Hard disk drives are a mechanical part of your computer system. As such, they are more likely to fail than a solid state processor, video card or stick of RAM. Typical HDD failures can include failure of the spindle motor or bearings causing excessive heat or noise, head assembly failures including improper flying height, head contamination, media degradation etc.
S.M.A.R.T. or Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology was introduced into most modern hard drives to help detect and predict these failures. Of cause not all hard drive failures are predictable. Catastrophic events such as electronic component failure etc can occur however the majority of failures occur from the HDD deteriorating over time.
MS Windows do not monitor HDDs for failures. BIOS can detect a failure, but only when a threshold is exceeded on the drive. Third party applications exist to periodically monitor the drive and predict the failure date, however these applications cost money and are required to be installed on the computer.
Smart and Simple on the other hands is just that. Itís a simple command line utility to read back the SMART attributes from a HDD while in service. Itís a single 31kb executable which can be carried with you on a floppy disk, giving you a quick indication of the health of any disk drive without the burden of installing a sizeable application.
To use SMART & Simple is easy. To interrogate the parameters for drive C:, simply run
C:\>smart.exe SMART & Simple for Windows NT/2000/XP Copyright 2001-2003 Craig.Peacock@beyondlogic.org Opened Drive \\.\C: . . SMART Enabled : Yes Model Number : WDC WD800JB-00CRA1 Firmware Version : 17.07W17 Serial Number : WD-WMA8E2668332 Drive Size : 80.026 GB ID Attribute Type Threshold Value Worst Raw Status ---- -------------------------- ----- --------- ----- ----- ---------- --------  Raw Read Error Rate Prefailure 51 200 200 0 OK  Spin Up Time Prefailure 21 98 94 4191 OK  Start/Stop Count Advisory 40 99 99 1008 OK  Reallocated Sector Count Prefailure 140 200 200 0 OK  Seek Error Rate Prefailure 51 200 200 0 OK  Power On Hours Count Advisory 0 98 98 1650 OK [0A] Spin Retry Count Prefailure 51 100 100 0 OK [0B] Calibration Retry Count Prefailure 51 100 100 0 OK [0C] Power Cycle Count Advisory 0 100 100 973 OK [C4] Re-Allocated Data Count Advisory 0 200 200 0 OK [C5] Pending Sector Count Advisory 0 200 200 0 OK [C6] UnCorrectable Sector Count Advisory 0 200 200 0 OK [C7] CRC Error Count Advisory 0 200 253 0 OK [C8] Write Error Rate Prefailure 51 200 200 0 OKIf you need to interogate a physical drive other than C:, the drive can be specified as a argument on the command line. e.g.
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