View Full Version : what is HDD S.M.A.R.T capability?

Jimmy D
06-01-2004, 07:39 PM
what is HDD S.M.A.R.T capability? mine is disabled, is that a bad thing?

06-01-2004, 08:00 PM
smart is good

it is an inbuilt testing utility and can give you warnings if your hard drive is going to die soon

enable it

06-01-2004, 08:27 PM
Enabling it will do nothing however, unless you also install an application to report on all the multitude of parameters.

It monitors every parameter and reports changes.
While its a useful diagnostic tool, unless you understand all of the parameters and their importance and relevance then it can be "information overload".

06-01-2004, 08:30 PM
Most BIOS's will tell you when you boot:
"S.M.A.R.T enabled and status okay"
though will they not?

Last time I saw a BIOS boot up and say "S.M.A.R.T. Enabled, Error immenint" or something lto that effect it was coz the HDD was dying. Backup the HDD we did and sure enough 3 days later it died.

Is the additional software a neccesity, or does it simply provide a real-time update of your HDD's status?

06-01-2004, 09:35 PM
the software (I use aida32) just provides more depth on the status of your hdd's automated diagnostic tests like if it's taking the right amount of time to spin up, temperature. I think it just reads the smart (self monitoring analysis and report technology) information off the hdd or wherever it's kept

06-01-2004, 11:15 PM
The BIOS can't store all the parameters, but external software can.

Therefore more "meaningful" diagnostic is possible with the correct software.

07-01-2004, 04:48 PM
from the rojakpot (which has the best bios optimisation guide available):

HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

Quick Review

This BIOS feature controls support for the hard disk's S.M.A.R.T. (Self Monitoring Analysis And Reporting Technology) capability.

S.M.A.R.T. is supported by all current hard disks and it allows the early prediction and warning of impending hard disk disasters. You should enable it if you want to use S.M.A.R.T.-aware utilities to monitor the hard disk's condition. Enabling it also allows the monitoring of the hard disk's condition over a network.

While S.M.A.R.T. looks like a really great safety feature, it isn't really that useful or even necessary for most users. For S.M.A.R.T. to work, it is not just a matter of enabling it in the BIOS. You must also keep a S.M.A.R.T.-aware hardware monitoring utility running in the background all the time.

That's quite alright if the hard disk you are using has a spotty reputation and you need advanced warning of any impending failure. However, hard disks these days are mostly reliable enough to make S.M.A.R.T. redundant. Unless you are running mission-critical applications, it is very unlikely that S.M.A.R.T. will be of any use at all.

With that said, S.M.A.R.T. is still useful in providing a modicum of data loss prevention by continuously monitoring hard disks for signs of impending failure. If you have critical or irreplaceable data, you should enable this BIOS feature and use a S.M.A.R.T.-aware hardware monitoring software. Just don't rely completely on it! Back up your data on a CD or DVD!

Please note that even if you do not use any S.M.A.R.T.-aware utility, enabling S.M.A.R.T. in the BIOS uses up some bandwidth because the hard disk will continuously send out data packets. So, if you do not use S.M.A.R.T.-aware utilities or if you do not need that level of real-time reporting, disable HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability for better overall performance.

Some of the newer BIOSes now come with S.M.A.R.T. monitoring support built-in. When you enable HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability, these new BIOSes will automatically check the hard disk's S.M.A.R.T. status at boot-up. However, such a feature has very limited utility as it can only tell you the status of the hard disk at boot-up. Therefore, it is still advisable for you to disable HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability unless you use a proper S.M.A.R.T.-aware monitoring utility


07-01-2004, 08:25 PM
my SMART hard drive was not so smart. It told me nothing until it really fell over and refused to boot, I was still able to reinstall windows ontop of it and back my files....