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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...

What's New

Version 3.1.2:
  • Implemented new sending email system to provide better support, fixing bugs with Gmail and Mavericks
  • Analyzed all code, cleaned up code, and fixed many potential bugs
  • Added check time to Casper plist
  • Changed email to include all drives in one email
  • Changed email to include "SMART Utility" and host name in subject line
  • Changed "Last more...

Requirements

OS X 10.5 or later

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SMART Utility User Discussion

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JohnP7216 Member IconReview+0
JohnP7216
+0

This program reads only the internal drive on my macbook pro. It seems ok with that drive. I use a number of external drives for data and backups. It will not recognize the external drives although I did install their driver.

As it will not recognize 90% of my drives it is of little use to me.

Reply1 reply
Version 3.1.2
HandyMac
+0

Whether SMART Utility can show the SMART status of external drives with the SAT SMART Driver installed is a matter entirely out of the control of the developer. It depends on three factors: (1) The disk type; the SAT SMART Driver reports SATA disks, but not ATA disks (my impression, anyway). (2) Whether the disk's firmware reports SMART data; all the SATA disks I've tested 20GB or larger do, older disks under 20GB do not. And (3) whether the external case/dock transmits SMART data.

I have a number of external drives and cases/docks in which I can install disks. Several Verbatim SureFire drives (I don't know how to open these, so cannot put other disks into them) SMART Utility sees and reports via either FireWire or USB. A couple of drive cases manufactured by ONNTO Taiwan: an older one with FireWire 400 only (bought from a vendor of generic HD cases) works fine with the SAT SMART driver, while a newer one with FireWire 800 sold by FireWire "expert" WiebeTech (with their name on it) does not work (dunno why).

A couple older ATA WiebeTech Drive Docks (2.5" and 3.5") do not work with the SAT SMART Driver (even with an SATA adapter), which I gather is designed to access only SATA disks. An older LaCie "Porsche Design" ATA case doesn't work with the SAT SMART Driver, nor does another generic ATA case. If I want to test ATA disks with SMART Utility, I can put them into a computer, such as my PowerBook G3 'Pismo', where SMART Utility accesses them through the internal bus. (Used to have to do the same with SATA disks, rather more trouble to install in newer portable Macs.)

The SAT SMART Driver is not "their driver" (i.e. the SMART Utility developer's); it is an independent open source project [https://github.com/kasbert/OS-X-SAT-SMART-Driver; thanks, kasbert] which I first discovered several years ago via a posting at MacInTouch. (See its ReadMe for more info.) Volitans Software provides a courteous service by including it as an installable option in SMART Utility, so you won't have to find its GitHub page and figure out how to download and install it yourself. (v.0.9 has recently been released; SMART Utility currently includes v.0.8.) SMART Utility's FAQ [http://www.volitans-software.com/support.php] explains why it cannot report on external drives—though in fact it now can report on some with the addition of the SAT SMART Driver (the FAQ apparently hasn't been updated since 2008).

I rely on SMART Utility to test disks, especially older used ones, to determine if I can install them in older Macs; I've found a lot of apparently working disks that are reported as FAILING or FAILED, and I don't use them. Disks are cheap (and very perishable); data recovery (when possible) is not. SMART Utility is also the first test I run (after Apple Hardware Test) on any used Mac (as well as any new Mac). It's not perfect (nothing is), but the developer is continuing to improve it. For the casual user, SMARTReporter may be sufficient to monitor an internal disk (it may work with the SAT SMART Driver, haven't checked), but I've found SMART Utility very useful for my more intensive work, and am quite happy with it. Please do not downrate software for "lacks" that are outside the developer's control.

Just-Annutha-Dewd Member IconReview+59
Just-Annutha-Dewd
+0

I've been using SMART Utility for some time now and am generally pleased with it. What I especially appreciate is the recent addition of the ability to install the SAT driver to enable monitoring of supported external drives.

My biggest gripe is that it should be easier to initiate a short run vs long run. It'd make more sense to re-do the UI to run either of those from the main screen, not dive into a sub-menu titled "More Info", which itself doesn't really suggest that's where to go to run a more detailed analysis. Novice users would understandably be confused.

My other gripe, which may seem trivial, is the menubar icon. It's hard to make out, being silver on the silver menubar. It also just doesn't look right up there, with a 3D style and sitting next to all the others that are black/white and flat. The icon is fine as a Dock icon, but it just fails on the menubar.

Reply1 reply
Version 3.1.1
Volitans Software (Developer)
+0

Thank you for your review.

There is a plan to completely redo the UI. I agree its a little clunky the way it is.

And yes, the menu icon needs an update. Its on the list too.

Pmyersjr Member IconReview+1
Pmyersjr
+1

Great App, I know there are similar apps but with this app, everything is under one hood and it's very easy to use.

Reply0 replies
Version 3.1.1
Macinman Member IconReview+93
Macinman
+2

I would Like to say, I just purchased this utility today. I have a white macbook that has held up for 6+ years, and is still going well. I had upgraded the stock toshiba 80 GB drive to a WD scorpio black 250 G B 5400 RPM about 6 years too (right after i got the macbook within a month or so). Recently i was having slow downs and odd behavior, I also own a copy of SmartReporter, which had been giving random I/O error reports for the internal drive, with no smart failing reports, and Apple's disk utility had always just said Verified,for Smart status. So I didn't know which tool was giving me accurate results based on drive activity. I knew that SmartReorter had a known bug a while back for giving false positives on i/o error check. so i kept that in mind when they'd pop up, and they kept happening while disk utility said nothing of interest.

Then I started digging for smart failure articles and drive failure signs articles I have a computer background, I never got apple Certified, but I did get A+ certified and with the exception of the os and the rom of a mac the rest of the hardware is the same, so I was brushing up on skills since i hadn't had to do any major repair in years, i had gotten rusty.

Anyway, I read an article about smart utility, downloaded the trial, and sure enough it confirmed the drive was failing. I wasn't sure how long it was going to hang in there since it was getting worse, so i ran next door picked up a Seagate momentus, 5400 RPM drive 500 GB for $65, and put it in the macbook all was good.

The moral of this story is, the right tool gave me the right results in the right time frame to address the issue before things got worse. Just to avoid negative comments, i'm legally blind, i can't drive, office depot is right next door to my apartment complex and since the situation was somewhat serious it was an easy and quick way to get a replacement drive for a reasonable price, without risking damage in the mail, and the other advantage is if it fails within 14 days, i can walk on over and exchange it. Being I've always had better success with seagate drives then WD, i'm pretty confident that won't happen. I'm actually grateful and bless the WD that died, gave me as long as it did, usually WD drives for me have died right away. and i have an ATA wd drive about the same age in a 2.5 enclosure, and it died in a really funky way at about the same age too.

Smart can't prevent failure but it usually, from what I've seen gives a fair warning to replace the drive in time to prevent loss.

Hope this personal experience helps someone else :)

Reply1 reply
Version 3.1.1
Macinman
+1

P.S a couple things: my macbook runs lion 10.7.5 without issues and, for those who like tech videos. Here is a video I posted on youtube of the WD ATA drive in the enclosure failing. Keep in mind, i verified the drive was dead before i opened it, but i opened it so people could see what drive so when they die, every time it seems to be different.

Link is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNookfadybE

Johnleh Member IconReview+18
Johnleh
+2

I'll upgrade my review if the developer updates this to work with SSDs, or if I find it's actually correct and my SSD is dying. Based on a handful of reallocated sectors (in an SSD!) it gave my main drive a FAILING warning. This caused me to waste hours researching, and some time in panic. Based on reports from other utilities and my research (which brought be full circle to the knowledge I started with before this stupid thing made me panic) I am quite well aware that SSDs do reallocate sectors, and it doesn't mean they are failing. They have many many blocks of extra capacity, for this purpose. It's called over provisioning, and it's common practice on any decent SSD. Mine certainly has over provisioning.

I give this software, until an update to address SSD reads, a warning of FAILING.

I wasted money on it, and I wasted time and panic.

Reply3 replies
Version 3.1
Xenophile
+1

I've used SMART Utility on dozens of SSDs with perfect results. SMART Utility failed one SSD, and that SSD did indeed cause occasional kernel panics.

Note that "Failing" is not the same as "Failed". Is your SSD older? Lots of writes to it? Depending on the attributes, Smart Utility will warn you that it's nearing the end of its life. Why don't you contact the developer and ask what your SSD's report means instead of nailing him with a one star review?

Johnleh
+2

I would add a star or two if I could (I could write another review), based on the developer's communication and concern. We corresponded, and he's reasonable. However, I still find the utility was quite wrong regarding this particular SSD. There are just over a dozen remapped sectors now, and this drive has over-provisioning for thousands of sectors to be remapped. Remapping sectors from time to time is just what SSD controllers are made to do, and there is a long time between a couple of bad sectors and a failing drive, on a consumer SSD. Unfortunately I took a lot of time when I panicked to do a lot of research on SMART and SSDs. Basically, unless you had a complete map of how each model of SSD from each manufacturer, you can not make a utility that presumes to have a good idea what any given SSD drive is reporting. From what I've read, there is a huge variation in what each model of SSD will report through SMART. In my case, there isn't anything unusual about what the drive is reporting, as far as I can tell. A dozen sectors remapped in a drive that has been well used over several months is normal. And the drive is giving me no trouble.

I have no problem with the fact that this is a difficult problem with SMART and SSDs, as I have recently learned. A few problems I did have are that a relatively expensive utility claimed to do what it isn't yet ready to do: give a good analysis of an SSD's SMART values. Then that report really caused me to panic, which sucked. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out whether it was correct. I'm a working professional, and I count on this drive daily (and yes, I do take backups seriously).

Volitans Software (Developer)
+0

Look for version 3.2 out in the next few months. There is a big rewrite to the algorithm to address a lot of your concerns. It will heavily focus on SSDs.

Psychos Member IconComment+285
Psychos
+5

I will say this again: this is a simple GUI to smartmontools (http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/). Only it costs $25, just as a GUI wrapper on otherwise-free software.

On top of that, this utility does NOT use the included smartd to proactively monitor drives. (Nor does it poll them itself in any useful fashion.)

No SMART utility is going to protect you against all drive failures, but you may get a warning of impending failure. This just isn't a good utility to watch those warnings, due to a poor polling setup. (Not to mention the price; I imagine others can point at various utilities that also use smartmontools.)

But $25 for a utility that took many hours to build for free, just wrapper in a GUI that gives you text output? Ridiculous.

Reply6 replies
Version 3.1
Rpmurray
+1

I'll say this again; no one is forcing you to buy this.

On top of that, you complain about polling but then say that no SMART utility is going to protect you against all drive failures. Most, if not all, SMART warnings are for slow propagating failure indicators. Are you expecting a drive to go from pass to fail in the space of an hour (the shortest polling period for SMART Utility)? Only an anal retentive would need to poll more often. Ridiculous.

Fahirsch
+2

It may surprise you, but not everybody is happy using Terminal. I prefer GUI. This soft, which I have been using (paid) for five years, has helped me and my clients. I don't regret at all having paid for it. I get an answer I can trust in a few seconds, in contrast to Apple's Disk Utility that generally warns when it's to late.
And the occasional user, can check several times within the trial period to see if his disk is dying or not

Psychos
+1

I'll say this again: no one is forcing you to read my comments. Should only users who want to praise the software post comments?

I can certainly say that no SMART utility will protect you against all failures, yet also complain about the polling frequency. The software says to run it manually once a week. Having it run self-tests automatically on, say, a daily basis is pretty reasonable. Where exactly did I suggest running SMART tests hourly? Half your comment is based on putting words in my mouth. (Though, hey, setting the frequency is always a nice option, so it's good if it does include that now.)

And where did I suggest that people should be using smartmontools and the Terminal over software like this? A GUI is appropriate for most people. I was simply pointing out that this is based on the free smartmontools, and is just a very simple GUI wrapper around that software (yet costs $25.)

Noting that the price is excessive does not imply that I think the average user is better off trying to get smartmontools working from source. That would be silly.

There are similar utilities for free or around $5. Some of them probably use smartd correctly, etc. (Who knows what this program will do if you set it to something like polling a drive at 1-hour intervals when it has a 4-hour long self-test cycle...perhaps just keep interrupting the test! Using smartd, since it's just using smartmontools anyways, lets me know it's polling "correctly.")

Rpmurray
+1

Psychos, based on what you're saying it seems you're complaining about a utility you haven't even used yet. Polling and running self-test are two separate things. SMART Utility lets you set the polling for Hourly, Daily or Weekly. That takes a few seconds to read the attributes from the drive. The self tests (Short and Long) will run quite a bit longer but are not something you're going to need to run frequently.

The software has a free trial period. I suggest you use it before you mouth off with ill-informed opinions.

Psychos
+1

Yes, I understand the difference between polling the current SMART data and running a self test. (You forget to mention running offline tests, sector range tests, and other things which this doesn't even support.) Those are all part of the base functionality of smartmontools.

My main point here, yet again, is that you are paying $25 for a GUI wrapper (and not a great one, from what I've seen; and yes, I've tried prior versions, out of curiosity) around a free tool. With cheaper (or free) GUI wrappers available for the same.

But hey, if you want to consider informed comments as "mouthing off", well, go ahead. If I HAD tried the current version, I would have written this as a review rather than as a comment. Again, nobody's forcing you to read comments.

(Oh, and I'd completely disagree that a SMART short self-test is something you shouldn't run frequently. Most drives take 2 - 3 minutes to do a short self-test, and is something worth running daily at least.)

Volitans Software (Developer)
+0

You may not find much utility in this, but this is more than just a wrapper. It has a propriety algorithm that detects potential failures before they occur. That is worth the money right there. I wrote this app for me, because I wanted warning before my drive died. And it has saved me on numerous occasions. If others can use it the same, I'm happy. Is it perfect? No, because this is more an art than a science. Some drives just die without warning. But some don't. I'd rather know if I can.

And not sure what you mean about the poor polling setup. It checks hourly, daily, or weekly depending on your needs.

Traum Member IconComment+7
Traum
+0

I can't work out how to use this on external drives - does it work for this?

Reply2 replies
Version 3.0.2
Fahirsch
+0

No. Nor any other S.M.A.R.T soft.
You CAN use it from an external drive to check on the internal disks

Volitans Software (Developer)
+0

The new version (3.1.2 as of now) supports some external drives. Download it and see if it works for you!

Xenophile Member IconReview+694
Xenophile
+1

A very good and much needed utility for OS X. The GUI isn't bad, but given the price of this app I expect a bit more polish. For example, clicking on "show all" in the attributes section presents the user with a raw data dump, how about some organization and explanation of the data? How about a toolbar for rescanning drives, running tests, and saving disk information and reports? The testing window is light on info and the "cancel" button is always greyed out.

These shortcomings would be easy to overlook on freeware or even a $10 utility, but for $25 I want a more robust feature set. I want to be convinced that the developer is invested in the app and will continue to improve it.

If SMART Utility matures into a true professional app, then I'll gladly pay $25-$35 for it. Until then, the demo will serve my needs since I'm using it to evaluate used Macs for resale.

Reply1 reply
Version 3.0.2
Volitans Software (Developer)
+0

Yes, the UI needs work, and that's coming for sure. But I believe the notice of early warning is worth the price.

Patoche Member IconComment+70
Patoche
+0

Yes, Goldyn Chyld you can use it with SSD too...I use it that way here.
Just have to tell that lastyl Smart Utility saved me a lot of problem with my datas, when my 3 To Hitachi looks to have problem with the Smart Status...I could just make a clone of it and 1 day later the HD was gone...ouch.
I changed for a WD Green as the Hitachi was no more buyable at a correct price ;-(
So, a big thanks to Smart Util and his developer.

Reply0 replies
Version 3.0.2
Goldyn Chyld Member IconComment+75
Goldyn Chyld
+0

Will this app only "work" with HDDs or can it be used equally with SSDs too?

Reply1 reply
Version 3.0.2
Volitans Software (Developer)
+0

Yes, it fully supports SSDs, and work is always on going to add support.

user icon+2
Vid
Version 3.1.1
user icon+0
Captain5
Version 3.0.2
> 4 16

Ratings

Overall
(16)
Current Version (3.x)
(10)

Details

Downloads 80,565
Version Downloads 4,503
Type Utilities / System
License Shareware
Date 28 May 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price $25.00
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