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Are there any tools that I can plug into a hard drive and perform diagnostics such as displaying if there are SMART errors? I work with a lot of commodity hardware and need to check if some of the disks laying around are good. It's a pain to put them in a computer. boot up Unix or some proprietary recovery software, and check each drive individually. It would be awesome if there was a device that I could plug in, and after a reasonably short time, give a status code or something. Ideally this would work with both IDE and SATA interfaces.

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For this sort of work (and more) I've invested in a "universal" drive adapter, which is a set up plugs and a power supply that allows me to connect both SATA and PATA 2.5" and 3.5" drives via a USB cable. Mine's an older version of this one.

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Yeah, theres actually something similar sitting next to me. I guess I'll just setup a box for testing. The only downside to this is that its just not portable unless I hook it to a laptop or something and even then I still need the power. =/ –  Flamewires Nov 1 '10 at 18:54

All the major manufaturers (Seagte, Fujitsu, WD) offer testing apps. I would invest in a cheap ($15) drive caddy. They attach via USB and drives are inserted like bread into a toaster. No opening the case, cables to deal with, etc. They do only come SATA or IDE though, so you would need two.

You can use the vendor tools I mentioned or smartctl and you'll have more information about the drives than you ever wanted!

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Yeah, I got these on a thumbdrive. I was just hoping there was a more portable solution. Something to throw in the tool bag. –  Flamewires Nov 1 '10 at 18:55

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