commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.
You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.
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This is to pull all the saved S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) information from a hard drive.
This can give you an idea of the nature and extent of an issue on a failing hard drive.