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One of my drives exhibits near-death symptoms a short time (10-15 minutes) after the system is started. I did a S.M.A.R.T check and the verdict is good health. I happen to know for certain that periodic ticking from the reader-head is indicative or anything but good health. Mind you, this is not the typical stress-seek sound.

Apart from having it looked at by professionals, or replacing it all-together, what can I figure out on my own using the S.M.A.R.T interface and preferably some Free or Open software tools? I realize that the implementation varies across manufacturers, but what I'm looking for is general advice about how to use the S.M.A.R.T capabilities of a drive and what to reasonably expect from these features.

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closed as not constructive by Xavierjazz, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Mokubai, Dave, Indrek Sep 22 '12 at 16:57

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SMART doesn't do everything perfectly (and I won't go into details). If you have the money, buy SpinRite. It offers much more thorough than a normal SMART test.

As per Ramhound comments from a similar post "The results of reports based on S.M.A.R.T data should be taken into context. Many of the problems HDDs have they are not even aware of. The best way to have a healthy drive is to run it through a program that will read each and every sector often. This allows the HDD to move data from bad sectors to good sectors and then mark any sectors it determines as bad as unusable. This is far more useful then say a defrag although it should be said, running a defrag, often does exactly this. One program I use for for all my HDDs is SpinRite."

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Why would you not go into details? If I had the money, I'd just throw the disk away already. – Ярослав Рахматуллин Apr 21 '13 at 12:43
@ЯрославРахматуллин Because each SMART tool is different, it would mean my answer wouldn't be useful! What may or may not occur in one tool may or may not in other, and then there is a debate about truly constitutes as a smart tool etc! Why else? – Dave Apr 23 '13 at 8:11

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