How do I verify if usb drive is ok?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by madrag, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. madrag macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #1
    I have an USB 2 drive that I've used a lot and would like to know if there is a way to check/verify its ware/life state?

    I have tried using Disk Utility, but that only gives me the option to verify it (and it is ok), but would like more detailed info, like cycle number or something of that sort.

    I have tried the Trim Enabler application, but it only shows HDDs or SSDs; it would be the best if it could display the same info for the external USB drives.
     
  2. k-hawinkler macrumors member

    k-hawinkler

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    #2

    You could use Disk Utility to format the drive with security overwrite.
    Another option would be to use Drive Genius.
     
  3. madrag thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #3
    The first suggestion doesn't give me any information about the health of my USB drive, does Drive Genius give some kind of info?
     
  4. MacRobert10 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    #4
    If I were you I would look at the Scannerz family of tools because they're exclusively drive/system troubleshooting tools. The web site is here:

    http://scsc-online.com/Scannerz.html

    If you just want a basic test, i.e. is the drive and system OK, get Scannerz Lite. I could teach my dog to use it, and if I recall correctly it's about 20 bucks. If you want more thorough tests and/or might want to do basic troubleshooting, for example, is a problem being caused by a drive or a cable, I'd opt for one of the full Scannerz pagkages. When I got mine it was 45 bucks but I think I read somewhere the prices went up.

    To me tools like TechTool Pro and Drive Genius can't justify their cost ($100). I would probably never use at least half the features they have, probably more like 80%, and then the actual surface scan tests they do by todays standards are very rudimentary. They're both very old tools and I think kind of outdated.

    I recently used Scannerz to help me at least understand some of the strange problems I was having with a 2TB WD drives. Scannerz actually went out and identified the problem as a timeout. The other tools wouldn't even know what was going on, much less acknowledge the problem existed.

    You can check out my post about the WD at the following link:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1655890
     
  5. MacRobert10 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    #5
    Another thing you might want to do is read my second linked post and make sure you (or anyone else) doesn't get stuck with a drive like that.
     
  6. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    #6
    There's some patch out there that could get SMART status to report on a firewire or USB drive, but it's not official, it was years ago and might not be up to date, and who knows if it even works properly. Especially if it's not supported. You might want to check how good SMART testing is anyway in Wikipedia - the write up they give it isn't terribly encouraging.

    If all you want to do is test your drive and make sure it's OK, I would go with Scannerz Lite because it's got the same scan engine in it as Scannerz does but only costs $22 bucks. No add on tools, though, and no diagnostic capabilities.

    I got the original Scannerz about 2 years ago because I just couldn't see paying $100 for a test tool for a drive that cost $60, plus I didn't need any of the other stuff offered by more expensive products. Back when I got mine, the big versions of Scannerz were $35 and $45 bucks, and they've each gone up in price since then by about five bucks. All updates have been free, at least for me.
     
  7. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #7
    If you're looking for a way to access SMART data for the drive over USB, and it sounds like you are, then check out the SATSmart Driver project.

    I use (and love) the excellent SMART monitoring tool, DriveDX and I can highly recommend it. Every time it has told me a drive's failure was impending it was right on target. Utilizing the abovementioned driver, DriveDX will also monitor compatible USB drives.
     
  8. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    #8
    Any idea if that driver is going to be released for Mavericks? How can one tell if their external enclosure is SCSI ATA Translation capable? Does it provide more SMART details than "SMART status verified?" For example, if I installed this and then used smartmontools, and lets assume everything was installed and working properly, how detailed would the SMART output be?
     
  9. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #9
    The stable version of the drive (0.8) worked fine in Mavericks. I just updated to the latest 0.9 beta yesterday and of course it works fine as well.

    You can tell by installing the driver. :p If it doesn't, it's easy enough to uninstall.

    It provides full access to the USB drive's SMART data, so any SMART monitoring tools would have full access to the same SMART data as on internal drives.
     
  10. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    #10
  11. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #11
    Great list! I definitely think DriveDX rates a listing, especially seeing as SmartReporter is on there. I formerly used SmartReporter but find DriveDX to be superior so I switched to it last year and haven't looked back.
     

Share This Page