I still suspect my drive is bad even though it passes all of the SeaTools tests

More tips and information for when the SeaTools diagnostic passes but your drive is still not acting right.

SeaTools thoroughly tests your Seagate, Maxtor-brand, and Quantum-brand ATA drives. If it passes all tests, then the problem is usually located somewhere else in your system. It is important that you not risk losing all your data by returning a perfectly good disk drive. Additionally, removing your drive will reduce your productivity until it is replaced. Prior to the availability of SeaTools, many of the hard drives returned to Seagate were found to have no problems. That means a significant number of customers who were returning their good disk drives were forfeiting valuable data and productivity.

There are two versions of SeaTools, one runs in Windows and the other runs from its own bootable operating system on a CD or floppy. While both versions can initiate the drive's built in self test (called DST), the bootable version, SeaTools for DOS, has additional capabilities if bad sectors are found.

An interesting aspect of disk drive technology is that since early 2000 disk drives are constantly using idle time to scan for difficult sectors. If found, these sectors are considered questionable and they are the first ones tested by the DST short test. This way, the benefits of the long scan are enjoyed without the long duration of the whole drive scan.

Nonetheless, if the drive passes all of the SeaTools hardware tests and you still have concerns that the disk drive is the cause of problems, then you may need to perform other tests and maintenance. For example, Windows Disk Error Checking can help to fix corrupted file system structures. To run Error Checking:

Use the Error Checking utility built in to Microsoft Windows.;

  1. Double-click My Computer, and right-click the hard disk.
  2. On the shortcut menu, click Properties, and on the Tools tab in the Properties dialog box, click Check Now in the Error-Checking Status area.
  3. In the Check Disk dialog box, select the Automatically Fix File System Errors check box, select the Scan For And Attempt Recovery Of Bad Sectors check box, and then click Start.

Many third-party companies have software diagnostics that analyze file system, registry and device driver problems - many of which are often attributed to the disk drive. In areas where power outages are common, file system and data corruption issues can warrant the investment in an uninterruptible power supply.

If you did receive a replacement drive, the first task after installing it would be to install the operating system. If that task would eventually happen, then, after backing up your important data, you might try reinstalling the operating system on to your current drive. Many times, this is the advice from the companies that sell operating systems. It is a labor intensive step, but the same one that would occur with a replacement drive.

If you still have concerns about the drive, please feel free to phone Seagate Customer Support for a review of other possible tests and options.