SMART hard drive diagnostics: why is it needed?
Modern hard drives equipped with a special self-diagnostic firmware SMART (self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology). This technology allows you to monitor the status of HDD, analyze its work and predict failure. SMART monitors over 40 parameters, the result for each of which is entered in a special table. SMART statistics analysis allows you to detect vulnerabilities and predict hard drive failure.
This article will tell you how to view a SMART hard drive, decrypt its readings, and what parameters should be given special attention. It is worth noting that the information is structured, but to extract data from it requires special software.
How to view SMART hard drive. Decryption options.
To check the parameters "SMART", you need to have this feature enabled in the system. This is true for computers manufactured before 2010. In their BIOS, there is an option HDD SMART Capability, the inclusion of which allows you to fully track the "SMART". In new PCs, the question "how to enable SMART on the hard disk?" Is irrelevant - everything is included by default.
To view the HDD status parameters, you need a special utility for working with hard disk drives (Victoria, HD Tune, HDD Scan) or comprehensive diagnostic programs (Everest or its “heir» Aida64). They allow you to display a table in an easy to understand form.
Analyze the parameters on the example of "Victoria". As you can see from the image, the hard disk (in this case, the Seagate is 200 GB with an outdated IDE interface) does not support all the “SMART” commands and captures some of the parameters.
In the table title you can see the parameter ID, its name, VAL, Wrst, Tresh and Raw values, as well as the estimated Health column.
- ID - parameter number in the general list of analyzed criteria.
- VAL - its current value in abstract units (usually a percentage of the ideal indicator).
- Wrst - the worst value that the hard drive ever reached.
- Tresh - conditional threshold for the value of VAL, after which the system notifies of the impending "death" of the HDD.
- RAW is an expression of the VAL parameter in a numerical format (number of hours of operation / failures / errors / bugs).
The Health parameter allows you to assess the state of the HDD for people unfamiliar with the intricacies of computer hardware or English. He assigns the usual score from 1 to 5 points to each of them.
When analyzing the status of the hard disk drive, you should pay attention to VAL (comparing with the Tresh graph) and RAW (for an objective assessment). In the above example, it can be seen that the railway experienced many read errors (Seagate, Fujitsu and Samsung do not have to look at this column - all errors are recorded here) and has a long running time (parameter 9). The table shows that the number of hardware error corrections (parameter 195) is quite high. The remaining values of "SMART" are normal, or close to it. It is important that parameter 5 (Reallocated Sectors Count) is OK. This means that the number of bad sectors is small (11 in this case) and so far nothing threatens the disk itself.
In case parameter 5 differs in alarming values, the health of the HDD is at risk. In the screenshot above, the Reallocated Sectors Count graph indicates that the railway is close to failure. In this case, this is a system failure (the discrepancy between the RAW zero value and the VAL critical indicator indicates this), and a SMART hard drive recovery is required to normalize. But usually such information indicates that the HDD is about to break, and they can no longer use it normally.
How to reset or restore SMART hard disk
We can not tell in detail how to reset the SMART hard drive. Although this action is not criminal (in contrast to the same IMEI shift of a smartphone), it can help unscrupulous traders to sell faulty HDDs under the guise of new ones. But for users who need to know how to restore the SMART hard drive, to bring it back into operation after a software failure, we will explain the situation in general terms.
- To reset the SMART (exactly like other service tasks) requires connecting the hard disk drives via the COM interface. To do this, manufacturers equip HDD with a special connector of 4 or 5 pins. It is located next to the data cable and power supply jacks. New computers often do not have a COM socket on the rear panel, so its function is performed by a special USB-COM board.
Hard drive interface connectors
- To reset a smart hard disk, you must use a special adapter and the Hyper Terminal program. In older versions of Windows (up to XP inclusive) it is built. In the OS, you need to download and install it separately. Also suitable programs PuTTY , TeraTerm.
COM-TTL HDD adapter
- The procedure for resetting "SMART" for different models and generations of railway is different. WD SMART hard drive reset is different from similar events with Seagate, Hitachi or Fujitsu drives. In Westerns, the problem may also lie in the fact that some WD models do not have COM-interface contacts.
- No one guarantees that SMART will be restored to factory values, and that it will be reset in general, and the railway will work normally after that.
- Resetting "SMART" resets the problem statistics, but does not eliminate them. By restoring the SMART to the factory settings, the HDD itself will remain in the same condition. After a reset on a faulty railway, the output will be a broken hard one, which “thinks” that it is new, and nothing else.