As your hard drive begins to age, the chance for failure and resulting data loss increases. Today’s hard drives feature a monitoring system called Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology or S.M.A.R.T. for short. With S.M.A.R.T. and the appropriate software, it is possible to keep updated on the status of your hard drive and the important data that resides on it.
To check the S.M.A.R.T. status of your hard drive, there are many programs that are available. The two programs that I have found to be most useful and user-friendly are:
- Although S.M.A.R.T status is a secondary feature of Speedfan, it offers the date in an easy to understand webpage format. You can also view and control fan speeds and temperatures of your motherboard. Attribute stats must be check manually.
- HDD Health
- HDD Health provides the same S.M.A.R.T. attribute information as Speedfan, but runs in the system tray and constantly monitors for problems. If a problem does occur, HDD Health will warn you.
There are several attributes that makeup a S.M.A.R.T. status. It is important to know what each one means for the health of your hard drive. A good description of each status is available here.
Knowing the S.M.A.R.T. status of your hard drive is not an alternative to backups. Having up-to-date backups is the only way to fully protect against hard drive failure.
Do you check the S.M.A.R.T. attributes of your hard drive? Which attributes do you watch the most? Are there other programs that you use to check S.M.A.R.T. attributes? Let us know by commenting below.