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Old 11-15-2012, 09:41 AM   #1
thestrangebrew1
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Default Is Chkdsk good enough to test a hd?

I ran error checking and chkdsk on a new 1tb Seagate hd (the one that was on sale for $49.99 on NE recently) and didn't get any errors. However, I'm kinda paranoid with these new hds and I dl'ed & installed Seagate's Tool and it wasn't able to detect any drives. Just wondering if I should be this paranoid. It'll be going into my server for storage.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
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Drives usually fail nearly immediately, or after a long time. If it doesn't fail after running a chkdsk on the whole thing, it's probably good.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:56 AM   #3
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Generally, CHKDSK scheduled through the "Tools" of the [drive-label's] Properties tab should be good enough. I seldom resort to SeaTools or the WD Diag programs unless there's something really wrong.

My first HDDs were 20MB WD units purchased in the late 1980s. One of them eventually went south, and there was little I could do to fix it. Another SCSI-III drive I'd bought around 1996/97 also went south after several months (the damn thing cost me over a kilo-buck) -- replaced by Seagate under warranty.

We've had some six RAID0 arrays -- some running 24/7 for three and four years -- with only one failing under the suspicion that my sister-in-law couldn't resist her curiosity for entering the BIOS screens for the RAID configuration.

I had one other Seagate SATA-II fail within months of purchase.

If the OS defragments an HDD automatically in background, you needn't worry about that sort of maintenance. If it doesn't, it's pretty easy to do manually.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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I run a short and long self-test using a SMART util, and then I do an NTFS full format, which writes zeros to the whole drive. Takes a few hours, but if it passes, it should be good.

Edit: I've only really had one recent drive failure. It was a 500GB Seagate 7200.11, and it travelled cross-country and back in the back of a van in a computer. It was probably bounced around one too many times.

I also had one DOA WD Green 1TB drive, when I ordered four of the bare drives from Frys.com, and they shipped all four in a very lightly padded bubble envelope, two wide and two high. They had dents in them from shipping. Amazingly, three out of the four were actually OK. I attribute that to being rampload, and that the heads weren't on the platters during shipping, but rather tucked away safely.

I hope that all HDs are rampload these days, it does make them much more robust for shipping.

Edit: I normally only buy retail-boxed drives. That way, they are guaranteed to be padded during shipping. Or if I order bare drives from Newegg, I order max quantity (usually 5) during sales, so that they usually ship them in the OEM foam crates for me, for better protection.
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Last edited by VirtualLarry; 11-15-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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Well I guess, at least for now, I can assume the drive is ok. Like I said it'll be in my storage server, and I'm not quite maxed out with existing stuff so it'll prob. be sitting in the rig for awhile unused. I am going to look into drive pooling to get my 3 1tbs pooled. Need to do a bit more research on that.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:58 PM   #6
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Doing a full chkdsk or format is like kicking the tires on a car, it may make you feel a bit better but it doesn't do a whole lot.

I try to run a stress test/benchmark tool like bonnie++ for a day or so whenever I get a new drive to put it through its paces.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:23 PM   #7
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I use Seatools for windows or DOS, depending on which HDD you want to check. The long test checks every sector on the drive.

I've never heard of bonnie++ but that's a new tool I'll be adding. Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onething View Post
I use Seatools for windows or DOS, depending on which HDD you want to check. The long test checks every sector on the drive.

I've never heard of bonnie++ but that's a new tool I'll be adding. Thanks!
I tried using Seatools but for whatever reason it didn't recognize any of my drives. I'd hit rescan and nothing popped up.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:09 PM   #9
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Run this from a USB stick, CD/DVD, or floppy disk:

http://hddguru.com/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/

Its surface scan will indicate sectors that are hard to read, not just those that are outright bad.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:50 PM   #10
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Regular chkdsk scan only does the file system and checks the remapped sector index/table reported by the drive. Best to do a full media scan by checking 'scan for and attempt to recover bad sectors'. e.g. chkdsk /r
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thestrangebrew1 View Post
I tried using Seatools but for whatever reason it didn't recognize any of my drives. I'd hit rescan and nothing popped up.
If you did that in DOS, it's likely Seatools can't recognize your motherboard's AHCI controller, so flip your SATA controller mode to IDE and it'll work fine.

Might be the same case in Windows, but you really don't want to be scanning your OS drive while in Windows.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:38 AM   #12
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I've had chkdsk /r fix problems like for example a few years ago, Thunderbird kept crashing every time I started it up. I had tried most other troubleshooting measures to get my profile going again, finally ran chkdsk, problem solved. No bad sectors/clusters were reported, just sometimes weird problems can be purely file system issues (or bad sectors obviously).

I tend to use chkdsk when I suspect disk issues. It runs quicker than a full surface SeaTools scan and tends to the job required. I might run something like SeaTools if I still suspected something after running a full chkdsk (or if I had to so I could supply a warranty code from it), but I can't remember the last time that I saw chkdsk miss something that SeaTools didn't.

I run chkdsk /r on every brand-new drive, though again I've only had it once where I had a dodgy drive on arrival and that was fairly obvious by the way XP's install was acting.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:43 AM   #13
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chkdsk is filesystem dependent i assume. I use MHDD as someone previously mentioned, i never looked into Seatools but it sounds similar if not the same. I use MHDD through SystemRescueCD its a free live linux distro that comes with a bunch of other usefull utilities also and allows me to boot it all from a USB flashdrive. Also as previously mentioned only issue you may have with the detection of the drive itself is if you set the sata's mode in BIOS from AHCI to IDE usually helps detect it just for the test. Readup a little before using any of those low level tools cause they have modes that can wipe all data off your drive but there safe as long as you know the basics.

EDIT: this is a helpfull way i found to run chkdsk if the partition your scanning isnt the OS itself so it doesnt need to reboot... it will safe the output automatically in this example to chkdsk.log.txt ,note - i had to leave spaces in the drive syntax bellow cause it makes emoticons :/ (single space after D and C and : )

chkdsk D : /X /F /R /V > C : \chkdsk.log.txt

Last edited by jolancer; 11-16-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
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YES, it will show if you have any bad sectors.

If you do have bad sectors you can believe it or not remove them . and get rid of them and have 0 bad sectors..

I use program called HDD Regenerator and it will fix your bad sectors.. gl
A piece of software cannot fix a hardware problem. It can only work around it at best.

CHKDSK or any other program can locate bad sectors and sometimes recover information from those sectors, then the sector is marked as unusable, so unless something major happens to the drive, that sector won't be used again.

This next bit is "as I understand it", but I think that Windows will store bad sector history in a different way to say SeaTools, so therefore if one comes up saying there are bad sectors, it doesn't follow that the other will list those bad sectors in the summary.

Last edited by mikeymikec; 11-16-2012 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:40 PM   #15
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I was only using chkdsk to test a new hd with no data so I wasn't worried about my stuff. I did run HDTuner(?) and came back no errors as well so for now, it appears the drive is ok. Not sure how to run stuff in DOS. I might change the controller to IDE tonight to run another test. I'll just make sure none of my really important stuff is on this drive (photos/docs/home vids) until I'm more confident.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:58 PM   #16
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Start > Command Prompt > Right-click > Run as admin

CHKDSK DRIVELETTER: /R
Press the Enter/Return key
If it asks about scheduling it for a restart, and that's what you do, press Y and then Enter/Return.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nothinman View Post
Doing a full chkdsk or format is like kicking the tires on a car, it may make you feel a bit better but it doesn't do a whole lot.

I try to run a stress test/benchmark tool like bonnie++ for a day or so whenever I get a new drive to put it through its paces.
If you want to use a car analogy, then stress testing a new HDD is like paying a mechanic to give a brand new car a once-over before buying it. If it makes you feel a bit better...
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