As Macbooks become more and more advanced, the less errors we have to deal with. Or so you’d hope, anyway.
Although they’re much better than they were a decade ago, you can still run into errors, especially with older devices. One of these is a smart, or S.M.A.R.T error, which we’re going to look at resolving today.
First, what are smart errors on a Macbook?
“Smart errors” on a MacBook refer to warnings or error messages generated by S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology), a monitoring system included in computer hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs).
This technology is designed to detect and report various indicators of drive reliability, with the intent of anticipating hardware failures. This means that in some cases, it’s an indicator that your hard drive is about to fail.
When your MacBook indicates a S.M.A.R.T. error, it typically means that the system has identified one or more of the following issues with your drive:
- Bad Sectors: These are portions of the disk that are damaged and cannot reliably store data. They can lead to data loss or corruption.
- Performance Degradation: This could be due to the drive aging or encountering operational issues, which might slow down data reading or writing processes.
- Operational Issues: These include problems with the drive’s mechanics (like the motor or read/write heads in HDDs) or its electronic components.
- Predicted End of Life: If the drive has been in use for a long time, S.M.A.R.T. technology can predict when it might fail based on its current state and usage patterns.
It’s important to take S.M.A.R.T. errors seriously as they often precede complete drive failures. However, there is also a good chance that it could be a false error.
In some cases, especially with SSDs, firmware updates can resolve certain issues, but this is not a guaranteed solution for all S.M.A.R.T. error scenarios. It could also be caused by something liver overheating, which can be resolved by simply making sure your Macbook has ventilation.
If you encounter such an error, it’s advisable to back up your data immediately and consider replacing the drive. Then, run through the following troubleshooting steps to see if there’s definitely a real issue.
But first: S.M.A.R.T status not supported
On newer Macbooks, you may try to check your S.M.A.R.T status and find that it’s not supported. You can check this by going into Disk Utility, then selecting Info on the chosen drive.
This is common on modern devices, and it’s not an issue – if there is a problem, it’ll be detected without the need for this error.
What to Do If You Get a S.M.A.R.T Error on Macbook
If you receive a S.M.A.R.T. error on your MacBook, it’s crucial to take immediate action to prevent potential data loss.
The very first thing that you should do is head into Disk Utility, find your hard drive and select First Aid. Running this operation will see if there are any basic issues that can be fixed.
If this doesn’t work, then you’ll next want to back up all your data. Use Time Machine or any other backup method to save your files to an external drive or cloud storage. This ensures that your data is safe in case the drive fails completely.
Then, you’ll want to erase all the data from your drive. You can do this manually, but the easiest way to get it done is by performing a factory reset of your Macbook.
Once you’ve performed a Factory reset, you can restore your data from the backup you created earlier. If you used Time Machine, you can restore during the initial setup process or later through the Time Machine application.
Remember, a S.M.A.R.T. error can be a serious indication that your hard drive might fail soon, so it’s essential to act quickly to protect your data and ensure continued use of your MacBook.
If the drive is indeed failing, it will likely need to be replaced. You can opt for a new SSD, or even consider upgrading to a larger or faster drive. Although it’s best to run through the above to make sure you’re definitely dealing with a faulty hard drive and not a false alarm.