What programs do you recommend for checking the health of an external HD?

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I have some old external hard drives. Some are 4, 5 years old. They still work fine. That said, I'd love to know if there was some program which let me check the internals so I know if it's dying. Are there any programs that do that? If so, what?
 

chscag

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You have Disk Utility which you can use from your Applications, Utilities, folder. Other programs are available which can do much more than Disk Utility but they're expensive. Also, if any of those old hard drives are formatted NTFS, you'll need to use a Windows utility to check them since most OS X programs do not work for NTFS.
 
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What can I do with Disc Utility to check health? Also, what other program offer something to do that?
 

chscag

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Disk Utility can "verify" and repair a hard drive but the repairs are very basic. Disk Warrior can do much more and is probably the best all around utility for diagnosing and repairing an ailing hard drive. Some folks like Techtool Pro 7 to do repairs and diagnosing.
 
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Is there anything I can use to test it to see if it is sick? Right now they all work fine. But I do wonder if some program can let me know if a drive isnt in perfect health.
 

chscag

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Go to the above links. I believe both Disk Warrior and Techtool Pro 7 have trial versions.
 
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Is there anything I can use to test it to see if it is sick? Right now they all work fine. But I do wonder if some program can let me know if a drive isnt in perfect health.

Well, Chscag has already provided information on 'Disk Utility' (DU) which is part of the Mac OS and links to two other apps that are often suggested here; but just to 'show' you what information will be provided by DU, see the two screen captures from my MBPro's verification of my Time Machine backup external HD's partition - plenty of information is provided @ the bottom; plus the window w/ the details shows what was checked (had to scroll thus the reason for 2 images) - the HD is OK.

Years ago, I used Steve Gibson's SpinRite on PC's running DOS/Windows - an expensive program then and the two Mac ones linked are certainly not free, if you decide to go beyond the trial versions, which likely will not provide all of the features (not sure, I've not used either one)?

Also, your external HDs are about 5 years old and failure rates/year are cumulative, so you are still taking a risk w/ these older HDs (I've had 3 fail on me after 3-6 years) - for some information checkout this Discussion; and external HDs are now so cheap that if the data is critical, you might want to consider buying a new one or two, but just something that I would likely do. Good luck and let us know which app(s) seem to work for you. Dave :)

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Slydude

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Also keep in mind that many disk utilities do not check the internal circuitry of a drive if that drive is placed in an external drive enclosure. These utilities check such things as directory structure but don't check SMART status
 

chscag

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SMART status isn't checked on external hard drives anyway. ;)
 

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You said that much simpler than I did. Thanks.
 

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