Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Hard drives are fragile and complex devices that do not have an infinite life span. Unfortunately. Not to scare our readers, but hard drives are one of the most likely things that could go wrong with your computer, as I am finding out right now with one of my machines.
Modern hard drives can however tell you quite a bit about how they’re doing and show you some statistics about themselves. It won’t necessarily give you a realistic guess of when your drive is going to die, but it can help to keep tabs on things nevertheless.
The smartctl command is part of the smartmontools package and can tell you quite a bit about the drive. There are several different command line switches you can give it.