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 Post subject: Accuracy of the BIOS hard drive diagnostic utility
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:55 pm 
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My HP dv9008nr has a hard drive diagnostic built-in to the BIOS. I was wondering how accurate it is because the original 100 GB Seagate hard drive passed the the quick test but failed the comprehensive test at 50%. I bought this laptop in January of 2007, so iis it possible the the original hard drive is failing just due to its age? I also have a 250 GB Segate drive that I put in the secondary drive bay for extra storage, and this drive fails the quick test at only 10%. The main reason I ran the diagnostic test is because my laptop would periodically freeze (as a natter of fact, it has froze twice already while I've been typing up this post). However, I have a different 250 GB Seagate drive from a nonfunctional laptop (it's the same one I got the 4 GB of RAM from), and this drive passed both the quick and comprehensive diagnostic test.


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 Post subject: Re: Accuracy of the BIOS hard drive diagnostic utility
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Those tests are accurate in the sense that if the test fails then the drive is definitely bad and should be replaced. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Accuracy of the BIOS hard drive diagnostic utility
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Ok, thanks Scott. :D I just a one more quick question. With these two types of tests (quick and comprehensive) does the quick test detect early signs of drive failure, and the comprehensive test detects deeper signs of drive failure?


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 Post subject: Re: Accuracy of the BIOS hard drive diagnostic utility
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:24 pm 
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In general a "quick test" checks only a small portion of the drive, skipping over most of the sectors in-between, while a "comprehensive test" checks the entire drive. As an analogy I'll use quality control testing of a manufacturing order on an assembly line. Say a mfr. is contracted to produce 1000 parts to fill an order. A "quick test" would only check say every 100th part coming down the line, thus looking at only 10 of the 1000 parts in total. If all 10 that were examined were good, then the test would "pass". By comparison a comprehensive test would check all 1000 parts, and pass only if every single one of them were good.

In the case of HDD testing, since even a comprehensive test only *reads* the drive in a single pass, it is entirely possible that a truly defective drive can pass even that test. The defect could be intermittent in nature and therefore pass any given test run (while possibly failing others), or it could be a problem that would only be detected when the drive was being written to (not part of the test). In other words a bad drive can pass even a comprehensive test, however if either the quick or comprehensive tests do fail, then the drive is definitely bad. Another way of putting it is that a fail is always a fail, but a pass can also be a fail. <g> Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Accuracy of the BIOS hard drive diagnostic utility
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Ok, thanks for making that clear. How long should hard drives typicly last? I"m guessing anywhere between 3 and 10 years, and being that my HP dv9008nr is over five and a half years old I think the original 100 GB Seagate drive had a decent run, but I feel that the 250 GB Seagate drive may have failed prematurely.


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 Post subject: Re: Accuracy of the BIOS hard drive diagnostic utility
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:03 pm 
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They should last at least 5 years. I have drives 30 years old that still work. Of course they cost about 90 times more back then than they do now, and one might argue that they were built better because of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Accuracy of the BIOS hard drive diagnostic utility
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:36 pm 
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Scott wrote:
I have drives 30 years old that still work.


Wow, that pretty impressive! You must take good care of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Accuracy of the BIOS hard drive diagnostic utility
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:52 pm 
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I don't take care of them at all (I don't abuse them either). They just work. Scott.


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