Exercising ATA disks in hopes of revealing errors

illoai at gmail.com illoai at gmail.com
Wed Apr 18 16:46:53 UTC 2007

On 17/04/07, Derek Ragona <derek at computinginnovations.com> wrote:
> At 11:56 AM 4/17/2007, Doug Poland wrote:
> >Hello,
> >
> >I've just come into possesion of a bunch of 80GB ATA drives.  I'd like
> >to quickly and efficiently test each drive to see if it's free of
> >errors and suitable for deployment in non-critical workstations.
> >
> >Using FreeBSD 6.x as a testing platform, what tools do people use to
> >stress-test disk drives?  I've searched ports and done some googling
> >but nothing stands out.
> Use the manufacture's utilities to test the drives.  Each manufacturer has
> bootable test and stress utilities.

I have used this:

AFIK, there isn't much in FreeBSD for this sort
of low level diagnostics, ubcd boots faster, and
given a decent junk machine, you can test 3 hard
drives per reboot*.  If you can hunt down a pci ata
card, you can probably manage quite a few more.

Having an 80-wire cable is nice for some of the
diagnostics (if your junk machine isn't very old
it will be pretty unlikely to have a 40 wire cable,
so ignore this anyway).

If you really want to use freebsd, the other suggestions
to use ports/sysutils/smartmontools and dd (personally
I use ports/sysutils/sdd for its -inull flag) are probably
what I would follow.

* Unless you can boot from a scsi cdrom.


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