What do I do if a S.M.A.R.T. failure happens?
You receive a message that “S.M.A.R.T. failure detected” or the message about impending hard drive failure on one of your drives. So, what’s the next step?
Try to avoid cycling the power on your PC. This is because the on-off power cycle puts the greatest amount of stress on disk drives, and it is possible your drive may not start up again after spinning down.
Please note that not all S.M.A.R.T. events are critical. Some of them are just for informational purposes. One example would be Drive Temperature. Another might be Power-On Hours (the length of time the drive has been used since it was new, in hours).
First, make a backup copy of your important data from the failing drive. After that you can try to find out what exactly happened with the drive – maybe it’s not necessary yet to replace it. Sometimes you only have a few hours. Other times the drive will keep working properly for weeks or months. If your drive is sophisticated enough to report detailed diagnostic information then Active SMART will display it. Run Active SMART and it will show you any indications of an upcoming S.M.A.R.T. failure.
Download ActiveSMART and monitor your hard drive for S.M.A.R.T. failure
Look at ActiveSMART screenshot below:
The screenshot of Active SMART. In case of pending S.M.A.R.T. drive failure, Active SMART shows your drive’s problem.
Highlighted is a bad attribute – Raw Read Error Rate. This means, that the drive surface is deteriorating, and the amount of errors during reading has exceeded an acceptable number of errors. Brand new drives can have errors, so that alone is not indicative of a problem—new drives can compensate for a number of errors. When the drive exceeds parameters determined by the factory, that’s when you want Active SMART to warn you.
Active SMART highlights such attributes in red and shows the “BAD” mark near its value.
If you see attributes with “BAD” marks, then something is going wrong with your drive.
In this event, make a backup of your important data to a different location right away, and then contact Ariolic Technical Support – sometimes we can give you a very good indication of whether your disk will last for hours, days, or even weeks. If all attributes are listed with an “OK” status – very likely your hard drive is also OK.