The Mother Board

Tools for testing removed HDD
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Author:  mojo [ Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:12 am ]
Post subject:  Tools for testing removed HDD


My son's computer won't start up, so I removed the HDD and have plugged it into mine using a USB 3.0 to IDE/SATA cable. I'd normally make more effort before taking the HDD out, but I wanted to try the USB-->SATA cable out.

I was expecting to see some kind of corruption, but everything looks okay: just from File manager, disk management, and a Malwarebytes scan (which it's still doing, 1 hr 28 mins later.. :o )

In Command Prompt, it was coming up with some kind of driver error and the Windows 7 disk didn't really help. The BIOS looks different to what I'm used to: you can use the mouse and everything :o
The Win7 disk contents appeared in an X drive, and C seemed to have nothing in it: but the 177/232 GB looks okay on here..

The PC is an old Dell: one of 2 we picked up in an auction ~ 3 yrs ago. Dell Optiplex 780 (pretty sure it's the DT (DeskTop) ). OS is Win7 64 bit.

I'll check what the error was (can't right now: think son took a pic. Yes I know I should've paid more attention before I extracted the HDD :oops: ) in case I can put the necessary files on it whilst it's plugged into mine, but my main reason for posting is:

What tools can I use to check it's not the HDD before I put it back in the Dell case?
Any recommended checks/scans/programs?
(I've got a few, such as CCleaner, but they only seem to want to run on the main/master HDD..)

I have a couple of other old HDDs lying around, so exactly how to go about giving them a thorough checkover would be useful to know.


Author:  mojo [ Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tools for testing removed HDD

MAMBAM still scanning.. almost 7 hours now... :o

Author:  Karlsweldt [ Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tools for testing removed HDD

Generally, the Seagate® SeaTools® will work on almost any hard drive and can repair (hide) minor physical errors.
As to software errors, use the 'repair' or the 'syschk' feature of the same OS as installed by booting to the install disk.
If your AV program is decent, it should be able to scan a remote system via LAN. Less chance of an infection from a slaved drive being tested. And a lot faster than USB links. If on a hub or router, no special cable needed. For a direct link, you need a crossover cable.

Author:  mojo [ Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tools for testing removed HDD

Thanks Karlsweldt :)

I've heard good things about Seagate before, and the HDD just so happens to be a Seagate :)
Will check out your link.

Tried repair and various other options with disc.. error moaned about DVD drivers. I've plugged the same DVD drive into my PC and can't access it. Can't see a problem with using same cables (USB--> SATA setup) that I used for HDD..? Doesn't sound right either.. Will try a different one.

Malware bytes finished in the end btw. After ~ 8 hrs. No 'baddies' found..

The last part seems less simple.. :oops:
I did have avast, but have just reverted to Win10 AV... Not sure how to link it up: put it back in the tower and plug the internet cable in that way..? Don't see how I can use wireless unless I can ... ahh.. command prompt with network access... or something like that..?
It's a master disc: set it to slave?

I'll fiddle around with seeing if I can give it a virus scan, but not hopeful.. Might pop it back in the PC and see what happens...


Author:  Karlsweldt [ Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tools for testing removed HDD

There is a problem with older hardware and software recognizing newer equipment. But newer equipment and software is backward compatible in most instances. Newer BIOS versions have resident drivers and search features to ID and access many devices. Older BIOS types needed special command lines and drivers.
Then too, older systems may work best using the older 40-wire IDE ribbons over the 80-wire ribbons. But give a try with both.
With the 40-wire ribbon, no dedicated master/slave position, but with the 80-wire ribbon.. host, master and slave are specific.
Should be a small diagram on the hard drive, as to setting jumpers. Not all hard drive brands are compatible with each other.
As to network scanning, use the 'Network' icon on the desktop, and choose 'properties' (connections/users). By right-clicking and holding for about 3 seconds, you should see a choice menu as to doing a scan on that entity.

Author:  mojo [ Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tools for testing removed HDD

Thanks very much for your help Karlsweldt

I was messing about with DVD drives and it was a bit of a headache due to various little, yet annoying problems popping up. I stole the DVD drive from the Dell's 'twin' and put all back together and it's working fine now. I'll try and sort out the other one before we go to put a film disc in it .. (it's attached to the telly) :lol:

Interesting about the different ribbons. I'm familiar with the master/slave thing, but forgot about the 40-wire difference: sounds like the ones that go into floppy drives..

You lost me on the internet thing.. I must be missing something. Can't think how to do any of that with just a 'naked' HDD.. :oops:
I think you must mean when the HDD is fitted inside the case..? Anyway, don't worry as I don't need that now. Although if you feel like trying to explain I'd still like to know.


Author:  Karlsweldt [ Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tools for testing removed HDD

As to the 40-wire or 80-wire data ribbons, the older 40-wire was a parallel connection to both drives, if used. Jumper settings on the drives distinguished whether 'master' or 'slave'. With the 80-wire ribbons, the host header has both 'master' and 'slave' connections paired. The drive headers have separate connections, but the drives still need the proper jumper settings. Think of that ribbon as a gigantic "Y" link.
Floppy drives use a 34-wire ribbon. For the "B" drive, straight line connection. For the "A" drive, certain control wires are reversed (split and twisted) in the ribbon. No jumper settings needed for the floppy drives.
Not going to start explaining the older MFM type hard drives, or SCSI interface!
The desktop icon for "Network" is where you right-click, choose 'properties'. You should see connected devices. Then left-click and hold on the desired target. A choice menu should appear.
Several computers can interface each other, if within the same work group, via a hub or router. Each has a unique IP address. A password may be needed to access other units.
If you want to test a hard drive from a host computer without it being in the host, you need a self-powered adapter box. The standard 3.5 inch hard drive needs +5 volts and +12 volts to work. A USB port only provides +5 volts, about 1/2 amp.. far less than what a standard hard drive requires. The 2.5 inch 'notebook' drives only need the +5 volt source, and most will work properly from just a USB port with an adapter.

Author:  Mr T [ Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tools for testing removed HDD

I would back the drive up (or clone it to a new one). It looks like it is on its way out. I have 3 Seagate drives here that ran in a server 24/7, all failed round about the same time - all can be seen by an operating system, will format and so on, but write any data to them and they lock the system up. Unfortunately well out of warranty.

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