Does SMART know best?

John Summerfield debian at
Sun Feb 3 15:48:45 UTC 2008

Timothy Murphy wrote:
> 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

I think I'd heed the warning.

> -----------------------------------------
> 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
> hours)
> -----------------------------------------
> Is it mean of me to suspect that the manufacturer
> tells smart to issue these messages when the warranty is running out ...?

It's a little over three years old if you've had it powered up all that 
time. OTOH if you only have it running 12 hours/day it's somewhat older.

And the length of the warranty depends on the brand, I can't comment on 
that one.



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