Use WinSAT and determine how fast my hard disk is!

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Ever wondered how fast your hard drives are? There are some tools out there to benchmark your system, but did you know there are tools built-in?

The tool I am talking about is WinSAT.exe. WinSAT is the command line tool used to update you Windows Experience Index.

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My guess is that the most commonly used parameter used is formal, this will rerun the full set of all assessments. The tool can also be used to pre-populate the scores, run specific tests or forget all the history – just run winsat –? and you will get all the options.

Tip! Use this tool to make automated benchmarks of your computers before putting them in production in your enterprise.

Lets take a deep dive in the assessment for disk. If you winsat disk, it will start to assess your system drive, most often C: looking something like this

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Here you can see some parameters not showing when use winsat –? or winsat disk –?, so how can we use this?

Lets try: winsat disk -seq -write -drive d: cool this do a sequential write test on my second hard drive

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Hmm, maybe you think random read is more interesting, lets try this command: winsat disk –ran –read –drive d:

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You can combine in almost any way you want to make your test.

You can even make all test for disk for your second hard drive by typing:
winsat disk -drive d:

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Table with parameters

-ran Assess random IO performance. Cannot be used in combination with -seq or -flush.
-seq Assess sequential IO performance. Cannot be used in combination with -ran or -flush.
-write Assess write performance. Cannot be used in combination with -read or -flush.
-read Assess read performance. Cannot be used in combination with -write or -flush.
-flush Assess disk performance in write policy flush mode. Cannot be used in combination with -seq, -ran, -write, or -read.
-drive [DRIVELETTER] Identify by drive letter which disk should be assessed. Cannot be used in combination with -n.
-ransize [BYTESIZE] Random size test in bytes
-v Verbose output
-count [1-50] Specify the number of iterations to perform. The default is 1.
-hybrid Used with hybrid hard drives
-n [DISK NUMBER] Identify by physical disk identification number which disk should be assessed. Cannot be used in combination with -drive.

Note! This is not a complete list of available parameters, take a look at the TechNet source if you want more information. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc770542.aspx

3 comments

  1. I just tested on what I have available (Windows 8) and “winsat disk -seq -write -drive c:” work fine. But it could be that W7 doesn’t like the colon. Thank for you comment!

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    1. Yes, my mistake, the bug is only in Windows 7 and Vista. I too have a Windows 8 machine, and the version of WinSAT it includes does not appear to care if you include a colon or not.

      PS Thanks for the very informative article! I bookmark it for when I forget what the command line is to test out my new USB keys 😀

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  2. There is an error in this article. I don’t know what version of WinSAT you were running, but the versions included with Windows 7 and Windows 8 will reject a drive letter with a colon.

    For example, your “winsat disk -seq -write -drive d:” (colon after -drive d) failed, whereas “winsat disk -seq -write -drive d” (no colon) works fine.

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