out 02 2009

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HDDScan: tool for diagnosis and low level settings in HDs

Here I will keep my tradition of always post here to solve problems with computers that made me break your head for hours or even days, to help others and also to myself is not betrayed by my memory and end up forgetting the solution when you find the problem again.

The problem started when I decided to buy a new HD SATA Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 of 1.5TB in an excellent promotion (that is over) of NCIX.com and put it in a box (enclosure, case) to use it as an external hard drive for some time (future he will be promoted to HD from my desktop PC and the current 750GB HD (SATA also, Seagate Barracuda also) becomes the external HD.

In choosing the case did great demands, prices vary widely, but I wanted one that was not great and that supports both USB 2.0 As eSATA, and thus chosen was cheaper: the Vantec NexStar CX 3.5” SATA to USB 2.0 and eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure, the Vantec is not the most famous manufacturer, and this model is not the last and most resourceful, but it appeared that would perfectly suit my needs, Besides being mild, have a sober design and most importantly: cheap, less than half that any other model, also in NCIX.com.

Request and the HD and the enclosure arrived in a few days. Installation is quiet, enough to fix the HD on a base with 4 screws, attaching it to the circuit board, Put it in the near and connect the end of the LED almost the same board. Enclosure also comes with the source, USB and eSATA cables and even a mirror with the eSATA port in case you did not come with the motherboard (gatunado or have been for some assembler micro backyard).

HD Enclosure on and went and worked perfectly. But there was a problem, HD not never hung, even when it was not being used, and even when disconnected. In enclosure has a power button to turn off, but having to manually connect a HD that will serve for automatic backups is not very smart. Moreover leave connected HD 24 hours per day, 7 days a week would probably shorten its life slowly and increase energy costs, that even though some would end up adding to the difference of having bought a more advanced model of enclosure.

My experience with enclosures is zero, this is my first, But I've had experience with only a few external hard drives and hung up after some time alone, if the FreeAgent da Seagate. I then decided to seek a solution on the net, but without great expectations, vi that has Vantec has a newer model and more expensive which is attractive precisely manage energy, which further discouraged, since it decreases the chances of the former model have such feature. The answers I found were that some enclosures have the function off when inactive and not others, and that some had drives this function by themselves and others do not. And it seemed that I got a pair of HD and enclosure where both lacked this function.

Not giving up, I went to the Seagate site and tried SeaTools for Windows to try and find some hidden configuration, but found nothing. I was about to give up when I found the software title, the HDDScan, excellent tool that allows you to diagnose and configure IDE HDDs, SATA, SCSI, arrays RAID, HDs externos USB e Firewire, Flash memory, etc. and among its functions is to check the SMART data. (he could see even in HD within the enclosure, SeaTools thing that failed), varredura of surface, AMM settings (Automatic Acoustic Management), APM (Advanced Power Management) and just what I was looking for, the function of putting a time to turn off the HD alone when inactive.

With HDDScan you can configure a range of adjustable vai 5 seconds to several hours for the HD off alone when inactive. By disconnecting yourself understand that it will be on hold and return to work so need to be used again. Also still had the opportunity to adjust the APM, that allows you to choose the level of automatic management of acoustic noise, and here you can opt for more performance and more noise or less noise and less performance or any intermediate configuration. I opted for more performance. In HDDScan also has the buttons Spindown and Spinup, that make the HD power cycle immediately.

Then configured to turn on the HD 30 minutes of inactivity, I auditioned and everything perfect as expected, after 30 minutes ele desligou, not making any more noise enclosure and remained connected with LED lights. Windows continued showing how connected the HD, I was able to click it and see the list of directories without waking him (I do not know if the cache's own Windows, the enclosure or perhaps of the HD), then asked to create a new directory which caused the HD stay awake and fully functional in a few seconds.

Ultimately, HDDScan the saved the day and eventually supplying the absence of function of the enclosure inexpensive therethrough own function in HD which is unknown due to unclear and can not be adjusted even by itself Seagate Software. And I hope that this text will be useful for other people spend less time scratching their heads and searching Google for similar solution.

Update: The new site is this HDDScan, where it already has a newer version of that that I spent. It supports command line, which will be useful for me because I discovered that the changes I make in “Power Management” are not permanent and are lost if the case of HD is off, which is not a big problem since the idea of ​​the PM is just not getting off the case, but still think convenient to make a batch for him to give the command automatically at each boot, for possible shutdowns.

About the author


Skooter is a computer scientist and the founder of Skooter Blog. He is interested in everything related to technology and he likes to save money by making his purchases directly from abroad.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.skooterblog.com/2009/10/02/hddscan-diagnostic tool-low-level-hds/

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3 Comments on "HDDScan: tool for diagnosis and low level settings in HDs"

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Congratulations blog, these analyzes are very well prepared and very help !
Much success to you !


“analyzes”, sorry.


Too cool this tool, also have an external case, NAS attached at the deal and the worm stays on all the time, Heats well and spends energy for nothing, I came to buy um kill a watt To measure consumption (ebay not custa 1/3 than ask here, but not yet received)
Now with this day will give HDDScan to see the difference
A unique coisa, is that it has not run in my raid not, he even recognizes the raid, but lets not run any tests or change anything