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View Full Version : Testing Hard Drives connected via USB


adam12
09-26-2008, 06:21 PM
Hi, I normally use DFT to test hard drives in the machines they belong to, or pulling them out to a test machine (when I am having problems I use the HD manufactures testing program). I just wanted to check and see if thatís what everyone else is using. I also wonder if you guys know of any good hard drive testing tools that can be used in windows for drives connected via USB enclosure. I am just looking for ways to speed up my diagnostic process.

Thanks
Adam

XFalloutX
09-30-2008, 09:32 PM
To tell you the truth I really don't use hard drive tesing tools. All I need is chkdsk /r (this however is not a fast thing and can sometimes take hours) . If it can't fix it then backup what you can and get a new one. I most of the time boot from a CD and run chkdsk /r (like a XP CD in the recovery console, or a BartPE CD). I also have a hard drive adapter I got from newegg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232002) that I hook up to a machine and scan the hard drives with too

14049752
09-30-2008, 10:41 PM
To tell you the truth I really don't use hard drive tesing tools.

You should. Chkdsk is a lousy hardware diagnostic, I don't know why so many people use it exclusively. Drive Fitness Test and a few others only add a minimal amount of time to a diagnostic. If the drive fails, you can potentially save the customer from a major crash in the future as well as sell a hard drive (and the time to install it, if you charge hourly).
If you only do on-site work, ok I understand not running hardware checks.... But if you work on systems in your shop/garage or whatever, you should run a full hardware check every time, imo. Ok, I'm done ranting....


To get back on topic, checking a drive in a usb enclosure is always going to be slow. If you want to speed it up, take it out of the enclosure and run DFT or whatever on it natively. If you don't want to do that, but you still want a Windows diagnostic, check out QA+Win32 by Eurosoft. I like their PC Check package better, but they make some decent all-in-one diagnostic tools.

XFalloutX
10-01-2008, 02:29 PM
You should. Chkdsk is a lousy hardware diagnostic, I don't know why so many people use it exclusively. Drive Fitness Test and a few others only add a minimal amount of time to a diagnostic. If the drive fails, you can potentially save the customer from a major crash in the future as well as sell a hard drive (and the time to install it, if you charge hourly).
If you only do on-site work, ok I understand not running hardware checks.... But if you work on systems in your shop/garage or whatever, you should run a full hardware check every time, imo. Ok, I'm done ranting....


To get back on topic, checking a drive in a usb enclosure is always going to be slow. If you want to speed it up, take it out of the enclosure and run DFT or whatever on it natively. If you don't want to do that, but you still want a Windows diagnostic, check out QA+Win32 by Eurosoft. I like their PC Check package better, but they make some decent all-in-one diagnostic tools.


I don't understand people who don't use chkdsk. I had a tech who worked with me and said chckdsk never fixes anything. Me and the tech that works with me now can tell you chkdsk fixes A LOT of things. I had a computer that would run slow and quickbooks would not open. Ran chkdsk it found a quickbooks file that was currupt fixed it and it ran fine after. I've had it fix a lot of blue screens. I guess it just comes down to experince with certian things and what works for you. I've only run actual hard drive diag from the manufacture if I get a SMART error.

14049752
10-01-2008, 07:42 PM
I don't understand people who don't use chkdsk. I had a tech who worked with me and said chckdsk never fixes anything.

You misunderstood me. I said "use chkdsk exclusively". I use chkdsk, when appropriate, but I understand what it is: It's a file system repair tool, NOT a hardware diagnostic.
And the point I was making was: If you run a hardware diagnostic on a drive, and see that it's starting to fail, you can replace it before it fails completely and unexpectedly, preventing lost data, program reinstalls, lost recovery partitions, ect. Running chkdsk on a drive that's going bad only delays the inevitable crash if the file system is corrupt as a result of a failing drive.

nonchalant
10-02-2008, 11:52 PM
Some of the ready-made diagnostic tools boot disks can be quite handy to test HDD's but they dont always work, in which case I use the manufacturers diagnostic software. Im not sure theres a reliable program that does ALL drives..

jaross18
10-03-2008, 07:55 PM
We use PC-Check (from a disk). We run 3 SMART tests and a read test on the drive. Most drives don't take longer that an hour to run. If you receive a drive that has missing or corrupt files you should always run a hard drive diagnostic tool. Check disk might fix it but its possible a week later they will experience the same issues.

If however the drive passes the SMART test then we run chkdsk to repair it. If it does not how ever we replace the drive. This eliminates the headache of having customers coming back because the problem persists.

I don't know of any good USB hard drive diagnostic utilities. Running PC-Chick is nice because then we don't have to pull the hard drives from laptops unless they need to be replaced.

chronage
11-18-2008, 07:40 PM
I use HDTune. Very good tool for benchmarking and error checking.

http://www.hdtune.com/benchmark_read.png

lawson_jl
11-23-2008, 03:49 PM
I always tend to run chkdsk to fix minor file errors on a Windows HD. I then run the Seagate utilities which does work on non Seagate drives. I run the short test and if the drive fails that I know it's bad and replace it. If the drive passes the short test I run the long test replacing it if it fails. If it doesn't fail either one then I know the drive is good.

MrMille
11-23-2008, 05:23 PM
Many of the so called disk tools actually use chkdsk behind a fancy graphical interface, and price tag.

ZenMike
11-23-2008, 11:42 PM
I am a big fan of SpinRite for HD maintenance and recovery, but I don't like to use it on USB connected drives because it runs from a boot disk and the test machine is down the entire time anyway, so I always try to install the HD in a test chassis.

I usually also followup with chkdsk to clean up any filesystem problems the mechanical failures may have caused.