Q: What exactly is SMART doing on my computer?
A: There is an old adage, âThere are only two types of hard drives; those who failed and those who will fail â.
This is especially poignant when it comes to older magnetic hard drives, as the mechanical nature of the device introduces multiple points of failure, but it also applies to solid state drives (SSDs).
The magnetic platter must rotate at a precise speed, the read / write heads must be aligned precisely, and the air gap between the heads of this platter must always be maintained.
Any slight deviation from the optimum performance of any of the mechanical components may result in the inability to access stored data.
Signs of a problem
There may be clear signs of an impending failure which include strange noises or a computer freezing or freezing constantly.
Any kind of squeaking or clicking is a very bad symptom, which should be dealt with immediately in order to avoid loss of critical data.
If you hear sounds, but the computer seems to be working fine, take this opportunity to save whatever interests you as soon as possible. The next time you try to start the drive, it might be when it fails, as boot failures are common with older mechanical drives.
If you don’t care about the data on the drive, I recommend replacing it with a newer, much faster SSD if you plan to continue using the computer.
If the computer takes forever to start, hangs at startup, or hangs randomly during use, running a diagnostic program can help you quickly determine if the problem is due to a failed hard drive. .
Obtain SMART status
Unless your hard drive is really old, there should be a built-in diagnostic option that may actually show up when you turn on your computer for the first time.
The Self-monitoring, analysis and reporting (SMART) technology was created to automatically monitor and detect signs of a failed hard drive.
In most cases, it will notify you of any issues it finds, but you can manually check the status on Windows and Mac computers.
In Windows 10, type “Performance Monitor” in the search box and open the utility to generate a system diagnostic report.
Start by clicking âData Collector Setsâ in the left column, then double-click âSystemâ on the right side, which should bring up the diagnostic and system performance options.
Right click on the “System Diagnostics” option and select “Start” to initiate the process which may take a few minutes.
Click âReportsâ at the bottom of the list in the left column, then double-click âSystemâ and then the resulting item, which should be your report.
Scroll down to the “Basic System Check” section and click the + in front of “Disk Checks” to see the results of the SMART Prediction Failure check.
Mac Disk Utility
Open the “Finder” and click on “Applications” in the left column, then “Utilities” to access “Disk Utility”.
Once opened, click on your drive – usually the top entry in the left column – to get a SMART status, which will appear as either “Verified” or “Failed.”