When the world’s largest and most trusted hard disk manufacturer releases a set of tools to perform diagnostic test on your hard disk, surely you can’t refuse to use. SeaTools, from Seagate Technologies, is a comprehensive set of diagnostic tool that helps you quickly determine the condition of both internal and external hard disks of either your desktop or notebook computer. SeaTools can test not only disks manufactured by Seagate or Maxtor (which is now acquired by Seagate) but hard disks from any manufacturer. So whether you have a Western Digital hard disk or a Hitachi hard disk, it doesn’t matter – you can use SeaTools.
SeaTools can perform the following tests on a hard disk.
- SMART Check – It’s the most basic test where the status of the hard disk is determined from the S.M.A.R.T monitoring feature built in on the disk. Almost any hard disk health monitoring utility can perform this test.
- Short Drive Self Test – In this test the drives run a thorough diagnostic routine that is built in to the hard drive's firmware. This test is completely data safe and can take 20 to 90 seconds to complete.
- Long Drive Self Test - This test is more comprehensive than the Short Drive Self Test as it checks each and every sector on the drive. Because of this, the test takes about 4 hours to complete.
- Short Generic – This test does a quick scan of the hard drive for possible errors making random read tests.
- Long Generic – This test is extensive and scans the entire drive and may take several hours to complete. The long generic test has the capability to repair bad sectors on external USB hard disks.
Apart form the above tests, SeaTools has a couple of Advanced Tools that allows up-gradation of the drive’s firmware and disk format.
Most of the diagnostic tests are safe to perform, meaning that there is no loss in data and the tests can also be aborted. Care should be taken only when using the Advanced tools.
SeaTools is available for Windows, Linux and DOS.