A computer hard drive is a component of a computer that holds saved digital information such as programs, documents and operating systems. You can use an external hard drive to store digital information and files you don't want to keep on your computers hard drive or to back up important digital information. The speed of an external hard drive can effect how quickly you can access and copy files to and from the drive. You can find out how fast your external hard drive is by using one of a few downloadable speed test programs.
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Plug your external hard drive into the computer you are going to use to test it.
Download a hard drive speed checking program. A few good examples are programs like Barts Stuff Test, CHDDSPEED and Roadkil's Disk Speed (see Resources.). Click on the download link and select "Save" to download the program into your computer's downloads folder.
Open "My Computer" and navigate to your downloads folder. Double click on the downloaded file to extract and install the program. Navigate to the folder containing the extracted file. Double click on it to open the folder.
Click the executable file. This will run your downloaded program. In the case of Bart's Stuff Test the file is labelled BST5.exe. Select the drive you wish to test by choosing it from the drop-down menu on the main screen. Once you have selected the external hard drive you wish to test, click "Options>Quick Speed Test>OK." The program will now run a speed test on your external hard drive.
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