Solid-state drives (SSDs) have already taken the place of hard disk drives (HDD), as SSDs perform faster compared to conventional HDDs. While HDDs’ data transfer speed is generally 30 to 150 megabytes per second (MBps), a standard SSD can perform at speeds of 500 MBps, and NVMe SSDs can achieve up to 3,000 to 3,500 MBps.
However, the performance of the SSDs can decrease over time. So, an SSD health check is essential, especially for large organizations where data transfer speed plays an important role. There are many SSD health check tools, and the most effective tools are often free and provided by SSD manufacturers. Most SSD health check tools test the transfer speed, measure performance, optimize the SSD, and even allow secure erasing of SSD data.
What Are SSD Health Check and Diagnostic Tools?
SSD health check tools can help to quickly check whether an SSD is in good health, showing the current state and an SSD health status. Some can even detect bad sectors on an SSD that indicate SSD condition.
Some SSD health check tools enable garbage collection and other parameters to optimize performance. The tools allow for improvement or tuning SSDs for different demands, and utilizing them may improve the drive performance from losing some storage capacity.
For example, the SSD/Disk benchmark feature is common for most SSD health checkers, allowing users to measure SSD performance by the transfer speed test. It can even calculate the accuracy of write/read data provided by the manufacturer after testing the speed.
Read more about hard drive benchmarking tools.
Top 10 SSD Health Check and Diagnostic Tools
- CrystalDiskInfo: Best for the simple user interface | Price: Free
- Intel SSD Toolbox: Best for Intel SSDs | Price: Free
- SSDLife: Best portable SSD diagnostic tool | Price: Free/Professional Version $19 USD
- Samsung Magician: Best for Samsung SSDs | Price: Free
- MiniTool Partition Wizard: Powerful partition manager | Price: Free/Pro Edition from $59 USD
- Toshiba SSD Utility: Best for Toshiba OCZ SSD | Price: Free
- Smartmontools: Best for command-line interface applications | Price: Free
- Kingston SSD Manager: Best for Kingston SSDs | Price: Free
- Hard Disk Sentinel: Best for instant SMART analysis | Price: Free trial/Lifetime license from $19.50 USD
- Crucial Storage Executive: Best for Crucial SSDs | Price: Free
CrystalDiskInfo: Best for the Simple User Interface
CrystalDiskInfo is a free and open-source SSD health check tool developed by Noriyuki Miyazaki that is best for its simple user interface (UI). It works with drives from all manufacturers to provide health and temperature information about an SSD, and it has the ability to collect accurate data for the SSD and HDD storage drives.
CrystalDiskInfo also offers the ability to check read/write speeds; power consumption; buffer size; firmware updates; port details; and self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology (SMART) information. With CrystalDiskInfo, users can quickly test SSD speed.
The software tool helps monitor SSD health, notifying of firmware updates and predicting the time the drive fails. On the main panel, users can view their drive information in one place, including the speed, temperature, errors, and other health estimates.
Key Features of CrystalDiskInfo
- Auto AAM/APM Adaption enabled to apply AAM/APM Settings on boot up or to detect new disks.
- Wait Time at Startup allows users to set a wait time at startup.
- Auto Detection allows users to set a wait time for auto disks detection.
- Advanced Disk Search allows users to search ScsiPort 0–15 and ScsiTargetID 0–7.
- CrystalDiskInfo supports Alert Mail to set alarms for temperature and health status.
- CrystalDiskInfo has a simple user interface.
- It is an open-source SSD health check software tool.
- It works with drives from all manufacturers.
- It won’t work on Linux-based systems.
- CrystalDiskInfo cannot execute firmware updates.
- There needs to be explanations or Help features to accompany this tool.
Intel SSD Toolbox: Best for Intel SSDs
Intel SSD Toolbox is a free software toolbox developed by Intel that is best for managing and checking the health of Intel SSDs. This tool set aims to help users manage their SSD, optimize performance, and keep it in perfect running order. The tool checks the health of the Intel SSD, finds information and data about the drive, and ensures the SSD is running as it should.
Intel SSD Toolbox has a relatively simple UI suitable for both advanced and beginner users. The software tool will show the current drive information to break down all the significant facts, including the model number, storage capacity, and currently installed firmware version.
In addition, Intel SSD Toolbox has several functional capabilities, including SSD optimization, system configuration tuning, secure erasing, SMART functions, diagnostic scanning, and viewing recommended actions.
Key Features of Intel SSD Toolbox
- Intel SSD Management Tools enable monitoring and managing of any Intel SSDs.
- View Drive Information displays the model, serial, and firmware numbers.
- Check SMART Attributes lists the SMART features and respective thresholds and indicates action to take as necessary.
- Full Diagnostic Scan analyzes the complete SSD to determine read/write errors or bad blocks.
- Secure Erase will wipe data entirely on a secondary Intel SSD.
- The Toolbox will view detailed information about an SSD.
- Fast Diagnostic Scan analyzes the first 1.5GB of SSD.
- It has a relatively simple user interface.
- Some tools require advanced-level knowledge and skills.
- The Toolbox is designed only for Intel SSDs.
SSDLife: Best Portable SSD Diagnostic Tool
SSDLife is a free and portable SSD diagnostic tool developed by BinarySense. The SSD health tool provides comprehensive information about SSD drives and helps users take action for any issues.
SSDLife lets businesses control how securely data is stored on their SSDs. It analyzes SSD operation activity and calculates the estimated lifetime using a specialized algorithm. Using the tool, users can view the complete information about an SSD, such as manufacturer, model, size of the drive and amount of free disk space, time of operation, number of device starts, total throughput, and other helpful information.
Some additional capabilities and benefits are available in the SSDLife Pro, such as showing SMART data, supporting more than one SSD drive, checking the SSD status on schedule, SmartCheck feature, detecting lack of free space, and Priority support 24×7. This professional version of SSDLife is available for $19 USD.
Key Features of SSDLife
- Health Bar indicates the health of SSD and lifespan.
- SSDLife provides the option to back up all data from SSD.
- Users can collect details about SSD drives and display them individually on corresponding tabs.
- Users can allow refreshing by clicking on the corresponding button.
- It is a portable software tool that can be used from a USB stick without prior installation.
- It has a minimum system load and uses a minimal amount of RAM (random-access memory).
- SSDLife works with almost all SSD drive manufacturers.
- Some capabilities are only available on the SSDLife Pro version.
- The SSDLife free version keeps an online report only for 30 days.
- There needs to be more information about the software tool.
Samsung Magician: Best for Samsung SSDs
Samsung developed Samsung Magician, a free tool to support users in managing and optimizing Samsung SSDs. The SSD health check tool enables users to monitor SSD health, temperature, performance, and optimization rates as well as to maximize performance, protect data, and customize SSDs.
Samsung Magician provides detailed information about SSD status, such as Total Bytes Written (TBW) information, cache usage time, and additional information about the SSD product and system. With Samsung Magician, users can diagnose the health of the SSD, update new firmware, and benchmark for optimum performance.
Samsung Magician has a user-friendly interface, and users don’t need to have any technical knowledge or background to use Samsung Magician. The tool helps optimize SSDs more efficiently; it’s not necessary but beneficial and easy to manage.
Further Samsung Magician collects the drive serial number, interface, firmware, AHCI mode, driver health, temperature, and volume data for supported models, including 980 PRO, 980, 970 PRO, 970 EVO, 970 EVO Plus, 960 PRO, 960 EVO, 950 PRO, 870 EVO, 870 QVO, and 860 PRO.
Key Features of Samsung Magician
- Diagnostic Scan helps identify the information state of the SSD.
- The SecureErase function allows users to erase data on the drive.
- Benchmarking application tests the performance of the SSD and the connected devices.
- Samsung Magician offers automatica operating system optimization.
- Samsung Magician includes advanced performance optimization.
- Samsung Magician is easy to use and has many valuable features.
- It is an excellent tool for managing and optimizing Samsung SSDs.
- It allows users to create a secure backup and securely delete data from SSDs.
- Samsung Magician can be slow at times.
- It may only be recognized for some Samsung SSDs.
- The tool only transfers data to Samsung SSD.
MiniTool Partition Wizard: Powerful Partition Manager
MiniTool Partition Wizard is a free SSD health check tool and powerful partition manager developed by MiniTool Software Limited. Although, the Pro edition is available, starting at $59 USD for an annual subscription.
The software tool helps to manage SSDs, optimize performance, format drives, recover missing data, analyze disk usage, and migrate the operating system to SSD/HD. It has various features to improve the SSD performance, including Check File System, Align Partition, and Change Cluster Size.
MiniTool Partition Wizard allows users to find and remove SSD errors as well as find the actual read/write speed of an SSD using the Disk Benchmark feature. The Disk Benchmark feature measures disk performance for sequential and random read/write operations.
Further, MiniTool Partition Wizard works with various devices, including SSDs, solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs), HDDs, USB flash drives, SD cards, dynamic disks, and others. It has a powerful user interface that allows users to complete the whole operation within a few clicks.
Key Features of MiniTool Partition Wizard
- Space Analyzer finds SSD drive space.
- exFAT partitions optimize data recovery.
- Wipe the Disk deletes files on the SSD permanently.
- Migrate OS to SSD/HD or Copy Disk.
- Partition Recovery restores deleted partitions.
- MiniTool Partition Wizard can manage most disk drives.
- The Undo button allows users to back off changes before they become permanent.
- The free version performs many essential operations.
- The process can be slow for a significant span of transfer size.
- It can destroy essential data if used carelessly.
- It is relatively expensive to get access to advanced functionality.
Toshiba Storage Utility: Best for Toshiba OCZ SSD
Toshiba Storage Utility is a free all-in-one management solution developed by Toshiba that is intended to optimize and improve the overall performance of Toshiba SSDs. The SSD health check tool enables users to display pertinent drive information, run error scans, reserve free space, and securely erase. The Storage Utilities optimize performance through the TRIM function, and users can enhance the performance of a Toshiba SSD with system drive optimizations.
Toshiba SSD Utility is the best health tool for OCZ SSD. Users can utilize it regardless of operating system to monitor an SSD in real time. The software tool will provide all SSD information, including SSD health, storage space, remaining life, and overall performance.
Key Features of Toshiba SSD Utility
- Performance Optimizer optimizes performance with the TRIM command.
- Diagnostic Scan scans SSDs for reading errors.
- Drive Information displays various information about the SSD.
- System Optimizer tunes the system configuration of the system drive.
- Secure Erase helps erase all data on the Toshiba SSD.
- It is a free and effective software tool.
- It is an all-in-one management solution for Q300 and Q300 Pro Toshiba SSDs.
- Users can obtain SSD information quickly.
- It works only for a few Toshiba SSD models.
- It won’t work on 32-bit systems.
Smartmontools: Best for Command-Line Interface Applications
Smartmontools is a free SMART monitoring tool developed by Bruce Allen that provides real-time information about the health and performance of an SSD and HDD via a command-line interface (CLI). The software tool includes two utility programs, smartctl and smartd, which will help to control and monitor drives.
Users can configure it to regularly schedule tests and trigger alerts if failure is imminent. Smartmontools will analyze SSD health and provide information on possible degradation and failures.
The SSD health tool enables the access and analysis of the storage systems using built-in SMART capabilities commonly found in most SCSI/SAS, ATA/SATA, and NVMe disks. If an SSD performs slower than usual, users can view the drive’s SMART data to identify the problem.
Key Features of Smartmontools
- SMART Testing includes Offline test and Short/Long Selftest.
- Smartmontools automatically reports and highlights any anomalies.
- Smartmontools allows enabling or disabling SMART.
- It displays drive details, capabilities, and device statistics.
- Smartmontools works on the most smartctl-supported operating systems.
- It works for most SSD devices.
- It is a free and effective software tool.
- The user interface may be overwhelming to some users.
- Beginner-level users may need help with the CLI.
- There needs to be more information about the features.
Kingston SSD Manager: Best for Kingston SSDs
Kingston SSD Manager is a free SSD health check tool developed by Kingston Technology for monitoring the performance and health of Kingston SSDs. It is an effective and helpful tool for monitoring drive health and status, checking disk usage, updating SSD firmware, and verifying disk over-provisioning as well as quickly and securely erasing data from SSDs.
Kingston SSD Manager also enables users to monitor and manage various aspects of their Kingston SSD. Users can view drive identification data such as model name, serial number, and firmware version, and they can view and export details about drive health and status reports.
Key Features of Kingston SSD Manager
- The Health tab allows users to monitor various attributes related to SSD health and status.
- The Overprovisioning feature involves the management of the overprovisioning of SSDs.
- The Main Window allows users to view device details and health status.
- The SSD Wear Indicator displays the remaining write endurance on the selected SSD.
- The Firmware tab provides information on the physical device path, serial number, and firmware version.
- Kingston SSD Manager provides SSD details in the software dashboard and allows users to update the SSD firmware.
- It enables users to view Kingston SSD health check details in real time.
- Kingston SSD Manager enables users to export health check reports for further analysis.
- Kingston SSD Manager is not compatible with macOS or Linux.
- The health tool is designed only for Kingston SSD.
- Kingston SSD Manager needs AHCI mode set in BIOS and does not support USB enclosures.
Hard Disk Sentinel: Best for Instant SMART Analysis
Hard Disk Sentinel (HDSentinel) is a hard disk SMART monitoring tool developed by Heartfelt Development Services available for $19.50 USD; although, a free trial is available for those who want to try it first. It is a great software tool for SSD that operates in the background and enables testing, diagnosing, fixing, and generating reports about SSD health.
HDSentinel displays SSD health and works for both internal and external USB-connected or e-SATA SSDs. Further, HDSentinel provides real-time SSD health conditions and performance, then generates reports with the possible fixes to repair the issues, and it shows the disk transfer speed in real time and helps detect failures and potential threats.
Key Features of Hard Disk Sentinel
- HDSentinel monitors SSD health, temperature, and all SMART values.
- Its benchmarking tool provides alerts about potential performance degradation.
- It runs in the background and provides real-time health checks.
- HDSentinel generates error reports with the fixes to repair the issues.
- The SMART monitoring tool is highly compatible with most SSDs.
- Simple user interfaces are accessible to beginners.
- It provides brief information on SSD health and performance.
- HDSentinel offers instant SMART analysis.
- HDSentinel may be complex for first-time attempts.
- It uses high CPU and RAM at working time.
- The Hard Disk Sentinel free trial is limited.
Crucial Storage Executive: Best for Crucial SSDs
Crucial Storage Executive is a free SSD management software developed by Crucial, Micron Technology that offers reporting and utilities for diagnosing problems with Crucial SSDs. The SSD health check tool improves Crucial SSD performance, enables it to become faster, and provides periodic updates.
Crucial Storage Executive allows users to view used and current available storage space, update the SSD to the latest firmware, and monitor the drive’s operating temperature. With the software tool, users can reset the encryption password, download the newest firmware, enable the Momentum Cache feature, clean all data stored on the drive, and monitor the overall health of Crucial SSDs. Further Crucial Storage Executive views drive attributes, updates firmware, and recovers operating system malfunctions.
Key Features of Crucial Storage Executive
- Momentum Cache increases SSD operations up to 10x faster.
- The System Information screen summarizes SSD storage device details.
- PSID Revert can return a Crucial SSD to its original state
- Sanitize Drive removes all data.
- Over Provisioning allows the allocation of additional space for the controller.
- Optimize performance and monitor operating temperature and overall health.
- Reset the SSD encryption password and clear all stored data.
- Verify the model number of a Crucial SSD for warranty claims.
- It is designed only for Crucial SSD.
- All Crucial SSD models do not support the device Self-Test feature.
- The FlexCap feature is not applicable on Crucial SSDs.
Choosing an SSD Health Check and Diagnostic Tool
SSDs are much better and have become more popular than traditional hard drives. However, an SSD can degrade with time, which makes PCs slower. So it’s necessary to utilize SSD health check tools to monitor and manage an SSD’s health status.
Since an SSD usually contains an operating system and many critical and essential data, some SSD health check software tools will show vital information about any storage device attached to the motherboard.
To select an SSD health check tool, you should focus on some key factors, such as what type of SSD you have, the set of features you need, manageability, user interface, and budget.
Read more: Comparing SSD vs HDD Speed: Which Is Faster?