Exercising ATA disks in hopes of revealing errors

Doug Poland doug at polands.org
Wed Apr 18 19:27:27 UTC 2007

On Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 11:46:50AM -0500, illoai at gmail.com wrote:
> 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:
> http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
That is packed full with nice stuff.  Thanks

> 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.
I don't have to run FreeBSD as the host, I just thought there would be
some good tools to accomplish the task.  The idea of a bootable CD-ROM
is nice cause that gives me 4 empty ATA "sockets" for testing in my test


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