Server hard drives are one of the key components to ensure business operations run smoothly. If a hard drive fails, it can not only lead to data loss on the server but also service interruptions that impact business. Therefore, promptly discovering signs of hard drive failure is crucial for server reliability. Here are some simple ways to check for server hard drive failures.

1. Check Hard Drive Health with smartctl

smartctl is a tool to view hard drive SMART information and monitor health status. On Linux systems, you can check the drive health directly with the smartctl command:

 smartctl -H /dev/sda 

A “PASSED” result indicates the drive is healthy, while a “FAILED” means it is failing. smartctl can also show detailed stats like drive lifespan.

2. Check dmesg Log for Errors

The system records hard drive failure errors in dmesg logs. You can view them with:

 dmesg | grep -i error 

A large number of I/O errors, bad sectors etc. indicate potential drive issues.

3. Run fsck to Check Filesystem

If the hard drive starts developing bad sectors, it can corrupt the filesystem. Use fsck to check it:

 fsck /dev/sda1 

Lots of bad block messages indicate the disk is failing.

4. Monitor with S.M.A.R.T. Tools

S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) is built into drives to monitor health stats. Linux tools like smartmontools and GSmartControl can read S.M.A.R.T. data to evaluate disk health.

5. Check Drive Performance

Failed drives exhibit notably degraded read/write speeds. Use tools like dd, iozone, fio to benchmark and watch for abnormally slow disk speeds.

6. Listen for Strange Noises

Failed hard drives often produce weird noises like screeching and clicking – signs of mechanical problems. Immediately backup data and replace the drive if you notice odd noises.

Knowing these hard drive failure checking methods helps detect issues early and avoid server crashes and data loss. Promptly replace any failing drives to maintain business continuity.