If I have time, I like to do an extensive "burn in". I'm sure there are programs that will do this for you, but I end up just writing a couple of batch files.
On a Windows box for example, I'd do the following
- create a couple extra volumes (D, E)
- compress 1 volume
- encrypt the other volume
- make some folders on the D drive and load them up with data... Word documents, MP3 files, movies, whatever. A few huge files are good (movies). Make an MD5 hash of the big files and store it on another computer. When you finish, do another MD5 of the big file and see if they match.
write a short script to move/copy/delete files back and forth and set it to loop. Something like:
copy d:\test1*.* e:\test1*.*
copy d:\test2*.* e:\test2*.*
del /q d:\test1*.*
del /q d:\test2*.*
Then copy everything back.
If this doesn't get your processor usage (and disk usage) pegged, setup more folders and more scripts. I've had systems where I had to have 5 different batch files running at the same time in order to get everything pegged.
All of the compressing and encrypting will help get the processor and RAM in use, and of course all the file moving will test the disks pretty thoroughly. You can do an even better job by replacing the delete command with something that does a secure delete-- scrubbing the actual area of the hard drive.