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[Discuss] How smart is SMART?

On Sun, 25 Nov 2012, Jason Normand wrote:

> You should be able to setup smartmontools to run as a crown job to check
> the drive and send an email if it finds issues.  I'm sure there is a free
> version available for osx.  I'm not sure what other options are available
> for osx.  However as has been stated smart is far from fool proof.  But its
> better than nothing and its grounds for a warranty replacement.
> On Nov 24, 2012 10:05 PM, "Doug" <sweetser at> wrote:

See the now famous Google study of a zillion drives:

Looks like 56% of failures had "no count in any of the four strong SMART 
signals" , but it isn't clear from the article what percent of failures 
were presaged by excess counts. Certainly it must be less than 56%, but
we aren't told how much less. The implication is "much less".

dan feenberg

>> Just lost a 500 GB 2.5 inch SATA drive made in Thailand from my Mac
>> Mini server.  A half hour to boot was the signal.  While I could have
>> set up RAID, all the data I care about is in a Dropbox folder, and I
>> have Time Machine to get at any apps.  My data is on three computers I
>> control, the drop box server, and Time Machine.  I spent $260 for a
>> $100 hard drive because I used Computer Loft to deal with my fear of
>> mac hardware (so many wires in such a small place).
>> The main costs were time and money to reset the box.  I have been able
>> to update some things, so the machine is a little more streamlined
>> now.
>> Thinking about the future, does anyone regularly monitor their hard
>> disk SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology)
>> information?  I found a $40 utility that would do this work for me,
>> including running both short and long tests.  If it is wise, I might
>> do this once a month.
>> The long tests can last 3 hours.  One thing I noticed was the
>> replacement for the dead disk is running about 14 degrees F warmer
>> than the other disk (right now 48C versus 41C.   What temp is BAD?
>> Does anyone continuously check on that?).  That may be a lead reason
>> for it dying first.  The replacement might die before the cool one.
>> Now that the test is done, the hot disk is down to 38C.
>> Are there scripts anyone uses that go through the same data and/or run
>> the short and long tests?
>> ...and a few moments of googling to
>> says...
>> GSmartControl
>> smartmontool
>> Now my more targeted question: does any use these two programs and
>> would like to share their opinions?
>> Just trying to be a sometime responsible home system admin,
>> Doug
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