Friday, May 18, 2007

Monitoring Hard Drive Reliability

If you’re hard drive makes welrd noise and data access from it is extremely slow? Is there any way to predict hard drive failures?

While it is not possible to accurately predict hard drive failure, advances in technology have made it possible to monitor certain aspects of hard drives and a deterioration of some of the values indicates a decline in reliability and possibly a near-time hard drive failure.

All modern hard drives have an in-built self-monitoring system known as S.M.A.R.T. or Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology. While electronic failures cannot be determined in advance, mechanical failures In a hard drive (constituting at least 60 percent of failure) give fair failure indications. S.M.A.R.T. provides certain attributes to determine hard drive failures.

You can monitor your hard drive’s SMART attributes using free software like HD Tune that can be freely downloaded from If HD Tune shows any of the attributes in yellow, you know there is a problem. Programs like HD Tune also indicate the drive’s operating temperature with the help of which you can predict and prevent the hard drive from burning out by providing it with additional cooling or bringing down the ambient temperature.

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