Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have an external drive that has had issues with corrupt data in the past. However, I'm not sure if this is a physical problem with the drive, or whether it was just a file problem.

Typically, I would take the drive out of the enclosure, install it in a computer, and use a bootable CD (such as the Ultimate Boot CD) to test a hard drive. However, I would also like to test the USB enclosure that this is in as well.

What do you suggest using to determine if this is a physical problem with the drive or USB enclosure?

share|improve this question
    
Curious about this one myself. –  Paul Sonier May 7 '09 at 20:26

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would suggest booting off a linux livecd of some sort and use badblocks.

For example a command like badblocks -n /dev/sda will scan the drive and do a non-destructive write as well.

share|improve this answer

I would take it out of the enclosure an run SpinRite on it, to do a full diagnostic on the inner workings of the hard-drive.

Check the enclosure only after you have verified the drive is functioning properly.

share|improve this answer
    
It may also be possible to run SpinRite on it in the enclosure, if the right drivers can be found for the copy of FreeDOS that hosts the SpinRite executable. GRC claims this is possible, but I haven't done it myself. –  RBerteig May 7 '09 at 23:16
    
The enclosure may not be able to send S.MA.R.T. data about the drive to the computer, that data could be useful for diagnosing the drive. –  Brad Gilbert May 8 '09 at 2:16

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.