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My External USB drive died, and Ubuntu gave no indication that it there was a problem. It would be useful if the system gave a warning for failing drives, including external USB ones. Is there a way to get this to work?

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You probably don't want to monitor the device, you only want to check it once when it got plugged in, right? – MvG Jun 26 '12 at 14:37
well if it begins to fail after I plugged it in that would be useful to know also. Not sure why I wouldn't want to monitor it during operation. – waspinator Jun 26 '12 at 14:44
Because the more you poke something, the more it tends to break. At least in my opinion. :) Doesn't the disk utility mention anything about the health of a USB disk? I've never tried it with an external disk. – medigeek Jun 26 '12 at 14:58
If checking SMART status breaks disks, ubuntu has a much bigger problem. And no, disk utility does not support USB drives. It is a bug deemed unimportant. – waspinator Jun 26 '12 at 15:06
Any action taken when plugging in the disk is probably best implemented as a udev rule. Doing a single check would probably be a single smartctl invocation. Monitoring the device at regular intervals would be a bigger effort: you'd have to adjust the config, and either send SIGHUP to the existing smartd process or create resp. terminate a new process for each plugged device. And I'm far from certain what would happen if you unplugged the divice while smartd was running a test on it. – MvG Jun 26 '12 at 16:28

Well you can go to the Disk Utility and select the drive, but I'm not sure if it even has the capability. Some hard drives do not have SMART. If it is offered, click on SMART data and locate the problem.

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