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When I plug in a external USB drive and want to check its S.M.A.R.T. status in Disk Utility (palimpsest) I cannot because the option is greyed out. Is there an option somewhere to enable this feature? It works fine for internal IDE/SATA drives.

I know the USB drive supports S.M.A.R.T. because I can use smartmontools and front end GSmartControl to get the information, but I'd rather not have to use use it since palimpsest is already installed by default.


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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You cannot. It's a known bug. They're not going to fix it anytime soon.

See here. The bug is confirmed, set to low importance, not assigned to any developer and has no ETA for a fix.

I guess they're comfortable with people using smartctl/GSmartControl for SMART on USB drives...

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that is disappointing. Thanks for letting me know. – waspinator Jun 26 '12 at 13:41
TBH, people likely to check SMART on USB drives is a fairly niche, techie demographic, and Disk Utility is more or less for the average Joe. Wait till you see the new rewrite they did (which will show up in Quantal) -- its even more minimal, and won't let you run fscks, etc. – izx Jun 26 '12 at 13:43
the reason I cared is because my USB drive just died. If smart monitoring worked, maybe the system could warn me before it did. I remember a warning like that helped me once for an internal drive, and it saved me from losing data. Maybe reading all the technical information is for techies, but having an early warning system for data loss is something humans could also use. – waspinator Jun 26 '12 at 13:51
I think that would be an excellent new question - is there a way (even if initially involves setting up a script or whatever) to monitor SMART on USB upon plug, and warn? (you can do a number of things on those events, that I know) – izx Jun 26 '12 at 13:58
ok thanks, I asked it. I hope that ubuntu, as a system designed for human use, includes more helpful features like this by default in the future. Although the bug report you showed me suggests otherwise. – waspinator Jun 26 '12 at 14:41

This is a three-year old question, but for posterity I wanted to point out that the bug was apparently fixed by 2012-10-16 in Ubuntu 12.10:

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Not fixed in Ubuntu 14.04 gnome-disk-utility (gnome-disks), at least not for all cases. – nobar Oct 30 '15 at 19:52

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