Hard Drive Test & Wipe

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Because of data security concerns, hard drive testing is done only by instructors. The systems that we use to test them are colloquially known as "The Dataclysms." For more information about data security, click here: http://wiki.freegeek.org/index.php/Data_Security. The most important thing to remember about hard drive testing is to never, ever, ever leave unwiped/intact hard drives unattended.
Collect Hard drives are brought from Pre-Build to a lockbox in TARDIS. Our goal is to have as few hard drives sitting in this lockbox as possible. When bringing hard drives from TARDIS, place them in the red bin.
Preparation, Evaluation, & Testing
  1. Check the hard drive for damage, especially bent pins. These can often be bent back into shape.
  2. Make sure the drive's jumper is set to "Master." The most common setting is to have the jumper nearest to the IDE pins (all the way to the left). For Western Digitals - having no jumper, or the jumper turned sideways is correct. Typically drives will have a diagram telling you what the jumper settings are. If not, Google it!
  3. Hook up the drive to the appropriate cables on one of the Dataclysms. Each motherboard should have 4 slots: alternating 2 IDE and 2 SATA. Plug in the data cable (IDE or SATA) and a power cable (Molex or SATA).
  4. Load up each station as much as possible. The Dataclysms use a lot of energy, so it's important to get the most bang for the buck. Only drives that are 500 GB or more should be run by themselves on a station.
  5. Once on, the system will boot from the network. At the end of this process, each drive should appear on the screen with the brand, model and capacity. They will appears in this order: hda, hdc, sda, sdc. Hda and hdc represent the IDE drives, while sda and sdb represent the SATA drives. Double-check to make sure that each capacity is accurate for the drive.
    1. Important: if a drive shows up as smaller than its manufacturer label says it is, it has a locked partition and needs to be recycled
    2. If a drive doesn't show up that should be there, shut down the system, take off the drive, mark it with an 'x' and try another drive. Sometimes, it will be that the cable has gone bad or come loose, and not that the drive is bad.
  6. Hit 'Enter' to start the testing!
    1. At least 90% of the time, drives that are going to fail will do so in the first 5 seconds of testing.