I have many adapters for scsi/ide/sata/usb and have found a few usb adapters that do block smart and temp data. In those cases you do have to use the native interface. I put IDE drives on a sata or a scsi adapter and they work.
I have yet to find smrtctl finds a an error on a disk that has errored in use, the long test clears it and the disk comes back clean - so issues with a controller or cable, etc, Relocated sector count is really the only useful heads-up.
Hi I came back to write a short report about my findings so far.
I tested on several different distros and versions.
Linux Mint 18.3 is running GSmartControl 0.8.7 This program does not see the SMART data on the these drives. I also tested Disks the version makes no difference, you will see what I mean when you get to the bottom of my report. Anyways it can not see the SMART Data.
Xubuntu 18.04 is running GSmartControl 1.1.3 This version seems to see the SMART data on the drives. Disks does not.
POP OS 19.10 is running GSmartControl 1.1.3 and it seems to see the SMART data. Disks does not.
I decided to try kicking it up to a quick arch test. I downloaded and ran the live version of arcolinuxb-xfce-v19.12.15. I did not bother trying to install GSmartControl. But since it's the latest Arco build it's probably running the latest or close to the latest Gnome Disks. The version of Gnome Disks it is running is gnome-disk-utility 3.34.0, UDisks 2.8.4 (built against 2.8.4) It can not see the SMART Data.
Since GSmartControl always prompts me for my password, I decided to try running gnome disks as root. At least in ArchoLinux Live it made no difference. It is interesting that GSmartControl 1.1.3 seems to be seeing the data. Another thing interesting is Gnome Disks sees the drives as SABRENT SABRENT. Where as GSmartControl lists both Sabrent, and the model number as the Hard Drive installed inside the case. If you click on Sabrent, you get no SMART Data, but if you click on the Hard Drive model number, you do.
Using the latest version of GSmartControl, might be the answer to this dilemma. I also have a Western Digital External Hard Drive, all built into one piece. The Last time I tried looking at SMART, I could not read it on Disks. I will need to completely rerun all of these tests on it, to find out if I can or not.
Western Digital USB External Hard Drive: As I was writing this, I decided to check it quickly on my current OS (Mint 18.3) Disks can't read it but GSmartControl can.