How S.M.A.R.T. are your disks?

GSmartControl is a graphical user interface for smartctl (from Smartmontools package), which is a tool for querying and controlling S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) data on modern hard disk drives. It allows you to inspect the drive's S.M.A.R.T. data to determine its health, as well as run various tests on it.

Alexander Shaduri has done a decent job making a very useful GUI for an otherwise fairly cryptic S.M.A.R.T. attributes. When running GSmartControl you have helpful tips, color coded lines, help built into application, you name it... Few days ago it became available in Debian sid, but you can always visit the official GSmartControl page, download and build it for yourself.

Informative Wikipedia page about S.M.A.R.T. technology
More GSmartControl screenshots

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GSmart works only with

GSmart works only with internal Hard Disk and not with external hard disks.

Portable Hard Drives

I went hunting for something

I went hunting for something to give me a diagnostic on my external HDD - I thought Gsmartcontrol could do that. But it can't recognize my HDD, and when I tell it to re-read the data itgives me an error message:

Device: WD 5000AAJ External Version: 1.06
>> Terminate command early due to bad response to IEC mode page
A mandatory SMART command failed: exiting. To continue, add one or more '-T permissive' options.

Strangeness.

external drives (USB,

external drives (USB, firewire) do not support passing of the SMART commands :(

Try with smartctl tool

You can always try with smartctl itself, gsmartcontrol is only a GUI shell wrapped around smartctl functionality.

Try this: smartctl -P show /dev/sda

And this: smartctl -a /dev/sda