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Old 08-27-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
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Question Question about SMART analysis "pre-failure" attribute

Hi there,

I'm fairly new with Linux - I'm running Ubuntu - and for the past week I've been having a hard time trying to fix my computer.

I took my computer into Bestbuy the other day to figure out what the issues that I was having were originating from - the woman at the Geek Squad told me that the issue was either with my Motherboard or my Hard Drive, so for the past 2-3 days I've been running tests on my computer trying to tell whether I need a new Hard Drive or new computer altogether.

I found out about SMART analysis and used it to view my HDD trying to figure out whether if I need a new hard drive - according to the SMART attributes - a lot of my issues say either Pre-failure or Old age,

what is Pre-failure?
Old 08-27-2011, 06:12 PM   #2
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It just means that your drive is getting to the point where the manufacturer says a failure is likely. It doesn't mean you will actually have a failure, but it usually isn't a great sign either. It sounds like this is a fairly old drive, so it could be an issue.

To really test the drive, get the official drive diagnostics from whatever your HDD manufacturer is, and run that on the drive a few times on the highest detail/sensitivity level it provides. This will generally scan the entire physical structure of the drive, which is going to take quite awhile most likely, but should reveal the fault fairly simply.
Old 08-27-2011, 06:16 PM   #3
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Is there any way to tell whether my Motherboard is the issue?
Old 08-28-2011, 11:11 AM   #4
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You might also want to take a look at the smartctl manpage, this paragraph in particular [emphasis mine].
The Attribute table printed out by smartctl also shows the "TYPE" of the Attribute. Attributes are one of two possible types: Pre-failure or Old age. Pre-failure Attributes are ones which, if less than or equal to their threshold values, indicate pending disk failure. Old age, or usage Attributes, are ones which indicate end-of-product life from old-age or normal aging and wearout, if the Attribute value is less than or equal to the threshold. Please note: the fact that an Attribute is of type ’Pre-fail’ does not mean that your disk is about to fail! It only has this meaning if the Attribute´s current Normalized value is less than or equal to the threshold value.


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