How to predict hard disk failure in Ubuntu with 3 clicks?

Hard disk is becoming crucial for our data storage in this digital age. We need sophisticated and simple to use tool to predict the failure and also to monitor the health status continuously. SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a standard in Storage Industry to detect and report failures developed internal to the hard disk. Whether it is industry’s ultra latest shining hard disk or cheap hard disk, we don’t want to lose data and then start data recovery. We need a simple to use application which states the condition of hard disk in a hassle free way. Palimpsest is one such disk utility originally developed by Red Hat and became also available in Ubuntu 10.04 as default Disk Manager tool. Let’s see how to use this tool in Ubuntu to know your hard disk status in just 3 mouse clicks. (Click the screenshots below to enlarge).

1. Ubuntu Main Menu -> System -> Administration -> Disk Utility

The application has Disk drives in left pane and Status of the drive in right pane. You can find SMART status also there with its status indicating with Green/Red light indication. In my case it displays that Disk has a few bad sectors.

2. If you want to view a more detailed report, click the SMART Data button below the status as shown in the above screenshot. It will display a detailed report as shown below.

The above screenshot shows that my hard disk has two bad sectors which have been replaced with spare sectors. Since it is common in hard disk internal, it is considered as Warning. When the hard disk runs out of spare sectors, we will really be in big trouble. So this parameter will alert us to take necessary backup.

Apart from this, it shows many other attributes also. You can refer this wiki page for more details of each attribute.

3. If you want to run SMART self test manually at different levels, you can do it by clicking Run self-test button shown in the above screenshot. It will prompt you to select self-test with different depth (which in turn time taken) as shown below.

4. The following screenshot shows the progress bar while running the self-test.

At the end of self-test, it will display the SMART status below the progress bar.

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