I think my drive is dying - how can I be sure?

Edward Wokhands

Reputable
Nov 19, 2014
208
0
4,710
6
I have a pretty old hard drive, it used to be in a USB case until something happened to it so I took it out and now use it internally. I noticed a few months ago that it had just vanished from my drives list.

Then one day it made the "you plugged something in" sound (in Windows 10) and the drive popped up! I took this as a sign that it's on it's way out and probably about to break. It's really, really old, around 10-12 years possibly. But is there a way I can be sure? This drive randomly disappears and reappears seemingly whenever it feels like so I can't trust it with any data.

Are there any programs that thoroughly test the health of a drive? I did all the tests within Windows (all 1 of them) and they all say it's fine. One problem I did have years ago with this drive was corrupt files but I haven't had that happen since.

I backed up everything important from it and it's just sitting there. But it's 500gb of unused space! And I need some space right now. So is there anything I can do to find out if this is maybe a driver issue or some sort of other issue or if I should just take it out and retire it? All of the cables are connected etc, I've double checked and every other drive is perfectly fine.

So what are the best "drive health" tools available right now that can put it through it's paces?

Thanks.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
You have some options, and potential culprits.
For the actual issue, you're probably looking at a failing drive, a loose SATA cable &/or hotswap enabled for the port in question.

For the drive, there are various health-check tools, including Windows built in S.M.A.R.T.

In my experience, the "best" tool, is the one provided by the drive manufacture. Seagate have "SeaTools", DataLifeguard (I believe is WD) etc.

Establish who the drive manufacturer is for the drive in question, head to their own support website & download/run the health-check tool they provide.
 

Edward Wokhands

Reputable
Nov 19, 2014
208
0
4,710
6
Thanks, I'll try all of those and report back! I'm hoping it's something as simple as a bad cable because now that I checked it's actually a 2tb drive! I was confusing it with an old 500gb one but that seems to be chugging along nicely not giving me a single problem.
 

Edward Wokhands

Reputable
Nov 19, 2014
208
0
4,710
6
I just tried the WD tool and everything seems to be fine. Something weird I've noticed is there's a drive (I think) showing up as 0 MB and it's model number is simply (SCSI Int).

Anyone know what the hell that means or what it could be? From what I can tell it represents a USB 3.0 drive I'm using, a 5tb one. Is it possible the tool doesn't like it for some reason? I have absolutely no problems from that drive.

Other than that things look fine so hopefully it's a cable issue. (Please computer gods make it a cable issue.)

Anyway I'll check Seagate's tool and Disk Sentinel and see what's going on. Is it possible that when a drive goes unused for a while that Windows puts it to sleep?

I was having a USB issue a while ago where Windows was shutting down my USB ports even when in use due to power settings. When I changed them it fixed it. I wonder if it does the same for internal drives ever? I never touch this drive due to the fact that I don't trust it.
 

richardvday

Prominent
Sep 23, 2017
148
0
710
16


I would do this.
Also not mentioned anywhere is have you tried another sata port and a new sata cable to eliminate those possibilities ?
 

Edward Wokhands

Reputable
Nov 19, 2014
208
0
4,710
6
I just tried the Seagate tool too and everything seems perfectly fine. Is this most likely a cable issue? I have a few spare, brand new cables so I'll swap them out a little later once I try a few thorough tests. I've only done quick tests so far.
 

Edward Wokhands

Reputable
Nov 19, 2014
208
0
4,710
6


I'll be trying that later. I've done a few quick scans and it all seems fine. I'll do a thorough one. I don't have any SATA ports left! My tower is full to capacity but I'll definitely try a new cable once these tests are done. I'll be pretty happy if it's a cable issue. I could do with another 2 TB.
 

Edward Wokhands

Reputable
Nov 19, 2014
208
0
4,710
6
Turns out it was a cable issue! I swapped the cable for a new one and it hasn't behaved strangely at all. Thanks for the answers, all of the tools you guys recommended are really great. I have so many drives that I need to test pretty regularly so they'll do the job!
 

richardvday

Prominent
Sep 23, 2017
148
0
710
16


So I was right but you chose the other guys answer :/
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS