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Speccy gives me this information for one of my hard drives:

Manufacturer    Western Digital
Interface   IDE
Capacity    977GB
Real size   1 000 204 886 016 bytes
S.M.A.R.T
    01 Read Error Rate                           200 (200 worst) Data 0000000000
    03 Spin-Up Time                              220 (163) Data 0000000F97
    04 Start/Stop Count                          100 (100) Data 0000000206
    05 Reallocated Sectors Count                 200 (200) Data 0000000000
    07 Seek Error Rate                           100 (253) Data 0000000000
    09 Power-On Hours (POH)                      092 (092) Data 00000017F6
    0A Spin Retry Count                          100 (100) Data 0000000000
    0B Recalibration Retries                     100 (100) Data 0000000000
    0C Device Power Cycle Count                  100 (100) Data 00000001C3
    C0 Power-off Retract Count                   200 (200) Data 000000001A
    C1 Load/Unload Cycle Count                   200 (200) Data 0000000206
    C2 Temperature                               119 (099) Data 000000001F
    C4 Reallocation Event Count                  200 (200) Data 0000000000
    C5 Current Pending Sector Count              200 (200) Data 0000000000
    C6 Uncorrectable Sector Count                200 (200) Data 0000000000
    C7 UltraDMA CRC Error Count                  200 (200) Data 0000000000
    C8 Write Error Rate / Multi-Zone Error Rate  200 (200) Data 0000000000
    Temperature 31 °C
    Temperature Range   ok (less than 50 °C)
    Status  Good

I have a feeling it is close to dying, but I don't really know how to read this data. So... what does those different lines and numbers mean exactly? I am for example sure that my hard drive has started up more than a 100 times, so yeah... not sure how to read this data.

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This wikipedia article explains each of your error in detail.

Areas that I would look at is:

  • 01 Read Error Rate with 200 being the worst yours is at 200. Enough said.
  • 03 Spin-Up Time: the lower the value the better.
  • 05 Reallocated Sectors Count: the lower the value the better. (in brief this is when the drive has found a bad sector and "reallocated" it.)
  • 0A, 0B, 0C again the lower the number the better, and these are all at their highest.
  • C6, C7, and C8 are all at their highest values as well...

Judging by what I can see right away, this drive is close to being toast in it's current condition. I would highly recommend a backup of the hard drive, and then a low level format of the drive. This may get a little more life out of the drive, but definitely consider replacing the drive.

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That's what I thought =/ Am doing a full backup twice a day to an external hard drive, so shouldn't lose much if they die. It's actually two drives in a mirror raid, but both have basically the same scary SMART data. Time to look around for a set to replace them with I suppose :) –  Svish Oct 15 '10 at 14:40
    
I would verify your backups are good - read errors mean that you could be backing up bad data. –  Broam Oct 15 '10 at 16:00
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My experience is "Reallocated Sectors Count" higher than 2, will progress fairly rapidly ... but might not be critical until you reach 100. Just figure that the difference between 100 and this number can be thought of the number of days left before your hard drive totally dies. In other words, if you have any reallocation counts: 1) religiously back up; 2) start shopping for a replacement, figuring every day brings a 2% chance of death.

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Your SMART readings do not suggest any problems. Temperature is in the optimal range, per the famous Google paper on drive mortality. –  Rolnik Oct 14 '10 at 20:14
    
What is the Google paper on drive mortality? –  sammyg Jan 9 '13 at 23:38
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