My system reported a S.M.A.R.T. error on the drive

Explains what SMART alerts and errors mean and what you should do next.

You may find that your system reports that a S.M.A.R.T. error has occurred on the hard drive.  S.M.A.R.T. errors are a near-term prediction of drive failure.  It is important to realize that the drive may appear to be functioning normally.  Even some diagnostic tests could still have a PASS status.  A S.M.A.R.T. error is a prediction that the diagnostic test will soon fail.

The system will report an error when a S.M.A.R.T. threshold has been met.  The drive monitors several kinds of performance areas.  A few of these areas include read retries (meaning data wasn't read correctly the first time), slow spin up, high temperature, and excessive bad sector.  The specifics of these thresholds are not made publicly available and can differ between designs. Different drive manufacturers will have different S.M.A.R.T. specifications and thresholds as well.

A system S.M.A.R.T. error means you should backup your data as soon as possible and maintain consistent backups.  

A S.M.A.R.T. warning based on excessive average temperature is common, and can sometimes be fixed by improving ventilation.  First, check to see if your system has adequate ventilation and that all fans are in good working order.  If you find and fix a ventilation problem and the average temperature drops to a normal range, then the S.M.A.R.T. error may disappear.

Otherwise, when a disk drive issues a S.M.A.R.T. error there are no methods to repair the underlying problem, whatever it is.  If the drive is under warranty, this is a valid reason to consider a replacement.  Additionally, you download and run the SeaTools diagnostic test. SeaTools is able to test the S.M.A.R.T. parameters along with several other separate tests, allowing a complete hard disk health check.

Some drives, such as Solid State Drives (SSDs), include additional S.M.A.R.T. fields that some manufacturers' BIOS's cannot interpret correctly.  This may be remedied by going to the computer or motherboard manufacturer's website to check for an update for the computer's BIOS.  If no update is available, or the update does not resolve the S.M.A.R.T. errors after SeaTools passes the drive, please consult with your computer or motherboard manufacturer for instructions to disable S.M.A.R.T. tests in the BIOS.

If a SeaTools test generates an error, that means the drive will need to be replaced. For more information on warranty replacement please visit the Warranty Services Page.