Enabling SMART

 Recently I bought a Hitachi Deskstar HD-250 GB,SATA-300.It also has a SMART support.
But in BIOS setup (towards the end of POST routine) I see that SMART...disabled.
I also have a utility that I downloaded from Hitachi web site.It runs in DOS and its a bootable disk.
It shows SMART as disabled,it allows me to enable it and then after the reboot...same story.Disabled in BIOS and then it also appears disabled in that Hitachi utility.That utility is called a Fitness Test or something like that.I read somewhere online that everything is OK and that in Windows SMART is enabled and its disabled in BIOS to avoid a conflict.Is it so?
When I run in Windows HD Tune I see all the SMART parameters of the drive.
I also read somewhere online that its best to keep SMART on disable because it allegedly makes the drive work a little bit slower.Is it true?
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
SMART stands for - Self Monitoring And Reporting Technology.
Basically if this is turned off, then you will never get advised about imminent disk failure.  Personally I would rather know my disk is about to die so that I can do something about it before it dies.
If you prefer to know, enable it, otherwise, leave it disabled.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
In terms of making the drive a little slower - it is a trade off - lose your data or have a slightly slower disk (if that is true).  It's your call, but I know which way I would go.
all you want to know about SMART :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Monitoring,_Analysis,_and_Reporting_Technology

i would turn it on ! (in the bios)
if it does reset in the bios, it can be a disk problem, or you may need a bios update
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updating BIOS firmware in pc would solve problem.

if this is SMART available in HDD, so it can help
abrodskiAuthor Commented:
I had my BIOS updated and it didn't help at all.
I don't have an option in BIOS to tweak SMART.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
You should only have an On / Off option or Enable / Disable.  No tweaking usually available.
many bios do not have the option to change it; normally turned on always.
if you have an older mobo, that may not have smart options at all !
abrodskiAuthor Commented:
Like I said before,my BIOS is updated and it does NOT include ANYTHING related to SMART.
My mobo is about 4 yo.It's Gigabyte Socket 939 GA-K8NMF-9 nVidia nForce4-4X.
I'm assuming that SMART is turned on because in Windows utulities like HD Tune have access to all SMART features and info.Maybe it's the same as disabling USB Mouse support in BIOS Setup...but still ,in Windows environment USB mouse works fine (even during Windows installation process).
It shows that just because something is disabled in BIOS,or actually to say it better when a BIOS DOS driver is in disabled mode,Windows apps can still communicate directly with hardware by using Windows VxD drivers.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
You have no SMART support on your motherboard at all, which is why it is showing up as Disabled.  Nothing you can do apart from updating your motherboard to one that support SMART, or accept that there is nothing you can do and not worry about it.
Your motherboard does however support RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Devices), which if you install/setup two identical disks in a RAID 1 configuration (Disk Mirroring), will offer you immediate redundancy if one disk decides to fail as the data is duplicated (mirrored) to the other disk.
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
The latest BIOS os F10E - what version are you on?
abrodskiAuthor Commented:
I think I have that version...So if my mobo doesn't support SMART,then how come I can easily use HD Tune utility which shows drive's temperature,all the SMART parametrs and why I CAN enable SMART by using Hitachi tool?
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
I read through the manual for your MoBo and no mention of anything SMART apart from SMART Fans.
The utility on the Hitachi website says: http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT
Includes Utilities
  • Drive information.
  • SMART operations for supported hard disk drives.
So the HDD supports SMART and the software can utilise the SMART info from the HDD, but your MoBo does not support SMART in the BIOS.
The HD Tune utility is reading the SMART info from the HDD.
From the HD Tune Website: http://www.hdtune.com/
HD Tune is a Hard Disk utility which has the following functions:
  • Benchmark: measures the performance
  • Info: shows detailed information
  • Health: checks the health status by using SMART Error
  • Scan: scans the surface for errors
  • Temperature display
So basically, you have software giving you SMART info - just none in BIOS so that when you boot up the computer, you won't get warned about impending  failures unless you are running the software.
I would make sure the HD Tune or the Drive utilities are always running by adding them to the Startup group so that they launch without you having to remember.

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