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I recently bought a Dell PC, and noticed that there is BIOS option called "SMART Reporting", that is disabled by default. Dell provides following description:

SMART Reporting - This field controls whether hard drive errors for integrated drives are reported during system startup. This technology is part of the SMART (Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) specification. This option is disabled by default. [source]

For all I know S.M.A.R.T. is a technology that warn about imminent HDD failures, and gives the opportunity to prepare for such appropriately. This sounds like a really useful technology, that can prevent data loss. Why is it then disabled by default? Is there some cost/disadvantage associated with turning this on? There must be a reason why this is off by default.

My PC have both SSD and HDD (which supports S.M.A.R.T.).

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I have noticed this as well, and it is very annoying, especially considering all OEM drives in all modern Dell desktops support SMART.

I have been deploying hundreds of Optiplex 3070 and 3080 units over the last couple of years, and I have to go into the BIOS of every unit before it's deployed and enable SMART. At the risk of promoting a conspiracy theory, my best guess for the real reason that Dell disables SMART by default is so that they get less warranty claims for SSDs that show signs of premature failure. Out of the hundreds of 3070 and 3080 units I have deployed, there have been about 3 units that had SSDs that had to be warranty replaced within the first two years due to SMART errors, which the client was only notified about because of SMART being enabled in the BIOS. If the client was not alerted of the SMART errors in these 3 cases, the drive may have continued working past the warranty expiration and then subsequently had a "hard fail" which would have had to been replaced at cost to the client instead of being included under the Dell warranty.

However, if you were to ask Dell about it, their on-script response would most likely be "we disable SMART by default due to 100% of drives not supporting it so it may lead to unexpected behavior if enabled when a drive is installed that does not support SMART". I have not contacted Dell about this but that is my best guess.

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You need to check (BIOS or your computer's hardware test application) whether your computer and computer hard drive support S.M.A.R.T. reporting. Some do not.

If your Dell computer has an SSD drive, SMART reporting does not apply so far as I know.

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