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Ext USB HD Diagnostics Questions

By eecon
Oct 11, 2008
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  1. Hello .... this is my first posting after finding this great website resourse and a search of the archive still leaves me uncertain about the compatibility of manufacturer supplied diagnostic programs for external USB hard drives.

    Do these diagnostics (like SeaTools) fully work on external USB hard drives?

    I've often used these manufacturer supplied diagnostics on my internal IDE or SATA HDs with no problems in getting the diagnostic program to recognize and perform all the various tests.

    However, for my external HDs, only the Generic tests are available to me with SeaTools for Windows (i.e. SMART test or Info Report are shown to be not supported on my Seagate and Maxtor external drives). And booting Seetools from a FreeDOS bootable CD will not even recognize these USB drives at all.

    Recently, I purchased and placed two new 500GB HDs into external USB enclosures:

    1. A Maxtor Basics SATA II/300 that generates very loud annoying clicks while seeking and;

    2. A Seagate ST350064 Ultra/100 which has a constant high pitched whine (that drives me nuts).

    I've tried different enclosures and also no enclosures with no reduction with regards to the noises.

    The SeaTools Windows Version for Windows XP Pro SP2 does see them and can perform the Generic Tests that report no problems.

    Am I correct in assuming that I'll first need to remove them from the USB enclosures and connect them on the IDE and SATA connectors on my desktop unit before I can get SeaTools to fully retrieve SMART info and run the other tests that the warranty department of Seagate insists I run before they issue return authorizations?

    These are just logical drives for various data storage (that's already backed up using Acronis True Image 11). Other than the noises, they seem to run okay and do indeed pass the Generic Windows SeaTools test.

    Maybe the new Maxtor SATAs are just incredibly noisy normally, but the whine from the Seagate is not normal because I have a twin of it that is very quiet with no constant whining.

    Thank for any advice or help.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    The Seatools disc: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools

    Although I don't like those sounds
    I would suggest that you coninue to make backups to external Media
    If the USB Drive is your backup Media, then at least you have the backup in two areas
  3. eecon

    eecon Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply. My noisy external USB HDs that SeaTools for Windows refuses to recognize for detailed SMART testing (via USB connection) are my main data banks for a docked laptop station.

    I guess what I'm really asking is, do I need to remove them from their USB cases and go over to my desktop station and open up the tower case and plug them into its IDE and SATA internal connectors and then rerun SeaTool in order to allow SeaTools to fully recognize these HDs and run the SMART tests, etc?

    Thanks!
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Well to tell you the truth, I would :) (IDE or Sata) :grinthumb
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,494   +292

    Yes, for a full diagnostic test I believe you will need to attach them internally. I do not know of any test that will do a full diagnostic on a USB drive.
  6. eecon

    eecon Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks folks .... that's what I needed to know .... will do.
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