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Thread: Best Way To Test 2.5" IDE (PATA) Hard Disk Drives

  1. #1

    Default Best Way To Test 2.5" IDE (PATA) Hard Disk Drives

    Thanks to members of this format I now have a reliable way of formatting and testing floppy disks using FormatQM so I'm hoping you guys can point me in the right direction for a reliable/accurate way of testing 2.5" IDE laptop hard disks.

    The methods I currently use are clearly missing some things on the hard disks that I have as recently I have put 2 of the many 2.5" laptop IDE hard disk drives that I have in to 2 different laptops that have previously passed my tests and appear to work but generate errors when either installing or trying to load Windows XP. I know there's something up with the hard disks as I have swapped them out of other drives I have and XP installs and loads correctly on them.

    This is what I currently do:

    • Use Ultra-X Professional Diagnostics to do a Destructive test on the hard disk whilst it is installed in the laptop it's going to be used in - and they've passed!

    • Connect them to my modern PC with an IDE to USB adapter and wipe them using Active Killdisk to wipe the disks (which has previously successfully detected errors in some hard disks I've had), again the 2 disks in question passed this

    So my question to everyone, what is the most reliable/accurate way of testing a 2.5" IDE to make sure there are no errors on the disk or is what I'm doing sufficient and I've just been unlucky with 2 drives?
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  2. #2


    I simply do:

    sel disk [x]
    create partition primary

    This will do a full format, running over every sector. After that is done, I check the SMART status. If that looks good, I consider the drive working.

    I know you can do much more intensive tests, but these tests are stressing the hard disk quite a bit and may even cause them to fail while they would have worked fine otherwise for years to come. I don't like stressing old hardware unnecessary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Marietta, GA


    I know we are talking about larger hard drives here, but for IDE drives less than 127GB (especially small ones that don't like IDE USB converters), I find MAXLLF to be quite useful. It does a complete wipe (not actually a "low level") of the drive and forces any bad sectors to re-map. Typically if it successfully wipes a drive, the drive is good to go.

  4. #4


    Try Victoria for Windows, you can get it here

    or, from DOS, MHDD (excellent software!)

    I would avoid USB and connect drives direcly to IDE controller.

    What brand/model the hard disk are?


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