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SneakPeak
August 24th, 2009, 08:03 PM
[Solved] edit: See post number 5 for a link to some software that works with external USB drives. Unfortunately it works under Windows only but if you have access to a windows machine that you can plug your external drive into it does work. See post 5 for more details.

Hi,

My system suddenly crashed on Sunday morning with no warning. By using TestDisk and Supergrub I managed to get back to normal booting and all my stuff is still there.

BUT.... I am scared my hard drive is dodgy and will crash catastrophically in the near future. My whole linux system runs on an external USB Fijitsu Siemens hard drive. I just setup my work laptop (which has windows XP) to boot from USB first. My Ubuntu hard drive is then plugged into the USB port and it boots and I am a for away a fully functional Ubuntu system and I just ignore the stupid XP.

I checked out the Fujitsu diagnostic tool on "UltimatebootCD" but it runs in dos has all sorts of disclaimers and my drive type is not listed in the supported hard drives. I would hate to crash my drive by trying to run the wrong diagnostic tool on it.

Long story short: I am looking for a reliable safe hard drive diagnostic tool that I can run on an external USB Fujitsu Siemens hard drive. (320GB)

Thanks

Sneaks

recluce
August 24th, 2009, 08:12 PM
Hi,

Long story short: I am looking for a reliable safe hard drive diagnostic tool that I can run on an external USB Fujitsu Siemens hard drive. (320GB)



In all likelyhood, there is none. This has nothing to do with the OS, the problem is that 99% of USB bridges do not support the commands required for SMART or other meaningful diagnostics.

Your best bet would be to connect the drive temporarily to a PC using the native interface, PATA or SATA, to run diagnostics. This would involve removal of the drive from the external case and possibly voiding your warranty.

Software: once you remove the drive, you will be able to see who manufactured the drive. Go to the manufacturer's website to download the diagnostic tools.

And before you do anything: MAKE A BACKUP!

SneakPeak
August 25th, 2009, 07:52 AM
Thanks for the advice but I am a bit scared to take the drive out of its external casing. I will just back up my home directory on a daily basis and see what happens.

Cheers

Sneaks

louieb
August 25th, 2009, 12:15 PM
command line tool to access the drives built-in diagnostics.

sudo apt-get install smartmontools

GUI front end GSmartControl is on the PartedMagicCD (http://partedmagic.com/wiki/PartedMagic.php?n=Main.PartedMagic) and will be available for Ubuntu starting with v9.10

SneakPeak
August 26th, 2009, 03:45 AM
Hi

This software was recommended in another post:

http://hddguru.com/content/en/softwa...01.22-HDDScan/

It does work with USB drives and will do S.M.A.R.T testing if you have a recognized / compatible USB drive. (I don't) If your drive is not compatible / recognized then it will do some basic "Read" and "Butterfly Read" and "Erase" and "Verify" tests although there is a warning against using "Verify" if your drive is not recognized / compatible.

Cheers

Sneaks

mmmmna
August 26th, 2009, 04:22 AM
In all likelyhood, there is none. This has nothing to do with the OS, the problem is that 99% of USB bridges do not support the commands required for SMART or other meaningful diagnostics.

Your best bet would be to connect the drive temporarily to a PC using the native interface, PATA or SATA, to run diagnostics. This would involve removal of the drive from the external case and possibly voiding your warranty.

Software: once you remove the drive, you will be able to see who manufactured the drive. Go to the manufacturer's website to download the diagnostic tools.

And before you do anything: MAKE A BACKUP!
FWIW, I built an external USB drive for use as a backup drive, I built it using a common kit ("I/O Magic", purchased at retail store "Staples"). For that device, all Windows XP administration tools (as well as all the SMART utilities I tried) and also the utilities in PCLinuxOS (fsck, fdisk, etc) all worked perfectly when the Maxtor hard disk that I built with began to fail.

The USB layer was never a question for my device. I simply trusted that USB was acting as a serial data stream, communicating between 2 translator chips.

Your suggestion of removing the internal disk drive, although complex, is worthy; yet, my experience would suggest attempting diagnosis while still packaged as a factory assembled USB device.