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Showing posts from April, 2012

What can tell your hard disk? Be S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T. is a self-monitoring capability of hard disks that can provide many interesting details about the sanity level of the drive, and about the usage in general. There are several utilities around but smartmontools is multiplatform and quite low level giving all the details.

The hard disk has several monitoring attributes that are incremented during the lifetime and stored in a persistent memory when the disk is powered of. The list and description of such attributes is also posted on Wikipedia.

Some of these attributes deals with the usage or aging of the drive, while others are related to error conditions. The ones related to aging can be understood based on the mechanics of the hard drive. The drive is first powered up and then the disk starts spinning. Then the heads are moved out of the parking condition and perform their operation. Sometime, based on the operating system and the usage the heads get back into place or stop spinning.

These are the indicators with some numbe…