Guide feedback needed; hard drive testing
This guide will be used in other guides I may make in the future where the health of the hard drive is used, but can be used independently of these guides if the reader has a used system they suspect the hard drive is failing on and they want to verify their hard drive's health. I did not label it as a prereq only guide because of this, but it is mainly meant to be used as such. I will retain this drive for a while to avoid inconsistency, so if I need to correct anything it isn't a big deal for me to do this. Once it's been used in everything I need it for and the content created with it is good that's when I will drill my holes and get rid of it.
I did not cover all of the attributes I check, since these are not really something the average person needs to check to determine how healthy their hard drive is and is extra information. The goal of this guide is not to replicate what I check; it is meant to quickly and reliably verify the health of a hard drive. That being said, the attributes this guide covers everything I check before I go any further so I don't waste my time on a junk drive. I check these areas since most problems develop here and I can fail out a drive quickly with this information. For the guide I've selected this data since it's the data end users pretty much need to focus on to determine to health of a hard drive in nearly all circumstances.
Just to give you an idea of what I do vs what this guide highlights I check every piece of SMART data available. While end users don't need to do this, I stock these drives for live spares to quickly replace failed drives when I do not have a new one available. Since my stock relies on excellent SMART data, it makes sense for me to be picky about what I accept and reject as live spares. It does not make sense to do this for a drive you are inspecting for pass/fail.
Initial public release
- Added a picture of what the error log will output
- Added pictures to show what self-tests look like in Parted Magic and Ubuntu
- Added a note about drives with SMART errors being too far gone
- Warned that manufacturer provided tools patch the problem and do not fix it
- (4/29) Rewrote guide intro
- (4/29) Refined Steps 1 and 2
- (4/29) Merged Steps 3 and 4
- (4/29) Merged steps 5 and 7
- (4/29) Revised Step 7 title
- (4/30) Reduced the scare language on the mention of manufacturer provided utilities to remap the drive in the intro
- (4/30) Revised Steps 6 and 7
- (5/3) Revised Steps 2 and 3
- (5/3) Revised Steps 4 5, 6 and 7
- (5/3) Intro revised
- (5/11) Intro heavily rewritten
- (5/11) Step 2 revised
- (5/11) Step 3 revised
- (5/11) Step 4 revised (shared line from Step 2 copied+step specific revisions)
- (5/11) Step 5 revised (shared lines from Step 3 copied+step specific revisions)
- (5/11) Step 7 revised
- (5/11) Removed default conclusion
- (5/12) Step 3 revised (shared line with Step 5)
- (5/12) Step 4 revised
- (5/12) Step 5 revised
- (5/12) Step 7 revised
- (5/15) Minor intro modification (why it's important to test used drives/WD Blue/Green lower quality)
- (5/15) Steps 3 and 5 received minor revision (shared line)
- (5/15) Step 6 minor revision
It looks like all of the major problems that were initially there are now more or less ironed out. There's probably more but for the most part these issues are cleared up.
Is this a worthwhile discussion?