smartmontools: A hard drive’s best friend

Here’s something you don’t see every day:

2014-04-30-6m47421-smartmontools-01 2014-04-30-6m47421-smartmontools-02

I mentioned a short while ago that I bought this hard drive to run in a Dell Inspiron 8000 more than eight years ago, and those screenshots are proof.

The actual conversion is up for debate, but a power-on time of 18,562 hours works out to be more than two years of working time. And it keeps on ticking. :D

I know these things because smartmontools tells me. The suite provides a rundown on the S.M.A.R.T. data from a hard drive, then breaks apart the analysis into something vaguely human-readable.

How you interpret the information is up to you, but the beauty of it is that, as I understand it, it’s sometimes possible to get a warning that a drive is about to die.

And as someone who has heard deathly clacking noises from hard drives, any kind of warning would be a good thing. :shock:

I must admit I’ve never tried to use smartmontools with either an SSD or any kind of surrogate, nonmechanical drive. It would be interesting to see though.

While it’s not a complete diagnostic tool and not a data recovery utility, it’s worth remembering that the information is available to you. Mark, and remember. ;)

P.S., yes, I know 18,562 hours qualifies as Old_Age according to smartctl, and I should have shown that a lot of other categories are marked Pre_Fail. Don’t worry, I have planned accordingly. ;)

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