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How do I decipher Seagate Seatools results?

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January 23, 2013 3:00:53 AM

Hey guys, I just started using Seatools DOS version (burned onto cd)...I'm trying to decipher the test results, but they don't jibe with anything I"ve read on the internet, or even Seagate's own help guide!

I have a computer set up that I used this tool on to test different drives I had laying around...three of them had the same result, which is that they passed the short test, but after only a couple of seconds on the long test they fail; NO error code, NO bad sectors reported, the only info given is "long test timed out!", which seems odd given that only a second or two has gone by.

All of these drives are operational in use...in fact, I'm typing this message using the Quantum Fireball that it failed, running Win2k (the other two are ancient Maxtor).

Is the time out error really indicative of a bad hard drive, or is it nothing to worry about?
January 23, 2013 3:22:21 AM

9xer said:
Is the time out error really indicative of a bad hard drive, or is it nothing to worry about?


Have you tested the SMART status of the drives?
January 23, 2013 3:27:32 AM

See, that's another thing that I'm confused about; the internet talked about all of these different test methods to choose from, when I had exactly three; 1)short test 2)long test 3)noise test. That's it.

The test results did say that SMART was active and that it hadn't reported any errors, but those are results it generated on it's own.
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January 23, 2013 3:49:32 AM
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SMART is a way of monitoring a harddrive to try and detect when it's going to fail, but before it actually does (hopefully). This is done several ways, such as monitoring read/seek error rates, amount of sector remapping, spin retry count, etc.

Run this to check your SMART status, as well as everything else you were doing before: http://www.hdtune.com/

SMART is represented as "Health" within the program.
January 23, 2013 4:05:53 AM

Thanks, but any program I use has to be able to be burned to disk and run from cdrom. Remember, I'm just throwing random hard drives (with different o/s) into a computer to test them; the o/s itself will not be functional enough to use and install programs on, since the o/s wasn't installed on that machine.

One other odd thing I noticed; I tested a fourth hard drive, and Seatools actually did report one error (I'm guessing bad cluster) on the drive during the long test, and it failed it. For one error? There are new hard drives that have more than one bad cluster...
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January 25, 2013 1:49:28 PM

I noticed you said you're running win2k. How old are these drives? I don't think SMART was in widespread use until around 2004 or later. It may be that your drives don't support some of the tests that seatools uses.
January 25, 2013 4:02:59 PM

They are pretty old, but two out of the three that failed had SMART enabled...ironically, SMART didn't report any problems. The one that didn't have SMART was really ancient....we're talking 700 mb :lol: 

I find it very odd that not even Seagate will explain what the "long test timed out!" message is about, but I googled it quite a bit and came up empty.
January 31, 2013 11:01:25 PM

Best answer selected by 9xer.
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