hard drive replacement questions

Jason White jason at jasonjgw.net
Tue Oct 2 00:21:26 UTC 2012

Henry Yen  <blinux-list at redhat.com> wrote:

>In my experience, hdparm sometimes doesn't work, particularly so on drives that
>are not IDE/PATA (I have a couple of running systems, e.g.  SuSE 10.0,
>installed early 2006, where hdparm doesn't work on my SCSI drives).  Moreover,
>hdparm might not be installed, whereas dmesg will always be installed.  dmesg
>provides low-level information from whatever the hardware reports, so I don't
>see why that information would ever be less accurate than hdparm (or sdparm).
>I agree that hdparm will certainly give much more information, and typically
>more useful, too.

I use smartmontools to check hard drives. More specifically, I run the daemon
so that any detected failures will be reported, and I can also use smartctl to
obtain reports from individual drives.

The Serial Attached SCSI drives on my workstation are behind a controller that
makes them appear as a single drive. However, it's possible to load the sg
kernel module (e.g., in /etc/modules or manually with modprobe) and then
access the individual drives directly as /dev/sg1 and /dev/sg2, allowing SMART
data to be retrieved. Note that the striping configuration of the controller
results in the drives appearing as /dev/sda for purposes of partitioning and

Fortunately I don't have to deal with Microsoft Windows at all, on any of my
machines, so I haven't had any experience of installing or copying it.

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