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Predict drive failure

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S.M.A.R.T is the abbreviation for "Self Monitoring And Reporting Technology". It's an industry standard for monitoring and reporting fault conditions in a peripheral storage device. There are two kinds of hard disk drive failures: unpredictable and predictable, there are 60% of drive failures are mechanical, often resulting from the gradual degradation of the drive's performance. These have been well explored over the years and have led to disk drive designers being able to not only develop more reliable products, but to also apply their knowledge to the prediction of device failures. By researching and monitoring of vital functions, performance thresholds which correlate to imminent failure have be determined, and it is these types of failure that S.M.A.R.T attempts to predict.

How does S.M.A.R.T. work?

A special program inside the disk constantly keeps tracking the condition of a range of the vital parameters: driver, disk heads, surface state, electronics, etc. At the present time, S.M.A.R.T technology is able to predict about 30% of all hard disk problems. However, to use this information, you firstly have to retrieve it from the disk and analyze it by using FinalRecovery.


  • Worst - This is the worst attribute value among the attribute values collected to date. This value indicates the state nearest to a failure so far.
  • Value - The current value of attribute. Maximum values are typically 100, 200 or 253. Rule of thumb is: high values are good, low values are bad.
  • Threshold - The minimum normalized value for the attribute.
  • Raw Data - This is a raw attribute data. Usually it shows exact amount of time, attempts or errors.
  • PW Attribute (Pre-failure warranty attribute) - indicates a pre-failure condition (caused by exceeded threshold) where imminent loss of data is being predicted.

Attributes List

Click here to view attributes list.

How to understand S.M.A.R.T attributes?

When analyzing S.M.A.R.T. data, the most important thing is to compare the values with the thresholds. If these values are below the threshold and the attribute is a PW-Attribute, the hard disk is going to fail soon.

Should I replace it when S.M.A.R.T reports some serious problems with hard disk?

S.M.A.R.T. is designed to detect upcoming failures in the hard disk drive. While it is possible that the hard disk drive may not fail for several months it is still possible that the hard disk drive may fail shortly. It is ok to continue to use the hard disk drive, however we highly recommend that if you are still under warranty, you should consider getting the drive replaced before your warranty runs out.


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