Thursday, January 14, 2010

How to check the Hard Disk performance and health on Debian Systems

Proberbility of faliurs are high on the HDD is the highest because of the highest active part of a computer.Therefore it is better to keep a eye on that. Following are some of the ways we can check the HDD performance.

sudo apt-get install smartmontools

Get HDD info
smartctl -i /dev/sda

Model Family: Hitachi Travelstar 7K100
Device Model: Hitachi HTS721060G9SA00
Serial Number: MPCC12Y3GUPARE
Firmware Version: MC3OC10H
User Capacity: 60,011,642,880 bytes
Device is: In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is: 7
ATA Standard is: ATA/ATAPI-7 T13 1532D revision 1
Local Time is: Thu Jan 14 19:54:34 2010 MVT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

Note ATA Verstion 8 is SATA HDD and 7 is IDE

General overall HDD health

smartctl -H /dev/sda

smartctl version 5.38 [i686-pc-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen
Home page is

SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

If its not "PASSED" there is a problem with the HDD and take the nessery actions ASAP.

If you want to take a detail out put use following command to see short-selftest and long self-test
time taken

smartctl -c /dev/sda

Short self-test routine
recommended polling time: ( 2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time: ( 35) minutes.

Then run the short or extended self tests as follows

smartctl -t short /dev/sda
smartctl -l selftest /dev/sda

then check the self tests results

smartctl -t long /dev/sda

Check the disk temprature

smartctl -A /dev/sda | grep Temp

194 Temperature_Celsius 0x0002 103 103 000 Old_age Always - 53 (Lifetime Min/Max 19/66)

or use following tool

apt-get install hddtemp
hddtemp /dev/sda

If the temprature goes above 60 you may want to change the HDD soon.

Check HDD Speed

hdparm -tT /dev/sda


  1. the above tips for checking hard disk performance is nice and i follow it
    250gb external hard disk

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