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  1. #1
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    Question How to test health of external hard drive

    Is there a way to test the health of an external hard drive? I used Belarc for the PC, but am concerned about the back up drive and would like to determine if the issues I've been having are due to it or me!

    Thanks for any help,

    Linda

    P.S. Not sure if this post belongs here or in Hardware. Will move if needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    Is there a way to test the health of an external hard drive? am concerned about the back up drive and would like to determine if the issues I've been having are due to it or me!

    Thanks for any help,
    ,

    Linda,

    Hello...There is a Great program called Hard Disk Sentinel Pro I have been reviewing it for several days and it will give you all HD information that your after ...and then some. I liked it so much that i purchased it almost immediately.. You can download a trial version to test out with your "Hardware"... but they give you a "Discount" if you purchase... Somewhere around $27.00. For me this is just what i needed..to keep tabs of my HD's... Regards Fred
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    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-03-14 at 16:41.
    PlainFred

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    Thanks, J.P.Fred! Sounds perfect. I've checked the site and will download the trial to get a better feel for it. Will post back with results - and, more than likely, more questions!

    Linda

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    What does this mean?

    Oh, rats. It looks as if I can't figure out how to read the program's results. I've attached a screen shot of what I got when I ran the trial of Sentinel. To me, it seems as if it can't read the external drive, which I did attach before running the program.

    Sorry to be dense on this. I think the drive that has the unknown and the ? is the external one, but I am not at all sure. Why would it not be appearing in the results? The drive is plugged in to a USB port and power and its "on" light is on.

    Any suggestions?

    Linda
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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    Oh, rats. It looks as if I can't figure out how to read the program's results. I've attached a screen shot of what I got when I ran the trial of Sentinel. To me, it seems as if it can't read the external drive, which I did attach before running the program.


    Any suggestions?
    Linda ,
    Hello.. When you plug the "External HD" in how does it show in Windows Explorer? Is it assigned a drive letter?.. Make sure that you "Scroll" down the choices of which drive to look at... May be it's at the bottom of the list ... The only other thing is This Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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    Thanks, Just Plain Fred. Will give that a try and report back ... Okay, here's what happened and it's strange: I can't "find" the external drive on any of the letters in Windows Explorer. Each drive letter (aside from C and D, the HP Recovery partition, I believe) says "Please insert a disk into removable drive F, G, H, I" when I double click on it. I've double checked and the drive is plugged into computer via a USB port on the front of the PC tower. I've tried it on the 2 USB ports there with the same result.

    To me it seems as if the drive is not being 'seen' by the software. What are your thoughts?

    Linda

    P.S. I'm going to shut down for the evening as my brain is fogged so don't worry about replying in your usual super responsive way ... tomorrow or even later is fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    tomorrow or even later is fine.
    Linda...
    Me too ...But have a look in "Disk Management" You may have to assign your external a "Drive letter " ( after connecting) Right click ...Drop down ...select letter Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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    Often disk drive manufacturers have diagnostic software you can download.

    Joe

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    re: post # 6

    These apparently "unused" drive letters may be assigned to ports (slots) in a card reader. I've had this happen with an HP PC I've worked on.
    Phil

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    Hi Linda, try this free portable program http://hddscan.com/
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    Hello all,
    Just wanted to supply more "info" about "HdSentinal" ...The best part about this program is that it monitors all HD's at the same time and displays the HD's "Temps" °F or °C in your "System Tray". It monitors all your HD's in real time and will alert you if something is going wrong ( several areas) . The program is fully customizable for all alerts and settings ...As well as many tools to test your HD.. All for less than $30USD's (Federal Reserve Notes)... Couldn't beat it if you tried ... If you think that there is a better one (free or pay for) that can match it ... "Don't let me get in the way of your success and happiness", get after it. Regards Fred
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    Update: (repeated as I just lost everything - pressed "Reply to Thread" instead of Post. Agh!
    - software found disk on F, a USB port
    - says info is "unknow" with this message: The status of the hard disk is unknown. This USB storage device does not provide more information about itself. Anyway, it can be tested for problems by Disk -> Surface test function.
    - can't get F to show on Disk drop down menu; only options are C or D even if I click on the F drive first

    Any thoughts?

    Will check out Roderunner's link and then Joe's suggestion to see if Maxtor has diagnostic software as their own.

    Thank you for all your suggestions. Knowing this disk is healthy is important as it's where our image backups are stores ... and I'm way overdue for an updated image backup!

    Will report back once I get to try everything.

    Linda

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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    can't get F to show on Disk drop down menu; only options are C or D even if I click on the F drive first

    Any thoughts?
    Linda,
    Hello...The "Drop Down" that I'm referring to , Is the one if you "Right Click" on a Hard Drive that does not already have a letter assigned...This is done when you Open "Disk Manager" (Windows) .. There are several "Free Hardware managers" This one "Hard Drive Sentinel" is the only "Interactive" one that i have found..That will alert you in the event of an impending failure (real time) of the Hard Drive ....not just give the data when you "open" it, and has the ability to change settings to your liking ... Hope you can get it to work ...Post back if i can be of further assistance... Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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    Clarification and More Information

    Okay. Got it. The drop down I meant in my post was the one the Sentinel program asked me to check when it couldn't find any info re. the drive (The status of the hard disk is unknown. This USB storage device does not provide more information about itself. Anyway, it can be tested for problems by Disk -> Surface test function.)

    Clicking Disk -> Surface test gave me only the C/D drive options. I wasn't very clear in my post - sorry!

    As an added bit of information, I'm getting messages like the attached one periodically as well as a Window message saying it can't recognize the device in the USB port. Howver, every so often the option to open drive files to view them does come up just before that Windows message. This weirdness and inconsistency is what has led me to believe the drive has an issue, but I just can't get that confirmed in Sentinel! ... at least, not yet.

    Does any of this suggest any other things I can try or what I'm doing wrong?

    Linda
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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post

    Does any of this suggest any other things I can try or what I'm doing wrong?
    Hi Linda,
    When you have you "External HD plugged In" go to Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Disk Management....Look on the bottom half of the screen (Scroll down) and find your Drive "F"...(If it shows up) It might show as a drive with no letter assignment...Especially look at this when you get the error message. If the drive Shows up (as F) then it will show up when you look at "Computer" (Windows Explorer) ..If it's present in both... then the HD sentinel Program does not see it, the reason being is in the link that i gave in post 5 Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

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