[Noisebridge-discuss] Linux disk stress test & burn-in

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Fri Jul 8 01:48:36 UTC 2011

travis+ml-noisebridge at subspacefield.org writes:

> Hey all,
> So I have some HDDs I want to pop in a file server, but I want to
> stress-test them first to get them over the "bathtub curve".
> I assume I need to write to them over and over, and use SMART to
> monitor for problems.
> smartmon + dd = okay, seems decent
> 1) Does anyone know a good tutorial on SMART
> But it'd be better to check for errors... write various patterns to do
> this and then check the reads - right?
> 2) Does anyone know a Linux/BSD utility for this?
> Googled around to no avail.

I think I want to suggest


which is meant as a speed tester, but should work the hard drive
pretty well.

Someone on Launchpad also mentioned to me that you can use

udisks --show-info

instead of smartmontools to get SMART data from the command line.

It seems to me that trying to check for errors is very unlikely to
find anything, because hard drives have extensive internal soft
error correction.  The probability of an error that gets detected
by the drive and reported to SMART must be _much_ higher than the
probability of an error where bad data silently reaches the
application.  Of course that kind of failure is possible, but it's
hard to imagine that you could elicit it in practice within a
few dozen hours of testing of a few hard drives!

I would think on a modern drive the overwhelming majority of drive
errors do get reported through SMART, although I don't know how
to quantify "overwhelming majority".

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org>      |  No haiku patents
     http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/        |  means I've no incentive to
  FD9A6AA28193A9F03D4BF4ADC11B36DC9C7DD150  |        -- Don Marti

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