Home > Data Storage Media > Hard Disk Drive > More Insights to Hard Disk > Hard Drive Smart and Microsoft WM

Hard Disk Myths
Hard Disk Head Crash
Hard Drive Parts by George Hernandez
Hard Disk Smart and Microsoft WM
Hard Disk Password Security Lock

Hard Disk S.M.A.R.T and Microsoft's WMI

S.M.A.R.T. - Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology.

S.M.A.R.T. is a reliability prediction technology that anticipate the failure of a disc drive with sufficient notice to allow a user to back up data prior to a drive's failure. This technology is applied for both IDE and SCSI drives.

Drive architectures are not all the same, S.M.A.R.T. would therefore carries different set of attributes and thresholds for different drive model. Common attributes that degrade over time are identified as:

  • head flying height
  • seek error rate
  • re-allocated sector count
  • spin-up time
  • seek time
  • spin retry count
  • calibration retry count
  • data throughput

However, not all failures are predictable. For example a power surge that damages hard disk electronics is an unpredictable failure. Mechanical failures are usually gradual and predictable, and account for 60 percent of drive failure.

The S.M.A.R.T. system technology of attributes and thresholds is similar in IDE and SCSI with only difference in their reporting manner.

With S.M.A.R.T, manageability and predictive failure capability can be provided through the Microsoft® Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) in Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.

Management applications can take advantage of these capabilities in several ways. Examples include taking an action based on seeing the "Failure Predict Event" launch or periodically polling the condition of "Read Failure Predict Status."

Details of WMI can can found in WMI documentation in the Microsoft Platform SDK.