All modern hard drives keep SMART information which can be used to quickly tell if a hard drive has had any reliability events so far during its life.
The attached utility will gather information from all SATA hard drives in a system and generate an output file (OUTPUT.TXT by default).
For example: SGT P1103083599 to save the output as P1103083599.TXT
Then examine the file to look at the drive health, looking at the RAW_VALUE columns.
If its a traditional mechanical hard drive:
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count 223 Load_Retry_Count
If its a Solid State Drive (SSD):
If the drive shows perfect health (i.e. zero for all of the above values, except for the total number of blocks written (241 Total_LBAs_Written)) then it is likely to be a drive in good working order. If the drive has problems, run the manufacturer's dianostic test to see if it has reached the manufacturer's failure threshold, which could be lower than the drives overall "SMART failure" threshold.
The table below illustrates the possible differences between a drive that could pass SMART but fail the manufacturer's test (50 reallocated sectors in the example) or it may pass the manufacturer's test but have definite problems and will likely fail (20 reallocated sectors in the example).
|Number of Reallocated Sectors||Drive Health|
|1||The drive has experienced a problem but the user is unlikely to be impacted.|
|20||Drive is failing. It is likely to be slow and the user may be impacted.|
|Drive may now fail the manufacturer's test.|
|Drive now fails its own SMART failure threshold and the BIOS will display a SMART warning, if supported.|
The SMART Gather tool can only get SMART information from drives connected to non-RAID controllers. RAID controllers and some USB adapters prevent hard drives from being accessed directly. However, if you have replaced a SATA drive in a RAID array you can still verify that a drive was genuinely faulty by then connecting the drive as a second drive in a PC system, and then running SGT.
The Stone Smart Gather Tool is based upon Smartmontools.