[rescue] test old hardware

Patrick Finnegan pat at computer-refuge.org
Sat Jan 24 21:31:34 CST 2009

On Saturday 24 January 2009, Chad McAuley wrote:
> 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.

I usually just use smartctl under Linux to use SMART to test the drive 
(and check the drive stats), if the drive is new enough to support 
that.  There are some drives that don't report statistics properly 
(always no errors even if there are), but it works properly most of the 
time.  If that works, I can always just try a "dd if=/dev/$disk 
of=/dev/null bs=$size", and look for kernel messages about SCSI/ide 
errors. :)

Purdue University Research Computing ---  http://www.rcac.purdue.edu/
The Computer Refuge                  ---  http://computer-refuge.org

More information about the rescue mailing list