Properly Testing a Hard Drive
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Thread: Properly Testing a Hard Drive

  1. #1

    Properly Testing a Hard Drive

    So I ran into a funny thing the other day.

    I was trying to back up a user's data to another hard drive before reimaging his laptop, just doing a simple copy/paste from one drive to another, when I ran into an odd error. Basically halfway through the copy, the process would hault with an error saying something down the lines of I could no longer write to the drive. I'd test the drive I had up until this point successfully copied data to by trying to simply create a new folder. Sure enough, I'd get an error saying I suddenly don't have permission to the drive.

    After powering the drive off and back on again and reconnecting USB, the error would cease, and I could create a new folder again. Restarted copying data...halfway through, same error, and again, afterwards, could no longer create folders.

    So my first hunch was the drive was going bad. So I used one of my usual diag tools to run tets on it. I've grown rather fond of Western Digital's WD Diagnostics uitlity, so I usually use it, as was the case here. Ran quick test, extended test, and write zeros test...everything passed, no problems.

    So I'm wondering, what else should I do to further test the drive? Any ideas as to what else could have caused that oddity to pop up? (FYI, it's a Hitachi 5400rpm 40GB laptop HDD).

  2. #2
    THE Bastard Sys***** dinowuff's Avatar
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    With all the problems you are having with this user and his hardware, may I suggest you delete his account from the domain, purge his mail box, clear/format/delete any network or locally attached storage vehicles.

    Give the guy a new account / laptop and tell him to KNOCK OFF what ever he is doing.
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  3. #3
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    When you got the error were you copying all the data on the drive at once?
    if so it could have just timed out, I've ran into that issue before when copying large ammounts of data to my external drive at home.

    Did you get the error at the same point each time in the copy process or was it a different file each time?
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  4. #4
    With all the problems you are having with this user and his hardware, may I suggest you delete his account from the domain, purge his mail box, clear/format/delete any network or locally attached storage vehicles.
    Dinowuff,

    This is actually a different user. So far this week I've had a nice break from my nightmare user last week.

    When you got the error were you copying all the data on the drive at once?
    Moxquito, that's a good point. You know, in hindsight, I should have tried using xcopy and see if it would have likewise failed. The method I tried really wasn't the best route to go.

    Did you get the error at the same point each time in the copy process or was it a different file each time?
    I failed to notice exactly, but it was near it if not the exact same point.

  5. #5
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    AK for Hitachi drives, we usually recommend the Hitachi Drive Fitness Test [DFT] ... http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm .... it is usually pretty reliable...
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

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  6. #6
    0_o Mastermind keezel's Avatar
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    I use a variety of tests. Try using Hiren's boot CD, it has literally a dozen hard drive testing tools. I recommend PC Check 6.0 (especially the SMART testing utilities). The legit most recent version of PC Doctor is also quite good. Also, if you are hooking up the drive via external data cables there is a trick where you can give yourself permissions to everything on the drive. It is slightly time consuming but the headaches it will save you are worth it. Right now I'm writing a paper so I can't look up exactly the procedure for giving you permissions...but I don't remember it being very obscure. It's one of those "right click on this, go to this tab, check this box" sort of things.

    *edit*
    FYI PC Check 6.0 is a part of Hiren's boot CD. It also has PC Doctor 3.0 which is useful but not the best thing out there.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Try using Hiren's boot CD, it has literally a dozen hard drive testing tools.
    NOT in the workplace! HBCD contains pirated software that will be against your terms and conditions of employment.

    The "work friendly" tool is "the Ultimate Boot CD"

    http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

    Hiren's is only legal if you buy licences for the proprietary software on it
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  8. #8
    Only african to own a PC! Cider's Avatar
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    Ooh Nice utility Nihil Why are you only letting me know now ...
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Actually, I have just looked at Hiren's site and the full CD software seems to have been pulled.

    http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

    Also, a lot of the content versions are very old. I will stick to my recommendation of the Ultimate Boot CD as that project is still live and is legal.

    Remember that you can also add other utilities that you like

    The UBCD has been posted by numerous members over the years so it isn't as if I was keeping any secrets. I just posted the current link to the official site.

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  10. #10
    0_o Mastermind keezel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    Actually, I have just looked at Hiren's site and the full CD software seems to have been pulled.

    http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

    Also, a lot of the content versions are very old. I will stick to my recommendation of the Ultimate Boot CD as that project is still live and is legal.

    Remember that you can also add other utilities that you like

    The UBCD has been posted by numerous members over the years so it isn't as if I was keeping any secrets. I just posted the current link to the official site.

    I'm not so much worried about not being licensed.

    1) We are licensed to use literally everything that requires a license on HBCD. (PC Check, PC Doctor, McAfee, etc). The things that are sketchy (like password crackers) don't really require a "license" but they are less than workplace friendly...yet still necessary. Go figure.
    2) The version of UBCD I have contains four discs and allows you to boot from any of them....including HBCD. Is there another version? This one also includes MiniPE which has utilities that are even less workplace friendly.

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