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Old Aug 7, 2013, 08:57 AM   #1
leitenperger
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Confusing SMART status reports

I've had an early 2009 24" iMac for about four years. Lately it had been freezing all the time so i formatted the hd and did a clean reinstall of the OS. Right after the reinstall there were a few hiccups, but now it's running smoothly. After reading a few threads online I decided to check the SMART status. For some reason it's not showing up on disk utility, so I downloaded SMART utility and SMARTreporter. SMARTreporter tells me everything's ok but SMARTutility says my hard drive is failing. The problem seems to be bad sectors. After some googling i'm really confused. Should I replace my hard drive? How can i know if the hard drive was causing the freezing?

Here is a screenshot of SMART utility: http://i.imgur.com/P2Rl1Wi.png
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 03:13 PM   #2
Mr Rabbit
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Bad blocks / sectors can be mapped out of the way when formatting a hard drive but often times if they reoccur then you are likely seeing a situation where the hard drive is failing and causing more and more bad blocks.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 04:50 PM   #3
Thraun
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I definitely wouldn't trust a hard drive diagnostic by SMART status alone. If you can find a utility that actually scans the surface of the drive that will tell you for sure if the drive is bad or not. I use TechTool, but that's a paid program, I'm sure there's some free utility out there to do that.
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 06:10 PM   #4
ScottishCaptain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leitenperger View Post
I've had an early 2009 24" iMac for about four years. Lately it had been freezing all the time so i formatted the hd and did a clean reinstall of the OS. Right after the reinstall there were a few hiccups, but now it's running smoothly. After reading a few threads online I decided to check the SMART status. For some reason it's not showing up on disk utility, so I downloaded SMART utility and SMARTreporter. SMARTreporter tells me everything's ok but SMARTutility says my hard drive is failing. The problem seems to be bad sectors. After some googling i'm really confused. Should I replace my hard drive? How can i know if the hard drive was causing the freezing?

Here is a screenshot of SMART utility: http://i.imgur.com/P2Rl1Wi.png
Take the machine into an Apple Authorized Service Centre.

They will run ASD on the machine. More then likely, they will ask you to make your your data is backed up first because the disk drive tests ASD runs are destructive (they will erase your disk drive).

They will then be able to determine if your disk drive is bad and should be replaced or not.

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Old Aug 8, 2013, 07:18 AM   #5
Mr Rabbit
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the disk drive tests ASD runs are destructive (they will erase your disk drive).
All of the ASD tests are non destructive, the hard drive tests consist of checking smart status, quick scan and full disk scan, the last two being normal surface scan tests. The only destruction that could occur would be if the hard drive just happened to fail under stress while ASD is scanning.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 12:15 PM   #6
leitenperger
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Originally Posted by Thraun View Post
I definitely wouldn't trust a hard drive diagnostic by SMART status alone. If you can find a utility that actually scans the surface of the drive that will tell you for sure if the drive is bad or not. I use TechTool, but that's a paid program, I'm sure there's some free utility out there to do that.
I actually have TechTool! It came with AppleCare. I had actually forgotten about it so thanks.

Everything passed except Drive Hardware and Surface Scan, which had 14 errors. So... I guess I should replace it right?
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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Yeah, Techtool's results definitely suggest a failing/failed hard drive. It's a safe bet that replacing the hard drive would be a good next step.
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