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SMART, or Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology, could be indicating a failing hard drive. You may have to take further steps.
Hi, Leo. Today, I ran a driver test from Dell support center and my laptop, six months old, failed the SMART short self test. It passed all the other tests, though. So what do I do now? Should I just ignore this or format my computer? I also want to know what's caused it, because I can neither play high-end games nor download random software.
In this excerpt from Answercast #12, I walk through the purpose and results of a SMART test and suggest preventative measures to take if your computer has failed the test.
SMART stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. It is software that runs on the hard disk controllers: actually, on the hard disks themselves. This SMART technology monitors the health of your hard disk.
If you're facing a SMART failure, then the place to be looking is at your hard disk.
Just reformatting your computer isn't going to solve that. It's actually a failure, or an impending failure, inside the hard disk itself.
What it really means is you want to actually replace the hard disk for safety's sake.
Yes, that's going to involve reformatting the computer after you replace the drive. But the point is that it's not the reformat that's fixing anything; it's replacing the hard disk that does so.
I will say that, particularly on older drives, the SMART Self Test has been known to be somewhat unreliable.
In my case, however, if I face a SMART Self Test failure, I take the safest path and assume that it's accurate; that it's telling me something that I need to know.
In many cases, the absolute safest thing to do is to replace the hard drive that's failing that test.
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