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HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

Quick Review

This BIOS feature controls support for the hard disk drive's S.M.A.R.T. (Self Monitoring Analysis And Reporting Technology) capability.

S.M.A.R.T. is supported by all current hard disk drives and it allows the early prediction and warning of impending hard disk drive disasters. You should enable it if you want to use S.M.A.R.T.-aware utilities to monitor the hard disk drive's condition. Enabling it also allows the monitoring of the hard disk drive's condition over a network.

While S.M.A.R.T. looks like a really great safety feature, it isn't really that useful or even necessary for most users. For S.M.A.R.T. to work, it is not just a matter of enabling it in the BIOS. You must also keep a S.M.A.R.T.-aware hardware monitoring utility running in the background all the time.

That's quite alright if the hard disk drive you are using has a spotty reputation and you need advanced warning of any impending failure. However, hard disk drives these days are mostly reliable enough to make S.M.A.R.T. redundant. Unless you are running mission-critical applications, it is very unlikely that S.M.A.R.T. will be of any use at all.

With that said, S.M.A.R.T. is still useful in providing a modicum of data loss prevention by continuously monitoring hard disk drives for signs of impending failure. If you have critical or irreplaceable data, you should enable this BIOS feature and use a S.M.A.R.T.-aware hardware monitoring software. Just don't rely completely on it! Back up your data on a NAS or an external drive!

Please note that even if you do not use any S.M.A.R.T.-aware utility, enabling S.M.A.R.T. in the BIOS uses up some bandwidth because the hard disk drive will continuously send out data packets. In the past, we recommended disabling HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability for better overall performance, but this is no longer significant due to the much higher performance of current hard disk drives.

Some of the newer BIOSes now come with S.M.A.R.T. monitoring support built-in. When you enable HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability, these new BIOSes will automatically check the hard disk drive's S.M.A.R.T. status at boot-up. However, such a feature has very limited utility as it can only tell you the status of the hard disk drive at boot-up. Therefore, it is still recommended that you enable HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability and use a proper S.M.A.R.T.-aware monitoring utility.

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