Understanding smartctl -a output

Ze'ev asked:

I have 6 drives in a NAS box. Two of them are Seagates, and they return high RAW_VALUES for errors; see below.

My other drives show far lower values.

Is this cause for alarm? Or just the way Seagates report?

Look at Raw_Read_Error_Rate and Seek_Error_Rate:

# smartctl -a /dev/ada1
=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Device Model:     ST3000DM001-9YN166
Serial Number:    W1F09S26
LU WWN Device Id: 5 000c50 0456076fc
Firmware Version: CC4C
User Capacity:    3,000,592,982,016 bytes [3.00 TB]
Sector Sizes:     512 bytes logical, 4096 bytes physical
Device is:        Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  ATA-8-ACS revision 4
Local Time is:    Sat Aug 18 17:34:24 2012 EDT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x82) Offline data collection activity
                    was completed without error.
                    Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status:      ( 249) Self-test routine in progress...
                    90% of test remaining.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection:        (  575) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities:            (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
                    Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
                    Suspend Offline collection upon new
                    command.
                    Offline surface scan supported.
                    Self-test supported.
                    Conveyance Self-test supported.
                    Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003) Saves SMART data before entering
                    power-saving mode.
                    Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01) Error logging supported.
                    General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine 
recommended polling time:    (   1) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time:    ( 255) minutes.
Conveyance self-test routine
recommended polling time:    (   2) minutes.
SCT capabilities:          (0x3085) SCT Status supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 10
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x000f   111   099   006    Pre-fail  Always       -       34053632
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0003   093   092   000    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   100   100   020    Old_age   Always       -       32
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   100   100   036    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000f   060   055   030    Pre-fail  Always       -       21480133713
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   097   097   000    Old_age   Always       -       2696
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0013   100   100   097    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   020    Old_age   Always       -       32
183 Runtime_Bad_Block       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
184 End-to-End_Error        0x0032   100   100   099    Old_age   Always       -       0
187 Reported_Uncorrect      0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
188 Command_Timeout         0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
189 High_Fly_Writes         0x003a   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
190 Airflow_Temperature_Cel 0x0022   064   061   045    Old_age   Always       -       36 (Min/Max 34/38)
191 G-Sense_Error_Rate      0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       28
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       63
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   036   040   000    Old_age   Always       -       36 (0 19 0 0)
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0012   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0010   100   100   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x003e   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
240 Head_Flying_Hours       0x0000   100   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -       43748536879750
241 Total_LBAs_Written      0x0000   100   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -       2867098636991
242 Total_LBAs_Read         0x0000   100   253   000    Old_age   Offline      -       17478042509157

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Extended offline    Self-test routine in progress 90%      2696         -

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
 SPAN  MIN_LBA  MAX_LBA  CURRENT_TEST_STATUS
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.

My answer:


Every Seagate drive I’ve ever seen reports bizarre raw values for those two fields.

One thing you can do is the same thing the utility (and drive) does internally: check the normalized value against the threshold value. When the value drops to the threshold, the attribute will report as failing (or failed).

Another thing you can do is never buy another Seagate drive. I went this route, and I won’t buy another until they learn to write firmware.


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