Does SMART know best?

Timothy Murphy gayleard at
Sun Feb 3 15:19:07 UTC 2008

I've been getting more and more serious warnings from smartd on a computer
(one I hardly ever use, though I do use it for backups), 
eg in /var/log/messages
Feb  3 14:59:12 blanche smartd[2624]: Device: /dev/sda, FAILED SMART
self-check. BACK UP DATA NOW!
Feb  3 14:59:12 blanche smartd[2624]: Device: /dev/sda, 2554 Currently
unreadable (pending) sectors
Feb  3 14:59:12 blanche smartd[2624]: Device: /dev/sda, 11353 Offline
uncorrectable sectors

The number of Offline uncorrectable sectors increases each day,
though the number of Currently unreadable sectors is more or less constant.

smartctl has been telling me for several days
that the drive has only one more day to live ...
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: FAILED!
Drive failure expected in less than 24 hours. SAVE ALL DATA.

The computer seems to me to be working perfectly
under Fedora-8 and Windows.
Does Smartd know better than me ...?

As a matter of interest, could I replace this ATA/IDE disk with a SATA disk?
If the end of the world really is nigh.

Incidentally, I see from smartctl that the drive 
is almost 3 years old:
Error 20419 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 26309 hours (1096 days + 5
Is it mean of me to suspect that the manufacturer
tells smart to issue these messages when the warranty is running out ...?

Timothy Murphy  
e-mail (<80k only): tim /at/
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

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