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  1. #1
    Dec 2001

    HD Diags, Benchmarks, Warranty, and Other Important Info

    Updated 10-01-2006

    Manufacturer's Diagnostics

    ANY TIME a hard drive is in question as to a problem, run the manufacturer's diagnostics!

    People need to be aware of the fact that NO non-brand specific program can do as good of a job as the manufacturer's own diagnostics because contrary to what many believe, SMART data is NOT standardized among all brands, nor are the threshold values that trigger a SMART alert. It is still commonplace for SMART errors to pop up, yet the manufacturer's own diags report no problem. ANYTIME a SMART error occurs, run the manufacturer's diagnostics to confirm or deny that there is a problem. Then use whatever program one wishes in an effort to recover from it. In ALL cases, when the manufacturer's diagnostics report bad sectors, it is a very wise decision to wipe/erase/zero/LL format the drive, then re-run all of the tests to see if any bad sectors remain. If some remain then consider the drive toast.

    Seagate Seatools
    Seagate Low level Format / Zero Fill
    Seagate Diskwizard
    Western Digital

    Hard Drive Benchmark Utilities

    ATTO User Manual (section 3.2)
    Register to obtain ATTO express RAID tools/Benchmark
    Winbench 99

    Note: the above is not an all-inclusive list. It is what we recommend and use in view of our purposes, explained shortly.

    ATTO Configuration

    Comparisons of ATTO benchmark results are not necessarily valid unless users adhere to the following ATTO setup options. Click image for full size.

    A Few Words About Benchmarks

    The primary, and some (including myself) will argue, only valid use of HD benchmarks in a setting such as this forum, is for troubleshooting performance related issues. We're not writing reviews here. When the norms of a drive's performance using these benchmarks are known, then the tools and methods used here are valid. They tell us what we need to know to answer the question "is this okay?" In no way do any of these benchmarks prove or disprove that the mass storage subsystem is optomised for the purposes of the user. There is a lot more to drive performance than benchmark results and sequential read/write speeds do not tell the whole story. More words of wisdom HERE.

    Hard Drive Manufacturer Warranties

    The following are links to the current warranty periods and policies of hard disk drive manufacturers. Note that retail, reseller, and OEM warranties may be different. Check with your vendor for their policies. I update/verify these links at least once a month.

    Fujitsu Summary
    Fujitsu Specifics
    IBM / Hitachi
    Western Digital

    WD Serial ATA Jumper Setup

    Western Digital SATA drives have a jumper block next to the 4 pin molex power connector. Click the image for full size.

    This jumper block sets the drive's power management mode. The default position is the jumper on pins 1-2 (PM disabled). Removing the jumper has the same result. Jumpering pins 3-4 (PM enabled), causes the drive to power-up in standby mode. In most cases the default jumper position should not be changed. Note: there are no master/slave relationships using SATA drives. Reference here.

    WD PATA Jumper Setup

    By far the most common problem WD owners/users run into is caused by incorrect jumper settings. WD is different. Refer to the following. Note that all current PATA models have a 10 pin jumper block. Click the image for full size.

    The best rule of thumb is to remove the jumper from the drive when it is the only drive on the cable. Either of the "single" settings is functionally equal to removing the jumper.

    Hard Drive Capacities

    HD manufacturers specify drive capacity in decimal. Windoze displays it in binary.

    Decimal capacity / 1,048,576 = Binary MB capacity


    A 40 GB drive is approximately 40,000,000,000 bytes (40 x 1,000,000,000).

    40,000,000,000 / 1,048,576 = 38,162 Binary megabytes

    Here's A Quick Reference Table.

    Click the image for full size.


    Additional Resources is widely recognised as the most authorative and respected source of storage hardware related news and reviews. Their resources include reviews, reference, performance database, and extensive FAQ.



    RAID Tutorial

    Performance Database


    RAID-0 Yes or No

    Please PM me if a link doesn't work.

    Last edited by themortarman; 08-24-2008 at 03:35 PM. Reason: update

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