SATA drive testing


  • Laptop or desktop with Windows 7 (or higher)
  • Cygwin installed with smartmontools
  • SATA to USB docking station or cable adapter
  • 2.5” or 3.5” SATA hard drive to be tested


  1. Power on the laptop and plugin the SATA to USB (dock or adapter)
  2. Plug the hard drive into the dock or adapter
  3. Wait a few moments and Windows should start installing the drivers for the SATA to USB device
  4. After drivers are all loaded, open Cygwin (Run as Administrator)
  5. Type ‘smartctl -a /dev/sdb -d sat’ and press Enter (Note: you might need to use a variation for the device itself (sdb, sdc, etc) or the type of device (ata, sat, usbjmicron, etc)
  6. After you are able to get the basic hard drive information from the command above, you will now need to run a short offline test, using the command from above with the addition of ‘-t short’ (Ex: smartctl -a /dev/sdb -d sat -t short)
  7. After the short offline test completes successfully, you can run an extended offline test with the command from above with the addition of ‘-t long’ (Ex: smartctl -a /dev/sdb -d sat -t long)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *