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Testing Multiple Drives for Consistency for a RAID , or just Finding Dud or Flaky Drives in a Batch

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New hard drives are generally not media tested and might have issues that show up only when used, e.g., some areas of the drive are bad, and possibly too-large a chunk for more than a short lifespan. For a RAID-0 stripe or RAID-5 or even a RAID-1 mirror, one laggard can drag down performance (in the “old days”, drives used synchronized spindles).

Or, if one is buying 2/3/4 or more hard drives, why keep the one (or two) duds? Individual drives can vary by 10% or more; few drives of any model are media tested before sale and behavior (including bad blocks) is best flushed out using DiskTester fill-volume.

Following up on last month’s discussion in Testing Multiple Drives for Consistency for a RAID or Similar, here is another related discussion with a case study:

Validating a Hard Drive or SSD or RAID (DiskTester fill-volume)

DiglloydTools DiskTester can test any number of drives independently and simultaneously (as single drives), the only speed constraing being whether the drive enclosure has the bandwidth to support that much simultaneous disk I/O. See details in the above article.

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Two newly-initialized drives that will become RAID-1 mirror volume DataMirror

Some of the capabilities in diglloydTools

Aside from testing hard drive or SSD or RAID performance and reliability with DiskTester, data integrity with IntegrityChecker is a must-have workflow tool for anyone with important data:

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