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If you are evaluating a hard drive, this guide will show you how to do basic tests to detect common problems. While these tests are not perfect, most issues can be detected.

Common drive problems include:

  • High hours (Wear and tear)
  • Reallocated sectors
  • Pending reallocated sectors
  • Hidden problems

Why should used hard drives be checked?

Most failures are sudden and without warning. If these problems are caught early, the drive can be replaced before it fails. SMART plays a major role in this since the data can be used to do this.

Note: Some hard drives have known problems (Ex: Seagate 7.01/7200.11), while others fail due to lower quality standards (Ex: WD Blue/Green).

Guide notes

  • While Parted Magic can be redistributed legally per the GPL, I will not point to these downloads.
  • These tests are not 100% accurate. Some problems can (and do) slip past these tests.

A word on drive remapping

  • While WD, HGST and Seagate offer diagnostic tools, they do not work on drives with serious problems or excessive bad sectors.
  • Before attempting a sector remap, backup your data.
  • DO NOT REPAIR drives with SMART errors.

Parçalar

  1. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, Mounting the hard drive for testing: adım 1, 3 resimden 1. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, Mounting the hard drive for testing: adım 1, 3 resimden 2. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, Mounting the hard drive for testing: adım 1, 3 resimden 3.
    • If the HDD/SSD is not installed in a PC, a USB drive adapter (SATA) can be used. For NVMe and NGFF M.2 SSDs, a specific enclosure is required.

    • If the hard drive is not installed and you do not have a USB adapter, it can be plugged into a motherboard.

  2. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Ubuntu) Check the POH/POC: adım 2, 3 resimden 1. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Ubuntu) Check the POH/POC: adım 2, 3 resimden 2. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Ubuntu) Check the POH/POC: adım 2, 3 resimden 3.
    • While high hours are not an indication of failure, these drives are more likely to fail.

    • GSmartControl can be used in Ubuntu if you cannot read the output from Disks.

    • Boot your system into a live Ubuntu session. Locate the Disks application and select the hard disk you want to test.

    • From the drop-down menu, select SMART Data and Self Tests. This will pull up the SMART data.

    • Locate the following SMART attributes: Power On Hours and Power Cycle Count.

  3. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Ubuntu) Check the reallocated sectors and test the drive: adım 3, 3 resimden 1. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Ubuntu) Check the reallocated sectors and test the drive: adım 3, 3 resimden 2. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Ubuntu) Check the reallocated sectors and test the drive: adım 3, 3 resimden 3.
    • If Reallocated Sector Count is highlighted and the number is high, replace the drive. Use SMART Extended for accuracy. You will lose capacity and these drives often fail without warning!

    • Locate the following SMART attributes: Reallocated sector count; Current pending sector count.

    • To run a SMART Extended Self-Test, left click Start Self-Test. Select Extended from the drop-down menu.

  4. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Check the POH/POC: adım 4, 3 resimden 1. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Check the POH/POC: adım 4, 3 resimden 2. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Check the POH/POC: adım 4, 3 resimden 3.
    • While high hours are not an indication of failure, these drives are more likely to fail.

    • Select Disks from the desktop to open GSmartControl.

    • Select the hard disk you want to test. Click Attributes to read the SMART data.

    • Locate the following attributes: Power On Time and Power Cycle Count.

  5. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Check the reallocated sectors and test the drive: adım 5, 3 resimden 1. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Check the reallocated sectors and test the drive: adım 5, 3 resimden 2. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Check the reallocated sectors and test the drive: adım 5, 3 resimden 3.
    • If Reallocated Sector Count is highlighted and the number is high, replace the drive. Use SMART Extended for accuracy. You will lose capacity and these drives often fail without warning!

    • In the Attributes tab, locate the following SMART attributes: Reallocated Sector Count; Reallocation Event Count; Current Pending Sector Count.

    • To test the drive, select Perform Tests. Click Test type: and select Extended Self-Test.

  6. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Check the error log: adım 6, 3 resimden 1. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Check the error log: adım 6, 3 resimden 2. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Check the error log: adım 6, 3 resimden 3.
    • Use the error log and SMART data together to diagnose drive problems.

    • Check the error log for drive errors. Click the Error log tab, and review the logs.

    • In the Error log, review the available errors. Read these logs if any are found.

  7. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Erasing hard drives: adım 7, 3 resimden 1. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Erasing hard drives: adım 7, 3 resimden 2. Diagnosing and Erasing Hard Drives, (Parted Magic) Erasing hard drives: adım 7, 3 resimden 3.
    • When possible, avoid sector wiping SSDs. This will reduce the drive liftetime and can be drastic on older 75TBW lifetime drives.

    • Your erase options are limited to the Security Set options supported by your drive.

    • Drives without ATA Secure Erase will need to be erased externally. Select External and choose Nwipe. Run the DoD Short command (3 wipes+drive blanking).

    • If your drive has a buggy ATA Secure Erase implementation, choose External and erase the drive with Nwipe. SSDs should only be erased with the Secure Erase command.

    • For NVMe SSDs, the best option is to use NVMe Secure Erase.

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