How to test External Harddrive Health?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Edan, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. Edan macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2013
    I recently got a hold of some older external drives from storage and I wanted just to make sure that they're in good health before I start backing things up and using them. I wanted to ask if anyone knows of any program that can check out and see if there are any faults with the drive, if they're all systems go.

    They don't produce any un-usual noise, no nicks or bumps on them and they're both formatted clean on 'Mac OS Extended (Journaled) they look fine but for the ease of mind, wanted to make sure.

    Any feedback is well appreciated.
  2. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
  3. joema2, Sep 27, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014

    joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    It's a good idea to test these.

    Note drives have a life limit, mainly related to in-service hours. The statistics vary wide in different studies, but some say after five years of in-service life, there's a 20% chance of drive failure per year.

    Like you I have used drives like this. Sometimes you don't know the history of number of usage hours. Just be aware of this.

    One of the most professional and comprehensive test tools is DiskTester:

    Edit/add: For Time Machine backups, there is no verification function. It's possible a bad block could later develop on the backup disk, causing a restore to fail. Your only option is periodically running Verify in Disk Utility. However this only verifies the file system. The best solution is have multiple backups of different types, such as Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, etc.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I would do this for each drive:

    - Connect and re-initialize to HFS+ using Disk Utility
    - Run DU's "repair disk" on the disk and observe results.
    - If the results indicate no problems, REPEAT THE TEST five or six times
    - If the results are good after each and every test, I'd consider the drive "good to go".

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