i am running ubuntu on my pc. i am receiving hard disk failure error on SMART status. how can i fix it? thanks.

  • 4
    Please add the exact error message to your question. Jan 5, 2011 at 13:24
  • 4
    You fix it by replacing the drive. Jan 6, 2011 at 2:27
  • hey Nathan . Avoid answering questions in comment. Make this one sentence into an answer and it will be voted to the top. You get bonus points for guidance how to replace a disk. Dec 11, 2017 at 17:51

4 Answers 4


As I answered a while ago, you can check the SMART status of a disk through Disk Utility... But that's really only a tiny portion of the story.

Your disk is failing a test. Some of the SMART tests aren't too important but you need to check which it is. If it's one of the following, back up, buy another disk, and move everything off and bin the current disk.

  • Read Error Rate
  • Reallocated Sectors Count
  • Spin Retry Count
  • End-to-End error
  • Command Timeout
  • Reallocation Event Count
  • Current Pending Sector Count
  • Uncorrectable Sector Count
  • Soft Read Error Rate

It sounds dramatic but if one of those values is beyond its threshold, your drive has a real possibility of suffering some sort of critical failure in the near future. Acting as soon as possible may save you a sudden and rude interruption when you need the drive in the future and it fails.

  • I got a lot of End-to-End errors caused by a bad power cord. I changed it and want to reset the end-to-end error count just to disable the warning. The data on the device is not that important and I'm aware of the risk...
    – iRaS
    Jan 28, 2018 at 13:04

This may be a critical situation, so:

  1. Backup your data (and the system as well if you need)
  2. Run an utility to check the hard disk (see below).

Check the disk:

$ su -
# cd /
# touch /forcefsck
# reboot


# shutdown -rF now

Graphical Interface

Ubuntu Main Menu -> System -> Administration -> Disk Utility

The application has Disk drives in left pane and Status of the drive in right pane. You can find SMART status also there with its status indicating with Green/Red light indication.

  • Click the SMART Data button below the status, so that you can see the details of the problem
  • Click "Run self-test" button and choose the extended one (in the middle normally).
  • The take a look on the result and come back here in the case.

SMART stands for Self-monitoring analysis and reporting tool. It's a system which monitors your drive and Ubuntu is able to read certain values and thresholds, so it can warn you of imminent hard-drive failure.

You can view SMART data in Ubuntu here:

System > Administration > Disk Utility > (select your hard-drive)

Values which exceed the expected threshold will be shown in red - you could post them back here for more info, but generally you should perform a backup of the whole drive (or at least the files which are relevant to you) to an external drive, a different computer or a cloud-based storage service.


Hi I have had same problem with one of my laptop's drive running win 7 later intstalled ubuntu to see if it detects the problem or not but it was giving me bad time also. The disk was dying obviously, so that reason why I stopped using my laptop for a while and thought that I will going to replace the HDD later. Running the deep scan showed me the problem at the start sectors.

After a month or so I was visiting a local hardware shop and saw those external cases to convert the laptop hard drive to an external drive. I bought one reconnected to my desktop running win 7.. what do I get? No error, checked the disk again it was reporting the 4 bad sectors on a surface scan starting from 7th to 20th sector of HDD.

Now what i did I repartitioned my HDD in to two partitions the first one having those bad sectors and second one clean. Now i reformatted my second partition and installed the system on to the second partition (yes ubuntu) and it's been over a year I never ever have that issue with that.

So the phrase "your disk will become unusable is not justifiable here" well in my case it doesn't. :) Just needed to mention one more thing here that I am booting my system using converted external HDD. :)

Hope it helps someone out there also.


  • If bad sectors are caused by a weakness in the magnetic field, these have a tendency to grow over time. I wouldn't trust that partitioning trick over the long haul but it can indeed buy you some time.
    – Elder Geek
    Jan 21, 2016 at 14:15