How to test External Harddrive Health?

Edan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 20, 2013
20
0
Hi,
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.
Thanks
 

joema2

macrumors 68000
Sep 3, 2013
1,602
812
Hi,
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...
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: http://diglloydtools.com/disktester.html

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.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,700
6,869
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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