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Need Hard Drive test utility

Posted on 2013-10-26
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Last Modified: 2013-10-26
I need a utility that can test an external sata 3.5" hard drive. I have the external power supply and adaptor from sata to usb. It works fine on a good drive. Can anyone suggest a free utility that will accomplish this for me?
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Question by:Need-a-Clue
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LVL 88

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by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 39603287
If you can't get the utility from the manufacturer of the external drive (WD for example has utilities for some of their external disks), remove the disk from the USB case and connect internally to a SATA port on your PC, then run the disk manufacturer's diagnostic on the UBCD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com

But be aware that removing the disk from it's USB case will void the warranty
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garycase earned 150 total points
ID: 39603355
Both Western Digital's Data Lifeguard and Seagates SeaTools for Windows work fine with USB attached drives.    They can't do every function via USB, but you can run the essential tests with no problem.

I prefer Data Lifeguard -- the version here will work fine for any SATA drive:   http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=612&sid=3
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by:abhuvan
abhuvan earned 112 total points
ID: 39603399
CrystalDiskInfo

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer

Its a resident monitoring with setting adjustment, alarm for both temp and health, shows temp for each drive in system tray, option to show temp icons only, S.M.A.R.T. as well as general information about internal/external hard drives, settings to adjust AAM (Automatic Acoustic Management)/APM (Advanced Power Management) and more.


Download page: http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/index-e.html

64 Bit compatibility: 32 bit but 64 bit compatible , Open source freeware
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LVL 47

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by:David
David earned 113 total points
ID: 39603423
My company writes such software, but it isn't cheap and goes way beyond simple SMART. (It will cost more than the HDD itself)

But here is the deal.  External USB enclosures use a bridge chip that makes the SATA target emulate a SCSI device.  There are dozens of devices out there, and they often have vendor/specific instruction sets.   Encapsulation of the SATA commands has to happen within the SCSI commands (as well as the resulting result registers have to be encapsulated into sense data)

You see, the read/write/seek commands have direct translations and they'll all work on any USB bridge processor.  But anything beyond that is going to require code specific to the controller you have.

THere is also not a 1-1 correspondence.  The vital error and status information and related opcodes in SCSI have no equivalent in ATA command set & vice-versa.

Any product you use that attaches to a HDD attached to a USB port is unlikely to work for you. Professionals know this and that is why we never run any diags unless the target is direct-attach to the native SATA port.   You have no way of knowing if things are lost in the translation, so to speak.
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