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Old 24th December 2010
guitarscn guitarscn is offline
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Default How do I check an entire HDD?

I want to run something like fsck or chkdsk or whatever on a blank hard drive (just had it written with 0s several times) to check if anything is wrong. Do I have to format it with something first? If so does it matter if I format it on ext3, NTFS, etc.?
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Old 24th December 2010
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What are you rambling about? if you believe your disk is failing you will know.. errors will appear in the dmesg when you're reading/writing to or from it.

You can use dd(1) to do arbitrary I/O like that, no filesystem needs to exist on the drive.

Assuming the disk is sd2, use the raw character device (..unbuffered) to avoid kernel caches.. rsd2c spans the entire disk, ignore the read error when it reaches the end of the disk.

$ sudo dd if=/dev/rsd2c of=/dev/null bs=64k

If it succeeds you should not see any kernel messages (..white text on blue), this isn't an absolute guarantee though.

Note; that most drives cache reads & writes in hardware... and internally remap bad sectors, this can cause "soft errors" which are detected in the kernel.

Other factors include bad IDE/SATA cables, overloaded power supplies, physical turbulence (..shaking a laptop roughly), solar flares, and C-x M-c M-butterfly..
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Old 25th December 2010
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Downside of dd is that it won't display the speed of the sectors being scanned. If you have for example 100 sectors with an access time of 1 sec then you may want to replace the drive anyway.

For this reason I always use MHDD, which displays access times. It can also check SMART status.
Search the forums for it, I believe I once some instructions for it.

Quote:
C-x M-c M-butterfly..
This is not something of a hoax, it's true that an older version had a bug in it (A moth would be triggered, not a butterfly) which may cause the hard drive to break, but this has been fixed a long time ago. It is now considered to be quite safe.
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Old 25th December 2010
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
Downside of dd is that it won't display the speed of the sectors being scanned. If you have for example 100 sectors with an access time of 1 sec then you may want to replace the drive anyway.
Most implementations will print a progress report if you send SIGINFO to them.

I configure ^T (CTRL+T) to send that signal in my .profile.

$ stty status ^T

Code:
$ sudo dd if=/dev/rsd2c of=/dev/null bs=64k
^T
load: 0.37  cmd: dd 25514 [physio] 0.00u 0.06s 0% 57k
1540+0 records in
1540+0 records out
100925440 bytes transferred in 1.822 secs (55386132 bytes/sec)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
This is not something of a hoax, it's true that an older version had a bug in it (A moth would be triggered, not a butterfly) which may cause the hard drive to break, but this has been fixed a long time ago. It is now considered to be quite safe.
Yeah, they should have all the kinks worked out by now.
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Old 26th December 2010
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The e2fsprogs package includes the "badblocks" program, which will write and read a variety of bit patterns. This will convert any bad sectors to replacement sectors from spares. once spares are used up, the disk is done.
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Old 18th January 2011
wesley wesley is offline
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you have also this one :
http://hddguru.com/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/
i use it at Work to test hard disk (corrupted sector).
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