Jun 07, 2000
DST was originally developed to reduce the number of disc drives returned with no problems found. On an industry-wide basis, a large percentage of disc drives thought to be operating improperly have been returned by customers unnecessarily when end users and others experienced system problems. These problems have frequently been interpreted as disc drive issues, when in fact they are more often related to operating system or file system corruption, software incompatibilities or other problems. Once returned, testing by the manufacturer indicated the drives were, in fact, functioning correctly more than half the time.
DST has helped resolve this problem. DST is currently built into the firmware of virtually every disc drive shipped today and may be accessed by any host-based diagnostics application that is DST-aware. DST consists of two tests, the short test and the extended test, which are invoked by host diagnostic applications such as SeaTools, Seagate's user-friendly trouble shooting software. Until now, 95 percent accuracy could be achieved only through the long test. The shorter two-minute test usually yielded accuracy rates of 60 to 70 percent.
The new Enhanced DST now delivers 95 percent accuracy using the two-minute test. New Enhanced DST-capable drives from Seagate break the mold of traditional diagnostics by continuously logging errors discovered during Operating System read and write commands. This new firmware also runs diagnostics on the drive during periods of Operating System inactivity. These errors are compiled into the ATA Error Log, a historical error log stored on non-user sectors of the drive. This background diagnostic activity does not affect the hard drive performance and is transparent to the user.
Enhanced DST is also backward compatible. Any host application that is currently DST-aware can immediately take advantage of the increased accuracy and speed. Further, because Enhanced DST is standards-based, new diagnostics applications can be written to incorporate these new capabilities.
Enhanced DST is being implemented in all Seagate Personal Storage disc drives, beginning with the new U Series 5. This new test is ideal for diagnosing drives in the field, and keeps pace with other technological advances in the disc drive business. With today's rapidly increasing disc drive storage capacities, Enhanced DST provides a solution for diagnosing increasingly larger drives faster than ever before.
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