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Jul 09 2009

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S.M.A.R.T. (or not so smart)

Computer Hard DriveI really get frustrated when it comes to hard drive diagnostics.   Specifically: S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology).

The theory behind S.M.A.R.T. technology is that the hard drive is supposed to provide predictive failure information for hard drives.

The problem is, I’ve never had a S.M.A.R.T. technology accurately report a failure.

I’ve had hard drives fail completely, and S.M.A.R.T. never indicated a problem was going to occur.   The only reason I was aware there was a problem is because I routinely monitor the log files.

And now, I’ve got a machine where S.M.A.R.T. is telling me that a drive is going to fail … but every diagnostic I run on the drive tells me the drive is fine.

What am I supposed to believe?

Of course another pet peeve of mine is the fact that operating systems don’t tell the user when a disk error has occurred.   In my opinion, any disk failure should popup a message indicating that a critical error has been encountered.   This will at least give the user SOME chance of backing up some of their data.   Even Linux doesn’t have this kind of functionality built into the core.   You’ve got to write log file parsers (or create filters for a log parsing package) in order to find out that you’ve got a critical hardware problem.

1 comment

  1. Mike Wills

    You mean Linux doesn’t write to the QSYSOPR message queue?

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