The new HDD Inspector analyzes the S.M.A.R.T. values of your hard disk drives based on a tried and tested algorithm and allows a statement about the “health” and possible problems of the hard disk drives in your system.
What are SMART values?
Your hard drive talks to you, you just have to interpret it correctly. This might sound strange, but this is a very good simplification of this function. SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) is, as the name suggests, a system for the self-monitoring, analysis and creation of status reports of hard disk drives.
Since 1996 this technology is widely integrated in all modern hard drives. It provides interesting data about our hard drive. But SMART is not limited to the temperature of the hard drive, but also provides information on the power-on time, possible errors, performance etc.
But probably most important for you: By monitoring important values (parameters), possible failures can be recognized at an early stage.
HDD Inspector – its structure
The HDD Inspector consists of three parts. In the bar at the top (see red frame) you will find buttons for functions. You can reach the most important functions of the HDD Inspector via the buttons at the top.
In the hard disk drive overview on the left (blue frame) all hard drives in your system will be listed. The values of the selected hard drive are presented on the right (green frame). When launching the HDD Inspector the system hard drive (c:/) will be displayed by default.
The function buttons
This menu bar provides quick access to all major function of the HDD Inspector. With just one click, you can re-scan your hard drives (also newly connected devices will be recognized then) or refresh the collected data of an already scanned hard drive (this is quicker than a re-scan). Write report might be especially useful. This feature creates a text file that contains all relevant data of the selected hard drive. In there there will be the exact type designation, serial number, firmware version and a lot of other valuable data. If for example your hard drive fails or rather you suspect a problem, you can send that text file to the support at the hard drive manufacturer. This way the support already something to start with the examination of the problem.
Via Status and S.M.A.R.T you can change between two different views. Status reveals an overview on all important data and also provides an assessment of your hard drive (in the picture above: No problems found). This way you will be able to get a detailed overview on the data on your hard drive.
SMART however offers all values for expert users or those who would like to become an expert user. Via Information a classic report about your hard drive is created. This does not contain S.M.A.R.T. values, but many other data / attributes. This makes it valuable addition to the information in the S.M.A.R.T area.
What kind of information do the SMART data provide?
Ashampoo WinOptimizer 9 interprets the SMART data for you. If you have the SMART data of a selected hard drive displayed, a list with about 20 values (this number varies, depending on the type of your hard drive) will be show. The values and descriptions on that list do only mean something to expert users. Therefore the HDD Inspector analyzes and evaluates the data using the status column on the right (see red frame). If there is no status evaluation, the HDD Inspector does not have any comparable data (for example, if the output value does not conform to the SMART standard) or the value is of no importance for the evaluation of the system’s health.
The status report shows an overview of the most important SMART data in a processed and comprehensible form. Already the evaluation (Problems found / no problems found) gives you a first idea of the health of your hard drive. Below you will find 8 very important values / data of your hard disk drive. More Informationen and Smart data (details on both functions, see above) can be accesses from here via the buttons of the same name. At the bottom also the allocation of the partitions is displayed. Analyse allocation opens the Diskspace Explorer for further information.
No values available?
No all USB/FireWire devices support monitoring functions. Hard drives that are located in a RAID system via a so-called. AHCI- or drives do not support S.M.A.R.T. functions. Usually exceptions hard drives in so-called software RAIDs and those that are set up as with a RAID controller as a single drive and not within a RAID system.
Is my hard drive safe now?
Ashampoo WinOptimizer 9 was developed to minimize the risk of an unexpected hard drive failure. Studies in this area revealed that a large number of hard disk drive failures there were clear indications for a failure to appear soon. Many of those indications were present in the SMART. Those SMART values provide valuable information on whether a hard drive nears its end of functionality. But even hard drive manufacturers are not able to accurately predict hard drive failure. Most crashes are preceded by a decrease in performance, longer response times or an increasing number of errors. However, it cannot be guaranteed that a hard drive with excellent values does never crash. Sudden external influences, such as a rise of the outside temperature, vibrations or power spikes are great examples for changes with possible fatal consequences. So “as safe as possible” is probably describes it best.
However, we strongly recommend: If the SMART values are located in a critical area, please backup your data as soon as possible!