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Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows 
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Post # 292638
Post Re: Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows
JimC wrote:
Did you try using the correct case for the options with with smartctl (it looked like you were looking at vendor specific attributes like you'd get with smartctl -A /dev/sda, versus all attributes like you'd get using smartctl -a /dev/sda). IOW, it looks like you were probably checking using a capital A (which is not going to show you all attributes).

Use a small -a to see all attributes like this (substituting the drive you want to check in place of /dev/sda)

su
smartctl -a /dev/sda

I tried the following:

smartctl -a /dev/sdb
smartctl -A /dev/sdb
smartctl --all /dev/sdb

I get the same vendor-specific results from all of the above, without ID #193.

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Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:51 am
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Post # 292639
Post Re: Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows
Very odd.

I guess it's possible your drives don't support the same attributes. But, the WD drives I'm using right this minute report that attribute.

It looks like the smartcl utility I'm using is probably the one installed with the smartmontools package (as I see one of the files it installs is /usr/sbin/smartctl when I look at the installed files tab for smartmontools in synaptic).

This is the version of the smartmontools package that I see installed now when I look at installed packages in Synaptic (it's the one from the Debian Stable repo and the only version I see listed under the Versions Tab for it in my systems):

smartmontools 5.39.1+svn3124-2

So, you may want to try installing (or reinstalling) smartmontools just for giggles in case you're using a version of smartctl from somewhere else that isn't playing nice with your drives, or missing something it needs for reporting all of the attributes.

I've got a stack of other drives I can check, too (including some WD 320GB drives as well as some larger 1TB Seagate drives). So, if I get a chance, I'll plug some of them into a USB Docking station I use and see what they report.


Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:11 am
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Post # 292643
Post Re: Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows
JimC wrote:
I've got a stack of other drives I can check, too (including some WD 320GB drives as well as some larger 1TB Seagate drives). So, if I get a chance, I'll plug some of them into a USB Docking station I use and see what they report.


I just checked some more drives. I had to do it like this before they reported correctly plugged into a USB Attached Docking station that shows up as /dev/sdc (so that it would know to use sata type commands to retrieve the data).

su
smartctl -a -d sat /dev/sdc

The Western Digital report attribute 193 (load cycle count). For example, both of these 3.5" (Desktop) SATA Drives report it (just like the 120GB 2.5" WD Scorpio Blue drive in my wife's laptop does).

320GB WD Caviar Blue (WDC WD3200AAKS-75VYA0)
640GB WD Caviar Green (WDC WD6400AARS-00Y5B1)

The Seagate Drives I checked do not report it. I just checked these two 3.5" (Desktop) SATA Drives:

320GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (ST3320418AS)
1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (ST31000528AS)

The Seagates do have some interesting attributes for other things like "Head Flying Hours". But, I don't know how to interpret the values for them and it looks like the Seagate drives do not report Load Cycle Count.


Last edited by JimC on Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:13 pm
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Post # 292644
Post Re: Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows
just for info my Seagate Momentus 5400.6 does report attribute 193.It must be model specific.

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Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:24 pm

richb thanked by: joany
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Post # 292645
Post Re: Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows
I guess so (model specific with Seagates if you're seeing one report it). Laptop drives are designed to be more energy efficient compared to desktop drives. So, it would make sense that an attribute like that would be more important for them. I'd be curious if the 5900rpm Seagate "Green" desktop drives report it or not, too. But, I don't have one of them to check (as the only Seagates I have are 7200rpm 3.5" Barracuda Desktop drives).


Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:27 pm

JimC thanked by: joany
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Post # 292671
Post Re: Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows
Yes, it is model specific and all this chat about different results is good, but I could have filled in some of the blanks long ago.

First, try using gsmartcontrol, it's a guified way of using smartctl and it rocks, giving extensive feedback on attributes when you hover your mouse over each line.

Older drives will have less fields supported, newer drives will likely have more, but not all drives will report every field absolutely correctly.

Example, the way smartctl interprets a value from the manufacturers tables for a specific field may simply be incorrect for that drive make, model and version. Example, I had a drive that showed a power on time that would place it's manufacture in the mid 1900's, which we all know is not possible and my laptops HDD, which is 6 months old is showing 65535 start/stop counts, as it has from the day I installed it.

Simply put, smartctl will give a good general impression, though not always 100% accurate in every field because not all manufacturers follow an exact prescribed pattern for how their drives record data in each field and they have been known to add their own tweaks which can only be interpreted by their own proprietary toolset.

Mike P


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Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:59 pm

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Post # 292677
Post Re: Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows
Nice tip m_pav and a good app to have in the toolbox.

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Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:39 pm
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Post # 292717
Post Re: Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows
m_pav wrote:
Simply put, smartctl will give a good general impression, though not always 100% accurate in every field because not all manufacturers follow an exact prescribed pattern for how their drives record data in each field and they have been known to add their own tweaks which can only be interpreted by their own proprietary toolset.


Seagate is a prime example: Their S.M.A.R.T. values for "seek error rate(s)" is always in the gazillions. But the number is meaningless when trying to diagnose a drive.


Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:56 pm

qtech thanked by: joany
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Post # 292768
Post Re: Hard Disk Drive Longevity with Linux vs Windows
qtech wrote:
Seagate is a prime example: Their S.M.A.R.T. values for "seek error rate(s)" is always in the gazillions. But the number is meaningless when trying to diagnose a drive.

That makes me feel a whole lot better. Thank you!

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Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:52 am
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