Need Help Testing Hard Drive!

Altemose

macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I have been running into a bit of an odd issue with my G5. So I was running OS X Leopard and applications began to stop working like Software Update and other core service applications. I proceeded to try and repair both the volume and permissions in Disk Utility but was met with "Underlying Task Reported Failure" as described here.

I figured I would simply erase and install since the steps in that article did not do anything. I booted off my Leopard 10.5.4 disk, went to Disk Utility, and completely erased the whole hard drive with Zero Out Data. I then reloaded OS X Leopard and all seemed well. I got it up to 10.5.8 and began to reload my applications and data.

I went to install iWork and iLife and was met with an odd error. It was stating that the programs were open though iWork and iLife were never installed. I then installed Office 2008 and wanted to update it, but the SP1 update says it will use only 8 KB of disk space and never installs. I can repair permissions and the volume as normal in Disk Utility.

My question is, does this sound like hard drive failure though most testing software (SMART Utility, Apple Service Diagnostics, etc) report back fine? Is there a certain free hard drive testing software that anyone highly recommends? The drive in question is a 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Blue with 4,503 hours on it. Maybe this is all a coincidence and I should just erase and install again?
 
Last edited:

GraniteTheWolf

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2013
250
6
Wisconsin
Thats fairly low hours to be failing already. I'm not certain on testing it beyond what you already have when it comes to programs and checking the SMART status. I can only think of one more thing to try- Put this hard drive in a windows machine.

Or better yet- put this hard drive in an external case and have another computer format it and then load some data onto it and try using it like that in a different setting. If it still fails then you know for certain the hard drive has died prematurely.

EDIT: By low hours on your drive- The hard drive in my 2009 iMac has 28,872 power on hours on it. No issues :)
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Original poster
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I did a fresh install (again) and I don't think the drive is toast. I used a different 10.5.6 disk and it seems to be running fine.

I still have two issues. Office 2008 SP1 does not want to install and it gives the 8 KB of space message. The other is that the root of the hard drive is littered with system files I normally never see. I attached screenshots.
 

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robertdsc

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2014
202
5
I think the drive is just bad on the inside. Something in the innards is not working right.

I had a similar 320GB drive that tested fine, yet would not copy anything due to -36 errors. I wound up tossing the drive due to this unreliability.