Test hard drives for bad sectors with Hard Disk Validator
Hard Disk Validator is a free portable program for Microsoft Windows devices to test any connected hard drive for bad sectors and related issues.
Failing hard drives are quite the problem. While it is possible to mitigate data loss with the creation of regular backups, it is also necessary to find a suitable replacement for the drive, connect it to the PC and migrate data to it.
Hard drives are made up of sectors that data gets written to and checksums that should match the data of a sector. The checksum data does not match the data of the sector in bad sectors; this can be caused by power outages, unexpected restarts, failing hard drives, and other issues, for instance the one that throws "The memory could not be written" error messages.
Hard Disk Validator may be used to run a series of checks on hard drives to find out of they have bad sectors or are becoming less reliable in other areas.
You can run Hard Disk Validator directly after you have downloaded the archive to the local system and extracted it. Note that it requires an older version of the .Net Framework, and that it may be installed during setup on newer versions of the Windows operating system.
Hard Disk Validator
The program interface is straightforward. Select one of the connected drives at the top, and then one of the available test scenarios on the right. Note that the developer suggests to run only read tests on the operating system drive. He suggests to either connect the drive to a secondary PC to run the test, or boot into a recovery environment to run it from there.
As always, it is recommended to create a backup of the entire hard drive before you use Hard Disk Validator.
You may run the following four operations:
- Read -- tests read capabilities. Will test all sectors of the hard drive to find bad sectors.
- Read - Wipe Damaged - Read -- Same as above. Only difference is that the program attempts to overwrite bad sectors to read again from them to verify if they are okay.
- Read - Write - Verify - Restore -- Writes test patterns to disk to verify them to make sure sectors are okay. Restores the original data afterward.
- Write - Verify -- Same as above but without the restoration of the original data.
Tests take different execution times with read being the fastest. The program displays all sectors of the hard drive and uses color codes to indicate the status of the sector. Green means everything is okay and red that the sector is damaged.
Hard Disk Validator is a program that you run when you suspect that a hard drive may be failing, or for verification on a regular schedule. There is no option to schedule scans so that you have to run the program manually whenever you want to verify hard drives.
The program reveals bad sectors of hard drives to you and may be used to fix them if the issue has not been caused by hardware failures.
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