Simple Hard Drive Test Program?

Discussion in 'IBM' started by Fred Marshall, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives - either
    using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do as
    well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem to
    want to do that.

    Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?

    Thanks,

    Fred
     
    Fred Marshall, Feb 26, 2006
    #1
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  2. Fred Marshall

    Bob Willard Guest

    Fred Marshall wrote:

    >I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives - either
    >using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do as
    >well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    >having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem to
    >want to do that.
    >
    >Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?
    >
    >Thanks,
    >
    >Fred
    >
    >
    >
    >

    Assuming you have Win XP, run chkdsk. From explorer, select the drive
    (or partition) of interest, right-click on it, then click on Properties,
    then on Tools, then on ErrorChecking, then on CheckNow.

    --
    Cheers, Bob
     
    Bob Willard, Feb 26, 2006
    #2
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  3. Fred Marshall

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    Bob Willard <> wrote:
    >Fred Marshall wrote:
    >
    >>I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives - either
    >>using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do as
    >>well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    >>having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem to
    >>want to do that.
    >>
    >>Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?
    >>
    >>Thanks,
    >>
    >>Fred
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >Assuming you have Win XP, run chkdsk. From explorer, select the drive
    >(or partition) of interest, right-click on it, then click on Properties,
    >then on Tools, then on ErrorChecking, then on CheckNow.




    Does chkdsk with the ErrorChecking option do anything that prior versions
    of didn't do?

    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Feb 26, 2006
    #3
  4. Fred Marshall

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    Bob Willard <> wrote:
    >Fred Marshall wrote:
    >
    >>I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives - either
    >>using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do as
    >>well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    >>having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem to
    >>want to do that.
    >>
    >>Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?
    >>
    >>Thanks,
    >>
    >>Fred
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >Assuming you have Win XP, run chkdsk. From explorer, select the drive
    >(or partition) of interest, right-click on it, then click on Properties,
    >then on Tools, then on ErrorChecking, then on CheckNow.



    This won't work if on the C drive without a reboot, or on other disk
    if there are any files open. Basically, you can't do real testing on a
    disk that's being used by Windows.



    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Feb 26, 2006
    #4
  5. "Al Dykes" <> wrote in message
    news:dtsi03$dtq$...
    > In article <>,
    > Bob Willard <> wrote:
    >>Fred Marshall wrote:
    >>
    >>>I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives -
    >>>either
    >>>using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do
    >>>as
    >>>well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    >>>having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem
    >>>to
    >>>want to do that.
    >>>
    >>>Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?
    >>>
    >>>Thanks,
    >>>
    >>>Fred
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>

    >>Assuming you have Win XP, run chkdsk. From explorer, select the drive
    >>(or partition) of interest, right-click on it, then click on Properties,
    >>then on Tools, then on ErrorChecking, then on CheckNow.

    >
    >
    > This won't work if on the C drive without a reboot, or on other disk
    > if there are any files open. Basically, you can't do real testing on a
    > disk that's being used by Windows.


    What about S.M.A.R.T. status checking? I think that would be good enough -
    even best - for my purposes. CHKDSK doesn't do SMART does it?

    I already ran CHKDSK when I was on site and found lots of errors that were
    "corrected". I'm now concerned that there's a reason for so many errors and
    want to do another kind of check (SMART).

    I've used HDDLife and it's OK. What I want now is to just run a quick SMART
    check without having to install a program.
    Normally I'd use a boot disk and the IBM/Hitachi program.
    But, getting a boot disk into the hands of a customer and telling them how
    to make the boot happen via CMOS boot sequence settings, etc. etc. is more
    than some can handle. Thus the quest for something direct and simple.

    Thanks,

    Fred
     
    Fred Marshall, Feb 26, 2006
    #5
  6. Fred Marshall

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    Fred Marshall <fmarshallx@remove_the_x.acm.org> wrote:
    >
    >"Al Dykes" <> wrote in message
    >news:dtsi03$dtq$...
    >> In article <>,
    >> Bob Willard <> wrote:
    >>>Fred Marshall wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives -
    >>>>either
    >>>>using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do
    >>>>as
    >>>>well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    >>>>having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem
    >>>>to
    >>>>want to do that.
    >>>>
    >>>>Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?
    >>>>
    >>>>Thanks,
    >>>>
    >>>>Fred
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>Assuming you have Win XP, run chkdsk. From explorer, select the drive
    >>>(or partition) of interest, right-click on it, then click on Properties,
    >>>then on Tools, then on ErrorChecking, then on CheckNow.

    >>
    >>
    >> This won't work if on the C drive without a reboot, or on other disk
    >> if there are any files open. Basically, you can't do real testing on a
    >> disk that's being used by Windows.

    >
    >What about S.M.A.R.T. status checking? I think that would be good enough -
    >even best - for my purposes. CHKDSK doesn't do SMART does it?
    >
    >I already ran CHKDSK when I was on site and found lots of errors that were
    >"corrected". I'm now concerned that there's a reason for so many errors and
    >want to do another kind of check (SMART).
    >
    >I've used HDDLife and it's OK. What I want now is to just run a quick SMART
    >check without having to install a program.
    >Normally I'd use a boot disk and the IBM/Hitachi program.
    >But, getting a boot disk into the hands of a customer and telling them how
    >to make the boot happen via CMOS boot sequence settings, etc. etc. is more
    >than some can handle. Thus the quest for something direct and simple.



    You can also look in Event Viewer. Recoverable disk errors will put
    events in the log. AFAIK, there is no wat to make an event logged
    error also cause a pop-up on my screen.

    I've played with smart on systems with a total of a couple dozen IDE
    and SATA disks and had two disks fail without a peep from the smart
    software.



    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Feb 26, 2006
    #6
  7. "Al Dykes" <> wrote in message
    news:dtt66m$8h3$...
    >
    > I've played with smart on systems with a total of a couple dozen IDE
    > and SATA disks and had two disks fail without a peep from the smart
    > software.


    Yes, I believe that.
    On the other hand, I've had SMART monitoring running consistently and have
    found failing drives before they failed completely. I was able to clone
    them easily.
    So, while SMART monitoring isn't a guarantee over a sudden catastrophic
    failure, it's very useful for finding any manner of gradual degradations
    that will likely lead to a catastrophic failure in time.
    So, SMART monitoring can be very useful even if not perfect protection.

    Fred
     
    Fred Marshall, Feb 27, 2006
    #7
  8. Fred Marshall

    Bob Willard Guest

    Al Dykes wrote:

    >In article <>,
    >Bob Willard <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Fred Marshall wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>>I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives - either
    >>>using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do as
    >>>well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    >>>having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem to
    >>>want to do that.
    >>>
    >>>Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?
    >>>
    >>>Thanks,
    >>>
    >>>Fred
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>

    >>Assuming you have Win XP, run chkdsk. From explorer, select the drive
    >>(or partition) of interest, right-click on it, then click on Properties,
    >>then on Tools, then on ErrorChecking, then on CheckNow.
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    >
    >Does chkdsk with the ErrorChecking option do anything that prior versions
    >of didn't do?
    >
    >
    >

    I don't know.

    --
    Cheers, Bob
     
    Bob Willard, Feb 27, 2006
    #8
  9. Fred Marshall

    Bob Willard Guest

    Al Dykes wrote:

    >In article <>,
    >Bob Willard <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Fred Marshall wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>>I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives - either
    >>>using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do as
    >>>well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    >>>having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem to
    >>>want to do that.
    >>>
    >>>Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?
    >>>
    >>>Thanks,
    >>>
    >>>Fred
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>

    >>Assuming you have Win XP, run chkdsk. From explorer, select the drive
    >>(or partition) of interest, right-click on it, then click on Properties,
    >>then on Tools, then on ErrorChecking, then on CheckNow.
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    >This won't work if on the C drive without a reboot, or on other disk
    >if there are any files open. Basically, you can't do real testing on a
    >disk that's being used by Windows.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >

    Right. But rebooting is pretty simple, and using chkdsk with a reboot does
    not require any software other than the stuff that comes with XP.

    --
    Cheers, Bob
     
    Bob Willard, Feb 27, 2006
    #9
  10. Fred Marshall

    Bob Willard Guest

    Fred Marshall wrote:

    >"Al Dykes" <> wrote in message
    >news:dtsi03$dtq$...
    >
    >
    >>In article <>,
    >>Bob Willard <> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Fred Marshall wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives -
    >>>>either
    >>>>using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do
    >>>>as
    >>>>well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    >>>>having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem
    >>>>to
    >>>>want to do that.
    >>>>
    >>>>Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?
    >>>>
    >>>>Thanks,
    >>>>
    >>>>Fred
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>Assuming you have Win XP, run chkdsk. From explorer, select the drive
    >>>(or partition) of interest, right-click on it, then click on Properties,
    >>>then on Tools, then on ErrorChecking, then on CheckNow.
    >>>
    >>>

    >>This won't work if on the C drive without a reboot, or on other disk
    >>if there are any files open. Basically, you can't do real testing on a
    >>disk that's being used by Windows.
    >>
    >>

    >
    >What about S.M.A.R.T. status checking? I think that would be good enough -
    >even best - for my purposes. CHKDSK doesn't do SMART does it?
    >
    >I already ran CHKDSK when I was on site and found lots of errors that were
    >"corrected". I'm now concerned that there's a reason for so many errors and
    >want to do another kind of check (SMART).
    >
    >I've used HDDLife and it's OK. What I want now is to just run a quick SMART
    >check without having to install a program.
    >Normally I'd use a boot disk and the IBM/Hitachi program.
    >But, getting a boot disk into the hands of a customer and telling them how
    >to make the boot happen via CMOS boot sequence settings, etc. etc. is more
    >than some can handle. Thus the quest for something direct and simple.
    >
    >Thanks,
    >
    >Fred
    >
    >
    >
    >

    Checking SMART status does not read from the HD's platters at all - it just
    copies some params which are saved (in the HD's NVRAM AFAIK) into the
    PC's RAM.

    --
    Cheers, Bob
     
    Bob Willard, Feb 27, 2006
    #10
  11. Fred Marshall

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    Bob Willard <> wrote:
    >Al Dykes wrote:
    >
    >>In article <>,
    >>Bob Willard <> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Fred Marshall wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>I usually use the IBM/Hitachi program to test working hard drives - either
    >>>>using a boot floppy or, more often now, a boot CD. What I'd like to do as
    >>>>well is run a simple program that will do the same from Windows without
    >>>>having to install a new app. The usual IBM/Hitachi program doesn't seem to
    >>>>want to do that.
    >>>>
    >>>>Any suggestions for a program that's simple to run under Windows?
    >>>>
    >>>>Thanks,
    >>>>
    >>>>Fred
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>Assuming you have Win XP, run chkdsk. From explorer, select the drive
    >>>(or partition) of interest, right-click on it, then click on Properties,
    >>>then on Tools, then on ErrorChecking, then on CheckNow.
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >>
    >>This won't work if on the C drive without a reboot, or on other disk
    >>if there are any files open. Basically, you can't do real testing on a
    >>disk that's being used by Windows.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >Right. But rebooting is pretty simple, and using chkdsk with a reboot does
    >not require any software other than the stuff that comes with XP.


    Rebooting was the reson the OP came here in the first place.

    The bitch I have with chkdsk is that if, during a reboot, serious but
    non-fatal, errors are found they can scroll right off the screen, even
    if you are not looking. Not good for a production system with a huge
    raid array.

    There is also no documentation for all the possible error messages
    from chkdsk.



    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Feb 27, 2006
    #11
  12. "Bob Willard" <> wrote in message
    news:deKdnc7Ty_0xQZ_ZnZ2dnUVZ_t->

    >Right. But rebooting is pretty simple, and using chkdsk with a reboot does
    > not require any software other than the stuff that comes with XP.
    >
    > --
    > Cheers, Bob


    Actually rebooting isn't so much the issue. Booting from a floppy or CD is
    the issue.

    Anyway, I already ran CHKDSK and found more errors than I'm at all
    comfortable with.

    What I don't know is if errors found by CHKDSK necessarily mean hard drive
    failure - as I've seen this happen when there's been a power failure and the
    disk cleans up just fine with no suggestion that the disk is bad at all. I
    have one here that's been running for months after such a situation. And,
    SMART monitoring isn't complaining.

    From the suggestions it appears I'm ignorant about CHKDSK. What does it
    tell you about a failing disk unless it continues to find bad sectors? I've
    always though "nothing".

    On the other hand, SMART gathers data that's useful and reports the results.
    In comparison this is much better (in my understanding) if one wants to know
    if a disk is starting to perform badly or to the extent that it could fail
    soon.

    My original question was intended to ask:

    Do you know of a simple SMART program that can just be run without rebooting
    from floppy or CD and, less importantly, without installing a program in
    Windows (HDDLife will do the latter with an install)? The IBM/Hitachi disk
    test program won't run under windows - even its SMART data-getter.

    Fred
     
    Fred Marshall, Feb 27, 2006
    #12
  13. Fred Marshall

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <>,
    Fred Marshall <fmarshallx@remove_the_x.acm.org> wrote:
    >
    >"Bob Willard" <> wrote in message
    >news:deKdnc7Ty_0xQZ_ZnZ2dnUVZ_t->
    >
    >>Right. But rebooting is pretty simple, and using chkdsk with a reboot does
    >> not require any software other than the stuff that comes with XP.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Cheers, Bob

    >
    >Actually rebooting isn't so much the issue. Booting from a floppy or CD is
    >the issue.
    >
    >Anyway, I already ran CHKDSK and found more errors than I'm at all
    >comfortable with.



    FAT32 or NTFS?

    For FAT32, broken files are too "normal", which is why I've not used
    FAT32 by choice for 10+ years.

    If you're seeing CHKDSK errors on an NTFS file system your disk is
    dying, or there is something obscure like a flakey IDE controller or I
    guess, a bad cable.

    Look in event viewer.

    Run the manufacturer's disk test.

    If your time and data are improtant to you, replace the disk before
    it fails completely.

    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
     
    Al Dykes, Feb 27, 2006
    #13
  14. Fred Marshall

    Cl.Massé Guest

    "Fred Marshall" <fmarshallx@remove_the_x.acm.org> a écrit dans le message
    de news:

    > I've used HDDLife and it's OK. What I want now is to just run a quick
    > SMART check without having to install a program.
    > Normally I'd use a boot disk and the IBM/Hitachi program.
    > But, getting a boot disk into the hands of a customer and telling them how
    > to make the boot happen via CMOS boot sequence settings, etc. etc. is more
    > than some can handle. Thus the quest for something direct and simple.


    Many programs do that, I know of two:
    SpeedFan: http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
    Everest: http://www.lavalys.com/

    --
    ~~~~ clmasse on free F-country
    Free technical support at : http://www.protonic.com/
     
    Cl.Massé, Mar 3, 2006
    #14
  15. Al Dykes wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Fred Marshall <fmarshallx@remove_the_x.acm.org> wrote:
    >
    >>"Bob Willard" <> wrote in message
    >>news:deKdnc7Ty_0xQZ_ZnZ2dnUVZ_t->
    >>
    >>>Right. But rebooting is pretty simple, and using chkdsk with a reboot does
    >>>not require any software other than the stuff that comes with XP.
    >>>
    >>>--
    >>>Cheers, Bob

    >>
    >>Actually rebooting isn't so much the issue. Booting from a floppy or CD is
    >>the issue.
    >>
    >>Anyway, I already ran CHKDSK and found more errors than I'm at all
    >>comfortable with.

    >
    >
    >
    > FAT32 or NTFS?
    >
    > For FAT32, broken files are too "normal", which is why I've not used
    > FAT32 by choice for 10+ years.
    >
    > If you're seeing CHKDSK errors on an NTFS file system your disk is
    > dying, or there is something obscure like a flakey IDE controller or I
    > guess, a bad cable.
    >
    > Look in event viewer.
    >
    > Run the manufacturer's disk test.
    >
    > If your time and data are improtant to you, replace the disk before
    > it fails completely.
    >


    You might consider running smartctl under windows. It does evaluate and
    report errors but it doesn't correct errors. Smartctl can report defects
    on the disk but if defects develop in areas where data is stored the
    drive won't map those defects out (they will be reported as errors every
    time you run a report from smartctl). But defects that the drive detects
    during a write operation will be mapped out.

    There is a product however called spinrite that does in fact
    recover/correct errors. It takes a very long time to run [if there are
    errors to correct] and isn't always successful. But it frequently can
    correct errors so that a drive becones functional again.

    tom at stephenson dot cc
     
    Tom Stephenson, Mar 10, 2006
    #15
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