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  #21  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by HFultzjr View Post
Hello,

Why would I pull a hard drive, copy the data, put the hard drive back in, when I can run a live CD to copy the data to a thumbdrive...WHILE I'm doing something else, then format and re-install OS....all without opening the machine?
Well I suppose if you are not working on that many computers and it all fits on a thumb drive, then that is fine. We work on many computes and most things do not fit on a thumb drive, so this is not feasible or effecient.

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Sure it depends on what the customer wants....I may open the machine, clean out, upgrade RAM, etc....then I may slave the drive to another machine.

There are many ways to get the same thing accomplished, to always limit you self to slaving the hard drive....seems, well, odd, to my way of thinking.
Thinking about it now, I have a completely different process. My process assumes that you are running a full diagnostics. In which case, you would be pulling the drive anyways, testing it on a machine with several other drives, while running memtests on the customers computer. This is why it makes way more sense to slave the drive. It is also way more effecient. Of course, if your not running a full diagnostics (which is one of things that this thread was originally about), then I can see you cutting corners.

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I'm not trying to start a debate or saying one is right one is wrong, just giving an honest opinion on ONE option.

As I've stated in my original post.....PUPPY makes a great OS for "challenged machines"

I would also state that many other versions of Linux is equally as great or better.

I don't limit myself to using Linux for data recovery...it's just the purpose I stated in my original post.
Data recovery and Data transfers are really 2 different things . . . not that it really matters I guess.
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Last edited by PCX; 03-13-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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  #22  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:40 PM
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PCX,

What do you do for IDE drives? Yesterday I had 5 check ins with IDE drives.

What do you do for hard drives like the 2 annoying dell laptops that require pulling the top plate for one and the motherboard for another?

Those are the 2 main reasons I use ubuntu live cd smart tests to give me a general idea of the hard drive health. I like your method of running multiple drives in hot swap for tests and virus check, but it would be tough sometimes.
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  #23  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by compnet View Post
PCX,

What do you do for IDE drives? Yesterday I had 5 check ins with IDE drives.

What do you do for hard drives like the 2 annoying dell laptops that require pulling the top plate for one and the motherboard for another?

Those are the 2 main reasons I use ubuntu live cd smart tests to give me a general idea of the hard drive health. I like your method of running multiple drives in hot swap for tests and virus check, but it would be tough sometimes.
IDE Drives: I can count on one hand how many of these I have seen in the last 6 months.

As for your second questions, I answered it in a previous post, but basically, I would do the same as you. Running a test via live CD or USB is way easier and more efficient when it comes to those Dell M series or the AIO desktops. Any time its too difficult to get to a drive, I use a live USB. Don't worry, I have not lost my mind.
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Last edited by PCX; 03-13-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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  #24  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PCX View Post
Of course, if your not running a full diagnostics (which is one of things that this thread was originally about), then I can see you cutting corners.
I think your on the wrong thread. He didn't mention doing a full diagnostics in title or his first post of this thread. He's only wanting to know about HDD diags and data recovery on Linux. And not running a full diagnostics doesn't mean anyone's cutting corners. That's your opinion about it. Its really all dependent on the situation really. It would be interesting to see a poll and opinions on who does a full/complete diagnostics all the time no matter whats wrong with the computer. Because I don't. If a computer comes in because their is no sound. And I see that its been changed in the settings due to end user. I'm not going to do a full diagnostics. I will do a partial diagnostics like checking their SMART readings, etc., I do a burn-in test on the related components and get the computer back to the customer asap.

Kevin
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  #25  
Old 03-13-2012, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kevinjhaag View Post
I think your on the wrong thread. He didn't mention doing a full diagnostics in title or his first post of this thread. He's only wanting to know about HDD diags and data recovery on Linux. And not running a full diagnostics doesn't mean anyone's cutting corners. That's your opinion about it. Its really all dependent on the situation really. It would be interesting to see a poll and opinions on who does a full/complete diagnostics all the time no matter whats wrong with the computer. Because I don't. If a computer comes in because their is no sound. And I see that its been changed in the settings due to end user. I'm not going to do a full diagnostics. I will do a partial diagnostics like checking their SMART readings, etc., I do a burn-in test on the related components and get the computer back to the customer asap.

Kevin
I'm sorry, I assumed that HDD diagnostics was a big part of running a full diagnostics . . .

And yes, not running a full diagnostics is cutting corners. I am sorry, in my opinion, you are wrong.

As far as a poll goes, I know most people would say that a full diagnostics is not necessary, its the easiest way out of doing more work (besides, look at many of the presidents that were voted in, do you really think that just because a majority of people vote for something means they are right?). But it is also one of the things that separate those that provide good quality work from those who do not. Its hard to do good work and to do it efficiently when you do not know everything that is going on. Lets just take that sound issue for instance. So the sound issue is obviously a software issue (we are assuming) so its either some setting that got changed or some driver that may have been corrupted or any number of other things. The problem is this, many of those problems like corrupted drivers can be caused by a failing hard drive. A smart test in most cases will not tell you if the hard drive is failing. If the hard drive is failing, they will only leave with worse issues in a matter of months.

This is why we run a full diagnostics with every repair or service. Its not like its hard and its not like it takes long. To skip it is just a novice decision and just stupid. Shoot, I used to just do quick diagnostics, but your perception changes after doing several hundred repairs and its only confirmed after several thousand.

There are so many other issues that the computer could have, and if you do not catch those problems and educate your customer, not only could they come back and complain, but you could potentially be wasting their time and money. Im sorry, but I look out for the customer before myself and I am very successful at it.

EDIT: On a side note, even if you could care less about the customer (not saying that that is the case) and you are only looking at your bottom line, then a full diagnostics only ensures that you do not waste your time troubleshooting something you ASSUMED to be wrong.
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Did you run a FULL diagnostic?

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Last edited by PCX; 03-13-2012 at 05:19 PM.
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  #26  
Old 03-13-2012, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by PCX View Post
I'm sorry, I assumed that HDD diagnostics was a big part of running a full diagnostics . . .
Not really... You can run a HDD diagnostics by itself.

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And yes, not running a full diagnostics is cutting corners. I am sorry, in my opinion, you are wrong.
Thats ok... Thats your opinion. But it doesn't mean I'm wrong.

Quote:
As far as a poll goes, I know most people would say that a full diagnostics is not necessary, its the easiest way out of doing more work. But it is also one of the things that separate those that provide good quality work from those who do not. Its hard to do good work and to do it efficiently when you do not know everything that is going on.
Just because you do it doesn't mean you provide better quality work than others. Hell... The diagnostics is not 100% itself. I have seen hard drives and motherboards pass a diagnostics test and in the end; end up changing it because there was something wrong with it.


Quote:
Lets just take that sound issue for instance. So the sound issue is obviously a software issue (we are assuming) so its either some setting that got changed or some driver that may have been corrupted or any number of other things. The problem is this, many of those problems like corrupted drivers can be caused by a failing hard drive. A smart test in most cases will not tell you if the hard drive is failing. If the hard drive is failing, they will only leave with worse issues in a matter of months.
In the example above... the setting was changed (Either misunderstood or bad example I guess). That was my point. End users do simple mistakes and sometimes it only takes simple repairs. Being a experienced technician also, I know drivers could be corrupted, or underpowered devices and any number of things it could be. I agree totally about hard drive failing but that wasn't the point. Most of the time I do a full diagnostics on a hard drive. I'm also very strict about diagnostics on hard drives. Its the part that has the most failures in a computer. By the sounds of it, you do a lot of shop work in which case the difference in the type of work you receive more than others (at least for me) do. I do more onsite and remote work than shop work. In most cases, I can't do a full test on hardware remotely; and when it comes to onsite work it comes down to time which businesses keep an eye on a lot more nowadays. If I think it needs it then I do it but it all comes down to my complete evaluation of the computer.

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This is why we run a full diagnostics with every repair or service. Its not like its hard and its not like it takes long. To skip it is just a novice decision and just stupid. Shoot, I used to just do quick diagnostics, but your perception changes after doing several hundred repairs and its only confirmed after several thousand.
I disagree... And calling someone stupid because of it is not very smart to begin with. True a diagnostics is important...but not a full/complete diagnostics. The most important diagnostic would be a hard drive, otherwise your wasting your time trying to repair software problems if their is a failing hard drive. Question for you....

What is a Full diagnostics? I'm sorry but I'm accidentally assuming you test every piece of hardware in a computer. Is that true?

Quote:
There are so many other issues that the computer could have, and if you do not catch those problems and educate your customer, not only could they come back and complain, but you could potentially be wasting their time and money. Im sorry, but I look out for the customer before myself and I am very successful at it.

EDIT: On a side note, even if you could care less about the customer (not saying that that is the case) and you are only looking at your bottom line, then a full diagnostics only ensures that you do not waste your time troubleshooting something you ASSUMED to be wrong.
I also look out for the customer also, so their is no difference there. Like I said, Its the difference in work we both receive.

Kevin
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  #27  
Old 03-13-2012, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kevinjhaag View Post
Not really... You can run a HDD diagnostics by itself.


Ok, not a full diagnostics

Thats ok... Thats your opinion. But it doesn't mean I'm wrong.



Just because you do it doesn't mean you provide better quality work than others. Hell... The diagnostics is not 100% itself. I have seen hard drives and motherboards pass a diagnostics test and in the end; end up changing it because there was something wrong with it.




In the example above... the setting was changed (Either misunderstood or bad example I guess). That was my point. End users do simple mistakes and sometimes it only takes simple repairs. Being a experienced technician also, I know drivers could be corrupted, or underpowered devices and any number of things it could be. I agree totally about hard drive failing but that wasn't the point. Most of the time I do a full diagnostics on a hard drive. I'm also very strict about diagnostics on hard drives. Its the part that has the most failures in a computer. By the sounds of it, you do a lot of shop work in which case the difference in the type of work you receive more than others (at least for me) do. I do more onsite and remote work than shop work. In most cases, I can't do a full test on hardware remotely; and when it comes to onsite work it comes down to time which businesses keep an eye on a lot more nowadays. If I think it needs it then I do it but it all comes down to my complete evaluation of the computer.



I disagree... And calling someone stupid because of it is not very smart to begin with. True a diagnostics is important...but not a full/complete diagnostics. The most important diagnostic would be a hard drive, otherwise your wasting your time trying to repair software problems if their is a failing hard drive. Question for you....

What is a Full diagnostics? I'm sorry but I'm accidentally assuming you test every piece of hardware in a computer. Is that true?



I also look out for the customer also, so their is no difference there. Like I said, Its the difference in work we both receive.

Kevin
Kevin, I agree with most of what you are saying. It is extremely hard to do full diagnostics on remote or onsite jobs, this is one of the reasons why I do not do them unless absolutely necessary. You are also right that a great majority of the issues lies within the hard drive if its a hardware failure at all. So if you are at least testing this and doing a quick test on the rest, then I would say that in most cases you will be ok for remote and onsite repairs. However, in a shop setting, which is where I am at, you should take every opportunity to do a full diagnostics. And yes, that means everything. HDD, memory, motherboard, cpu, gpu, power supply.

Do I think techs are shady, ignorant or just plain stupid for not running full diagnostics in a shop setting? Yes, sorry, I have been doing this for way too long and I have worked on way too many computers to not think this way. I have also seen way too many "shady" techs opt out of a full diagnostics so that they can fix the obvious issues, knowing that they customer will probably come back for another. Its just their way of making more money or cut corners to improve their bottom line. I have seen way too many "ignorant" techs (who are just simply inexperienced) screw up way too many computers and make things worse. And finally, I have seen way too many stupid people who have no right in calling themselves techs cost customers money and precious data because they refuse to go the safe route.

With that being said, I do understand that its not always possible or feasible to run a full diagnostics in your case. I guess we should have both clarified what our work environments were before we started this debate.
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Last edited by PCX; 03-13-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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  #28  
Old 03-13-2012, 06:11 PM
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I started messing around with kubuntu and so far im loving it. Everything is quick and easy to get to. But for the first part havent used it for HDD diags yet.
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  #29  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PCX View Post
10]Do I think techs are shady, ignorant or just plain stupid for not running full diagnostics in a shop setting? Yes, sorry, I have been doing this for way too long and I have worked on way too many computers to not think this way. I have also seen way too many "shady" techs opt out of a full diagnostics so that they can fix the obvious issues, knowing that they customer will probably come back for another. Its just their way of making more money or cut corners to improve their bottom line. I have seen way too many "ignorant" techs (who are just simply inexperienced) screw up way too many computers and make things worse. And finally, I have seen way too many stupid people who have no right in calling themselves techs cost customers money and precious data because they refuse to go the safe route.
IMO...I don't think they are ignorant, shady or plain stupid for not running a full diagnostics. They are if they don't do a full evaluation (not always including full diagnostics every time) of the computer. Better words... I would say just that they are very inexperienced. Now...I agree if they are not doing a complete job and counting on the customer coming back soon is....very Shady IMO. And I have ran into their work many times on computers that just got repaired by shady and inexperienced techs. And I thank them for it. When I run into them... I personally thank them for all the work and new customers they have sent my way...LOL. They walk away puzzled.

I myself don't always run a full diagnostics but do run a partial diagnostics at the shop. I only run a full diagnostics unless I suspect something else after a full evaluation of the system. But of course If I have more time with the computer then of course I will do a full diagnostics and even defrag them. I guess my difference in opinion about a full diagnostics would be due the many years of experience with using them; to running a diagnostics on a motherboard that passes only to find out thru swapping that the motherboard it is indeed faulty. I've seen motherboards pass diagnostics with bulging and questionable capacitors. So my question to you is....What motherboard diagnostics do you use that you trust to the tee? Most reliable hard drive and memory diagnostics I have had experienced with is MHDD and MemTest. What do you use for HDD and RAM diagnostics? Even if they are linux based I'm interested. I'm willing to learn more in the Linux world.

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I guess we should have both clarified what our work environments were before we started this debate.
I agree... Everyone's environment, demographics, customers and experiences are very different.
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  #30  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:31 PM
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Well, no more on the topic of who is right and who is wrong who's shady, ignorant or stupid . . . .

As for the diagnostics in general, you are right, they are not alway accurate. This is why we typically use a couple different sets of diagnostics for second opinions as well as targeted troubleshooting. In general though:

For HDD diagnostics we use gsmartcontrol, disk utility and HDDscan (mostly for IDE or Fujitsu HDDs) in order according to most used.

Memtest86+

You can PM me for Motherboard, GPU and CPU tests.

The great thing about how we do our diagnostics, is that we can test about 10 HDDs at a time and probably around 20 HDDs in a day. Each computer can then run their own memtests for 8 hours or 6 passes and after that, the motherboard diagnostics really does not take that long. Hands on time, probably about 5 - 10 minutes per unit. So basically, a diagnostics with very little hands on time takes a day or less.
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Last edited by PCX; 03-13-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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