On my debian wheezy server I use a software raid 1 with two harddisks dev/sda3 and dev/sdb3 connected into dev/md2:

mdadm --detail /dev/md2
Number   Major   Minor   RaidDevice State
   0       8        3        0      active sync   /dev/sda3
   1       8       19        1      active sync   /dev/sdb3

The raid seems to be fine, but on one of the disks SMART is not running:

smartctl --all /dev/sda


SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Disabled

While /dev/sdb gives a lot of SMART information.

I tried to start it with

smartctl -s on /dev/sda -T verypermissive not working

But it doesn't start:

Error SMART Enable failed: scsi error aborted command
Smartctl: SMART Enable Failed.

How can I get it running? Or does it mean the disk has a problem?

  • 1
    Show the output of your array configuration via the RAID-specific utility. Eg for megaraid (most Dell servers) MegaCli -PDList -aALL – jordanm Feb 9 '15 at 0:26
  • Try it with smartctl -T verypermissive -s on /dev/sda, the manpage specifies the device to be at the end of the command so perhaps that's why it doesn't work. – wurtel Feb 9 '15 at 8:55
  • No it doesn't matter if it's at the end – rubo77 Feb 9 '15 at 11:10

You don't specify what kind of RAID controller you're using (the output of sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda could help), but it's likely presenting a virtual drive and hiding the physical ones. Asking an array about its physical health as if it were a single disk doesn't make much sense.

Maybe your RAID solution shows the actual disks on different devices? If so, those would be the ones to pass to smartctl.

Also check your documentation - maybe there's a separate utility to make the array issue the SMART commands to each disk and report back.

  • But it works fine on sdb – rubo77 Feb 8 '15 at 23:43
  • Is sdb related to the array? I may be missing something here. – arielCo Feb 9 '15 at 0:25
  • I use a software raid 1 with two harddisks dev/sda3 and dev/sdb3 connected into dev/md2. – rubo77 Feb 9 '15 at 0:40

If S.M.A.R.T. cannot be enabled, not even in rescue mode, this means that the harddisk isn't working correct anymore and should be replaced.

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