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Build A PC - How To Assemble

Computer Assembly - How To Assemble A PC

Test The SATA Hard Drive

If all went well then the computer re-booted from the optical drive, starting the Data Lifeguard Diagnostics utility. This utility is available from the Western Digital Software Library page.

After the utility loads and after accepting the licensing agreement, the main menu screen appears and looks something like this.
How To Assemble A Computer - PC Assembly Guide, Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostic main menu
The Data Lifeguard Diagnostic utility offers several tests and I ran all the ones that looked relevant. First I ran the "Quick Test". It took less than three minutes and finished successfully. Second I ran the "Extended Test" which took two hours and forty minutes and also finished successfully. These first two tests are read-only tests, so they make no changes to the hard drive.

The next two tests are available under the "Write Zeros To Disk" option. The "Write Zeros To Disk" tests do writes to the hard drive so any previous contents are overwritten. Since the hard drive is blank as far as I'm concerned, that's ok by me. After selecting the "Write Zeros To Disk" test, two options are presented. One is to do a "Quick Erase", which writes to a small portion of the hard drive. The other is to do a "Full Erase", which writes to the entire hard drive. The "Quick Erase" test took less than a minute and finished successfully. Finally I selected the "Full Erase" to check out the entire hard drive. This took two hours and forty minutes to complete and also finished successfully. The new hard drive is "good".

Choosing to "Quit" the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic utility takes you to a point where a message is displayed that says "The system must be reset - hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete or turn the power off". Remove the CD containing the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic utility from the optical drive.

Congratulations! The second boot test has completed successfully! The hard drive has been well exercised by this test, and even the optical drive has been successfully used.

Common Problems

If the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic utility reports a failure as a result of any of its tests then the most likely reason is a bad hard drive. Although that's bad news it's certainly better to find out now, and was actually the point of running the test.

If the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic tests seem to be taking way longer than they should, like 16 hours for the "Full Erase", or appear to be stuck then the most likely reason is that the DMA settings for the hard drive in the BIOS are not correct.

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How To Build A Computer. Step By Step Instructions To Assemble. Skip To Any Assembly Step.

  Parts List
  Computer Case and Power Supply
  Processor, CPU Cooler and Thermal Compound
  RAM - System Memory
  Video Card
  Keyboard and Mouse
  Hard Drive
  Install the Processor onto the Motherboard
  Install the CPU Cooler
  Install the RAM - System Memory
  Install the Motherboard into the Computer Case
  Install the Video Card
  Connect the Power Supply to the Motherboard
  Connect the System Panel Cables
  Ready the Monitor
  Ready the Keyboard and Mouse
  First Boot
  First Boot Common Problems
  Install the SATA Hard Drive
  Install the DVD RW Drive
  Connect the Speakers
  Second Boot
  Configure the BIOS Parameter Settings
  Test The Hard Drive
  Install the Operating System - Windows 7
  Driver Installation
  Speed Test - Windows Experience Index

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