8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2013 11:56 PM by Isamu Kanashiro
Thorzdad Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)

I recently updated my backup plan with a NewerTech quad-interface dock and a WD Caviar Green hd. I'm using the FW800 interface to connect to my iMac (10.6.7) Everything works perfectly, as expected. I noticed, though, that Disk Utility cannot report the SMART status on the new WD drive. DU simply says "Not Supported" under SMART Status.

 

Is Disk Utility telling me that it doesn't read SMART status from external drives? Or is it telling me that the new drive doesn't support SMART (which I would find highly unusual)? And, if it's Disk Utility that can't read the status, are there any third-party apps that can report the SMART status on an external drive?

 

Thanks,

JimC


C2D iMac 21", Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • 1. Re: Can Disk Utility get SMART status from external drives?
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,295 points)
    Or is it telling me that the new drive doesn't support SMART

     

    DU will gladly tell you IF the drive supports it - and many don't. I've owned a number of external drives and haven't had one yet that will......

  • 2. Re: Can Disk Utility get SMART status from external drives?
    Niel Level 10 Level 10 (241,990 points)

    Unless otherwise noted by the drive and/or enclosure, you can't get SMART data from a drive connected through USB or FireWire.

     

    (58729)

  • 3. Re: Can Disk Utility get SMART status from external drives?
    Király Level 6 Level 6 (9,475 points)

    Most hard drives support S.M.A.R.T.

     

    Problem is, most manufacturers of hard drive enclosures do not port S.M.A.R.T. support through to the computer.  In fact I am not aware of any USB or FireWire drives that support it.

     

    If you remove the internal HDD from an external USB or FireWire enclosure and connect it directly to computer's internal SATA bus (only possible on a Mac Pro really) you will likely see that the S.M.A.R.T. reporting works.

  • 4. Re: Can Disk Utility get SMART status from external drives?
    Thorzdad Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)

    Thanks folks.

    While it isn't a traditional enclosure (it's merely a dock) it makes sense that it's treated like a regular Firewire external drive. Bummer. Seems like huge flaw.

  • 5. Re: Can Disk Utility get SMART status from external drives?
    Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (65,505 points)

    The Author of SMARTReporter, which provides SMART information, has this to say in his FAQ:

     

    Q: Why are my FireWire/USB/SCSI based hard disk drives not seen/supported?

    A:

    "Because SMARTReporter relies on the S.M.A.R.T. implementation of Mac OS X, it only supports ATA, SATA or eSATA hard disk drives, if you want S.M.A.R.T. support for your SCSI, FireWire or USB hard disk drive, send feedback to Apple."

    All SCSI and some FireWire/USB hard disk drives could work if Apple implemented S.M.A.R.T. checking for SCSI and FireWire in Mac OS X (SCSI pass-through). Note that some drives could never work if their bridge controller doesn't pass support the necessary features.

  • 6. Re: Can Disk Utility get SMART status from external drives?
    Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (35,280 points)

    That's only part of the problem. The other half of the problem is there is no standard for supporting SMART over USB/FW/SCSI. Different manufacturers use different methods.

    So, along with sending feedback to Apple, send feedback to all the drive/enclosure/controller manufacturers to accept one standard.

  • 7. Re: Can Disk Utility get SMART status from external drives?
    PolyCode Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately I cannot speak to the NewerTech enclosure, but in principle it appears to be possible to have SMART information displayed even for external drives if the enclosure's bridge controller chip allows it.

     

     

    My experience:

     

     

    I've used two MacPower Pleiades FW800/400/USB/eSATA enclosures for several years and I've now supplemented them with two additional inXtron enclosures. They all work as expected daisy-chained to the iMac.

     

     

    The interesting thing is that the inXtron enclosures came with a CD with some software on it ("Smart AP") which is not available for download, notably a Dashboard Widget for displaying actual and maximum temperatures, total hours of operation, start/stop cycles, drive model and serial number.

     

     

    This widget is complete garbage, though – it is a nauseating nightmare of extreme over-design at the expense of even basic usability:

    http://www.inxtron.com/information-center/smart-ap-for-external-hard-drives

     

     

    To make matters even worse, it can only display the above information for the first external drive connected.

     

     

    BUT: This Widget internally calls a command line utility which does the actual parameter retrieval, and that one can be called from the terminal as well.

     

     

    So after installing the software from CD and effectively discarding the Widget, I checked out the command line utility in the Terminal and found that this utility actually reported data about ALL my enclosures, both the inXtron and the MacPower ones (there seems to be firmware compatibility across these):

     

     

    (The '$' is supposed to be Terminal's bash prompt – type in only the rest of the respective line.)

     

     

    $ /Applications/MacpowerAP/GetSMART 1

    29 50 13 8

    53 67 645 15829

    52 53 90 7105

    51 52 18 13

     

     

    Each line reports the following for one connected enclosure:

    [temp] [maxtemp] [cycles] [hours]

     

     

    The drives are reported first USB, then FireWire drives, each in the order of first connection / mounting.

     

     

     

     

    $ /Applications/MacpowerAP/GetSMART 2

    WD-WCA**************

    WDC WD30EZRX-00MMMB0

    5TE09***************

    ST31000333AS-00MMMB0

    5TE09***************

    ST31000333AS-00MMMB0

    WD-WMA**************

    WDC WD30EZRS-00J99B0

     

     

    Each drive gets two lines reported, first the drive's serial number ("***" blocking out my exact ones), then the drive model.

     

     

     

     

    $ /Applications/MacpowerAP/GetSMART 3

    29 50 13 8

    WD-WCA**************

    WDC WD30EZRX-00MMMB0

    53 67 645 15829

    5TE09***************

    ST31000333AS-00MMMB0

    52 53 90 7105

    5TE09***************

    ST31000333AS-00MMMB0

    51 52 18 13

    WD-WMA**************

    WDC WD30EZRS-00J99B0

     

     

    This combines both of the above.

     

     

     

     

    $ /Applications/MacpowerAP/GetSMART 5

    disk4

    disk1

    disk2

    disk3

     

     

    This reports the mounted disk names (referring not to the volume names but to the internal Unix names as in /dev/[drive]); Numbering is in connection / mounting order, the actual sequence is as always USB drives, then FireWire drives.

     

     

     

     

    $ /Applications/MacpowerAP/GetSMART 6

    USB

    1394

    1394

    1394

     

     

    This reports the connection interface for each drive in the same sequence as all other commands.

     

     

     

     

    $ /Applications/MacpowerAP/GetSMART 7

    MPT934DS1.20.0104.00

     

     

     

     

    MPT934DS1.20.0104.00

     

     

    This might report the firmware revision or something like that.

     

     

     

     

    These are the commands I know about, and they apply only to the "Smart AP" software supplied with current inXtron enclosures, but it may be possible that other brands use it as well.

     

     

    I have not been able to identify information about the self-test (early(?) failure warning), but it might be contained as well in the data reported above.

     

     

    As always, your mileage may vary and you should never do such experiments without FIRST making sure you've got backups of your data and that such backup is not connected during experimentation!

     

     

    Maybe this can help some people getting the information they need; And maybe there are similar capabilities with other enclosures. At the very least it demonstrates that with the proper firmware in the enclosures themselves and some software on the Mac it IS possible to get at least some of the SMART information from the drive in an external FireWire- or USB-connected enclosure.

     

     

    None of that is fed into the system's "official" SMART mechanism, though, so no luck using standard mechanisms or applications for it. It's strictly a command-line affair (deservedly disregarding the mishappen Widget).

     

     

    Good luck!

  • 8. Re: Can Disk Utility get SMART status from external drives?
    Isamu Kanashiro Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I tested yesterday SATSMARTDriver-0.5 (Mac OS X 10.6.8 and Lacie D2 FW800 and USB 2.0 external Drive) and works perfect!