9636: S.M.A.R.T. Monitoring

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Last update: 28-05-2010

General description of S.M.A.R.T. monitoring


If you see this article when trying to obtain information on a S.M.A.R.T. parameter from a Disks page in Acronis Drive Monitor interface, that means the requested attribute’s description is not in our Knowledge Base yet. This article contains general information about S.M.A.R.T. monitoring.


S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a monitoring technology supported by most of the modern hard drives. With this technology different internal and external problems of a disk (such as a number of bad blocks, increasing number of errors or start/stop cycles, rising airflow temperature, and so on) may be monitored and reported to the user in good time. Some of the electro-mechanical problems reported by S.M.A.R.T. may lead to an imminent hard drive failure and data loss. Other parameters informs about potential problems with a disk in the future and do not require immediate actions to be taken.

Statistically S.M.A.R.T. can predict more than a half of all hard drive failures, which makes this technology a reliable source of information about current hard disk state. But anyway, such monitoring does not substitute the necessity of keeping up-to-date backups for your data. Such backup archives will protect you from crucial data loss in case of logical corruption, physical damaging, destroying or even loosing the hardware, which cannot be predicted by any kind of monitoring.

S.M.A.R.T. parameters describe specific aspects of the hard disk state – surface damages, read/write errors, problems with electro-mechanical components, etc. When a value of a parameter considered critical decreases, a disk failure probability raises up to 30 times. This means a crash may happen in a near future and you need an urgent hardware replacement to avoid crucial data loss.

Each hardware manufacturer supports its own set of S.M.A.R.T. parameters, which may also differ from one disk model to another.

All S.M.A.R.T. parameters have a number of values, and the most significant of them are:

  • Raw value has a vendor specified format. Some parameters’ raw values are used by Acronis Drive Monitor for calculating disk health. See Acronis Drive Monitor: Disk Health Calculation;
  • Normalized value is converted by manufacturer and ranges from 1 to 253. This value is gradually decreasing during the life time of the disk. When the normalized value goes below a threshold (if specified), it is usually considered as a potentially dangerous situation (warning);
  • Threshold is the lowest acceptable value for a S.M.A.R.T. parameter set by a manufacturer. For some parameters this value may not be set. When a value of the parameter goes lower, than a Threshold, this indicates that a hard disk is in a critical condition and should be replaced, and you should urgently concern data to be protected. This is a Threshold Exceeded Condition situation, so such a disk may be returned to a manufacturer under warranty.

To view the details of the required disk in Acronis Drive Monitor, you need to select it from the list and open S.M.A.R.T. parameters tab.

When a hard disk does not experience any serious problems and its health is 100%, Acronis Drive Monitor will report OK statuses, marked in green.

In case any of S.M.A.R.T. parameters report Warning or Critical statuses, you will see them marked in yellow and red respectively:

More information

See also Acronis Drive Monitor.