How accurate is disk utility for verifying S.M.A.R.T. status?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pyroo, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. pyroo macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Hi, I just got a new MacBook Pro today (2.4Ghz i5) and it kept freezing randomly, such as opening safari. I open disk utility, it says that S.M.A.R.T. is verified, when I verified the disk, it said "invalid node structure" and to repair using the Mac OS disk. I booted from the disk, disk utility failed to repair twice, but after the 3rd repair, it said repair was successful, but after a few days, same problem "invalid node structure." I've repaired the disk many times and I always get the same result a few days later, I've also reformat the laptop 3x with same problems reoccurring after a few days.

    I read that using disk warrior was best to solve these problems, except I there were mixed results, some people said that it fixed their problems, others said it was just a temporary fix, so I don't wanna pay for a program that may or may not fix my problem.

    Last experiment, I popped in the HDD into my sister's MacBook Pro (2.4GHz Intel Core2Duo) and did a clean install. After a few days of use, it starts to slow down, ran Disk Utility, S.M.A.R.T. status is verified, clicked repair disk, and same thing "invalid node structure."

    I went to apple, Apple "Genius" said that there was nothing wrong with my laptop and just told me to do a clean install, which I did many times already. They kept it over night and called the next day to say that there was nothing wrong...

    Having said this, how accurate is the S.M.A.R.T status? I search google and some people say that "Invalid node structure" is a sign that the HDD is failing.

    Any of you guys experienced this problem, where the S.M.A.R.T. status is verified, even though the HDD is dying? I don't have money to experiment and buy another laptop HDD to install just to test this out so can you guys tell me your experience? Thanks.
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I doesn't actually say anything like how many errors, etc., I don't think it's a very good tool. I use Drive Genius to monitor my drives. Works for me.
  3. pyroo thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Thanks for the tip guys! It is indeed the HDD that is failing, it failed the SMART status test using Smart Utility even though Disk Utility says it is verified.

    And just wanted to see if the Apple geniuses knew what they were doing, I took my sister's laptop with the failing HDD, brought it to the apple store to see what they will say the problem is. They said that it looks like there is nothing wrong with the laptop...again. They kept it over night again after I told them about the freezing issues. This morning, they called and said that I had a bad logic board and the freezing is the result of it. Doesn't it worry you guys when these Apple "Geniuses" handle your expensive laptops? They obviously don't know what they are doing if they are just guessing what the problem is and replacing random hardware. If I did not have warranty, I would have to pay them $900+ to fix something that was not broken to begin with.
  4. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    The Apple genii (and authorized service providers) have access to tools that can poll the hardware to a much higher degree than anything provided to us end users. The tests weren't written by the genii (else they wouldn't be working behind the counter ;)) but rather the smarties down in cupertino. If your machine continues to freeze after they replace it, bring it back. If they fail to diagnose the issue, eventually they'll give you a new machine.

    As far as smart status goes, it's not the disk utility that's the problem. It's the smart status itself. Historically, smart status isn't used as a precurser to diagnose issues, because it often doesn't report any issues until it's too late and it isn't extremely exhaustive (only certain, manufacturer given parameters will throw flags). Instead, if the drive indicates (via smart status) that it is failing, it's time to replace the drive.
  5. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    utilities like what?

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