How do I test the health of a hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mikejtl, May 12, 2009.

  1. mikejtl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    #1
    So I'm pretty good with the OS, but I am not so hot on the behind the scenes stuff, so advice involving Terminal, for example, would require very detailed instructions. I just put that out there because I searched MRoogle for this topic and there were many ideas involving commands like fsck (sp?) that went way over my head. But like I said, I'm good with the OS, been using Macs since my Dad brought home our first one in 1985 (it cost more than his car) never even owned a PC in my life, probably why I'm no good without a GUI.

    Anyway, here's my situation. I just finished a series of projects at work (over the past 2 years) and have amassed about 10 external fire wire drives. Most of them are G-Techs so we've invested a bit of coin into them. We have a break before our next project starts and I would like try to assess which ones are still healthy and which ones should be retired.

    I have tech tools (never used it) I also have Drive Genius 2. I ran an integrity test on one drive, it made a pretty graph but have no idea how to interpret it. Any help/advice/tips would be most appreciated.

    Also, all of them can be reformatted at this point. Oh, and they were shuttled around town on these projects. They were pretty well taken care of, but handed over to be used and transported by others, so it's not like they've been sitting on a shelf in my care for two years.

    Thanks in advance for your responses.
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #3
    Check the SMART status, other than that changes in the noise the drive makes (starts clicking more), occasional hard freezes, or drive errors start happening regularly with the connected volume.

    Otherwise just consider the drives consumable and keep at least a couple backups.
     
  4. mikejtl thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    #4
    All the drives are firewire/usb, I used Drive Genius on one with my iMac connected with FW400, but when the time comes to test them all I will likely use a Mac Pro and connect with FW800.

    One drive was making a clicking sound, but when I reformatted it, the clicking went away, is that common?
     
  5. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    I may be difficult to check the SMART status on external drives unless they are connected via eSATA; many enclosures do not transmit the SMART data to the computer.
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    That means the drive indexed quickly, and stopped being used.

    But if the drive clicks every now and then, and only starts clicking more under heavy use it is normal.

    They click with the thermal re calibrations, if it starts happening on a cold normally quite drive you can worry.
     
  7. joaoferro99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    S. California

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