How to Fix Hard Drive DST Short Test Fail (4 Ways)

You can learn what is the hard drive dst short test fail, its impact and 4 useful ways to fix the problem. The stepwise tutorial will be included in each method. Please read on.


by Clytze Updated on November 7, 2022

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What does Hard Drive DST Short Test Fail Mean?

DST (Disk Self Test) is a test of the physical integrity of your hard drive. The big laptop manufacturers, such as Dell and HP, deliver laptops with hard drives that are already equipped with DST, which will run the test whenever your computer reboots. There are two different types of DST, namely long DST and short DST.

When performing a short DST on a hard drive, only the major components (such as the platters, read/write heads and ROM) are checked. Typically, the test process lasts only a few minutes, during which time you can still use the disk.

If the main components are functioning within acceptable parameters, the short DST will be finished. If there is a problem with any of the components, the system will give you a warning message that the hard drive DST short test failed.

Hard Drive DST Short Test Fail Picture


The Impacts of Hard Drive DST Short Test Fail

When you receive a DST short test failure message, this is mainly because your hard drive is out of date or there are bad sectors on your hard drive, etc. And it will bring some bad impacts and then your computer will malfunction with these impacts.

  • Your computer may stop working or perform functions very slowly.
  • Your PC may keep restarting and the hard drive light may flash intermittently.
  • Your PC's hard drive may not boot at all and you may just see a blank screen showing up.

How to Fix Short DST Failure

Hard drive short DST check failed how to fix it? Next, this article will provide you with 4 useful ways to solve this problem.

  • If your computer is bootable, you can choose method 1 and method 2 to achieve the goal.
  • If your computer can't boot up, you can try method 3 or method 4 to help you. You can choose different methods according to your own needs. You can read on to learn the detailed information.

Method 1. Update the Hard Drive

If you can boot your computer, you can update the hard drive to fix the hard drive DST short test failure issue. You can follow the steps below.

Step 1. Right-click This PC > Manage. On the left side, click Device Manager.

Step 2. Double-click to expand Disk driver. Right-click your disk driver and choose Update Driver Software.

Step 3. In the pop-up window, choose Search automatically for updated driver software. Then, wait for the computer to search and install the latest driver software.

Update Hard Drive

Method 2. Replace the Hard Drive with a New One

In the case that your computer is bootable, if the first method does not solve the hard drive DST short test failure problem, you can try to replace the failed drive with a new one. In order not to lose your data, you can choose a free and safe disk cloning software to help you. AOMEI Backupper Standard is a good choice and it has the main functions below.

  • Secure boot: After cloning, you can boot your system successfully from the cloned disk.
  • Replace hard drive with larger/smaller one: By default, it will only clone the used sectors and skip bad sectors automatically so that you can replace hard drive with a smaller one, even the original has bad sectors. Also, you can choose to clone all sectors on the hard drive while replacing the hard drive with a larger one.

  • Upgrade disks without interrupting normal work: Its live clone feature allows the cloning tasks to run in the background so that you can use your computer normally during the cloning process.
  • Different system: It supports Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista, etc.

Then download AOMEI Backupper Standard and follow the graphic tutorial below to solve the hard drive DST short test failure problem by cloning the hard drive to a new one. Please note that if you are a Windows Server user, you can select AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect your new drive to the computer and make sure it can be recognized, open AOMEI Backupper Standard, and click Clone > Disk Clone.

Disk Clone


The standard version only supports 2 types, namely MBR to MBR (system disks) and data disk clone. If you need to clone GPT to GPT, or clone disks from GPT to MBR and vice versa, you can upgrade to the professional version.

Step 2. Choose the hard drive with the DST short test fail problem as the source disk. Then, click Next.

Disk Clone Source

Step 3. Choose your new drive as the destination disk. Then, click Next.

Disk Clone Destination

Step 4. Confirm your operations and click Start Clone to fix the hard drive DST short test failure problem by cloning the hard drive to a new one.

Disk Clone Start Clone


  • Edit Partitions: You can change the partition size using this feature (advanced version). If you need, it can help you convert the destination GPT disk to MBR and vice versa.
  • SSD Alignment: If your target disk is an SSD, you can tick the SSD Alignment option to accelerate the reading and writing speed of the SSD.
  • Sector By Sector CloneIf your target disk is the same as or larger than the source disk, you can use this feature that can clone all sectors whether they are used or not.

Method 3. Scan and Fix Hard Drive for Errors

If your computer cannot boot, but you have a Windows media driver such as a CD or flash drive. You can use a bootable disk to help you scan and check the drive for errors. You can follow the steps below.

Step 1. Insert the Windows media driver. Enter BIOS to change the boot order to make OS boot from the recovery drive. Exit BIOS and save changes.

Step 2. Select the language and click Next in the setup window.

Step 3. Click Repair your computer.

Step 4. Select Troubleshoot >  Advanced Options > Command Prompt.

Step 5. In the Command Prompt window, input the command below and hit Enter.

chkdsk /r

Check Disk Error

Step 6. It will scan the disk. If any errors are found, it will try to repair them. Type exit to exit the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Step 7. Disconnect the recovery drive. Change the boot order to let OS boot from your hard drive to check whether the problem is fixed or not.

Method 4. Take out the Hard Drive and Check It

If your computer won't boot and you don't have a bootable disk, you can use this method to help you. That is, take out the disk and check it. You can follow the steps below.

Step 1. Take out the hard drive and connect it to another computer.

Step 2. If the hard drive can be recognized, copy the disk data to another place as soon as possible.

Step 3. If the hard drive cannot be recognized, contact the hard disk manufacturer to repair the hard drive.


This article explains what is hard drive DST short test failure and the impact it brings. If you encounter this problem, you can use the 4 methods mentioned in the article to fix it. If your computer is bootable, you can try updating the drivers or cloning the hard drive to a new one using free disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Standard.

This software will not only automatically skip the bad sectors and clone the disk successfully, but also allows you to boot your computer directly from the cloned disk after cloning. It also provides System Clone and Partition Clone features that can meet your different needs.

If the hard drive DST short test failure problem is causing your computer unable to boot, then you can try to use a bootable disk or take out the hard drive and check it methods to help you.

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.