View Full Version : Failing Drive?

Chris Billington
01-25-2008, 12:01 PM
Hi Folks.
Opened Disc Utility this morning and was surprised to see that the SMART status of the second drive on my G5 PPC was flagged as 'Failing' (pretty red lettering no less). Leopard Cache Cleaner gave the same warning. This drive is partitioned into 2 volumes, one for an onboard bootable back-up (kept current) and the second partition for Photoshop Elements scratch files. I also have one of the Burly firewire enclosures for a second back-up location (also current). I promptly ordered a new drive (from MacGurus of course) and then on impulse restarted and checked Disc Utility. It is not showing the failing warning now. I think I should change out that drive anyway.

Here's the dumb part. Both current onboard drives are the same brand and size. How do I tell which one is the dud?!!? I foresee some mucking around removing one and seeing if the rig starts up (given the drive still runs) and then maybe putting that drive back and removing the other. Grrrrr. I need to start labelling drives as I install them.... date and on screen ID or maybe a spot of coloured paint or something. I do learn by making mistakes, especially with little things like this. D'oh..........!!!!!

Onward as always.
CB :o :o :o

01-25-2008, 01:24 PM
Did you write zero's to it/them? (drives) Should test the drives integrity or kill it. :weeskull:

Chris Billington
01-25-2008, 01:44 PM
No. I haven't done that.

So the question will be....
Does 'Failing' as far as SMART status is concerned mean mechanical (so to speak) or to do with it's capability to handle data?
I know. Dead is useless, but I would like to know what is actually happening so far as it's possible.

Would it be smart (heh heh) to do that now and risk killing it before the new drive arrives?

CB :( :confused: :(

01-25-2008, 02:16 PM
Not sure on that. I've never seen that SMART message. Hang on someone else will have better advice. ;)

Chris Billington
01-25-2008, 02:20 PM
I'm hanging.
CB :cool:

01-25-2008, 04:21 PM
Most HDs can have up to 30 or more attributes that SMART checks for. Some might be unimportant to you but they are all there for a reason.

Many years ago I got a SMART warning. Fortunately I was able to back it up before it mechanically failed. Even tho it was only a data drive and not a boot drive, the drive's final failure prevented me from booting. All I had to do was open the Mac up and disconnect the Molex power plug. Then the Mac would boot. k

Chris Billington
01-25-2008, 04:29 PM
Main backed up...... So long as this dicky drive is the one I think it is, it's the oldest and I think it's in the lower bay. So I'm not grieved about it failing exactly. Thanks for the info about the SMART checks. I had to ask. Amazingly I just got the notification that the drive I ordered a couple of hours ago has shipped. "Thank you!" Rick and Co. Top of the line service again.

More Onward and Further......................
CB :xphat: :dance: :xphat:

01-25-2008, 04:34 PM
Disk Utility will tell you if the failing drive is in the upper or lower drive bay


Chris Billington
01-25-2008, 04:41 PM
Amazing! Thanks Damien. It sure does........ There is a good reason why I ask my questions here. I always learn something however mundane or esoteric the problem.

CB :dance: :dance: :dance:

01-25-2008, 08:18 PM
Glad to help :dance:

01-25-2008, 08:22 PM
Just wanted to add that from what I have read, there are almost never false alarms with SMART warnings, and that you should not assume the drive will last long.

As you have done.........get it backed up quick, and replace it. Good job.