A reader has a question about the results of a disk scan:

“I would you please let me know the difference between a Long DST and a Short DST? I’ve been buying new hard drives for an HP laptop and when I do the Hard drive test, it passes when I doing the short DST but fails when I do the long DST. I was wondering if something could be wrong with the laptop or I’m just getting bad new hard drives. What are your thoughts?”

DST stands for disk self-test. The difference is right there in the name, really. The short DST is a quick scan of the drive and the long one is a more thorough examination. Failing a DST is a serious issue and means you need to replace the disk ASAP.

You certainly should not be getting an error on a new drive. One thing I could suggest is to make sure that all of the connections are tight and that the issue isn’t a loose cable. if you’ve gotten the error on multiple new HDs, there are two possibilities. One is that there’s a bad batch of hard drives. Are you getting the same brand from the same place? Maybe try another source. If you see the same error with the new drive again, it might very well be an issue with how your PC is interpreting the information and it might be time to call in your friendly neighborhood hardware expert to see if anything can be done.