How precise is S.M.A.R.T. technology?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by TimaN, Nov 8, 2006.

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  1. TimaN

    TimaN Registered Member

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    I built my system in June 2006 and my harddrive's "death" is predicted in May 2007. Purchased my HDD brand new and it's already predicted by (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) to give up in May '07! I used HardDrive Inspector to give me all the data about my drive. Has anyone had any experience with this self-monitoring technology?
     
  2. Durad

    Durad Registered Member

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    It monitor several parameters and count times when HD could not read/write etc...

    For example there are numbers like 200/0 where 200 stands for maximum of allower read errors and 0 or any other number at that place show you how many times that error really heppend.

    When it come close to 200 SMART will report that you should replace your drive soon.

    You can use softwares like Spinrite to keep your drive in good shape.

    I personally use SCSI drives, now on ebay you can get cheap brand new SCSI card and brand new SCSI drive with 74Gb of space and with Ultra320 standard, it is also faster than standard SATA150 and IDE drives.. SCSI drives especially made by Seagate (by my expirience) usually last 5 years or more on home PC.

    Also WD Raptors are good but it is cheaper to get SCSi at this time.
     
  3. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Different drives and different SMART monitoring programs use different algorithyms. Keep monitoring the drive and don't worry too much until stats start steadily dropping. I have a drive with relatively low stats and it's actually fine. One of the values goes up and down by one or two points fairly regularly. After a few months, if the program you're using to monitor is any good, the estimated failure date should become more accurate.
     
  4. TimaN

    TimaN Registered Member

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    Thanks for all your responses! I just don't understand why a fairly new drive (it hasn't even been a year) has such a small life span. I have Seagate if you wonder.
     
  5. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    It's unlikely that the drive really has that short of a lifespan, these kinds of software are not always accurate, but will become more accurate over time (as it has more data over a longer time span to average out). Of course Seagate drives have a 5 year warranty, so if it does really die that soon then you can get it replaced ;)
     
  6. 'G'

    'G' Registered Member

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    S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)
    S.M.A.R.T., pioneered by Compaq in an effort to improve reliability, is an industry standard for advance reporting of imminent hard disk drive failure. When this feature is enabled in the BIOS and a S.M.A.R.T.-compliant hard disk drive is installed, detected problems can be reported. This enables the user to replace a faulty hard disk drive before it fails, that may otherwise have resulted in data lose.
    Legally a manufacture in order to advertise S.M.A.R.T. compliancy needs only to refer to the signalling method between the hard disk drive’s electro-mechanical sensors and the host computer. Consequently, the term S.M.A.R.T. can have less protection value for the consumer, making it difficult and confusing to make valid comparisons of manufactures hard disk drives as their information on S.M.A.R.T. is not readily disclosed. Until an openly disclosed policy covering the principal S.M.A.R.T. indicators is publicly available the standard can be abused and at best limited.
    Manufacturers that have supported one or more S.M.A.R.T. attributes (technological leading indicators) e.g., monitoring hard disk drive performance, faulty sectors, recalibration, cyclic redundancy check (often abbreviated CRC) errors, hard disk drive spin-up time, hard disk drive heads, distance between the heads and the hard disk drive platters, hard disk drive temperature, characteristics of the media, and motor and servomechanisms besides many others include: Samsung, Seagate, IBM (Hitachi), Fujitsu, Maxtor, and Western Digital. These manufacturers may not necessarily agree on precise attribute definitions and measurement units; therefore the list should be regarded as a general reference only. However, if a safety threshold for that attribute and hard disk drive is exceeded a warning is given.
    Nevertheless, regardless of the secrecy employed by some hard disk drive manufactures, a number of operating system specific software can extend the users ability to monitor hard disk drive conditions through the S.M.A.R.T. interface and predict when a failure is likely to occur by logging deviations in attribute values, of which there can be many. This software may also possess the capability to distinguish between gradual degradation over time, i.e., wear and tear, and a sudden change, indicator of a serious problem or immanent failure.
    Recommendation: Ariolic’s ActiveSmart (http://www.ariolic.com/activesmart/)
     
  7. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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  8. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    try HDD Health.

    as for O&O's driveled, it just shows a led display of read/write activity.
     
  9. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    I got no smart warnings when my OS hdd died on friday (it is 5 years old so had a good life) on my server.

    Various things were happening, drive was loosing its MBR, crashing windows, not being recogonised on a reboot (requiring a full power off and on), not sure what was the cause, but I threw it in the bin as was only a 10gig and been replaced with a spare 20gig :D

    But even between the errors, SMART reported a 100% healthy drive :|
     
  10. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I use HD Tune, Freeware.
    http://www.hdtune.com/
    HD Tune is a Hard Disk utility which has the following functions:
    Benchmark: measures the performance
    Info: shows detailed information
    Health: checks the health status by using SMART
    Error Scan: scans the surface for errors
    Temperature display
    HD Tune may also work with other storage devices such as memory cards, USB sticks, iPods, etc.
     
  11. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Thats what I use :)
     
  12. TimaN

    TimaN Registered Member

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    Well, ever since I bought my HDD it's making a clicking sound from time to time. (it's not usual read/write noise). The click can be heard from the next door room with open door. It is totaly unexpected and you never know when it's going to happen. Sometimes it makes several clicks in a row. I don't know if this is associated with the prediction of my drive's failure soon. Other than that my drive works fine without errors or BSOD's of any kind.
     
  13. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    That's generally not a good sign, I'd contact the hard drive manufacturer, they may send you a new one. When it comes to the SMART data, what's most important is what the values do over time. If you look at the history, does it show a steady decline? Regardless, that clicking is not a good thing at all and should be looked into.
     
  14. yankinNcrankin

    yankinNcrankin Registered Member

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    One possibility, similar to grocery super markets that try to sell their old stuff at a sale cheaper price...however it could just be the simple fact of "use this part first, before you use this newer one." I have had a personal experience with *ELL
    where my brand new custom built lap top had a some what defective harddrive cause I ran spinrite on it to do some basic checks and it had a **** load of read write errors, which spinrite did an amazing job at fixing. Still its not cool when a company does stuff like that try to use their old stuff first, but maybe it was just a fluke, but in this day and age one has to think "corporation"....
     
  15. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    @ Nickr, ok so SMART is not that smart after all? Btw, that HD Tune app looks nice btw, at the moment it´s telling me my HDD is OK after one year usage, let´s hope it´s true. :rolleyes:
     
  16. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    I think SMART does work at whatever it monitors, which does vary between drives, in my case was not helpful.
     
  17. TimaN

    TimaN Registered Member

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    Guys, what can you tell about my HardDrive's health from this screenshot? What values should l look for being changed?
     

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  18. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Your values look about like mine. Any values that take a steady decline are not a good sign. You might take a look at the diagram offered by that link there.

    I went through the same kind of puzzlement when I got one of my hard drives that showed similar values, because previous hard drives always started out at the maximum, but it's really nothing to be concerned with. different manufacturers do different things with those figures, there's no real standard. The drives use different algorithms, and so do the SMART monitoring software vendors (for calculating the lifespan according to those values). You can see the diagram of one of my drives attached. You can see the first couple days showed a "steady" decline, so for the first few days it said I had a month before I needed to get a new drive, but obviously that changed.
     

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  19. TimaN

    TimaN Registered Member

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    What is the normal operating temperature of your hard drive? Mine is 33-35C. Depending on the room temperature.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2006
  20. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    No, not the temperature, that's the other, more technical, SMART values, primarily Raw Read Error Rate. The temperature will definitely fluctuate quite a bit, and that one is actually an excellent example of how different manufacturers will give different values for the same thing. Some drives will show the actual operating temp, others will give a vague value between 0 and 100 or 253 but which does not show you the actual temperature.

    For example, that system has 2 hard drives. One drive shows a temperature (right now) of 27 (the actual temp in degrees Celcius) with a "worst" value of 45, the other drive shows a temp of 130 with a "worst" of 127, with the actual temp of 36 degrees C. Obviously the two different manufacturers (Seagate and Samsung, respectively) use that value in totally different ways.
     
  21. TimaN

    TimaN Registered Member

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    Yes, I know your graph reflects hard drive values, not a temperature. That was a bonus question for comparison.
     
  22. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Doh, lol, sorry I mis-read. I have several drives across several computers, ranging from ~19C to ~35C. The coolest drives are mounted in a 5.25" drive bay with a cooler fan.
     
  23. TimaN

    TimaN Registered Member

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    I have a screenshot with changed values from my first post and until today. If you compare Raw Reed Error Rate has fallen into a dangerous change category according to legend at the bottom of this screenshot. Another value that changed a bit is Power on Hours. What do you think is going on?
     

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  24. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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    My Maxtor 6Y080L0 is still going strong after 3 years. I don't bother to check..
     
  25. TimaN

    TimaN Registered Member

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    Do you know what are your values for your Maxtor? My HD works fine, but if you look into internal values that it has they are changing over time. But that's not my main concern. Ever since I bought this hard drive it makes clicks (that is not usual read/write noise). These are loud and can be heard from the next door room.
     
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