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What is SMART?
SMART, which stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, is a comprehensive tool designed to assess the current state of a hard drive. This hardware-software set predicts the wear and tear on HDDs, recording critical information about storage device performance and potential disk errors.
What does SMART indicate?
SMART continuously monitors a hard drive's performance in real-time, evaluating various characteristics and grouping them into two categories:
- Signs of normal wear (such as the number of cycles, head movements, and spindle hub rotations)
- Current device status (including error count, track search time, head elevation, and the total number of active sectors)
Performance assessments typically range from 0 to 100. Higher values signify better performance in a specific characteristic, while lower values indicate a higher likelihood of future failure.
Utilities for Reading SMART Data on Windows
Several utilities provide easy-to-understand access to SMART data. These tools vary in interface and additional features, offering users insights into recording/reading speed, available free space, and cluster integrity. Popular and user-friendly SMART monitoring tools for HDDs include:
- Hitachi Drive Fitness Test
- HDD Health
- HD Tune
- PassMark DiskCheckup
Hitachi Drive Fitness Test - HDD SMART Monitoring Tool
Hitachi Drive Fitness Test distinguishes itself by reading SMART data and testing a hard drive without affecting user data. The system detects all available hard drives supporting WinDFT technology during the first run. Detailed SMART information on identified data storage devices is accessible by double-clicking on them in the program's main window.
HDD Health - SMART Check Software for Windows
HDD Health, a WinDFT counterpart with an extended interface, displays all computer hard drives on the main screen. For detailed SMART information, users can open the menu DRIVE - SMART attributes and select the desired hard drive. The "Health" indicator, displayed in percentages, reflects the quality of HDD performance.
HD Tune provides more detailed data output compared to its counterparts. Information on different hard drive systems is categorized into tabs, with key ones including "Health," "Info," and "Disk Monitoring." The "Status" column indicates the potential risk, with "OK" implying no concerns and "Warning" signaling a need for potential repairs.
PassMark DiskCheckup features tabs placed under the list of HDDs available for diagnostics. Notably, it provides two tabs with SMART data: "Smart Info" and "Smart History." "Smart Info" assesses the current state and sensor data, while "Smart History" shows the minimum state coefficient over the device's lifetime.
GSmartControl is unique in supporting versions for Linux, Windows, and macOS. It stands out by enabling and disabling SMART, allowing users more control than other applications that only read integrated HDD SMART self-monitoring. Users can run the app, click on a hard drive icon, and access detailed status, errors, and history in various tabs.
While checking SMART disk information isn't mandatory, monitoring status assessments is crucial for anticipating potential hard drive failures. Users can prepare by copying information in advance or acquiring a backup medium. Installing any of the mentioned utilities and periodically monitoring HDD SMART data ensures proactive management.
Hitachi Drive Fitness Test or HDD Health are suitable for basic monitoring, while advanced users may prefer PassMark DiskCheckup and GSmartControl for their advanced logs.
Explore the best hard drive monitoring software and programs to monitor HDD status: HDD Test Diagnostic Software and Bad Sectors Repair Tools.
Vlad Brown, USA, Buffalo, WY
Vlad is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in data recovery with 15 years of experience. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and answer them.
His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and provide answers to them, write proven manuals, be the website technical support and also run a Youtube channel.