Hard drive failure

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
MisterBG
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,197
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Run a SMART test
In reply to str8pipe, Apr 1, 2013

Most SATA hard drives support S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology System).

Get a free download SMART drive monitor program, and see what results it comes up with.
SMART enabled drives keep an internal log of performance, and a SMART monitoring program allows you to access that information. From the information the program makes an intelligent prediction of the likely failure time. It takes into account spin-up time, remapped sectors and a number of other factors to make the estimate.

There are a number of free downloadable SMART analysis programs, including one by Acronis, all of which provide similar information. Do a search for SMART monitor programs and you will find many. For more information about SMART monitoring see the Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.

If you are using an external hard drive for data backup, don't keep it permanently connected when it's not in use.
However, it's good practice, if you are not using it regularly, to connect the drive once every month or so and allow it to spin-up just to exercise it. There have been examples of drives becoming "sticky" due to lack of use. At the same time you can run your SMART program on the drive.

As soloryb says, all drives will fail eventually. It's just a matter of being aware of the state of your drive, and taking the necessary action to prevent catastrophic failure.

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>The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

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