Friday, 14 February 2014

My system reported a S.M.A.R.T. error on the drive.

Explains what SMART alerts and errors mean and what you should do next.

You may find that your system reports that a S.M.A.R.T. error has occurred on the hard drive.  SMART errors are a near-term prediction of drive failure.  It is important to realize that the drive may appear to be functioning normally.  Even some diagnostic tests could still have a PASS status.  A SMART error is a prediction that the diagnostic test will soon fail.
The system will report an error when a S.M.A.R.T. threshold has been met.  The drive monitors several kinds of performance areas.  A few of these may include read retries (didn't get it the first time), slow spin up, high temperature, excessive bad sectors and many other areas.  The specifics of these thresholds are not available as product information and they differ between designs and certainly between drive manufacturers.
A system SMART error means you should backup your data as soon as possible and maintain consistent backups. 

A SMART warning based on too high of an average temperature is common and can sometimes be fixed by improving ventilation.  First check to see if your system has adequate ventilation and that all fans are in good working order.  If you find and fix a ventilation problem and the average temperature drops to a normal range, then the SMART error should go away.
Otherwise, when a disk drive issues a SMART error there are no methods to repair the underlying problem, whatever it is.  If the drive is under warranty, this is a valid reason to consider a replacement.  You can also download and run the SeaTools diagnostic test. SeaTools will test the S.M.A.R.T. parameters along with several other separate tests allowing a complete hard disk health check.
If a SeaTools test generates an error, that means the drive will need to be replaced. For more information on warranty replacement please visit the Warranty Services Page.

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