How to Test the Speed of a Hard Drive

We all have computers or laptops we no longer use and are just lying around a corner in our house. While we can always sell them or give them to others, wouldn’t it be nice to see if it still has the chops to do your computer tasks? To check this out, there are some aspects within the unit that you have to take note of. One of these is the speed of the hard drive. If you notice that the current hard drive of the computer is too slow and not up to par with most programs used today, then it might be high time for you to replace it with a newer, faster hard drive.


Most laptops and desktop computers have veered away from the old HDD and opted for the faster and more reliable SSDs or Solid State Drives. The difference between the two types of hard drives is very significant. Using SSDs will significantly improve the transfer of data as well as the loading up of most programs and software.

Generally, the two key aspects that help measure the speed of a hard drive are the interface type and RPM. These aspects are being measured to help compare and determine the speed of a particular hard disk.

In this article, we will teach you how to test the speed of a hard drive. This will come in handy for those who want to check the current speed of their hard drive. Or for those who have recently bought a computer or laptop and want to test the speed of the built-in hard drive. So without further ado, let us start with the discussion.

Check the Label on the Hard Drive

One of the most straightforward yet effective means of checking the speed of the hard drive is by merely taking a look at the label on the unit. With this method, you might have to open the computer or laptop, take off some screws and remove the hard drive from the slot. We highly suggest that you first do some research about opening the back panel of a laptop or removing a hard drive from the CPU before proceeding with the task.

It is worth noting that some manufacturers equip the designs of their computers in a way that allows better visibility of the hard drive without fully opening the CPU case. With this, you don’t have to deal with unscrewing bolts and removing some parts which might cause damage to the system if you do not have enough knowledge with the process.

Via Device Manager and MSINFO32

Another convenient way of checking the speed of your hard drive is by doing a little research about the specifications of the unit in Google. There, you will be able to determine some relevant information as well as features the hard drive is equipped with. However, before you can do a Google search, you first need to know the actual model of the hard drive installed on the computer.

To determine the model of the hard drive, you can do this by right-clicking on the Computer icon and then clicking on the Properties option. A small window will appear, which shows a few options; there, you should click on Device Manager to determine the model of the hard drive. You can also go to the Control Panel and navigate through the options to click on to Device Manager.

The next step is to expand the list by clicking on the Plus icon next to disk drives. There, you will see the actual model and unit of the hard drive. If this does not work, you can click on the details tab which is found on the drop-down menu. Click on hardware IDS and there, you will see the actual model and number of the hard drive. There might be some special symbols and characters within the label, but you can disregard all of them, all you need are the actual numbers and letters that represent the model of the hard drive.

After determining the hard drive model and number, you can now do a simple Google search to know some relevant information about the unit, which includes the RPM of the installed hard drive.

Aside from the steps mentioned above using the Control panel,  Windows also comes with a system information tool that reveals the model number of the hard drive. To use the device, you need to click on the start button and then input msinfo32. After typing the code press Enter. After doing this, you will then be prompted to a separate window. There, expand the components option and then click on Storage. This will reveal another window which shows relevant information about the hard drive, including the manufacturer and the actual model number. After determining the model number of the hard drive, you can now do a simple Google search.

Use a Third Party Utility

The last method we will be discussing is with the use of third-party applications. Through these apps, you would be able to determine relevant information about the hard drive, including its speed at RPM. Aside from the speed of the hard drive, it also shows some specifications about your unit, including interface type, serial number, buffer size, and many more.

When using third-party applications, make sure to download and use only the legitimate ones because unfortunately, tons of them come with spyware, which can damage the system. Fortunately, there are several hard drive speed testers available in the market that get the job done without the fear of damaging your system or infecting it with tons of malware. There are paid applications that you can purchase in the market, but we highly suggest that you use free apps as they are sufficient enough in providing you with the information you want to know.

My HDD Speed is one of the best hard drive testing applications that get the job done. After a couple of seconds, you will immediately know the reading and writing speed of your hard drive. Not only these, but the app also shows some relevant information about the unit. Other worth mentioning third-party apps include Atto Disk benchmark, CrystalDisk Mark, AS SSD Benchmark and Anvil’s Storage Utilities.