S.M.A.R.T. status :Failing

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by evil_santa, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Disk Utility is showing S.M.A.R.T. status : Failing on my start up disk.

    1/ Do I have to replace the disk or can it be fixed with a disk utility such as Disk Warrior?

    2/ If i put a new disk in is it best to use "Carbon Copy Cloner" or do a clean install of OSX & restore from "Backup"

    My System is a G4 733 with 60gb HD running 10.3.6


  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    I'm no expert, but from what I've heard, a SMART error means that the disk will soon physically fail :eek: (and therefore can't be repaired with software)
  3. macrumors 6502a


    There is an article about this in this weeks MacUser magazine (UK). I don't have it with me now, but I seem to remember it saying that SMART systems can give up to about a weeks notice of a likely physical disk failure which coud be catastrophic and not repairable. I would recommend backing up your data before you do *anything* else.

    I hope everything works out OK for you.

    edit: just noticed you are in the UK too - maybe you are able to pop to WHSmiths at lunchtime and check the article in MacUser. Its in the copy with a picture on the cover made up of thousands of tiny little photos.... just before the letters page I think, its a technical briefing on hard disks.
  4. Moderator emeritus


    SMART = Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology.

    The drive is about to go belly up, backup now, and get a new drive ordered up.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    It all backed up using "back up" will pop out and get Mac User @ lunchime. Will pick up new disk from Tottenham Court Road on way home!

    If I put the new drive in the other bay can I clone it using Carbon Copy Cloner, the new disk is likely to be bigger than the duff one.

  6. macrumors 68040


    Don't get a drive bigger than 120GB!!!
    Your mac won't see more than 137GB if the drive. You can use any ata 66/100/133 drive, but not SATA (Serial ATA!)
  7. macrumors 603


    My Wintel's hard disk is failing too... sigh. Get a new disk now, transfer your stuff over, and then toss that other disk. Basically, something is going wrong with the drive. Commonly that is spindle spin up or head placement, but all of the attributes that a SMART test monitors are important.

    Summary: Do what the people above said. Like, now.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    If the drive fails on you before the backup completed, and makes funny noises, here's what you should do:

    put your hard drive in a sealed plastic bag, then leave it in the freezer for 6 hours, then plug it back.

    If the problem is of mechanical, you may end up with 2 or 3 hours of extra time for your backup.

    I do wish you the best of luck,
    Palad1, who bought an UPS after frying 2 drives in a month.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    whats going on!

    I have backed up everything & got a new disk. About to swap the disk over, decided to do a zero all data format on the failing disk, and now after a restart the disk utility is showing this!

    S.M.A.R.T. status : Verified

    from what has been posted here & what i read on the net, the smart status error indicates to a hardware failure. Dose this mean that the drive is ok, Im going to swap it out any way as the new disk is bigger. but may put the old one in another machine if its ok! :confused:
  10. macrumors 68030


    I would continue to use the old one... but not for vital data. It could be an error in the SMART hardware, too!

    BTW, was that thing about the freezer serious? I can't think that would be good for the moving parts...
  11. macrumors 6502a


    I replaced the failing system disk with the new one, and have put the old drive in the slot under the DVD burner. Will use it as a dump / scratch disk. to see how it holds up. I have go another drive that totally failed a few months back. Kind of tempted to put it in the freezer and see if it comes back, but then I just spent most of the evening with the G4 in bits.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    It is, but it only works when the failure is mechanical.
    For example if your hard drive is clicking and cannot start spinning properly, you may recover enough usage time for a quick backup.

    Besides, if your drive is already fried... :)
  13. macrumors 6502

    One of my drives has been "SMARTed" as failing for well over a year. It is currently a redundant backup of my backups (is that too redundant?) Basically what everyone else said is true, but I wouldn't necessarily toss the drive, use it as a scratch drive or something non critical.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    This is a really bad idea in some parts of the world. Anywhere where there is really high humidity, this technique would cause extreme condensation, and the resulting sweat would cause more problems than this attempts to fix.

    You would do better to order a freeze spray from an electronics company and spray the spindle motor with it.

  15. macrumors 603

    I don't think so; I believe the thin plastic membrane on the other side of those "do not cover" holes in the drive case is specifically designed to keep moisture out of the drive.

    If moisture could pass freely in and out, then it would be very easy to get condensation inside a drive, which would be a total disaster for the platters.

    And the freezer trick does indeed work, but only if the problem is overheating electronics (or motor, I suppose)--I got a dying Maxtor to last long enough for a backup doing this. You can usually tell, because the drive will work for a few minutes after being started up, then suddenly stop working or start making weird noises (after it heats up). Hence the extra cold of the freezer lets it work longer before overheating.

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