It’s surprising how few good tools there are for Windows for hard drive Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology System (S.M.A.R.T.) functionality.
In addition to providing basic attributes like ‘Power-on Hours’ or ‘Temperature’, SMART can also include self-test ability and logs about recent errors.
Windows itself offers zero SMART information. Even hard drive manufacturer’s utilities, such at ‘SeaTools’ or Western Digital’s ‘Data Lifeguard Diagnostic’ barely support self-test functionality and only show each SMART attributes’ basic values (no raw values).
GSmartControl is a quality, free, open source GUI interface for the smartctl utility (also open source, part of the smartmontools package) exposing the very-thorough information and functionality provided by smartctl and expected by sysadmins. If you want anything more than a green checkmark, don’t bother with any other tools (including SeaTools, Data Lifeguard, or SpeedFan)
Here are some of the highlights (note: not all drives will support all features and each will have its own limits on how much data it keeps):
- Raw Attribute values – for example, see the temperature in Celsius instead of as a normalized or worst value
- Multi-tasking – view information and perform tests on different drives simultaneously
- Error Log – information about the most recent errors that the drive has reported
- Self-test Log – a log of the most recent self-tests performed and their results
- More self-test types – Short, Extended, and Conveyance
- Informative – Explanations of information and functionality are built into the UI; minimizing the need to consult Help or the website to find out what something does or means
Where to go from here
- The GSmartControl website: http://gsmartcontrol.berlios.de/
- The Smartmontools open source project, upon which GSmartControl is built: http://sourceforge.net/projects/smartmontools
- The Wikipedia article on S.M.A.R.T.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.