HD Tune is a program you can use to monitor your drive performance. It can be downloaded here. There is a free 15 day trial membership, after which you must purchase a license for $35.
This little utility will show you the temperature of internal or external hard drive, and also provide the following information about how the drive is running:
1. File Benchmark - shows how fast data transfers (both reading and writing), how many MBs per second, based on different file lengths:
2. Random Access - HD Tune will also measure the random access speed of the drive - as you can it takes longer to access data from discontinuous blocks.
3. Automatic Acoustic Management (AAM) - many hard drives contain mechanisms to reduce the vibration caused by positioning a head over the platter of the drive. Most people will be familiar with the clicking noise that a computer makes when the head is positioned at the targeted sector of the platter to access data. AAM can make the drive operate more quietly, but will increase random access time. Newer Western Digital and Seagate drives no longer include this feature.
4. Error Scan - HD Tune can also scan a drive for errors. It creates a map indicating where damaged areas are located. An associated speed map will indicate where read performance is both high and low.
5. Folder Usage will very quickly provide a breakdown of the size of data contained in various locations in the folder structure of the drive.
6. HD Tune also contains a secure erase function.