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How to check the health of a hard drive

I replaced the stock Fujitsu drive in my MacBook Pro with a Seagate Momentus XT and I'm having all kinds of problems.

Specifically, apps will lock up for 30 seconds or so whenever anything accesses the disk, making the system all but unusable.

Interestingly, the same drive works great when it's connected through an external SATA-USB bridge, and the stock drive never caused any problems of this nature.

So while the cause of the problem is pretty conclusively narrowed down, my question is if there's anything I can do about it. Are there diagnostics I should be running? Settings I should be tweaking?

Or should I just return/exchange the drive as defective? And in that case, is an exchange worth pursuing or is it more likely to be an incompatibility than a faulty piece of hardware?

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Related How to check the health of a hard drive –  Sathya Dec 17 '10 at 20:38
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marked as duplicate by Sathya, random Dec 18 '10 at 1:58

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If the drive works fine through a SATA-USB bridge, but not when directly connected to the motherboard, I'd actually suspect the 'board. It may have been damaged by ESD or physical stress when you were swapping the drives out. Best way to test this is to swap the original drive back in and see if the problems persist.

Also, many hard drive manufacturers have their own diagnostic utilities freely available for download from their website - especially if you're looking to return an allegedly defective drive. You may want to try checking Seagate's site for the software and their return policy.

Lastly, it may be a hardware compatibility issue. If I'm not mistaken, most SATA/USB bridges use their own drivers for interfacing with the host computer, rather than the hard drive's drivers. It could be your system plays nice with the adapter, but not the drive. One way to check this would be to try putting the drive into another system.

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When I swapped the drives back, everything was fine. –  Jim Puls Dec 17 '10 at 21:04
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