A wire on the molex connector of my hard drive had come off. I replaced it but later, experienced some problem with the dvd drive on my Power PC. The wire had nothing to with it but I thought the hard drive could do with a health check.
In my search on the web I came across this Wikipedia article:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Monitori...ting_Technology
It gives a fairly detailed description of S.M.A.R.T ( Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) - a monitoring system for computer hard disks to detect and report on various indicators of reliability, in the hope of anticipating failures.
This article gives a tabulated comparison of different S.M.A.R.T utilities around.
I downloaded SMARTReporter, an opensource freeware, and scanned the hard disk with it. The scan came up completely clean (verified).
The utility requires Mac OS X 10.3.3 or later and at least one ATA, SATA or eSATA hard disk drive and may be downloaded from:http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/syst...rtreporter.html
In order to make doubly sure I downloaded another utility but the scan this time came up with
bad blocks and a number of other vulnerabilities. Happily, however, OS X's own Disk Utility gives a straightforward assessment of a hard drive and in this case it found no problem with the hard drive. So I kept the SMARTReporter but uninstalled the one which reported problems.