Testing New Hard Drives

Find out the disks on the system

cat /var/run/dmesg.boot

Run the short test in the background1.

smartctl -t short /dev/ada0

Then run a conveyance test (for any damage during shipping)

smartctl -t conveyance /dev/ada0

Then check for bad blocks23.

badblocks -ws /dev/ada0

Then run a long test4.

smartctl -t long /dev/ada0

The -a flag shows you everything about the drives

smartctl -a /dev/ada0

including the time remaining for the tests

Self-test execution status:      ( 249) Self-test routine in progress...  
                                        90% of test remaining.

and the time it would take to run the tests:

Short self-test routine  
recommended polling time:    (   2) minutes.  
Extended self-test routine  
recommended polling time:    ( 529) minutes.  
Conveyance self-test routine  
recommended polling time:    (   5) minutes.

To see the results after the tests have run

smartctl -l selftest /dev/ada0



  1. Use -C to run in foreground. But then again, why would you? ↩︎

  2. The non-destructive version is badblocks -ns↩︎

  3. This is a 2-phase, 4-pass command that will take a long time. On a 4TB WD Red, the whole process was done in about 75 hours. ↩︎

  4. This took about 8 hours on a 4TB WD Red. ↩︎