[rescue] test old hardware

Chad McAuley chizad at gmail.com
Sat Jan 24 18:42:40 CST 2009

Mr Ian Primus wrote:

> DBAN (Darik's Boot And Nuke) is a hard drive wiping program. It WILL
> destroy all data on the hard drive if you tell it to. By doing a
> seven-pass overwrite on the drive, it'll keep the machine busy for a
> long time, and serves as a good 'stress test' for the drive itself.
> If the drive fails, makes funny sounds, or the program reports sector
> errors, then it's time to replace the hard drive.

I hadn't thought of using DBAN for testing hard drives, but it makes 
perfect sense.  I'll have to keep that as a more thorough test to run if 
I'm still unsure about a drive after checking it with the IBM/Hitachi 
Drive Fitness Test or the manufacturer's diagnostics.

A more general purpose stress testing tool I've found useful in the past 
is stresslinux[0]. It's a minimal live CD distro that contains some 
benchmark/burn-in programs that can be used to generate a high workload 
on a system.  There's some standalone programs like cpuburn, bonnie++, 
netio, memtest86/+, etc that can be used to stress just one specific 
subsystem.  However, I normally use the stress program that's also 
included.  The way it works is it has different types of worker 
processes that are designed to strain cpu, memory, I/O, and disk. You 
start it with parameters that make sense for your hardware and how badly 
you want to thrash the system and then walk away and check back on it X 
hours/days later. It also includes hddtemp and lm_sensors for 
temperature monitoring, in case you want to use it to test your cooling 
or the stability of an overclock or whatever.

More information about the rescue mailing list