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.