How to enable S.M.A.R.T.?

I don’t see any function in bios to enable S.M.A.R.T.!! But strangely enough, the mb will display message like “MaxtorXXX: S.M.A.R.T. is disabled.” on the list of hardwares & IRQ (the 2nd screen when u start your pc).

Is there a software that can enable S.M.A.R.T.? Or bios has to support it?


It should be in the Bios, always has been for mine. But sometimes it’s an advanced option not normally seen until you enable the advanced options from the main Bios menu. One of my gigabyte boards did it this way.

Normally you should have an option like this somewhere in the BIOS.
But it might be that S.M.A.R.T. has been disabled in the drive itself; e.g. S.M.A.R.T. in Hitachi HDDs can be turned on / off by a small tool which you can find @ Hitachi’s website… (boot floppy with PC-DOS on it :wink: )
I don’t know if Maxtor also has such an option and tool, but IF they have, you should search for it on their website…

Well if the OP is the original owner of the drive, and doesn’t remember turning it off, then it’s probably not off in the drive!

If it’s not apparent in the BIOS then yes it might be hidden. :frowning:

oh, mine is a gigabyte mb… but i went through the whole bios and the mb menu, nothing was find about smart!!

But when i use speedfan to do a check, the hd does have smart information, so i just don’t know if they are accurate or not!!

On my gigabyte MB it’s Ctrl+F1 key on the BIOS screen to get the Advanced Bios features. Possibly the same for yours.

What does S.M.A.R.T. do? Is it best to have it enabled.?

Yes it is. This technology monitors the health and status of your harddrive. It’s not like there’s life without it :wink: and it’s surely not error free, but it’s good practice to have it enabled.

Usually, SMART is enabled from the BIOS. From a technical point of view, this could be done from some piece of software too, but I’ve never encoutered it.

Thanks Dee-ehn,
My startup sceen shows that it is disabled. I’ve never enabled it because I wasn’t quite sure what it was. The enable option is in the bios, I’ve seen it before.
P/S I’ve been to your photo site. Love your work.!!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Hi :slight_smile:
What is S.M.A.R.T.
Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (or S.M.A.R.T.) is a technology that enables a PC to in some cases predict the future failure of storage devices (like hard disk drives).

SMART technology is present in your drive, but by default it is disabled on the drive becuase not all systems support S.M.A.R.T. monitoring. S.M.A.R.T. monitoring is enabled if the system (BIOS) and/or the operating system (ie. Windows 95 or higher) supports the use of S.M.A.R.T.

Thus the message

“S.M.A.R.T. Capable but Disabled”

means just that - the drive supports the feature, but it isn’t enabled / supported by the BIOS or operating system.

Increasingly this feature is disabled by default as O.S. deem it unecessary (they incorporate some monitoring of their own). In a lot of cases nowadays the end result is simply a drop in performance.


I just hope that there’s at least a tool to tell me if it is enabled on not, or better, enable it for me!! Will try the Ctrl+F1 as soon as i can, i hope my bios has it.

Hi :slight_smile:
If you really want to do that. Maxtors’ own PowerMax will run a series of tests. Personally I’d advise not to as it’s seen as a bit ‘old school’ now. However if you must take a look here first.

Many people are confused about what the S.M.A.R.T feature in the BIOS actually does. There is a lot of misleading info on this function. First of all, eventhough your SMART function says “disabled” during post, it does NOT mean your hard drive’s internal function is not working. At any time, with the right application, you can access SMART attributes directly from your drive.

Do you really need that function in the BIOS on ? NO… Proof ? Well try installing SMART enabled tools and see for yourself, you can use the feature despite it being disabled in DOS.

SO…WHY is that feature there in the BIOS ? Simple.

S.M.A.R.T. option in BIOS is used for running a check during post. It will look for any critical attribute that has exceeded threshold, and if so will give you a warning, again, during post, before loading up windows. In other words this BIOS function should have been called “Check drive’s SMART status at startup” instead, to avoid confusion.

When leaving it off you simply disable the status check during post.

This is handy if you don’t have a SMART monitoring tool in windows or back in the DOS days, I guess this is an old, outdated BIOS function that has been kept there to accomodate everyone, however, personally, given the tons of free tools on the net, I leave the bios function DISABLED at all times since it is not as reliable - it will not tell you which attribute has gone over.

A GREAT tool called SpeedFAN has built-in SMART monitoring along with attributes and descriptions. It is a great tool !

To enable this, in your BIOS, you will need to go to your disk setup section, usually the first screen you see when you enter bios - where all your hard drives are listed. You simply select the hard drive and hit enter to get a new menu which shows the PIO/UDMA settings, etc… You will see a S.M.A.R.T option.

Personally I would recommend leaving it disabled for the reasons stated above.

Hi :slight_smile:
Maxtor drives come supplied with S.M.A.R.T. disabled by default.
S.M.A.R.T. is disabled in the bios by default as O.S. tends to take over such functions & duplication can cause conflict. As in my previous post, download & run PowerMax if wishing to check out your (Maxtor) drive.

Cool! Does it work now then?

Thanks for the compliment :smiley:

In my own experience, SMART is a nice feature but mostly only in theory.
So far 3 of my hdd’s crapped out even with SMART enabled… they just died without any tip/info/warning.

Hi :slight_smile:
Like you say great in theory, but in practice has got left behind. The only thing you notice nowadays is that it can impair performance.

Actually SMART saved lots of my data once. SMART reported some error (it literally said “SMART failure”) so I backed up all the data on that disk. A few days later, the disk died. Yes, that was an IMB Deathstar disk. The only IBM disk that failed me actually!