Most PC users save their new information daily on their computers. Some of them are dealing with personal data, others with very important business files and software. Imagine that one day your HD crashes unexpectedly and you lose all of your precious data. All of your work documents, personal information and financial records you saved for years will be gone in seconds. However, there is a solution which will warn you before your hard drive fails: Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. S.M.A.R.T is a monitoring tool that will keep you informed about the health of your disk drive and warns you if there is a potential problem. It monitors and logs disk events, analyzes the data and alerts you in the case of a critical event. Once you receive a message from S.M.A.R.T. you have to react immediately, while your HD is still in working condition and there is opportunity to back up your data.
HD failure could be predictive or non-predictive. Predictive failures happen after you receive a warning about the actual failure and then the problem gets worse until the crash. On the other hand, non-predictive failures happen suddenly- such as a power surge or dropping the disc on the floor – and are very unpleasant because you will lose all of your data immediately. Unfortunately, S.M.A.R.T. is able to help you only with predictable failures.
Today on the market there is a lot of different software which will keep you informed about the state, capacity, partition, temperature and size of your drive or even send you an email alert. Each of the different software contains tables with different values. Attributes is one of these values and has information about your HD. For example, some of HD Heart beat attributes are:
– P – this measures disk performance (lower values indicate low performance)
– E – measures an error rate
– V – measures an event count – (Ex: Attribute 5 indicates how many sectors had errors and were relocated in the Data field)
– S – attribute is able to be preserved and is restored in each S.M.A.R.T. test
– Temperature- considers the temperature of your hard drive because it could shorten the life of your drive. If it’s above 140ºF you should consider getting a fan or another cooling device.
– Power Cycle Count – Number of complete start/stop cycles of hard disk, it shows how many times the disk was turned on and off
Each of those attributes above are also called parameters, which are divided into three categories: critical, warning and informational. “Critical parameter below the threshold” indicates an upcoming drive failure. “Warning” indicates electromechanical problems on the hard disk. “Informational” wants you to pay closer attention on your HD. There is a lot more to learn about S.M.A.R.T and if you are interested in that, please join this blog.
Finally, I would like to suggest a few great tools which will help you monitor your HD. Click on the link to compare some tools.
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