Hard Drive Fitness Test
Before using the new hard drive, it's a good idea to check it out now using the diagnostic utility for the hard drive to ensure it's 100% good. The Drive Fitness Test is the utility for IBM/Hitachi hard drives. Other manufacturer's have utilities that provide similar functions.
Insert the IBM Drive Fitness Test floppy disk into the floppy drive. Exiting the BIOS lets the computer continue and it boots from the floppy disk.
The IBM Drive Fitness Test User's Guide is available along with the utility itself on the Hitachi Downloads And Utilities page (IBM and Hitachi have merged their storage technology divisions). It's very good so I won't repeat it here, but I strongly suggest you give it a look and make a hardcopy.
The IBM Drive Fitness utility offers several tests and I ran all the ones that looked relevant. First I ran the "Quick Test". It took only a minute or so and finished sucessfully. Second I ran the "Advanced Test" which took about 30 minutes and also finished successfully. These first two tests are read-only tests, so they make no changes to the hard drive. The third action I took was to perform an "Erase Disk". An "Erase Disk" does write to the disk so any previous contents are overwritten. Since the hard drive is blank as far as I'm concerned, that's ok by me. The "Erase Disk" action to about an hour and finished successfully. Finally I ran an "Exerciser" test, indicating it should perform two loops. This took about 90 minutes to complete and also finished successfully. The new hard drive is "good".
Now it's important to note that the "Erase Disk" test writes to the hard drive and at this point both the old hard drive and new hard drive are installed. If the old drive is accidentally selected for the "Erase Disk" test then that would be a catastrophe! There are two ways to make such a result an impossibility. The first is not to run the "Erase Disk" test. That's an acceptable option, but not the best one in terms of verifying the integrity of the hard drive. The second is to just disconnect the master hard drive and make the new hard drive the master temporarily to run the Drive Fitness Test. It's easy to do since both hard drives are physically installed in the computer. Simply unplug the IDE connector and power connector from the old drive. Then change the IDE connection on the new hard drive to be the master IDE connector instead of the slave IDE connector, and change the jumpers on the new hard drive from the slave position to the master position. There's no chance of accidentally writing to the old hard drive since it's not plugged in to the computer. Once done with the Drive Fitness Test, set things back to the way they were. Of course, the computer should be powered off to rearrange the cables.
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