SATA disk drives can run a variety of self tests. Running these self tests will thoroughly test drive functionality in a fairly quick manner, and will not change or damage customer data. A self test can be run at any time, and the detailed self test logs can be retrieved and saved – see the paper Introduction to SATA SMART logs paper, available from firstname.lastname@example.org
There are four different self tests available –
- Short Self Test
- This test will run for a short time, typically one or two minutes. The time this test will take to complete is returned by the drive in it’s IDENTIFY information – the STB Suite test will display this time for each drive.
- Extended Self Test
- This is a more thorough test which will run for a significantly longer time than the short test. Again the test execution time will be displayed by the STB Suite test.
- Conveyance Self Test
- This test is designed specifically to identify damage incurred during transportation (shipping) of the drive. The time to complete this test will be displayed in the STB Suite test.
- Selective Self Tests
- The optional selective self test allows only certain specific parts of the self test routines to be run. Refer to your drives specific SATA command documentation for details on your specific drive.
For drives which are connected directly to a motherboard native SATA port you will use the STB Original mode to run the self tests.
Go to the top menu ATA/SATA->Tests->Execute SMART Self Test choice. Select your drive from the drives displayed in the Devices menu – the various self-test completion times for this drive will now be populated. The drive model and serial number will be shown as well as the completion times for the various types of tests –
In this example we see that a Short Test will take 1 minute, the Extended Test will take 230 minutes, and the conveyance test will take 2 minutes to complete.
Click the Start Test button to begin testing – the status of the test will be reflected in the Results window and can be estimated by the Self Test Progress bar. The elapsed time the test has been running will also be displayed –
You can abort any of the self tests at any time by clicking on the Abort Test button (which appears any time any test is in progress). Aborted tests will still be recorded in the self test logs and will show that the test was aborted by the user.
To view the results of all self tests in the drives log use the STB ATA/SATA->Commands->View SMART Self Test Logs function.
As of STB Suite version 8.1 running SMART Self Tests in DMM mode is accomplished by using the DTB DMMSataSelfTest application. You can obtain a copy of this application including the full source and project files by contacting email@example.com
The SATA SMART Self Tests provide a consistent and easy-to-use method to determine the overall health of a drive. The STB Suite Original mode provides an interactive tool to run these tests on single drives, and the DTB application available from STB lets you run these tests in a multi-drive manufacturing environment.