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I tried a few utils and none of them worked. Either USB wasnt supported or the drive was 'recognized'. I am trying to figure out if i should dump the drive or not. Its only a year old but the warranty is only a year which is a pity.

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Never take out the WD (e.g. MyBook) HDD from the enclosure and try to mount it internally unless you like to repair unallocated partitions. I have tried it personally. –  user126112 Apr 2 '12 at 8:20

6 Answers 6

Another alternative would be CrystalDiskInfo You can download the portable version so you can test without installing.

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Excellent suggestion –  acidzombie24 Jun 19 '10 at 14:49

Give HDDScan a try. It does SMART value reporting from ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire and analyzes log pages from SCSI drives. It can also perform SMART tests on hard drives connected by any of the above-mentioned interfaces.

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Most tools have trouble passing the SMART status of hard drives over USB.

Your best bet for getting the health status from the drive over USB from a generic tool is smartctl from smartmontools. A version for windows with a nice GUI was made here. If this does not work, you will have to download and install the device specific management tool from the manufacturer. The management tool will have a health checker for the drive. Here is the site for western digital. Here is the site for Seagate. You could also take out the drive from the external enclosure and hook it up to your PC directly using SATA or IDE and then read the status using standard tools like HDTune or Smartctl.

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One option would be to open the enclosure and just mount it as an internal drive and use any program you would use regularly then.

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Now the program I use is spinrite.

Is SpinRite compatible with USB and Firewire devices?

The best answer to this is a firm "maybe". DOS device drivers are available for most USB and Firewire controllers. If such drivers are added to a DOS boot diskette so that your USB or Firewire drive is "seen" by DOS, SpinRite will also be able to "see" and operate with it. However, the performance of the drive through the DOS drivers and the serial (USB/Firewire) cable will likely be far lower than if the external drive were connected directly to a PC's motherboard controller. If you have the ability to temporarily relocate the IDE drive inside of the external enclosure to a PC— plugging it directly into the motherboard's controller — SpinRite will be able to operate at the drive's highest possible performance.

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I use HD Tune Pro (Windows, $34.95 but free trial):

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Also, there is Virtual Console USB Flash Drive Tester (Windows, free):

enter image description here

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Building on what @James said, Seagate's SeaTools will work for Seagate/Maxtor drives and some other drive manufacturers as well. It will get SMART info, do tests and do repairs for Seagate/Maxtor.

They have Windows GUI or they a DOS version that will create bootable DOS disk.

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/

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