Here’s an oddball for Sunday. Seagate quietly posted SeaTools for Windows version 188.8.131.52. It’s such a small update, that the download page still claims that the current version is 184.108.40.206.
However, this tiny update packs a big sour grape for those who care about their technology. See, this update only appears to have one function; it removes the Long Drive Self Test (DST) diagnostic from the program.
The Short DST does a battery of quick tests that can tell you if a drive may fail soon. The Long DST goes farther and scans every sector of the hard drive for problems. If all sectors pass, odds are the drive is okay. The feature is completely missing from the latest version.
I’m not sure why Seagate removed this feature. Perhaps there were false positives that were causing warranty claims.
However, keep in mind that if you update to this new version, the only way to do a Seagate Long DST, will be with SeaTools for DOS.
But wait, it gets worse, SeaTools for DOS doesn’t work on many Mac models. The only way for them to run SeaTools, was to run it inside Windows, using Boot Camp. So, for those who dared to put a Seagate hard drive in a Mac, you now may not have any way to do a low-level test of the drive. There is Drive Genius for Mac, from Prosoft, which in demo mode will do a sector scan of the drive. However, sector scans inside Mac OS X do not communicate with the drive’s built-in self-diagnostic tools, which is why SeaTools was always preferable.