I have received a used Western Digital WD6400BPVT drive, and I want to use it on my Toshiba Satellite A100. The previous user was not sure if the drive was working perfectly fine when he gave it to me, but he said nothing special has happened to it.

I have tried to install Ubuntu and Windows 8.1 on it, neither of which was a success. In all cases, it takes an awfully long time for the install to complete, like two or three days, and when it does finish, the system is so slow that it is literally unusable; like when I'm typing some command, each single letter takes some minutes to show up on the command line. The hard drive activity LED on the laptop is on all the time, and other than that, I can't think of any other specific details to provide. Best thing so far I have been able to find on Google was this apparently the same problem in a thread from HP Support Forums which was not of much help.

I want to see if I can use some tools to check out what might be causing this problem, or some piece of software that would let me check the health status of the drive and more importantly, things that I should be checking among the results of such a test which would mean that the drive is unusable. I can't make much use of statistics alone, as I have no idea what the cause can be.

Is it possible that this is a compatibility issue?

Just to mention again that there is no OS on the drive and I have no other computers with a spare port to attach the drive to.

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    If it is taking more then a few hours to install an operating system then the hardware has already failed. Even if there are no reported failures by S.M.A.R.T tools the hardware is still bad. – Ramhound Apr 24 '14 at 13:45

You could get something like UBCD or Hiren's Boot CD (just google both) and run the disk utilities on the drive. I'd also check the SMART logs as well (again with one of the above tools).

You'll need another computer to download and burn the ISO images to a CD. Then boot that computer with the CD and look at the various hard drive tools and tests.

  • Thank you, but I was more curious about what information I should be looking for which could explain this specific problem. I updated the question to put more emphasis on that part. – arsaKasra Apr 24 '14 at 13:35
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    The drive checking tools will give you answers such as bad sectors, abnormally high seek or write times, etc. If the tests come back as "PASS/OK" then it isn't a hardware issue. If they fail on various issues, then it is. But judging from your post it would seem that bad/unreadable sectors could very well be the issue. – TheCleaner Apr 24 '14 at 13:39
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    I found the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS as one of the tools bundled in Hiren's Boot CD. That gave me what I needed, thanks. – arsaKasra Apr 24 '14 at 21:39

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