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Thread: Software to Test HDD Controllers?

  1. #1
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    Software to Test HDD Controllers?

    I've recently lost two HDD's with absolutely no warning. The first drive to go was less than 6 months old, the other was several years old. Neither of the drives were being used as the primary OS drive. Both drives are WD, the first was lost under Windows XP, the second under Windows 7.

    The BIOS won't even detect the drives. I plan to remove the drives and test them in another machine this weekend, and I also plan to try another power supply.

    Does anyone know of any software that will test on board SATA controllers for problems?

  2. #2
    SCSI Dude Faust's Avatar
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    SMART supported by/enabled in the BIOS?

    what brand HDD? some mfgrs have disk diag software either included with the drive or available for d/l.
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  3. #3
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287

    some have downloads for ISO's you can use or some have windows run apps like Seatools...which tests Seagate drives but also has a generic test for other drives that works well.

  4. #4
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Since you're suspecting the SATA controllers....do they detect other drives OK?
    Are any of your current 2 failed drives able to be detected on another PC?
    Depending on the brand of computer/motherboard, many have onboard diagnostics for your drive controllers.
    Can try another SATA cable too.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat View Post
    Since you're suspecting the SATA controllers....do they detect other drives OK?
    Are any of your current 2 failed drives able to be detected on another PC?
    Depending on the brand of computer/motherboard, many have onboard diagnostics for your drive controllers.
    Can try another SATA cable too.
    My main SATA drive detects ok, although it seems to be a bit sluggish lately. I tried plugging the failed drives into other SATA connectors on the MB, with no luck. I've tried another SATA cable, with no luck. I haven't tested them in another PC yet, I am going to pull the drives out this evening and try them in another PC, or pick up an external drive enclosure and try that. That hopefully will narrow it down.

    The MB is an ASUS M2N-E. I'll check this evening for onboard diagnostics, but I don't recall see any last time I looked.

    Let me ask this, if the HDD's were truly dead, and the controller worked and power was supplied to the drives, would they still detect in the BIOS?

    Sava: thanks for the suggestion, but the drives aren't being detected at all, so I don't think I can run diagnostics on the drives until I get them recognized. I'll grab the utility any, may come in handy later.

    Faust: Drives are WD, MB supporst Smart, but it's not enabled.
    Last edited by Scott; 07-13-09 at 09:36 AM.

  6. #6
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    Let me ask this, if the HDD's were truly dead, and the controller worked and power was supplied to the drives, would they still detect in the BIOS?
    A totally tits up drive usually won't show up at all.
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  7. #7
    SCSI Dude Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat View Post
    A totally tits up drive usually won't show up at all.

    /agree. theres a controller on the drive itself. if the drive was mechanically dead but the controller was alive and kicking, youd see it in the bios, and would get a reported HDD error. if the (drive's onboard) controller's dead, the BIOS won;t get a response when the BIOS polls the system.
    "Today is a black day in the history of mankind."

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  8. #8
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    I removed the cables and reconnected each drive, one by one. Each was detected, so I ran a complete checkdisk on each. When it was all said and done, all 3 drives were working. Very odd. I think I'll find a suitable external HDD and backup everything important as soon as possible.

    Thanks for all the help.

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