PlayStation 2 HDD checker

Update 2016/06/10: v0.931 released! Update 2016/01/09: v0.93 re-released!
Update 2016/01/06: v0.93 re-released!
Update 2016/01/04: v0.93 released!
Update 2014/06/26: v0.92 re-released!
Update 2014/06/23: v0.92 released!
Update 2013/09/30: Bug report.
Update 2013/08/06: Initial public release.

HDDChecker is a basic disk diagnostic tool meant for testing the health of your PlayStation 2 console's Harddisk Drive unit.

It was conceived and constructed because I didn't want to see anymore poor SCPH-20400 units being cut open, just to have the disks within them taken out for testing. >_>

It'll also be useful for those people who need to check the condition of their HDD units, but don't have a working IDE port on their computers to connect the disk to.

It has the following features:

  1. Detects and lists the model, serial, firmware and S.M.A.R.T. status of HDD unit 0 (Primary Master).
  2. Performs a surface scan of the disk.
  3. Supports 48-bit LBA disks up to 2TB.
  4. Performs zero-filling of the disk with large blocks (65536 sectors for ATA-5-compliant disks, and 256 sectors for ATA-4-compliant disks).
  5. With the surface scan, bad sectors found might be remappable. Based on my research, it appears that writing to a to-be-remapped sector (those hard-to-read sectors, as recorded by the disk) will kick off the actual sector remapping process. However, this has not been widely tested.
  6. Checks for damage to the APA scheme and PFS partitions.
  7. Defragments the HDD to reclaim space.*

*Does not support disks containing HDLoader games.

Notes/known limitations/bugs:

  1. Do NOT use a disk larger than 2TB with this tool, as there are currently no safety locks to prevent a LBA wraparound from occurring!
  2. Do not use (usually old) disks that are not compliant with the ATA-4 specification. Like with every other PlayStation 2 software out there that supports the ATA interface, the disk is expected to support UDMA mode 4 and S.M.A.R.T.
  3. If the disk's S.M.A.R.T. status is indicated to be no good (NG status), the disk is about to fail and should be replaced.
  4. This tool may not be able to successfully remap sectors on all drives, as there isn't an official specification on remapping sectors within the ATA specification. If writing to a bad sector isn't sufficient to cause the disk to automatically remap it, the manufacturer's tools may have to be used instead.
  5. If a bad sector cannot be remapped, the disk is dying and should be replaced.
  6. As zeros will be written to the bad sector in an attempt to cause the disk to remap it, the data stored within the bad sector will be lost. Do not choose to remap the sector if it contains data that cannot be lost.
  7. The estimated time remaining counter is not accurate. I don't know why it's that bad, but it could be due to the overhead of the entire system and this program's single-threaded design. Since this program is targeted at power users, this isn't a major problem.
  8. HDLoader games cannot be defragmented, hence disks with HDLoader games cannot be defragmented.

Supported languages

For more information on supported languages and how support for languages can be completed, click here. A template for translating this software is provided in the downloads section of this page.

Supported languages and their translation status
LanguageStatus
JapaneseUnassigned
EnglishCompleted and built-in.
FrenchUnassigned
SpanishUnassigned
GermanUnassigned
ItalianUnassigned
DutchUnassigned
PortugueseUnassigned

Changelog for v0.931:

  1. Only the "OK" button legend will be displayed for information (single-option) messages.
  2. No button legend will be displayed for status updates (i.e. "Please wait..." screens).
  3. The last-accessed menu will be displayed, upon the user returning to the menu.
  4. The last-selected menu option will be highlighted, upon the user returning to the menu.
  5. Long messages and labels will now be once again automatically wrapped.
  6. Removed support for the tab ("\t") escape character in translation files.
  7. Removed workarounds for clone/compatible network adaptors.
  8. Ported workaround for the PSX's DVRP.
  9. Changed "NG" to "FAIL", and added "PASS".

Downloads/Links

HDDChecker v0.931: http://www.mediafire.com/?8m3os6g138eg9zl
HDDChecker v0.931 (Source code): http://www.mediafire.com/?fnanf1zirj9jmr1
Translation template for v0.931 and later: http://www.mediafire.com/?p9y52g0cmcfabuu

As usual, please do not hotlink to the file as the link/filename will change with every release.