Featured Software
August 2018
by Dan Delong

Hard Drive Validator

This free program not only tests hard drives (not SSDs) for bad sectors, and can often repair them.

Bad sectors could be caused by a power failure during writes, or wear and tear on an older drive.

Be careful, here. Use only option 1, at first. The author advises not to run the validator on your main operating system disk. He give two options for testing the OS disk. The first option - move the disk to another computer or to another disk dock. The second option is to use a Windows PE boot media, for which instructions and a download link are provided.

The four choices for operation of Hard Disk Validator are:

  1. Read: Will scan the entire hard drive surface to find bad sectors.
  2. Read + Wipe Damaged + Read: Will scan the entire hard drive surface to find bad sectors, if bad sectors are found, they will be overwritten, and read again to make sure they were written successfully this time.
  3. Read + Write + Verify + Restore: The program will write a test pattern to the disk, verify the pattern was written successfully, and then restore the original data.
  4. Write + Verify: The program will write a test pattern to the disk and verify the pattern was written successfully. (The original data will be lost).

I placed one of my older hard drives in a dock and initiated the Read option.

Here is a screen shot of the result, showing no bad sectors. Therefore, this disk does not require running option 2. or 3.

Scan Transfer

If bad sectors had been found, those squares would have been red in colour. The completed Read process could take longer than an hour. On my system the speed was 69 million bytes per second. Be careful about Option 4. It will completely erase a disk!

Finally, here is a copy of the log for this run:

  • 2018-08-10 10:28:58: Hard Disk Validator 1.0.7
  • 2018-08-10 10:28:58: Starting Read Test
  • 2018-08-10 10:28:58: Disk: WDC WD3200AAKS-75SBA0, S/N:
  • 2018-08-10 10:28:58: Disk size: 298 GiB (625,142,448 sectors, 512 bytes per sector)
  • 2018-08-10 11:53:57: Test Completed

NOTE: There were so many drives installed in this computer - one of them being my Samsung SSD, with Windows 7 installed - I had to be careful about choosing the proper drive. This program does not display the drive letter for any of the installed drives. Since this older Western Digital drive had a unique model number, "WD3200AAKS", it was findable in the Hard Drive Validator's drop-down lists.

Scan Transfer

System requirements:

Platform: Win XP, Vista,7, 8, 10

Version: Version 1.0.7

Price: Free

Language: English, and others

Download Size: 117 KB

Installed Size: 378 KB


Download Site here.