Checking the SMART status of external drives

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
I have a 1.5 TB Seagate 7200.11 drive in an Icy Dock FireWire enclosure. I've been using it prettymuch nonstop for the past year, and have noticed a couple of clicks coming from the drive over the last few days under heavy load (500+ kB/s BitTorrent download while watching HD video and running a backup). It's clearly not dead yet, but I'd like to know if it's on its way out since I have nowhere to back up that much data to. It's just ripped TV shows and installed games mostly, so losing it wouldn't be the end of the world, but I would still cry.

However, Disk Utility won't give me the SMART status of the drive, and SeaTools (run from Windows) doesn't allow me to access the brand-specific tools either. I assume that this is because it's in an external, non-Seagate enclosure. From my reading, this only works over SATA. Is there any way to access this information without physically removing the drive from the enclosure and putting it in another computer? Doing so would require finding another computer to put it in, which would be doubly challenging.
 

Guiyon

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2008
767
1
North Shore, MA
The simple answer is no; you will need to connect the drive directly to the internal SATA to pull the SMART data. Some external enclosures do support querying the SMART data but these are few and far between and have a tendency to use a proprietary interface in order to do so. IIRC, smartmontools has support for some IDE/SATA to USB controllers (list available here) but it can be hit-or-miss.
 
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BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
Oh you are kidding me. I actually have an (ostensibly) supported SATA/USB adapter sitting around here. I'll try it out tomorrow. What're the odds, eh?

Thanks for the tip. Any other suggestions would be welcome.
 
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BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
Nope, unfortunately my Vantec USB->ATA/SATA adapter doesn't seem to work.

Code:
sdb: Unknown USB bridge [0x05ac:0x8403]
Smartctl: please specify device type with the -d option.
If I could borrow a computer with an eSATA port, would that be able to check SMART data?
 
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