Computer Tips & Advice
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One thing you should be doing on a regular basis is making sure your hard drive is in good working order. Testing your drive for defects is easy to do, but very few people actually do this. Today’s drives run faster and hotter, so they tend to breakdown more frequently than in the old days. It’s a good idea to run a scan for bad sectors at least twice per year because if your drive is starting to go bad, you want to get it copied to a new one before it crashes completely.

There is a free and simple to use utility for accomplishing this test and it works for all versions of Windows (from XP up to and including Windows 10). It’s called HD Tune and you can read more about this utility by visiting their website at They have two versions of this utility, the older free one and the Pro version which only works for 15 days (Trial Version). The older free version is fine for most people, so that is the one we recommend installing.

Download HD Tune free version here

Download HD Tune

Sample screen shot of HD Tune Error Scan in progress

Once you have installed HD Tune, you just open the program and click the Error Scan tab (it starts with Benchmark by default). You then click the Start button and let it run until it’s done. Depending on the size of your drive, this test could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3-4 hours. You can still use your computer while the test is running, it will just run a lot slower.

Once the test is done, the whole thing should be filled with green squares. If you see even one red square, that means your drive has a bad sector and we recommend getting it replaced ASAP. It’s a good idea to save the end result for future reference, which you can do easily by clicking the floppy disk button. Make sure you put the date you ran the test at the end of the file name, that way you’ll know when you last did a test.

If your drive does need replacing, we can transfer everything over to a new or Refurb drive so you lose nothing (programs and data). You can keep using the drive even with bad sector(s), but sooner or later Windows is going to put an important system file in one of those bad spots and crash so why take the chance?

Maxtor hard drive with a number of bad sectors Toshiba hard drive with a lot of bad sectors

Check out our tip for removing malware from your computer.

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