Should a "Write/Read" surface test be followed by formatting the drive?

starchess

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Feb 2, 2016
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I recently purchased Hard Disk Sentinel. I did a Write/Read surface test against an external USB backup drive. The test reported 0 errors. But after the test was completed, the drive became unrecognizable to Windows. Sentinel support is telling me that this is normal because all the partition information is overwritten during the Write/Read test, and therefore one would need to reformat the disk after the Write/Read test is completed. Is this true with all similar disk utility tools? For instance, if I use the "Erase" option in HDDScan, would I need to reformat the drive after the test is completed?
 
Welcome to the TH community, starchess!

Depending on the HDD utility itself, these options are called differently. Regardless which software tool you decide to use, always make sure that you are familiar with its features and functions. Moreover, always make sure you do a backup of your data before attempting any HDD scan/diagnostics. The Write/Read test uses different, yet intensive methods to test the surface of the hard disk. Unfortunately, it could be destructive for your data and it usually permanently erases everything during the test operation. So yes, the support guys are right, you should be able to access the HDD again get your system to recognize it, once you re-initialize it and partition & format it from Disk Management.

As for the other HDD tool, I'd advise you to check the software developer's website. However, after selecting the "Erase" option, it would most certainly require you to reformat the hard drive again.

The best way to prevent any data-loss headaches would be to always have your most precious files backed up on at least one other storage device/drive. This way you'd still have the data stored on the other drive, in case the primary one fails. Besides, it's better to be safe than sorry, right?

Hope this was helpful. Keep me posted if you have further queries.
SuperSoph_WD :)
 

lamborghini90

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Jan 14, 2016
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The read portion can be done without destroying data, but doesn't consistently find errors.

Whether the write portion requires a format depends on whether it was a "non destructive" or "destructive" test. Not sure how the non destructive one works, but again, it doesn't consistently find errors. The destructive one writes alternating 1s and 0s to every sector on the drive thus overwritting everything and corrupting it at the same time. For this reason, it requires the drive to be reformatted once complete. This method will pick up pretty much any errors or bad sectors on the physical drive though.
 
Welcome to the TH community, starchess!

Depending on the HDD utility itself, these options are called differently. Regardless which software tool you decide to use, always make sure that you are familiar with its features and functions. Moreover, always make sure you do a backup of your data before attempting any HDD scan/diagnostics. The Write/Read test uses different, yet intensive methods to test the surface of the hard disk. Unfortunately, it could be destructive for your data and it usually permanently erases everything during the test operation. So yes, the support guys are right, you should be able to access the HDD again get your system to recognize it, once you re-initialize it and partition & format it from Disk Management.

As for the other HDD tool, I'd advise you to check the software developer's website. However, after selecting the "Erase" option, it would most certainly require you to reformat the hard drive again.

The best way to prevent any data-loss headaches would be to always have your most precious files backed up on at least one other storage device/drive. This way you'd still have the data stored on the other drive, in case the primary one fails. Besides, it's better to be safe than sorry, right?

Hope this was helpful. Keep me posted if you have further queries.
SuperSoph_WD :)
 

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