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S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives is a kernel driver for OS X external usb or firewire drives. It extends the standard driver behaviour by providing access to drive smart data. The interface to smart data is same as with ATA family driver, so most existing applications should work. The driver requires a SAT (SCSI ATA translation) capable external drive enclosure.

The driver consists of a kernel extension and a user client interface library.

The code is based on Apple opensource files and is therefore published under Apple Public Source License.

What's New

Version 0.9: Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.

Requirements

  • OS X 10.6 or later
  • USB or FireWire drive

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S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives User Discussion

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Most Helpful Reviews...

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Dear Jarkko Sonninen,

Thank you. It's developers like you, who fill in the chasms of missing functionality and abdicated responsibility by Apple, that allow me to continue my love affair with OS X. :-)

3 people found this review helpful
Version 0.6
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Torsten73 Member IconReview+3
Torsten73
+0

It took me a few days to find out why my iMac did not recover from sleep and -worse- could not complete startup. Is was my new Lacie Rugged Triple (firewire800). First I thought it was a problem with the firewirecable or bus. But even resetting the firewire bus wouldn't help.
After using the terminal and deleted the kernel extensions everything was fine again.

Unfortunately this software is a no go for me.

Reply0 replies
Version 0.9
Gaberdine Member IconComment+12
Gaberdine
+0

It's a fine idea but there's a reason Apple didn't enable this function in the kernel... So exercise Caution (esp. with Western Digital Drives)!


Worked fine for several external drives but caused unrecoverable freezes in disk utility when I attached one particular WD* drive.

Finder froze when I tried to eject the disk with that - as did any other app I tried to eject it with. Also caused Time Machine to get stuck in a loop. Had to shutdown with power button. Not good.

Uninstalled and restarted. Won't touch this again.

===========

Initially I was impressed as the SANSMART driver worked fine on several external drives including WD MyBook Studio and WD Passport Studio. It even showed up SMART status in other apps such as SMART reporter...

But it caused havoc when I attached one specific model of WD passport drive. I searched for kext conflicts and restarted my Mac several times but it didn't help.

(On the plus side, it caused me to hunt down, quit and delete LaunchDaemons for several residual services and agents from WD SmartWare which is nice).

Neither kernel log nor diskutil log give any indication (to me) of what went wrong - I shan't be using this again. Shame.

=======


OS X 10.6.8 iMac i5

* Problem drive was WD Passport III Studio II drive (WD500MT-00 1310A). This is the silver plastic FW800 / mini USB with a sliding cover to the FW port and a 4 LED capacity gauge.

Reply1 reply
Version 0.9
Gaberdine
+0

Kudos to Kasbert for the work in creating this, of course. If there were a way to create an exclusion list to prevent specific drives from being polled for SMART data, I would gladly reinstall.

Andy-Hewitt Member IconReview+135
Andy-Hewitt
+0

Just installed this, hadn't noticed it before. Seems to work as advertised. Nice one, but it begs the question, if it's this easy to enable the SMART status of external drives, why isn't it working already?

Thank you to this developer.

Reply3 replies
Version 0.9
Thresher-The-Shark
+1

The reason it's not included with OS X is because whether it works or not is a crapshoot based on multiple factors beyond Apple's control. All the various interface bridge chips, controllers, firmware implementations etc. can break it, and since Apple is obsessed with consistency they decided not to include external S.M.A.R.T. support because they can't gurantee it will work with any individual drive enclosure. For example one of my external HD enclosures works with this extension when it's connected over USB but not FireWire.

Andy-Hewitt
+0

I understand, although it'd be more believable as a concept if they were consistent elsewhere too. I find USB3 is far less reliable as whole - I have a few drives here, and some will stay connected while others won't.
I'm not saying I don't believe you, but the concept of consistency is a flawed one from the start.

Paul Cook
+2

Why wouldn't it work the other way? Suppose Apple did provide built in SMART status reporting? Wouldn't you and a bunch of the rest of us ask about it before we purchased any external drives? And wouldn't that pressure the market into providing that support?

piquadratpi2 Member IconReview+106
piquadratpi2
+0

i use three external drives with the firewire 800 - thunderbolt adapter and now the S.M.A.R.T status is shown and works fine. I am on 10.9.2 and finally see the new info on all my USB 3.0 drives two. I hope that apple includes this driver soon. Many thanks to the developers...

Reply0 replies
Version 0.9
RodgerW6021 Member IconReview+6
RodgerW6021
+0

Works with Seagate Barracuda in a miniStack Classic enclosure via FireWire. Definitely wish this was standard in OS X!

Reply0 replies
Version 0.9
Ephg Member IconReview+4
Ephg
+0

Thank you for this program. It works great and I can now keep an eye on my three external drives.

Reply0 replies
Version 0.6
GeoProf Member IconComment+876
GeoProf
+0

Is there a difference between a ‘kernel driver’ and a ‘kernel extension’?

Actually, my main question for those who use S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives with OS 10.6.8 is whether it slows the OS in any way. I ask this because every ‘kernel extension’ — or any startup item, for that matter — slows the startup (obviously) of my Late-2006 2.16 GHz 20-inch iMac with 2 GB of RAM that runs OS 10.8.6, but each one also seems to incrementally and ever so slightly slow "normal system operation” (in other words, non-startup system operation, after it’s been up and running for a while).

I have clean-installed (re-installed, really) OS 10.6.8 on this iMac and other Macs many times since it was released 2 years ago, and both its startup time and normal system operation are noticeably faster with fewer or no startup items and/or kernel extensions, and it lasts much longer before it begins lumbering between restarts which are closer together than 24 hours and I must do another clean-install (a characteristic of 10.6.8 which I assume is shared by everyone who installs apps with startup items or kernel extensions — please correct me if you don't share that experience). Consequently, I try to limit both startup items and kernel extensions as much as possible. So I wonder if S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives has any such effect for anyone who uses it with 10.8.6.

BTW, although I use USB and FireWire (both v. 1.0 on my old iMac, I assume) drives 5 to 10 times a week, I rarely leave them attached for more than 15 minutes (unless I’m running DiskWarrior, etc., on the startup drive). So for me, S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives wouldn’t be in actual use often or for very long, except of course if it IS a 'kernel extension,' which is a type of resource that's always loaded. I’m wondering if that’s true too of a 'kernel driver.' Thanks for any clarification you can offer.

Reply1 reply
Version 0.6
GeoProf
+0

Doh! In every Mac OS reference in the comment above, I meant OS 10.6.8, but evidently my fingers miss my OS 10.8.4 MacBook Pro, which I sold a few weeks ago :(

Gary30 Member IconComment+190
Gary30
+0

This is a great System extension and has been working for me since earlier this year. Today I downloaded the updated files and noticed that the installer silently failed to update the existing (older) files. The tipoff was that the installer completed without registering the new components, which it would normally do before it quits. If you have this problem the fix is easy: Just delete the old ones manually before installing the new ones.

Reply0 replies
Version 0.6
Negritude Member IconReview+1081
Negritude
+3

Dear Jarkko Sonninen,

Thank you. It's developers like you, who fill in the chasms of missing functionality and abdicated responsibility by Apple, that allow me to continue my love affair with OS X. :-)

Reply0 replies
Version 0.6
Paul Cook Member IconReview+24
Paul Cook
+0

As far as I have been able to tell, this seems to do what it claims. i.e. IT WORKS!!

IMHO, it provides needed functionality that Apple should have provided, but never did.

The current version installs with a standard, Apple style package installer. (I may be wrong, but unless I'm confusing it with something else, the prior version required you to manually install by dragging files into specific locations. I think this was behind some of the comments about installation issues.)

I've tried it on machines running Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion. It seems to work with all three of these OSes on at least some devices.

Not every USB or FireWire device works. I wonder if this may be a function of the bridge board that is used, perhaps they don't have the underlying support necessary?

But as far as I can tell, where it works, it seems to work well. Disk Utility, SMARTReporter, and SMART Utility all report S.M.A.R.T. status, with certain USB/FireWire devices, where previously they would not.

For those of us who use external FireWire or USB drives, this is certainly an improvement. SMART is far less than perfect, but when I have have a drive failing it's SMART self test, I want to know about it, and I want to replace the drive.

The work of the developer(s), in bringing this to the Mac platform, is greatly appreciated. Hopefully, they will continue to update it as new OSes come out. And if they can, it would be really sweet, if they could add support for some of the older OSes.

Reply1 reply
Version 0.6
Negritude
+1

"Not every USB or FireWire device works. I wonder if this may be a function of the bridge board that is used, perhaps they don't have the underlying support necessary?"

Yes, that's exactly it. The hardware has to support the SMART functions for it to work. If it doesn't work, then it's the fault of the enclosure, not this driver.

user icon+2
ErvinsS
Version 0.9
user icon+0
Fussell
Version 0.6
> 5 13

Ratings

Overall
(13)
Current Version (0.x)
(13)

Details

Downloads 9,760
Version Downloads 3,591
Type Drivers / Storage
License Free
Date 11 Apr 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / Intel 32
Price Free
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