Bart's Stuff Test 5
Created: Mar 11, 2003
Updated: Oct 13, 2012
Bst5 (Bart's Stuff Test v5) is a small win32 application for
long term heavy stress testing storage devices. Bst5
supports testing at file and device level.
File level support enables you to test any local or remote volume by
file access. This makes it possible to test almost any storage device.
As long as the operating system can write or read files from it, you
can use bst5 to test it. In Bst5 this is seen as a "high" level test,
you write/read data to/from a file using the file system support from
your operating system.
Device level support enables you to test local devices directly
block-by-block. You can use this to test any removable or fixed logical
drive, physical hard disk, or tape device. In bst5 this is seen as a
"low" level test, bst5 writes/reads data directly to/from the storage
device without the use of any file system. In other words, the storage
device or media does not need to be partitioned or formatted before
testing. If any file system exists on a storage device or media, a
non-read only test will overwrite any data on it.
Bst5 supports very
large volumes, up to 16 exabyte
(17.179.869.184 Gigabyte) enough to last for at least 30 years.
Bst has been around for a while. The first Dos version is from 1995. The version
1 until 4 where never made "public". Bst5 is the first real win32 version. It is
created with the experience of the 4 previous bst versions, together with scsitool and disktool.
Bst5 runs on:
* Device level test is not supported on these platforms.
As you can see bst5 does not
run in Dos. It is my opinion that storage testing
tools running in dos will disappear in near future. Why? Because most of these
Dos based tools (like disktool) are limited. They use extended BIOS calls to
access the device. Some modern BIOSes, using very fast hard disks, have a
maximum transfer rate of around 7MB/s. This is bad news if you want to stress
test a hard disk that is capable of doing around 50MB/s.
Practical use of bst5
Can be done using the free edition...
Requires the Pro edition...
- Test a local hard disk of any system which already has a windows
Boot the OS on the system. Run bst5 and start testing on path "c:\".
If the system has more hard disk volumes start a second instance of
bst5 and let it test on path "d:\" and so on. Bst5 will use almost all
free space available for testing.
- Test a local CD-Rom or DVD drive of any system which already has a
windows operating system.
You will have to prepare a CD-Rom or DVD medium for this. Run bst5 on
a system with a CD-Rom or DVD recorder. Click "options" and select
operation "write pattern" and enter the maximum size valid for your
media. For example, a CD recordable media can hold up to 700MB and a
DVD recordable media can hold up to 4.5GB. Click "OK", enter a file
and path for example "c:\tmp\bst1.tmp" and click "Start". Bst5 will
now write a stuff pattern file called c:\tmp\bst1.tmp and stop. Next
record this file on your CD or DVD media. Label it "Stuff test file
With this media you can test any CD-Rom or DVD drive of any system
which already has a windows operating system. Boot the OS already on
the system. Start bst5, enter the path to "<x>:\bst1.tmp" (where <x>
is the drive letter of your CD-Rom or DVD drive) or click "...",
select folder and browse to the file "bst1.tmp". Make sure you check
"Read only". Hit "start" and bst5 will read the file bst1.tmp until
your stop it.
- Test server, network and workstations.
Testing will include:
- Server hard disk
- Server network interface
- Network hub/switches
- Workstation network interface
On each of the workstations start bst5. Enter a path to a share on the
server, for example "\\server1\share" and hit "start". All
workstations will now test the server. Each workstation uses it's own
file like "bst5*.tmp". When you have more hard disk volumes on the
server divide the workstations.
Warning: this test will put very high load on your server and network.
Other users will get very slow server/network responses!
- Test tape media inter-exchange compatibility.
On the first system with a tape drive, use bst5 to create a stuff pattern media using "write pattern" operation. You can enter a size for the pattern image, for example 400mb, Or you can leave the size empty, then bst5 will write until end of media. Take this media to a second system with a tape drive that is capable of reading the media. Run bst5, check "Read only" and start on the tape device.
You can mix all of these test, for example you can:
- Run first bst5 to test a local hard disk and a second bst5 to test a
CD-Rom or DVD drive.
- With "3) Test server, network and workstations" you can
also start a second bst5 on the workstations to also test local hard
and/or CD/DVD drives.
- Or even start bst5 on the server to test it's tape device (pro edition).
Some screen shots, just click on the links below...
* Pro Edition only!
- Main screen
- Testing local folder "C:\" at file level
- Testing network folder at file level
- Select device dialog (*)
- Testing harddisk device (*)
- Testing tape device (*)
- Testing CD-Rom device (*)
Here is the link to download the Free Edition: Bst v5.1.4
Buy the Pro Edition
Device level testing requires buying the "Pro Edition"
There is no need to install Bst5, just unpack bst5.exe from the archive file and start it...
- Q: Why am I not seeing my tape drive in the device list?
A: In Windows NT 4.0 you need to add a tape driver.
If you have arcserve installed, you have to stop the arcserve tape engine.
- Q: Is the way that bst5 writes and reads a hard disk similar to a way a normal user does? Does bst5 "emulate" a normal user?
A: No! Bst5 puts a non-interrupted 100% load on the tested
storage device. A normal user does not do that. Imagine this: it would
take a year before a normal user has his hard disk full. Bst5 writes
it full within half an hour.
- Q: Can bst5 break down my harddisk?
A: Good question, no bst5 does not break down your harddisk. But when
you use bst5 a lot (and I mean really a lot) on the same disk it can shorten the MTBF (mean time
between failure). This also means that if your hard disk, that was
running fine, does break down during bst5 testing, it was already
faulty before you started testing, but you never stressed it hard
enough to show any failures.
- Q: Sometimes bst5 reports that my tape drive's capacity is 0 bytes, how come?
A: Not sure why it happens, but bst5 will go and write to the media anyway...
- When doing "write pattern file" the resulting file is truncated (0 bytes), fixed it.
- Added quick speed test operation.
- Tape devices (like DLT) some times return volume size is 0 bytes,
bst5 would reduce the blocksize down to 8KB. Fixed.
- Some minor changes.
- Attempt to write passed end-of-tape on second loop. Fixed.
- Smart read sometimes enables pattern compare on media
that does not have a valid stuff pattern on it. Fixed.
- Changed license files. License dialog now does word wrap.
- Bst5 left bst5*.tmp files of 0 bytes behind, fixed it.
- When trying to start "c:\" in readonly mode, it came up
with a strange error message. Now it says open() failed, that's
- Added license information.
- Several small fixes.
- Improved error messages.
Copyright (c) 2002-2003 Bart Lagerweij. All rights reserved.
- Made a lot of changes and fixes, to many to keep a list. There is
not much code from the 5.0.2-BETA version that is unchanged!
- Added support for testing media inter-exchange (write stuff
pattern and smart read).