A final followup on this.
Guido and I took a better look at the code and eventually realized that
what you saw was a bug (not a feature!). This has now been corrected in
the CVS-archive version of smartmontools, so for a drive like yours, that
does not support SMART Error or Self-test logs, smartctl and smartd will
no longer attempt to read the SMART self-test or SMART error logs if they
are not supported.
With the newer versions of smartd/smartctl you don't need to give the long
strings of options/Directives that I suggested before. Now, if you use it
as you had originally, you'll just get a polite warning from
smartctl/smartd saying that the logs are not supported, but no more drive
This newer version will be in the next release. If you are eager for
something sooner, you can download the latest code from CVS and use that
until we generate a new release (probably a few weeks off). If you have
the patience to download the code from CVS and test it for us, it would
also be reassuring to know that the problem is now gone.
> Hi Steve,
> Thanks for sending the detailed output. It confirms what you and Guido
> The main issue is that smartctl/smartd will normally exit on failure of a
> mandatory SMART command, but not on failure of an optional SMART command.
> You can change this with the -T conservative option/directive.
> In your case, the problem is occuring, as you say, because your disk does
> not support the optional error logging features. If you say: "smartctl
> -a" you are asking for the equivalent of "smartctl -H -i -c -A -l error -l
> selftest". The "-l error" is what is causing trouble. So you should
> simply use "smartctl -H -i -c -A -l selftest" to avoid problems. You may
> also need to remove -l selftest if that's not supported.
> Likewise, with smartd.conf the default Directive -a is equivalent to to -H
> -f -t -l error -l selftest. So the solution is easy: just make an
> /etc/smartd.conf entry line that looks like this but leaves out the
> -l error (and -l selftest as well, if that causes trouble.)
> Thanks for your help in understanding this.