Monday, October 12, 2009

"SMART Threshold Exceeded" warning

A "SMART Threshold Exceeded" warning appears after startup of your PC.

What is T.E.C. ("Threshold Exceeded Condition")?

T.E.C. is "Threshold Exceeded Condition" and basically it means a disk failure.
Disk drives have spare sectors that can be used to reallocate sectors 
that go bad during normal operation.  If you are getting 
that message (SMART Threshold Exceeded) on your drive, then more sectors have been 
reallocated than are recommended by the disk drive manufacturer.

What to do?
It is possible that you will not see that message again, and it will 
work fine from now on.  But it is more likely that eventually that drive
 will stop working completely. During the time the drive is not working,
 your redundant RAID array will be degraded.  So we recommend replacing 
that disk drive.  If the disk drive is under warrantly, you can send it
 to the manufacturer for replacement or repair.  Contact the manufacturer 
of your disk drive for their RMA policy.

Utility to check your drive for T.E.C.
Download DiskCheckup to monitor the SMART attributes of a particular hard disk drive. SMART (Self Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology ) is an interface between a computer's BIOS (basic input/output system) and the computer hard disk. It is a feature of the Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics (EIDE) technology that controls access to the hard drive. If S.M.A.R.T is enabled when a computer is set up, the BIOS can receive analytical information from the hard drive and determine whether to send the user a warning message about possible future failure of the hard drive.

SMART monitors elements of possible long term drive failure, such as 'Spin Up Time', the number of start/stops, the number of hours powered on and the hard disk temperature.

DiskCheckup displays the current values of the SMART attributes, along with the Threshold value for that attribute. If any attribute value is close to or below the threshold, the drive is no longer reliable and should be replaced.
Note that SMART attributes change slowly over time and are helpful attempts to diagnose the life span of a particular drive. DiskCheckup monitors these changes over a long period and predict the date (if available) of the Threshold Exceed Condition (TEC), which is displayed on the main window.

DiskCheckup also displays some additional drive information, such as the drive serial number, model number, firmware version, device capacity, partition capacities, the number of cylinders, tracks, the sectors per track.

E-mail notification when Threshold Exceed Condition detected
DiskCheckup can be configured to perform e-mail notification when a SMART attribute has been detected to be less than the allowable threshold value. Such threshold values are determined by the hard disk manufacturer. For a drive to be considered "good", all the SMART attributes must be above these values. Different SMART attributes have different threshold values.

Hardware RAID and SCSI are not supported. But dynamic disks (software RAID) are supported. The majority of drives connected via USB and Firewire are not supported. (The protocol bridge between the USD and ATA protocols doesn't seem to support SMART data).

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