External HDD

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Yash Khan, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    I have ordered a portable Western Digital Elements 1 TB HDD.

    Is this a good one?

    Any suggestions?
    Like should I format it & how?
    Should I check it & how?

    This is my first ever external HDD.
    Dont know much about them.

    Win 7 64
     
  2. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    I have one for several years and still works fine.

    Suggestions:
    - Download WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic and run the tests and the "write zeros" on the surface twice.
    - do not put important data on it (but keep another copy of them on your pc or on another drive), unless it passes a month of usage.

    Panagiotis
     
  3. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    I read Data Lifeguard Diagnostic link you have mentioned & downloaded it.

    Does the "write zeros" test with erase options mean format i.e it will format the harddisk so no need to format with other software/any other way?
    Should I choose full erase or quick erase?

    Should I choose quick or extended test?
     
  4. aztony

    aztony Registered Member

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    Don't know about your HDD make. What I have is a Verbatim 500gb USB external HD. About the only thing I did after I got it was to format it from FAT32 to NTFS. Pretty simple to do; click on the drive letter in Explorer, e.g, 'H' and then right click. In the options list that opens you should see 'Format'.
     
  5. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Quick smart test = checks the mechanical and reading performance of the disk (2-5 minutes)
    Extended = Checks also the entire surface for problems (3-5 hours)
    Quick erase = writes zeros to the first and last sectors of the disk (1 minute)
    Full erase = writes zeros to the entire surface (very useful to identify bad clusters) (5-8 hours)
    After the erase you initialise and format the disk with disk management.

    What tests you run depends totally from you; personally I run them all twice in order to stress the disk because in where I live if a disk gives a problem the first 7 days the shops replaces it (as Dead On Arrival). If it gives a problem the second week needs to get an RMA which will take 1-2 months until it gets replaced.

    The most important test is the extended one. If during that test you hear loud clicking noises (especially in the first 10-15 minutes) it means that there is a problem at the mechanical parts of the heads.

    Panagiotis
     
  6. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    So if I do extended test, no need of quick test, right?

    If I perform full erase, no need of quick erase, right?

    I will pay attention for the noise during tests.
     
  7. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    I will have to select NTFS or will be selected by default?

    Will there be an option to do quick & full format?

    Should I do full format?
     
  8. aztony

    aztony Registered Member

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    You may need to select which file system you want. Depending on who you ask, one person might recommend a quick format, while another may say do a full format. Here is a little bit of info that may help with your decision.
    http://www.howtogeek.com/179920/what-is-the-difference-between-a-quick-and-full-format/
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  9. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Right
    NTFS will be the default.
    If you run the full erase test and comes clean, it means that no bad clusters are found and in this case you perform a quick format. If you don'tt run the erase test or it the test fails and you decide to keep the drive you should perform a full format.

    Panagiotis
     
  10. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    If erase test fails, does full format solves the prob?

    When I format USB, there are like 2 options, 1 is like FAT/FAT32 & other is like 32/64 & restore default tab.
    Now I am confused with the options i.e what is the correct way to format? Should I select restore default or on USB attached whatever options are displayed, I should keep them & format?

    I guess External HDD will also show those options. So how should I proceed?
     
  11. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    No, but marks the bad sectors and their position so that no data is placed on them. (On Vista and later, full format = zeros out the entire surface of the partition + fast format)

    Just select NTFS and leave the allocation unit size to its default.
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/formatting-disks-and-drives-frequently-asked-questions

    Panagiotis
     
  12. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    Good choice. Been beating mine up for 5 years now.
     
  13. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    Ok, got the HDD today.

    Running WD Diag now.

    Smart Test - Pass

    Extended Test - Going on... 3 Hours completed, 7 Hours remaining. It takes a lot of time.

    I paid attention for 15 mins & no sound was there as you have asked to check. ET going on fine & no sound so think things ok.

    After ET completes, will do Full Erase.

    After FE completes, will do Full Format if have time otherwise Quick Format, what you say?


    When I attached the HDD & opened it.
    There were 2 folders created 5 March 2015.
    1 folder was autorun
    1 folder was WD with a png file.

    2 more file/folder
    1 autorun file created 2012
    1 trial backup software created 2013 (dont remember now, either trial backup software was created 2015 & png file above was created 2013 or as I have mentioned)

    Now file/folder created 2012/13, does this means the HDD could be old & used one?

    Is it safe to browse web during extended tests & format going on?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  14. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    If you perform a full Erase then proceed with a quick format.

    About the creation of files. It does not mean that the drive is old; probably they used a program or a self executable archive to restore those files retaining their timestamps at the time of archiving.

    Yes, it is safe to use your computer during the tests/formats.

    Panagiotis
     
  15. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    Ok, so quick format if full erase pass & full format if full erase fail, right?

    Currently, the total time extended tests going to take is total 11 hours. It takes a lot of time.
    8 hours completed.

    How much time full erase will take then?

    The HDD is slight hot now. Should I give it a rest before doing full erase or its fine continuing?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  16. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Correct.

    11 hours is endeed a bit long even for 1tb drive. Is it a USB2 or USB3 drive?

    My guess is about 7-8 hours (on the previous post I inverted the times between ET and FE).

    Yes, let it rest for 1-2 hours.

    Panagiotis
     
  17. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    Its a USB3, USB2 compatible.

    Dont know if I have USB3 on my laptop. how to know this?

    Does the result of tests differ if USB3 HDD is plugged in USB2?
     
  18. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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  19. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    It seems my laptop doesn't have USB3.

    Universal Serial Bus Controller will automatically show USB3 if my laptop has USB3 port?
    Or it will not show USB3 even if the laptop have USB3 port due to missing something like drivers, etc...?
     
  20. krustytheclown2

    krustytheclown2 Registered Member

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    Typically if your laptop has for example, 2 USB 2.0 ports and 1 USB 3.0 port, the 3.0 is a brighter color (I've seen yellow many times). Better yet, Google the model of your laptop and it'll show you all of its specs :)
     
  21. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    When I try to format it with rightclick, the allocation unit size is shown 4096 & when I try to format it through disk management, the allocation unit size is shown default, how should I format?

    Extended Tests & Write Zeroes with Full Erase completed successfully with no errors/probs/bad results, etc...

    Now waiting for the reply on Format question in bold above.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  22. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    I have no knowledge if the OP's choice of external HDD is a good one.

    I will say this, however. I now back-up on TWO EXTERNAL HDDs, after having the experience of a high-end Iomega External HDD failing after 7 months. For a period of time about a year or so ago, it was a very common issue with IOMEGA HDDs. Tons of complaint's on it's forums. In some cases it happened within a week or a month. First the drive would start making noises and then it would totally fail and not be recognized by Windows. The skinny was that IOMEGA had been using a Seagate Drive that was later discovered to have issues.

    What good is a backup drive, meant to back-up important data, if it's subject to a high failure rate, and all companies occasionally sell an HDD that fails.

    The IOMEGA policy was "Of course IOMEGA will stand by it's warranty and replace your defective drive, but to retrieve any lost data from it - well that's your expensive problem :)"

    I also keep my two back-up drives in a drawer not connected to my PC cuz of Crypto-Whatever Paranoia. I back-up on both drives at night while not online.

    Once you lose a ton of important stuff stored on an external HDD, your perspective changes. I still have my IOMEGA and hope some day to recover it's content.

    My initial choice of IOMEGA was probably not wise, but I needed one in a hurry and a Radio Shack, in a shopping center two blocks from my home was having an IOMEGA HDD sale. Penny-wise and pound foolish. I am assuming IOMEGA now uses reliable drives in its HDDs. ( LOL - I am currently using two Toshiba's I bought at the same Radio Shack-both also on sale. Doh.)

    I had a lot of misplaced confidence in IOMEGA, having relied for years on their old disc system.
     
  23. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Yellow is an always on power port for charging cell phones and such. Blue is the color for USB3.0.
     
  24. Yash Khan

    Yash Khan Registered Member

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    Can I use Western Digital Diagnostics Tool for other external HDD too like Dell, Seagate, etc...?