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SpinRite's much smarter use of S.M.A.R.T.
and the case for Preventive Maintenance.
S.M.A.R.T. Display with Callouts
This SpinRite snapshot (original photo) was taken and tweeted on April 28th, 2013 by a SpinRite
owner (@AvgAndy) while running SpinRite on a 2 terabyte drive filled with media. It so perfectly
shows the power and value of SpinRite's S.M.A.R.T. System Monitor that this page was inspired.

S.M.A.R.T.  stands for  Self Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology
With the advent of IDE (Intelligent Drive Electronics) drives, the traditional hard drive controller was moved into the drive itself. This was a necessary evolution, since it freed drive manufacturers to innovate by giving them control over the drive's “low-level” formatting and allowing drive densities to explode as they have since the late 1980's.

But this integration of the traditionally separate disk controller with the drive, meant that the drive was then managing its own condition internally and “autonomously.” In essence, it became a black box into which we pour data and then later hope that the drive will pour the same data back out. The trouble was . . . black boxes are black . . . meaning that we cannot see into them. In the case hard disk drives this meant that no one any longer knew how many defective sectors the drive contained, nor how many spare sectors were being consumed, or really what overall condition the drive might be in . . . because now the drive managed all of that internally. If all drives lasted forever this would have been a tremendous relief and not posed any problem. But the phrase “hard drive crash” is famous for a reason.

We could easily make a perfect hard drive that never fails, but . . . 
Competitive market pressures force hard
drives to operate near the edge of failure.
Think about it: You know the way the world works. If hard drives were not already
operating right at the edge of failure, someone would cram more bits into one, and
that's what everyone would buy.  So drives are already there, frantically competing
with each other, and crammed to the limit with every last possible byte of storage.

So a industry-wide S.M.A.R.T. standard was created to provide a means of asking this “black box” what was going on inside.

As the next page shows, SpinRite provides an extensive
and informative interface which interprets any SMART
data the drive makes available for our analysis.

If you have not already done so, please study each of the “callouts” on the SpinRite S.M.A.R.T. System Monitor diagram above, then either click on that diagram or on the button below to switch to a detailed explanation of each display feature.

Switch to Study Mode

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Last Edit: Apr 24, 2024 at 20:39 (91.41 days ago)Viewed 43 times per day