What is S.M.A.R.T.

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by nospleen, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    My sisters powerbook has been acting up lately and I told her to repair permissions. She just emailed me and said that S.M.A.R.T. is 'failing' on her powerbook? She wants to know what it is. I did a search and could not find anything. I thought I remembered reading something about new 'smart' drives that knew they were going bad. But then again, I could have dreamt that. Someone help please. (she has a 1.33 12")
     
  2. macrumors demi-god

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    No, you didn't dream anything up. If SMART is failing the drive is very, very close to dieing. Have her back-up her data ASAP.


    Lethal
     
  3. macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #3
    You're correct, it's the hard drive's built-in diagnostics system. A lot of new HDs, especially the sort that go into notebooks, are designed to 'know' when they are on the verge of failing.

    If it's warning her of impending failure, you have a couple of options:

    1. You can keep running until the HD fails. If you choose to do this, you should make REGULAR (i.e., daily) backups of your data. When the drive fails, you replace it, reinstall the OS and your apps, and then restore the data.

    2. Or, you can preemptively backup your data and replace the HD now, under controlled conditions, before it actually fails.

    The drive may not fail for a long time, but you never know... at least you've been warned that strange things are afoot at the Circle K.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    WOW, very fast responses, thank you both very much! I called her and told her to shut it off right away. I will back it up tomorrow to my firewire drive and send it off. She just had a little one on Christmas, she would FREAK if she lost everything! :eek:
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #5
    Oh yeah. Definitely start backing things up. If you have another mac, you could boot the PB up in target firewire mode and then do a transfer of her home directory to the other Mac.
     
  6. macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #6
    Just as a side note, sometimes hard drives fail with NO warning; I had a notebook HD fail suddenly a couple of weeks ago, but fortunately I had backups. You should always maintain a backup regimen for your irreplaceable data.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
  8. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #8
    Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology

    AKA, if its gonna blow, this will warn you before it does. Maybe.
    It checks like 30 or 40 things about a hard drive and then tells you if it thinks the drive is heading 6 feet under or not.

    A failing status is BAD NEWS. BACK UP NOW. DONT USE UNLESS YOU MUST.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Washington State
    #9
    The Toshiba 60Gb in my iBook died a slow death and it was fine according to the S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics. Things just got slower and slower until it would take half an hour to start up an app. I had to send it into Apple three times for them to be convinced that it was the hard drive that was failing. They changed out the drive and life is good again :)
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    Hopefully they will changer hers out with out any problems. (crosses fingers.)
     

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