How to Test My Hard Drive for Speed & Errors

Written by wanda thibodeaux
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Test My Hard Drive for Speed & Errors
Simple speed and error tests give clues about your hard drive's performance. (hard drive image by BigDog from

The hard drive on your computer contains most of the data that you use during normal operations, including your operating system, applications and peripheral files. The performance of your hard drive affects the performance of the entire computer. If you suspect that your hard drive is not transferring data fast enough or if you think it might be failing, you should test the speed of the drive and look for errors. Windows has a built-in utility to look for errors, and numerous software applications are available to check disk speed.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Disk Bench software (freeware)

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Click "Start" and select "Computer." Right-click the drive you would like to test, then click "Properties."

  2. 2

    Click the "Tools" tab and click the "Check Now" button under the "Error Checking" heading.

  3. 3

    Choose your check disk options. It's best to check the "Automatically fix file system errors" option. Otherwise, any file errors you're encountering will persist because you've left the files damaged or corrupted. The "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" option looks at whether entire portions (sectors) of the hard drive are failing. It takes longer to do but is more thorough.

  4. 4

    Schedule the scan if you currently are using the drive you want to check. The Check Disk utility will not let you perform a check on a drive that's in use. When you schedule a scan, Windows will scan the drive you selected the next time you boot.

  5. 5

    Click "Start" to begin the scan.

  1. 1

    Download and unzip Disk Bench

  2. 2

    Run the Disk Bench Utility by double-clicking on the application file (DiskBench.exe).

  3. 3

    Click on the button to the right of the source file box to choose a file to copy--Disk Bench works by simply copying one file to another location and measuring how long the copy takes.

  4. 4

    Click the button to the right of the Destination File box and select where you'd like Disk Bench to put the copy of your selected file. Click "Start." Disk Bench should give you the results of the speed test, which include the data transfer rate, the time it took to finish the copy and the size of the file copied.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.