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How do I check the health of my hard drives? I know that you can do it with system rescue, but is there a way to do it from root without booting onto system rescue?

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smartmontools is the package you are looking for. Using the smartctl command you could try:

sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda

Of course as mentioned below the drive needs to support SMART for information to be available, but whether it is supported/enabled will be in the output of the above command. If you look at the man page for smartctl, there are also various options for running self tests and enabling/disabling SMART etc.

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  • Please, note that through most modern HDD's include SMART, some old ones may not. There's also the issue with SSD
    – Braiam
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 21:52
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    @Braiam, what is the issue with SSD?
    – Graeme
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 21:58

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