From Volitans Software:SMART Utility is an application to scan the internal hardware diagnostics system of hard drives. SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a system built into hard drives by their manufacturers to report on various measurements (called attributes) of a hard drive's operation. The attributes can be used to detect when a hard drive is having mechanical or electrical problems, and can indicate when the hard drive is dying. This allows time to hopefully backup, and then replace the drive. Run this utility once a week or more to ensure your HD, and your data, are okay! NOTE: The demo runs for 30 days or 15 launches, whichever is laterSMART Utility is an application to scan the internal hardware diagnostics system of hard drives. SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a system built into hard drives by their manufacturers to report on various measurements (called attributes) of a hard drive's operation. The attributes can be used to detect when a hard drive is having mechanical or electrical problems, and can indicate when the hard drive is dying. This allows time to hopefully backup, and then replace the drive. Run this utility once a week or more to ensure your HD, and your data, are okay!
What's new in this version:
Fixed bug where SMTP port could not be edited
Fixed bug where email preferences did not stick when running in French
Seems to give indications that all is going well on my computer, and gives hope that I would get a notification very early on, way before the hard drive would start to fail.
None so far.
Seems to be a good program, my power-pc Apple IMac was replaced under warranty with Apple with one of the first Intel-chipped versions. This computer has had one repair so far over the years, but the hard drive has seemed fine, and the display. I do SETI at home, so I was concerned at first with the hard drive always being used, running in the background.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I have an internal drive (MacBook) and an external drive connected by USB (Seagate). The Seagate is actually the boot drive because it's so much bigger.
When I run Smart, it sees only the internal drive. Totally useless.
When I click the green "Passed" button, nothing happens. This is the time when the app should quit. Or, at least, the results window should close.
At least the thing did a run on one of my drives and provided some information. So it's not totally useless. Just almost so.
I like the ability to see problems developing on your hard drive before a drastic failure.
Nothing yet, not familiar enough with using it over time.
I love this! I love easy ways to monitor the health of my computer, being able to see problems that may develop on the hard drive before a drastic problem occurs. Would love to see feedback on how successful this program is at predicting major hard drive problems before they cause loss of data.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. As a Mac support person, I have found SMART Utility invaluable to give me advance warning of drive failure. I used to have to run TechTool Pro's Surface Scan to confirm bad blocks on a drive; or, on some drive models, Disk Warrior's entries in the System Log reveal replaced blocks. Either way, it took a lot of disk activity on a possibly-failing drive that could prevent timely data salvage. SU will tell you immediately if any blocks (sectors) have been replaced, which is almost always a sign of a failing drive. I deal with several failed drives per week, and at least half of them are due to bad blocks. SU's other attribute reports will also warn of impending failure due to other causes.
Note that Disk Utility's Smart Status will typically only tell you a drive is failing after it's already gone belly-up. Thank you, Doctor, I could have figured out for myself that the patient had expired.
Some feedback posts have complained that SU is just a GUI for smartmontools. While it is that, it is more also. First, for those of us who don't know how to make smartmontools work, there's nothing wrong with a GUI; those of you who want to remain pure and unsullied by GUIs can do so. Second, SU doesn't just report attribute failures, but has an algorithm that gives you advance warning ("Failing") and the red "Failed" alert, so you don't have to be intimately familiar with SMART attributes and which ones are important and what values are normal and abnormal.
SMART reporting does not work over most Firewire and USB connections. That's not the fault of the software, it's a function of the external enclosure.
The only features I would like to see added are email notification and a menubar icon. I have suggested this to the author, who is very responsive to questions.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I had 2 new Seagate 7200.11 1TB drives. Smart Reporter showed all to be okay. SMART Utility showed one of the drives to be failing with a bad sector. Also, I was puzzled by the SoftRaid mirror volumes on the 2 drives constantly needing to be rebuilt as well. I returned the failing drive for an exchange since it was within the 30 day exchange period, thanks to SMART Utility. With the new replacement drive SMART Utility shows all to be well, AND no more rebuilds. I bought the program immediately. I too feel that something like $15 would be more appropriate, but $20 is cheap to find such a basic and important problem right away. When you consider that the seller paid for the shipping both ways to replace the bad drive, $20 isn't so bad. It appears that Smart Reporter does not do as good a job as SMART Utility.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. SmartReporter is around for a while now and does the same for free.
There is NO need to monitor the individual parameters. This is because the inventors of SMART were so smart (haha) to not only ask for individual parameters but also for a treshhold for every parameter. And if one parameter which is critical gets over his treshold the drive is set from "check" to "failure". Everything is done in the BIOS of the hard drive. It is done by the people who know the most of the hard drive - the hard driver makers! No magic on client side needed, just a small utility that looks for the status and says Good or No Good in a way the user won't miss it. SmartReporter does exactly this.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. I am not sure if this is because I have a Boot Camp Partition on this drive or if it is the way that SMART Utility reports individual attributes for certain brands of Drives. When I first ran SMART Utility it reported it passed 3 of my drives (all Western Digital) and reported the 4th drive (Samsung HD501LJ) as Failing with 1 pending bad sector. Being a good sport I used Carbon Copy Cloner to mirror the drive to an external drive, zeroed out this drive and re-installed Windows on the Boot Camp Partition. Same result. Next I took an identical HD501LJ drive straight from the box and installed that in my machine followed by a re-install of the Boot Camp partition and Windows. Same Failing with 1 pending bad sector error on the brand new drive. Now I don't know if it is the Boot Camp partition that is causing SMART Utility to report the error or if it is the way that it is reading the drive attributes.
It is my understanding that the meaning and interpretation of drive attributes varies among manufacturers and that they are sometimes considered to be a "trade secret" of the manufacturer. Perhaps in this case SMART Utility is not correctly interpreting the attributes of the Samsung HD501LJ drives. I am not concerned about a failure either way as this drive contains nothing but a Boot Camp Partition and the rest is used as a scratch disk, but it is interesting to note that it failed both drives with the same error.
In any case despite the fact that I back up to multiple sources including a RAID array, I would still license SMART Utility if it were say in the $10-15 range. I think it is a little overpriced for what it is (particularly since it is still a work in progress) and I am a little skeptical of how well it is really interpreting the attributes of my drives.
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. The previous version ran for ages with no problems. I upgraded to this one and it immediately crashes on star-up. Wasn't it even tested on an Intel-based machine?