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Old 02-20-2008, 08:59 PM   #1
sinoslav
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How to check hard disk integrity?

I dropped my MacBook Pro today and it landed nastily on a corner. Fortunately it was a carpet floor and it was asleep. There is a nasty dent but everything seems to continue to work fine. However, I would like to do some kind of hard-drive integrity check to be sure. Is there some sort of utility for this purpose?
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:19 PM   #2
JDV
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Given that your MacBook was asleep, it is a fair bet that the read/write heads of the drive were parked and would not have damaged your hard disk drive in the way that can happen if the drive were actively being written to at the time of the incident. Most drive manufacturers do have utilities that can check hard drive health, but very few of them (if any) run under OS X. TechTools Pro might be able to give some information, but if you just do a check of the file system using Disk Utility you should be able to see if there's any significant damage. If it comes back clean, or with errors it can repair, then you are probably in the clear.

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Old 02-20-2008, 11:13 PM   #3
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All MacBooks have drop sensing too. If you drop a MacBook, the heads will park before the drive lands anyway. It's very unlikely the drive will suffer damage. Not impossible though.
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:34 AM   #4
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You can certainly run a file system check on it (which is not the same thing as verifying the integrity of the hard drive, but it is somewhat related). This can be done most easily by booting to your OS X Install disc, selecting Disk utility from one of the menus, going to the First Aid tab, and clicking "Repair Disk" (not Repair Disk Permissions). Repeat the step until no problems are found.

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Old 02-21-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
Irene
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There's a little application called Smart Reporter that checks if your hard drive is okay or is about to fail. Perhaps that would help you too.
http://www.corecode.at/smartreporter/
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:46 PM   #6
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If I recall correctly, Disk Utility gives the S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive if it is supported, but that would have to be done with a manual check. This utility might well be useful, although in this particular case, it might not do any more than using Disk Utility itself. Note that FireWire drives do not report their S.M.A.R.T. status, but that also isn't relevant here.

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Old 02-24-2008, 11:49 AM   #7
sinoslav
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Many thanks for the advice.

I ran "Verify" under Disk Utility and got a couple of errors:

  • Volume Bit Map needs minor repair
  • Invalid volume free block count


I don't recall actually having a copy of a Mac OS X Install disk -- do MacBook Pros actually come with that disk?
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:55 AM   #8
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Yes - all Macs come with an OS X Install DVD. But it might be called "Restore Disk" or something like that.

But you could do the same filesystem repair with 'fsck' in single-user mode.
See this Apple doc:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106214
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:13 PM   #9
sinoslav
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Many thanks (belatedly) to all those who helped. I got everything checked out with the hardware check utility and there were no hard drive problems. *sigh of relief*
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:40 AM   #10
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You should do backups if you aren`t already.
If your main drive fails (or the program monitoring your drive`s SMART status -I use SMART reporter- tells you it might be failing) you can replace it and retrieve your data from the backup.
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