I got a batch of used 18 GB SCSI hard drives this week, and wanted to test each drive to see if they were free of errors and still usable. I had to outfit each drive with a Sun spud bracket prior to installing them in a 6-bay Sun Multipack. Once the drives were installed, I used the following while loop to continuosly write 1 Mb blocks to disk drives attached to my Solaris 10 server:
while : do dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/rdsk/c1t6d0s2 bs=1048576 seek=1 done
I allowed this loop to run 20 times per drive, and used the smartctl utility to check the health of each drive once the tests completed:
smartctl -a /dev/rdsk/c1t2d0s2
smartctl version 5.33 [sparc-sun-solaris2.9] Copyright (C) 2002-4 Bruce Allen Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/ Device: SEAGATE SX318203LC Version: B90B Serial number: LR869054 102424W2 Device type: disk Local Time is: Thu Jun 30 19:56:54 2005 EDT Device supports SMART and is Enabled Temperature Warning Disabled or Not Supported SMART Health Status: OK Vendor (Seagate) cache information Blocks sent to initiator = 220889811 Blocks received from initiator = 118918432 Blocks read from cache and sent to initiator = 8153478 Number of read and write commands whose size <= segment size = 1354214 Number of read and write commands whose size > segment size = 46873 Vendor (Seagate/Hitachi) factory information number of hours powered up = 65.45 number of minutes until next internal SMART test = 106 Error counter log: Errors Corrected by Total Correction Gigabytes Total EEC rereads/ errors algorithm processed uncorrected fast | delayed rewrites corrected invocations [10^9 bytes] errors read: 4621 0 0 4621 4621 135.662 4 write: 0 0 0 6 6 68.820 0 verify: 0 0 0 0 0 15.207 0 Non-medium error count: 0 Error Events logging not supported [GLTSD (Global Logging Target Save Disable) set. Enable Save with '-S on'] Device does not support Self Test logging
Smartctl detected several uncorrectable errors on disk c1t2d0s2, so I decided to return that disk to the individual I purchased it from.
Only two disk drives in the batch of drives I purchased failed my tests, and luckily I was granted a refund for the defective hardware. Smartmontools is a great piece of software for proactively detecting failed disk drives, and is freely available for all to use.
The following references were used while writing this article: