDrive 9000-40479-002 CY7C68300A
  Myson Century CS8818
  Myson Century CS8813

Appendix B: supported SSD drives

Support of any particular solid state drive depends mostly on its SSD controller.

Solid state drives, supported by HDDScan:

SSD Drive SSD Controller Chip
OCZ Vertex, Vertex Turbo, Agility, Solid 2 Indilinx IDX110M00
Super Talent STT_FTM28GX25H Indilinx IDX110M00
Corsair Extreme Series Indilinx IDX110M00
Kingston SSDNow M-Series Intel PC29AS21AA0 G1
Intel X25-M G2 Intel PC29AS21AA0 G2
OCZ Throttle JMicron JMF601
Corsair Performance Series Samsung S3C29RBB01
Samsung SSDs Samsung Controllers
Crucial and Micron SSDs Some Marvell Controllers

SSD drives, which are probably supported by HDDScan:

SSD Drive SSD Controller Chip
OCZ Vertex2, Agility2 SandForce SF1200
OCZ Vertex LE, Vertex 2 Pro SandForce SF1500
Corsair Force F100 Series SandForce SF1200
Xceed Lite Unknown
Phison-based SSDs Phison Controllers

Additional Resources:
Below is an additional resource alternatives to data recovery services providers.
Founded in 2007, Secure Data Recovery Services is one of the leading companies that offer professional data recovery services. They provide service for data recovery, RAID repair, hard drive repair, computer forensics, and many other media services in their safe and clean room. They have experienced engineers, data repair facilities and a certified Class 10 ISO 4 Classroom.

If your device is making any abnormal noises (Good resource of bad sounds can be found here).

Author: Artem Rubtsov Copyright © 2020 HDDScan.com. All Rights Reserved. Support: support@hddscan.com