Testing a new hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BlueRevolution, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #1
    I took the plunge and bought a new 1.5 TB drive for my early 2008 iMac. It's from the Seagate series that was so notorious for firmware issues, but that was some time ago and I'm confident that the problems have been ironed out. If not, well, I always maintain a backup and intend to make good on my warranty.

    Even though I'm not terrified for the integrity of my data, I am still cautious. I will of course continue to maintain a full backup of my important files, although as my next-largest drive is a 250 GB external that might be difficult. More to the point of the question, I want to know from the start if the drive has any sort of defects that I should be concerned about: bad sectors, SMART issues, whatever.

    I have a 2.5" SATA enclosure and 3.5" ATA enclosure. I don't have anything to plug my old drive into. Maybe I should've picked up another enclosure, but it was pricey enough already. So as far as I know the only way to connect my drive is to put it into the computer. No problem, I can just boot to an external. Coming to the point of the post, what (preferably free) tests can I run on the drive to really put it through its paces? Mac utilities would be preferable, but I do have Windows and Ubuntu installs that could be used in a pinch. It doesn't matter if it takes a few days to test, I just want to know with a reasonable certainty that it is a reliable, undamaged drive before the return period ends.
     
  2. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Seagate's own SeaTools is one option (Win/Dos - free). Or do a 35 pass erase if you have plenty of time. Also look for SMART monitors (e.g., SMARTReporter - free) for frequent in-use monitoring. You can also search for ---> hard drive torture test <--- or similar phrase for a few more ideas. [MediaScanner from Speedtools2.com is another (~ $90) tester]. Run Apple Hardware Test for a while as long as you are testing the drive (a few cycles).

    Occasionaly a drive will fail during stress test -- look up "bathtub curve." Good to be cautious with respect to reliability, esp. with moving parts of a machine. Good luck and enjoy the drive!
     
  3. BlueRevolution thread starter macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #3
    I'll check out SeaTools, thanks. Disk Utility really won't do it because while it may pick up bad sectors it won't tell me. If there are too many, that's a bad sign for reliability down the road.
     
  4. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio
    #4
    I know you were preferring free but Drive Genius 2 is an awesome utility for checking the integrity of your drives, performing speed-tests, and repairing when disk utility doesn't cut it.

    I know you were preferring free and have most likely heard of it before but Drive Genius 2 is an awesome utility for checking the integrity of your drives, performing speed-tests, and repairing when disk utility doesn't cut it.
     
  5. BlueRevolution thread starter macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #5
    Hmm, that's half the cost of the hard drive. Might be worth it though. Maybe I can find a copy of Ebay or something.
     
  6. BlueRevolution thread starter macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #6
    Somewhat tangental to the original subject of the thread, I've installed the hard drive. The process took about 40 minutes start to finish and was fairly straightforward, although there are a couple of places where things could've gone bad if I hadn't been careful. It does require T5 and T8 Torx screwdrivers, and if you're not the sort of person who already has a set on hand you probably shouldn't attempt this one.

    I did get Drive Genius, and am currently running from one of my external drives with a cloned copy of my system. It is just finishing up a surface scan and has reported 0 bad sectors so far. Once that's done, I'll have Disk Utility run a single-pass secure erase and format.

    One thing is troubling me, though: the drive's temperature monitor isn't reporting. The SMART status is listed in Disk Utility as "verified", but there is just a blank space where the drive temperature should be in Temperature Monitor. All of the other sensors are working, including the drive bay. Did I fail to properly connect the hard drive sensor? Is this going to harm my computer?

    Yes, I am an idiot. Thank you for noticing. Turns out I forgot to update the colour of the new temperature sensor, so it was displayed in black, blending in with my desktop picture. All is well now.
     

Share This Page