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Author Topic: Diagnostic for portable harddisk  (Read 3711 times)

imtrobin

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Diagnostic for portable harddisk
« on: October 04, 2007, 10:28:33 PM »
Hi

I'm wondering if anyone knows of a good way to diagnose whether a portable harddrive via USB is failing soon or not. Something like the harddisk manufacturers tool (eg. Western Digital LifeGuard tool) to detect the disk status. Most of them I found can't read USB portable harddisk, the closest one is HD Tune.

patthecat

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Re: Diagnostic for portable harddisk
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2007, 01:22:19 AM »
I use HD Tune or PassMark's DiskCheckup for monitoring internal drives from time to time.  However for your question on external drives, I think it depends whether or not the external USB drive controller supports SMART reporting as mentioned in this threads:

http://www.passmark....howthread.php?t=1007
http://www.hddlife.c...leshooting/5_FAQ.htm

Western Digital Passport and IO drives seem to support SMART reporting as mentioned in this commercial product:
http://ariolic.com/a...smart/usb-smart.html

icekin

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Re: Diagnostic for portable harddisk
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 01:33:22 AM »
Is it a real hard disk that is enclosed in a external case? If so, get an enclosure that supports eSATA and you can monitor it like an internal drive. I don't have an eSATA enclosure and use HDTune as well.

imtrobin

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Re: Diagnostic for portable harddisk
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2007, 04:48:49 AM »
I see. My enclosure don't support eSata. Darn. Thanks!

f0dder

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Re: Diagnostic for portable harddisk
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2007, 05:12:24 AM »
You can always take the disk out of the enclosure and mount it directly on your pata/sata, but of course that does take some work...

In my experience, S.M.A.R.T has never really said anything about reliability before it was obvious in other ways - ie., disk making clicking noises. But okay, you can miss those clicking noises in a noisy environment, and checking the "reallocated sectors count" with SMART would tell you.
- carpe noctem

imtrobin

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Re: Diagnostic for portable harddisk
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2007, 01:09:26 PM »
that's what I'm trying to avoid doing :) SMART may not be too useful cos the values may not be accurate, but things like Western Digital Lifeguard are fairly accurate if the drive fails the check, time for RMA.