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I'm having a performance issue with my backup hard drive.

It's a SATA drive, but lately transferring data has been taking forever — about 5Mo/s — and sometimes it freezes.

So I'm thinking the hard drive is dying, but fsck and S.M.A.R.T. both say it's clean.

I tried to benchmark it with gnome-disk-utility but it gave me an error saying that the drive is too slow to benchmark.

Is there anything I can do? If so, what?

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migrated from serverfault.com Mar 22 '11 at 16:35

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

You should test your hard drive with an at-boot diagnostic program.

If you're using a Dell, the Dell Diagnostics (F12 at Dell screen, Diagnostics, continue until you have the full menu of tests and test hard drive) are very useful.

Another option is Powermax, (halfway down this page: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287) a free utility from Maxtor to test the hard drive hardware.

Good luck =)

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Most disk manufacturers also have tools that go farther than SMART. Western Digital and Seagate for sure. Not sure on others – Dave M Mar 22 '11 at 17:13
    
The Dell and Powermax utilities will scan the entire hard drive. I mentioned Powermax because we used it at my old job and because it's pretty foolproof. – farr Mar 22 '11 at 17:24

If you think its dying and you value the data go buy a new one. SATA hard drives are huge and cheap. Your time is likely more valuable than the 75$ hard drive that you're trying to save.

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