Solved

Data Lifeguard Diagnostics - Interpreting and Acting on the Test Results

Posted on 2011-09-04
7
779 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I've been using Data Lifeguard Diagnostics in the form of GWSCAN from Gateway - as this version seems to deal with SATA drives.
My approach has been:
1) Run the SMART test.  If this fails then there IS a problem.  It usually doesn't fail.
2) Run the QUICK test.  If this fails then IS THERE A PROBLEM?  I've always assumed so.

If the QUICK test fails then there is a message displayed:
"Please back up your data and then run extended test OR run a full media scan to resolve this issue ...."

This implies that the result of the Quick test may be fixable.  Indeed, I've done it and the Quick test issue was resolved.
But, where does that leave one?  What does "resolve this issue" really mean?

My approach has been:
If the QUICK test fails then replace the hard drive.
But, if the 3rd step resolves the issue then am I doing someone a disservice by having them buy a new hard drive?
That's why I need to know more about what "resolve this issue" really means.
0
Comment
Question by:Fred Marshall
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
7 Comments
 
LVL 48

Accepted Solution

by:
dbrunton earned 167 total points
ID: 36481400
Relocates sectors to compensate for bad sectors.

A hard disk may have a bad sector at A.  Hard disks have a set of extra sectors that they can use.  In this case they set the hard disk up so that when it trys to access A it accesses one of the extra sectors.

These two threads show where the process is occurring (unfortunately for the people concerned it didn't work)

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/251672-32-strange-problem-occured-raptor-expert-help
http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f10/solved-no-boot-into-xp-561012.html

Now are you doing a disservice to the customers?  I'd explain to the customers what is happening but recommend a new hard drive to them.  There is no guarantee that the hard disk is permanetly fixed.  It may develop further errors or it may work perfectly.  Their choice.
0
 
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 166 total points
ID: 36481764
The Quick Test is NOT a thorough test by any means ... it simply gathers the SMART data from the drive, and gathers other dianostic info available on the drive (relocated sector table, etc.) and makes an assessment of the state of the drive.     A drive can have transient defects that will result in a failure of this test ... but before considering it bad it's a good idea to run the much more thorough Extended Test.

... In fact, even the Extended test isn't a 100% reliable indication, as it does not do any write testing unless it detects bad sectors and you have run it with the repair option.   But if a drive passes the Extended Test, it will almost certainly pass the Quick Test AFTER that.

"Resolve this issue" in the context you've asked about simply means to give the drive a chance to implement the SMART system's automatic recovery ... which will either rewirte a "shaky" sector or relocate it to a spare if that fails.

For testing a new drive, I've found the most reliable way to confirm a drive is fine is to do a Quick Test; then an Extended test; then Write Zeroes; and then repeat the Quick & Extended tests.    If anything fails ... RMA the drive.

For a drive that already has data (so you don't want to do the write zeroes), I use a Leve 3 pass of GRC's excellent Spinrite utility to test it.    If Spinrite says it's okay, it's okay.    If it finds problems, I replace the drive.
0
 
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 167 total points
ID: 36482714
instead of Spinrite, i now use HDDregenerator, i found it running faster, and it ran even in cases where spinrite locked up : http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html      

it has repaired several disks for me - none came back

what it does : it rewrites "weak" sectors, without even loosing the data on it
so, of course, like any software, it can NOT repair physical defects, only these caused by software
0
Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:coredatarecovery
ID: 36490339
No, You're right, replacing the hard disk is usually the right move.

Once a drive starts having problems and is relocating sectors it usually goes down hill from there.

If the drive is still under warranty, I have them send it back to the mfg and when the replacement arrives I usually throw it in as drive D and setup a backup script to duplicate the data areas of the drive to the replacement drive every day or once a week.

That way they get something out of the old drive without the risk of data loss.
0
 
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36493671
i don't agree, if you read what's on the hddreg site, it claims "about 60% of all bad drives can be repaired" and i must say i tend to agree with him, from experience.
also - since none came back - it REALLY repaired the problem
0
 
LVL 26

Author Closing Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 36533777
Thanks for the good advice!
0
 
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 36534335
you're welcome
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

AWS Glacier is Amazons cheapest storage option and is their answer to a ‘Cold’ storage service.  Customers primarily use this service for archival purposes and storage of infrastructure backups.  Its unlimited storage potential and low storage cost …
Create your own, high-performance VM backup appliance by installing NAKIVO Backup & Replication directly onto a Synology NAS!
This video teaches viewers how to encrypt an external drive that requires a password to read and edit the drive. All tasks are done in Disk Utility. Plug in the external drive you wish to encrypt: Make sure all previous data on the drive has been …
This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…

749 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question