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SMART Utility Reviews

3.2.5
16 June 2019

Checks the hardware diagnostics system of hard drives.

Most helpful

Nice application and does indeed show all the information (or so it seems) but it's not as useful as the price suggests. Would buy for $ 10, perhaps $ 15.
Like (6)
Version 2.2.0

Read 45 SMART Utility User Reviews

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qb
11 March 2019
Does anyone know if this developer post is from 2019? I just see a date of 8-Jan. I believe it is from 2019 and does indicate development is continuing. Yay! https://www.volitans-software.com/2019/01/the-future-of-smart-utility-2/ The Future of SMART Utility We wanted to give an update on SMART Utility. As you probably know, version 4.0 is much delayed. This lead to a re-evaluation of the roadmap. Version 4.0 was too ambitious for a single release, especially re-designing the interface. So the revise plan is this: Version 3.3 (out in a few weeks): Some new features and a bunch of bug fixes Version 4.0 (out in six months): Re-work the algorithm to better match todays drives Version 5.0 (out in one to two years): Re-design the interface
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Version 3.2.4
1 answer(s)
Just-Annutha-Dewd
Just-Annutha-Dewd
24 March 2019
Well your own link has "2019" in it, so that should answer the question. I wouldn't hold out that much hope for the redesign though. He's been promising it for a few years now. The menubar icon alone hasn't matched the aesthetic of the OS in a long time now. But it is getting maintenance updates, soooo we'll see.
Like (1)
Mcr
29 December 2018
Users need to realize, this app (and similar ones) are dependent and/or influenced by several external factors.
1) The information returned by SMART is open to interpretation. In many cases, manufacturers themselves don't adhere to the same interpretation of what a particular data field means relative to their product. Ultimately, the manufacturer of the drive decides how and what to report back. There really isn't any enforcement to keep manufacturers in line as far as how their devices report.

Once data is returned, then SOME programs that try to calculate and give a 'probability' of failure or life expectancy rating.; these ratings need to be taken in context, or at least take with grain of salt. There are several industry studies which have shown that correlation between SMART data, predictions made based on the data and actual failure rates, is NOT that strong...possibly only correlated in less than a third of hard drive failures. I've had rotational drives during the initial 'burn in' period that show a increase in some of the so called negative indicators (bad sectors reallocated); but then 'settle down' and continue working fine for years afterwards with no increases. Don't get caught up too much in what SMART data is saying, unless you see a trend overtime. Your strategy should be to always have multiple backups of key data, so that when and if a drive fails, your data is safe, rather than obsessing about whether to replace a drive the first time it shows any negative indication.

2) Regards SSDs, the SMART standard and specification was developed at a time when all drives were rotational. When it comes to SSD/non mechanical drives, many of the data types/info defined by SMART are ambiguous at best, or meaningless, or at worse used by manufacturers to bolster their product when in fact they are irrelevant. Some makers have added on additional data fields to report so called 'SSD' specific info, but other makers are not required to use them, or if they do, don't necessarily report back the same data, since the definition is so open. Or worse, they will come up with a way to report back a lower value and use that in a positive spin, even the meaning of what that data really indicates has been redefined by them. A perfect example is data field 231, loosely defined as 'Life Left' for SSD drive. Remember, this is data reported back by the drive based on the manufacturer's interpretation. Using different criteria, Samsung drives might report back a million erase cycles remaining, but Crucial drives might use that field to report back that 50% reserved space is left.

So, in the case of Samsung, if the drive was rated for 2 million erases cycles, does that mean the drive has 50% of life remaining; on a Crucial drive, if you never get close to using the full capacity, 50% reserved space isn't really a factor; and what actually can be inferred from that as far as 'Life Remaining'. For example, when a manufacturer says this SSD drive reports 'zero' whatever, i.e. my product is good....well, actually ALL SSDs are going to report a zero for that data, or some might report '100', but so what, because it has no relevance for non-mechanical drives.

Most people I suspect pay particular attention to the 'reallocated bad sector' data; for rotational drives that makes good sense. For SSDs, the data has less relevance, because the standard hasn't evolved to define what that really means for SSDs, so manufacturer's have, of course, used this ambiguity to dictate the data returned to put their product in a better light. With modern SSDs and controlers using techniques likes over provisioning, trim, garbage collection, etc. it can be open to interpretation what a 'bad sector' is. Manufacturer's can take a problem 'memory location' and move it to the over provisioning bucket of memory, or mark it to never be trimmed or garbage collected....does that mean they have to report it as a 'bad sector'. It's straight forward to associate an actual physical location of a bad sector when it comes to rotational device; for a memory device, it's a little more complicated. A "sector of data" on a rotational drive is 512 bytes at a physical location on the disk. With SSDs the smallest block is 512 KB (a thousand times larger), made up of pages, which can be variable, but frequently 4KB. These pages may or not be continguous in the 'traditional' sense, and can CHANGE internally without any knowledge to the operating system. This happens when an SSD drive performs it's own internal clean up, provisioning and trim operations. Windows and macOS still see that 'sector' of your Word document as sitting at sector 143,245; but internally, the drive can move the location and composition of that block around.

3) In order to retrieve SMART data, requires either an interface that is capable of doing so, or a direct method to the drive which requires specific knowledge of the model and how to retrieve the info (without using the standard interface commands). Internal drives on a SATA bus have no issues, the SATA spec provides for the proper commands to query a drive and report back the data. External drives are dependent on the chipset of the enclosure as to whether the interface supports the SMART commands needed to query the drive and return the SMART data. Older USB external interfaces (as well as Firewire) did not have this pass through capability. Newer interfaces which support USB Attached SCSI (UAS) or USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP). do allow for SMART data retrieval, so when you buy an external drive or stand alone enclosure or drive dock, make sure it supports UASP

End of the day, it's fine we have programs that report back SMART info. For rotational drives, more useful, for SSD's, not as much. How you personally, or the programs that retrieve data, interpret what that data means, can be subjective, particularly when it comes to trying to predict failure or life expectancy (again, better for rotational, not so much SSDs). Generally speaking, mechanical devices physically wear down over time, so may be possible to see a trend and they 'fail over time'. Pure electronic components tend to not show 'symptoms' or degradation over time, for lack of a better word; they work until such time that they don't work. That's why I said it's better to be sure that you have multiple backups rather than obsess too much about whether a particular device is showing signs of failure or going to fail.
Like (1)
Version 3.2.4
1 answer(s)
Aargl
Aargl
30 December 2018
Here's another case of an app that appears as updated when in facts version 3.2.4 release date was 12/16/17, as mentioned at the dev's site...
Version 4 was planed for the end of 2016, as mentioned there: https://www.volitans-software.com/2016/05/smart-utility-upgrade-pricing-announcement/
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GeogProf
02 August 2018
No responses from developer to any queries. No updates since Oct. 2016 despite the MANY advances and changes in drive tech. No way.
Like (2)
Version 3.2.3
GeogProf
07 May 2017
THIS DOES NOT WORK ON SSDs (Solid State Drives) — IT ONLY WORKS ON HDDs (Hard Disk Drives, which Apple abandoned years ago in all MacBooks). Developer, please correct me if I’m wrong. If I’m not, do the right thing and indicate as much in your app’s introduction. BTW, DriveDX DOES work on SSDs. So now I have to abandon this $25 license and buy a $25 DriveDX license.
Like (2)
Version 3.2.3
3 answer(s)
Tony-Aguila
Tony-Aguila
02 September 2017
Not true. I have a 1-terabyte SSD and Smart Utility recognizes it. I have both Smart Utility and DriveDX and due to the advent of APSF both had problems recognizing the containers even though the devices themselves (HDs and SSDs) were recognized. Using Smart Utility, I simply reinstalled the SAT SMART drivers and, after a restart, all devices (drives) and containers (volumes) were listed as supported, including external drives. I converted all my HD volumes to APFS, except for Time Machine volumes, and they not only work fine, they work great!
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Aargl
Aargl
23 June 2018
I confirm it works on my (HFS+) SSD too!
By the way, current version is 3.2.4.
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Noraa
Noraa
07 August 2018
It doesn't work the NVMe SSDs unfortunately, a standard SATA SSD works fine.
Like (1)
qb
17 March 2017
I've owned a 10-pack license and used SMART Utility since mid-2010. I do IT support and offend diagnose the "spinning beachball" on client computers as bad drive sectors. I find it amazing that even a single bad sector, even if reallocated, can cause such problems but they do. S-U has provided the info I need to point out that a replacement HDD is needed and get the client back running smoothly. I look forward to the announced, but late, release of v4!
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Version 3.2.3
christian-schaffner
24 January 2017
25 bucks is way to much when you can find similar apps for US$0.99 in the Mac App Store. I would like to point out our own app SSD Health Check: https://itunes.apple.com/app/ssd-health-check/id1193940657?l=de&ls=1&mt=12 It is fast and delivers not only detailed statistics (like unexpected power losses, power cycles, failed read/write attempts and more) but also real time data like current temperature and more. Definitely worth a try, especially since it is 25 x times cheaper than similar other apps!
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Version 3.2.3
3 answer(s)
qb
qb
17 March 2017
You app is $1.99 and gets very poor reviews (although only 4) and poor ratings (6 total) to yield only 1.4 stars out of 5.

I've always had great results with SMART Utility. I do need to leave them a positive review here next.
Like (1)
Mcr
Mcr
29 December 2018
@christian-schaffner: going around and trashing your competitors with 1 star reviews is BS. MacUpdate is a forum for users AND developers; there is a professional and courtesy standard that most people naturally understand and live by on this forum; you apparently don't get it. So, know what I just did? I went to the MacUpdate page for SSD Health Check and posted a 1/2 star review, with an explanation of why, as I've explained here. There are sayings: "What's good for the goose, is good for the gander.", "What goes around, comes around."
Like (2)
STL@MacUpdate
STL@MacUpdate
29 December 2018
I would kindly ask @christian-schaffner to explain us such kind of behavior. Otherwise I have to remove feedback as it does not deserve to be here.
P.S. Totally agree with @Mcr
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GeogProf
22 September 2016
Is this useful for an internal SSD on a new MacBook Pro?
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Version 3.2.2
GeogProf
22 September 2016
Does this version work with Sierra?
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Version 3.2.2
A1D
07 March 2016
Of cause, the price is subjective thing. It reflects the amount of work from two side – How the App looks and How the App Works. It looks pretty dull, obviously no designers been involved in this. And developer doesn't bother about the UX / UI as well. Now about how it works. Compared to the competitors (DriveDx for example) it has limited functionality. I've tried to run the short test (App says 2 mins. approx) it never has been completed. I wouldn't conceder to buy this piece of software. Dramatically overpriced, lacks of design and functionality, bugged.
Like (1)
Version 3.2.2
Forn
22 February 2016
25$! Am I the only one who thinks that nearly all APPs are way too expensive? Earlier they cost 5$ maybe 10 $. Now they are 20$ to 40$ and so on… By far to expensive. Not real values.
Like (2)
Version 3.2.2
fwilkinson
02 November 2015
$25? lol
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Version 3.2.1
rardin
23 March 2015
Naming of the zip archive aside, the version of SMART Utility 3.1.4 for OS X 10.5 still appears to be version 3.1.3 build 3B134.
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Version 3.1.4
2 answer(s)
rardin
rardin
25 March 2015
Although Volitans Support has indicated that this problem has been resolved, the link to the version for OS X 10.5 (both here and on the Volitans site) seems to be broken at the moment.
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rardin
rardin
30 March 2015
The issue with the link to the final version of SMART Utility for OS X 10.5 and PPC-based Macs has been resolved.
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Finrod63
22 December 2014
Is SMART Utility ready for Yosemite?
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Version 3.1.2
1 answer(s)
Volitans Software
Volitans Software
18 March 2015
Yes it is fully ready for Yosemite.
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JohnP7216
30 June 2014
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.
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Version 3.1.2
2 answer(s)
HandyMac
HandyMac
22 July 2014
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.
Like (1)
Xplicit
Xplicit
06 October 2014
Tried it on an external drive, reads SMART data without problems.
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Just-Annutha-Dewd
29 June 2013
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.
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Version 3.1.1
1 answer(s)
Volitans Software
Volitans Software
28 May 2014
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.
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Pmyersjr
19 May 2013
Great App, I know there are similar apps but with this app, everything is under one hood and it's very easy to use.
Like (1)
Version 3.1.1
Macinman
03 April 2013
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 :)
Like (2)
Version 3.1.1
1 answer(s)
Macinman
Macinman
03 April 2013
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
Like (1)
Johnleh
16 December 2012
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.
Like (2)
Version 3.1
3 answer(s)
Xenophile
Xenophile
04 January 2013
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?
Like (1)
Johnleh
Johnleh
04 January 2013
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).
Like (2)
Volitans Software
Volitans Software
28 May 2014
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.
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Psychos
03 August 2012
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.
Like (5)
Version 3.1
6 answer(s)
Rpmurray
Rpmurray
03 August 2012
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.
Like (1)
Fahirsch
Fahirsch
03 August 2012
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
Like (2)
Psychos
Psychos
03 August 2012
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.")
Like (1)
Rpmurray
Rpmurray
12 August 2012
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.
Like (1)
Psychos
Psychos
12 August 2012
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.)
Like (1)
Volitans Software
Volitans Software
28 May 2014
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.
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I-Love-Techno
22 June 2012
I can't work out how to use this on external drives - does it work for this?
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Version 3.0.2
2 answer(s)
Fahirsch
Fahirsch
03 August 2012
No. Nor any other S.M.A.R.T soft. You CAN use it from an external drive to check on the internal disks
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Volitans Software
Volitans Software
28 May 2014
The new version (3.1.2 as of now) supports some external drives. Download it and see if it works for you!
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Xenophile
09 May 2012
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.
Like (1)
Version 3.0.2
1 answer(s)
Volitans Software
Volitans Software
28 May 2014
Yes, the UI needs work, and that's coming for sure. But I believe the notice of early warning is worth the price.
Like
Patoche
19 December 2011
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.
Like
Version 3.0.2
Goldyn-Chyld
07 December 2011
Will this app only "work" with HDDs or can it be used equally with SSDs too?
Like
Version 3.0.2
1 answer(s)
Volitans Software
Volitans Software
28 May 2014
Yes, it fully supports SSDs, and work is always on going to add support.
Like
Thinking-Differently
14 November 2011
Some have suggested that this program might be cheaper. And perhaps they are right. However, after playing with the demo on a number of client machines and having it find issues that other utilities missed, I bought it. In fact I contacted the vendor about a special consulting license so that I could use it in my business. I do like a number of other utilities out there. SMARTReporter, for example, is an outstanding free utility. However, I found SMART Utility to uniquely solve enough frustrating problems that I found it worth my hard earned $$$.
Like
Version 3.0.2
alas!
22 July 2011
There appears to be some well deserved resistance to Smart Utility's $25 price tag. Developer feels that he's put a lot of work into SU and therefore the $25 price point is justified. It would seem likely that he's not getting the buying response that he would like. Developer dude, you would undoubtedly engender a lot more sales by lowering SU's price of admission by at least $10. You might want to petition MU to have Smart Utility at a featured discounted price for a day or a weekend. Anyway, Psychos's comment below makes some very cogent points. Read it if you haven't already.
Like (1)
Version 3.0.2
1 answer(s)
Volitans Software
Volitans Software
23 July 2011
ganjaji- there is always resistance to prices from all types of sales- from hardware to software. And the people who don't like the price are always going to be more vocal than the people who are happy to pay it. I am quite satisfied with the amount of sales I have received. Of course, I always want to increase that, but I feel adding more features is a better way to do that than decrease the price. In fact, when I increased the price from $20 to $25, my sales went up. That's because people understand that I feel this is more than just a simple app- and by pricing it accordingly, they know I will be supporting like it is. A lot of the time, you get what you pay for (just like Macs are more expensive, yet they sell like hotcakes). I offer a demo for those who want to try it out for themselves and see if its worth the price of admission. I understand if its not, but a lot of people do think its worth it. I responded to Psychos' comment below, so I encourage you to read it as well.
Like (1)
Syzzygy
08 March 2011
While SU offers some handy and useful info and renders it quite well, $25 IS too high,IMO; $10-$12, OK,OK,maybe as much as $15 would be an appropriate price point. I just won't buy it for $25.
Like (4)
Version 3.0.0
3 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
01 June 2011
I certainly understand the price issue... but I have put a lot of work into displaying an appropriate GUI for SMART data. As always, if anybody contacts me, I'd be happy to offer a discount to make the purchase more palatable. I want to save data, and not just make money.
Like (2)
Psychos
Psychos
22 July 2011
A GUI wrapper like this should not cost $25. Under $5 might be appropriate, especially when it's just wrapped around a free tool that is far more complex than the wrapper is. There are other free smartmontools/smartctl wrappers. Not to mention, this utility tells you to run it once a week. If the developer REALLY put a ton of work into this, you'd think he or she would use the included smartd daemon to allow automated polling and notification of errors. Basically, you are paying $25 to display the text output of a free tool in a different format. I looked at the screenshots, and it doesn't even do anything like interpret the raw SMART attributes it displays, many of which are important but potentially confusing to the average user.
Like (2)
Volitans Software
Volitans Software
23 July 2011
Psychos- I'm sorry, but there is more than $5 of work into this application. The menu extra code alone is worth more than $5. It sounds easy to just parse text from a command line too, but its not. I have have been developing this app for 4 years now, and I have put many late hours into SMART Utility. It sounds like you haven't even used the application, as some of your facts are incorrect. The other application have an interface that is not as user-friendly. They also do not do pre-fail checks (over and above what smartctl does now). That's a huge feature. Also, there is a built-in time for both the app and menu extra to check hourly and weekly. At some point I do hope to use smarted, but that is a lot more work. But for now, the timer with Growl support works great. I also have many new features planned, and every sale I receive convinces me that I should implement them. I'm excited for the future of SMART Utility, and I believe the price is a fair one.
Like (2)
Mail3
08 March 2011
The only tool on the Mac I know that REALLY shows you the SMART parameters. If you're more into the topic you know that you really need to know those to be able to interpret whats going on. Google is your friend on this: http://en/wiki/Self-Monitoring,_Analysis_and_Reporting_Technology
Like (1)
Version 3.0.0
Goldyn-Chyld
08 March 2011
Is this a free update for the existing users?
Like
Version 3.0.0
2 answer(s)
Nmassello
Nmassello
08 March 2011
It looks like a free upgrade. Version 3 launches without any nag screen and shows my serial number (for version 2) in the "Registration Information" dialog.
Like
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
01 June 2011
Yes, absolutely. I have maintained that updates, even major versions, should be free. At some point I may change that, but I am hard pressed to find a great reason to fleece my users for supporting SMART Utility. For version 3.0 until version 4.0, it will be a free upgrade.
Like (1)
Nice application and does indeed show all the information (or so it seems) but it's not as useful as the price suggests. Would buy for $ 10, perhaps $ 15.
Like (6)
Version 2.2.0
1 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
01 June 2011
I know it seems expensive for such a simple thing. But I have had customers who have saved their data due to SMART Utility's early warning system. $10 more for precious data is so minor. I had a friend who lost all of her second child's baby pictures. She paid $850+ to recover them. If she would have listened to me and had SMART Utility, it would have only cost her $25. That's just a drop in the bucket. So please look at the long term. I am not trying to fleece people- only to help them while giving myself an incentive to do that.
Like
SMARTUtility provides a wide range of information, but you need to be a real geek to make good use of it. I'd say it's for techies only. The biggest issue I have with it is that you can set some of the parameters for drive failure notice, but what the correct settings might be is rather arbitrary. For instance, the number of bad blocks that constitute a problem. Even new drives usually have a few bad blocks (out of millions of blocks), and a reformatting a drive will quarantine bad blocks so they won't be used thereafter. So how many bad blocks are a sign of trouble? The only way to really know is to scan the drive at some point and then (re)format it. If the bad block count begins to rise significantly from that point, as revealed on subsequent scans, then you would have cause for concern. But unless you set a benchmark, you have know way of knowing if things are getting worse or not. As I said, for techies only. TechTool Pro 5 has an improved SMART test that benchmarks various categories of drive performance. But I had a drive fail recently despite passing this test with flying colors. So, though I wouldn't say SMART testing is useless, it's not foolproof, nor is it the only way to tell a drive has problems. In my case, a three year old Seagate drive in my Mac Pro gave out suddenly. No software repair utility would help; it was obviously a hardware failure. As it turned out, there was a sign of this impending failure that I did not recognize. Since it's uncommon, I'll mention it here. For some time my computer had been taking a long time to start up, spending quite a while with a white screen before the Apple logo showed up. I know now this was because the computer was having trouble mounting that failing drive - because when I replaced it, the startup slowdown went away. By the way, I had most of the data on the drive backed up so I didn't loose more than the time I spent troubleshooting the drive - and restoring the data to the replacement drive I installed. I would say, therefore, that the real smart utility is a regular backup. In any case, SMART tests don't work on external drives so their usefulness is limited in any case. All this doesn't mean, in my opinion, that SMARTUtility is a waste of money; it only means you need to know what you're doing to use it effectively.
Like (4)
Version 2.2.0
1 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
01 June 2011
Hi- Thanks for the review. The purpose of setting some parameters is definitely for geeks. However, the default settings apply to everybody. (BTW, no good new drives have a few bad blocks. Those that do fail quickly, as Google's study proved). And no, SMART is not foolproof. It may pass, yet still fail. However, if it does fail, that's a great indication that a future problem may- and in most cases, will- occur. I also wish SMART worked on external drives, but that is an Apple and case manufacture problem.
Like
Shmk
24 June 2009
This program says by day old drive has all sorts of Old age issues
Like (2)
Version 2.0.2
GeogProf
05 May 2009
People, this is not a new concept, it has been around and currently exists in around 45 pieces of software. Apple hasn't implemented it because it's largely useless. It's in DiskWarrior, TechTool Pro, DriveGenius, and pretty much every other disk utility. But it doesn't tell you anything's wrong with your drive until the moment it dies. It's crap.
Like (4)
Version 2.0.1
15 answer(s)
-M-S-
-M-S-
05 May 2009
"But it doesn't tell you anything's wrong with your drive until the moment it dies. It's crap." That's not true -- I've had other utilities alert me of S.M.A.R.T. failures prior to a drive dying, which gave me time to copy the data off of it. The attributes S.M.A.R.T. monitors are pretty thorough, see here. No, it won't help if your drive suffers a sudden catastrophic failure, but it has its place.
Like (7)
Version 2.0.1
Ilgaz
Ilgaz
05 May 2009
congrats on calling smart information and drive tests useless, you must be the first on planet.
Like (6)
Version 2.0.1
kosovarnye@yahoo-com
kosovarnye@yahoo-com
09 June 2009
I've used SMART technology in all my desktop computers and my laptop for years and it has NEVER warned me of an impending failure. I've had five drives fail on me without warning (three firewire drives and two internal drives) and they were supposedly being "monitored" by SMART. I agree with the other commenters that SMART appears to be useless. I still use it (just in case it might work) in the form of the free SMARTReporter utility, but I'm sorry for the people who naively thought to pay $25 for this SMART Utility, apparently a lame one-trick pony. If you want to use this, at least use a free version of a SMART utility or buy it as part of a useful product. (For example, DiskWarrior and Drive Genius are GREAT products!)
Like (5)
Version 2.0.2
Meego
Meego
09 June 2009
I disagree SMART is useless. True I've had many disks fail without prior warning. But twice I had time to backup before disk fail thanks to a SMART alert. This was on PCs, with BIOS set to test SMART at startup. It only takes one to realize just how much SMART is useful. Last point, SMARTReporter is free and a very good job of periodically checking SMART status and informing the user whenever an error is reported.
Like (1)
Version 2.0.2
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
19 June 2009
I understand a lot of people have not had good results with SMART. That's because most use utilities like Disk Utility, SMARTReporter, and DiskWarrior that only report on the overall SMART status. I find that status quite misleading too. That is why I developed SMART Utility. It looks at the individual attributes to find indications of failure. I have had a lot of success using that to determine drive failures that at first just look like a slow computer. An example is my work MacBook Pro. I kept getting the spinning wheel and found I had a few bad sectors. So I backed up, zeroed out the drive, and restored. I was back running. But what happened a few months later? More spinning wheels, more bad sectors and eventually the drive was useless. But since I was running SMART Utility, I knew to back up my data before I lost anything. So I find SMART is quite useful, and I am currently working on making the app even more useful, such as periodic scans to alert for new errors or problems. I would encourage everybody to try it out over a few months- especially if they are having problems. They may just save their data.
Like (4)
Version 2.0.2
Tomq
Tomq
08 September 2009
I used to have strange problems, repairing my main disk drive not infrequently, often needing DiskWarrior to fix problems I was only using Disk Utility, DiskWarrior and SMARTReporter. Since using SMART Utility, I have been able to carefully monitor for Pending Bad Blocks and reallocated Bad Blocks discovering that these problems were occurring on my main hard drive. I replaced my harddrive under warranty and ALL PROBLEMS HAVE DISAPPEARED! There are no more Pending Bad Blocks, much less reallocated Bad Blocks, and all the strange problems have gone away. I almost never need to repair with Disk Utility or Disk Warrior. Monitoring my other computers to check for pending bad blocks and will replace any hard drive that has them. I'm a happy customer of SMART Utility. And, BTW, I have found the Support to be excellent.
Like (1)
Version 2.1
Mrglsmrc
Mrglsmrc
01 December 2009
i have used the results of impending failures with smart tests to force apple genius bar to make warranty replacements of harddrives without dispute. while i will not advocate one smart software over another i have tried this one and it is well made and does more detailed and specific test than hard drive management tools mentioned in other reviews. bear in mind that this specific tool is a front end GUI for a CLI that you can build in xcode for free if you are a gearhead like me. my only aggravation here stems from the fact that many manufacturers of external housings for sata drives, including OWC do not include the code in their firmware to support smart testing on external drives which limits the usefulness of this sort of app. i have had success with some macally hard drive housings but these have other problems i won't go into here.
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Version 2.1.1
Donmontalvo
Donmontalvo
01 December 2009
The developer wrote: "An example is my work MacBook Pro. I kept getting the spinning wheel and found I had a few bad sectors. So I backed up, zeroed out the drive, and restored." I wasn't aware MacBook Pro laptops ship with SCSI drives. :) Don
Like (1)
Version 2.1.1
-M-S-
-M-S-
01 December 2009
Don: What do SCSI drives have to do with what the developer wrote?
Like (1)
Version 2.1.1
Donmontalvo
Donmontalvo
01 December 2009
Misha wrote: "Don: What do SCSI drives have to do with what the developer wrote?" That depends. What did the author mean by "zeroed out"? :)
Like
Version 2.1.1
-M-S-
-M-S-
01 December 2009
He probably meant he used Disk Utility's "Zero Out Data" feature (under Security Options when erasing a drive), which writes zeroes to all the blocks.
Like (1)
Version 2.1.1
Donmontalvo
Donmontalvo
02 December 2009
Misha wrote: "He probably meant he used Disk Utility's "Zero Out Data" feature (under Security Options when erasing a drive), which writes zeroes to all the blocks." OK, I can see how that would be a good thing to do if security was a concern. That said, zeroing all blocks does nothing that simply doing a quick initialize would do. Once you do a quick initialize, going forward the drive (itself) would map bad blocks. The only time writing to all blocks makes sense is with SCSI, since the process is needed to find/flag bad blocks. Not needed on non-SCSI drives. Hence my original comment...I wasn't aware MacBook Pro computers came with SCSI drives. Writing zeros to all blocks has nothing at all to do with mapping bad blocks. Don
Like (1)
Version 2.1.1
-M-S-
-M-S-
02 December 2009
In fact, Don, I'm quite sure writing zeroes is the only Apple-endorsed way of repairing (ignoring really) bad blocks on an ATA drive, as well. To my knowledge there's no difference between the two interfaces. It's been about 6 years since any Mac shipped with a SCSI drive (excluding Xserves).
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Version 2.1.1
Donmontalvo
Donmontalvo
02 December 2009
Misha, please take a moment to read: http://support.apple.com/kb/TA21976 Which clearly states: "ATA (IDE) drives internalize tracking and sparing of bad blocks. Drive Setup and ATA drivers thus have little control over this process."
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Version 2.1.1
-M-S-
-M-S-
02 December 2009
Thanks for the link, Don, -- do you have any further documentation that's not archived/6+ years old and deals with SATA drives? To my knowledge zeroing out SATA drives is the most effective way to map bad blocks (it also ensures that all the blocks are ok ahead of writing any data to the drive). One can most certainly get bad blocks on a SATA drive and when you do, the file written to that block is usually toast.
Like
Version 2.1.1
Cuchulainn
05 May 2009
Mac Pro, 4 hard drives all less than 6 months old. 3 Seagate / 1 Western Digital. Smart Utility reports 3 out of 4 hard drives are failing. Guess which 3? Yep, all 3 Seagate drives are failing according to Smart Utility. I suspect a bug in the algorithm reporting false positives for bad blocks for these drives. 1 Seagate ST31000340AS and 2 X Seagate ST3750640AS if it matters to anyone. Tech Tools Pro 5.0.4 reports no errors on any drives for SMART check or Surface Scan. SMART reporter also reports no problems. Hooked them up to a Windows box, SeaTools also finds zero problems. I give it a 2 overall. Good in concept, poorly implemented.
Like (3)
Version 2.0.1
Marco114
29 April 2009
Works great. I am surprised Apple hasn't included this into the OS.
Like (1)
Version 2.0
Dubbelish
22 March 2009
SMART Utility is better than both Disk Utility (which kept telling me my drive was fine even though OS was freezing while performing the scan) and it's also better than SMARTReporter (which is still giving me a positively verified drive sign up in the menu bar). I mean the nice little menu icon is great up there, don't get me wrong. But if the drive is failing and it doesn't tell you then what's the use. SMART Utility opened up and hit it clear as day: FAILING. Thanks for the nice software.
Like (2)
Version 2.0
Borlox
28 January 2009
Anyone who uses this app should be aware that it tries to hide a timestamp in a preference file named "com.apple.services.plist", which is apparently supposed to look like a file created by the OS. It isn't.
Like (2)
Version 2.0
Erbey
31 July 2008
I bought it but i don't use it any more i am not sure this soft is really working well
Like (1)
Version 1.2.2
Neil-M
06 May 2008
This is quite funtional, but I am unsure why it is $20 better than these 2 freeware options; SMARTreporter (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/14825/smartreporter) - sits in the menu, runs in the background, even emails you when a failure is detected. SMARTctl (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/23777/smartctl) - sits in the menu and seems to give all the available SMART info.
Like (2)
Version 1.2
1 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
06 May 2008
NEIL_M: I can address that. SMARTreporter- while very good at what it does- can miss problems when they are small. It relies on the overall PASS/FAIL of SMART, which is very conservative and usually is only trigged when the drive is so bad it can't be even used. SMART Utility will alert you to failures before they get bad, allowing you to back up sooner and recover more data. SMARTctl does use the more extensive test- but it only displays everything in text format in a menu. SMART Utility displays all the data in a easy to read format, also highlights failing attributes in red, and provides an easy to read prefail warning in yellow or red. It also hasn't been updated for over a year (and is using an out of date version of smartctl). I hope that answers your questions and shows you why SMART Utility is worth the money.
Like
Version 1.2
Akrobat
23 September 2007
So, the developer informed me about the Intel bug, fixed it and I've given it another go. Seems fine. Perhaps it is more efficient than SMART Reporter but that is something that has to be tested on a failing drive with both systems up and running. I'd buy this IF it was made into a menubar item. Otherwise I know I'll forget to launch it and I've already far too many windows open and startup items already. All in all not a bad item, so I'll review my 'review'.
Like
Version 1.0.3
1 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
26 September 2007
I'm glad you gave the software another shot. And yes, I agree, this would be awesome as a menu bar item. That's coming in a future version(which will be a free upgrade).
Like
Version 1.0.3
Wcitymike
21 September 2007
SMARTReporter: free, MacUpdate profile not full of complaints. SMART Utility: $20, MacUpdate profile *is* full of complaints. Wonder which way I'll be going.
Like
Version 1.0.3
1 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
21 September 2007
Yes, SMARTReporter is free. But SMART Utility offers additional functionality, including pre-failure warnings, that SMARTReporter does not offer. Whereas SMARTReporter can report PASSED until a drive dies, SMART Utility will report FAILING long before the drive dies, and long before SMARTReporter reports FAILED. Yes, there have been some bugs with SMART Utility- that is the case with any piece of software. But, if you look at the comments, you will see I am very quick to respond, and very quick to fix the bug. I always respond to complaints and comments within at least 24 hours, and usually within just a few hours. Have you even tried SMART Utility? Try it and find out the difference.
Like
Version 1.0.3
Akrobat
21 September 2007
Well, I DID try. Downloaded and opened on my Macbook... crashed. Opened it again... crashed, and again, crashed, and again... crashed. "It could be my Mac" I thought. I think I'll try SMART Reporter. Downloaded, opened it and hey! It works. Sooo, it wasn't my Mac and the paid app crashes while the free app works without a hitch. Am I missing something here?
Like
Version 1.0.2
2 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
21 September 2007
Yes, there is a bug with Intel machines. But don't rely on SMARTReporter- it does not have the deep drive inspection that SMART Utility has. SMARTReporter can report "PASSED" up until the drive dies, while SMART Utility will report "FAILING" before the drive dies, allowing backing up of important data.
Like
Version 1.0.2
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
21 September 2007
Please download version 1.0.3. It fixes a (stupid) bug in 1.0.2 exposed on Intel systems. (For those who understand, I released an object outside of an if statement where it was allocated. IE, not all the time would it be allocated, and not all the time would the OS care.)
Like
Version 1.0.2
mrsidoric
16 June 2007
Based on downloading and testing most recent release -- many of the same criticisms are still valid -- locking up during 'updating SMART status' -- also the false positive for 'bad blocks'. Even so, I did license a copy. If the developer does finally deliver a solid product, meeting his proposed intentions -- it will be a universally REQUIRED product in this day of mass storage of valuable assets. I hope that the developer will pay close attention to this feedback -- and respond to the critique in later releases. Having read his technical credentials on his website, he should be able to produce a solid product we can all find beneficial and support. We hope so
Like
Version 1.0
5 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
17 June 2007
Thank you for purchasing SMART Utility. Version 1.0.1 should fix your hanging issues.
Like
Version 1.0.1
mrsidoric
mrsidoric
17 June 2007
V 1.01 still having problems on a G4 Powerbool with 2GB RAM and a slid good harddrive. 'Progress bar keeps animating but SMART status never updates.' Still believe this can become a solid and useful product -- licensed user here.
Like
Version 1.0.1
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
18 June 2007
Can you type the following into terminal: defaults write com.volitans-software.SMARTUtility OutputDebugMessages 1 This will turn on debugging messages. Then can you send me the file SMART Utility.log in ~/Library/Logs as well as console.log? That way I can see what is happening. Thanks!
Like
Version 1.0.1
Revco
Revco
19 June 2007
Hangs for me as well on a G4 PowerBook and MacMini PPC.
Like
Version 1.0.1
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
21 September 2007
Just an update, this freeze should be fixed in version 1.0.3. Thanks!
Like
Version 1.0.3
Felix01
04 June 2007
A limited release which stopped working on June 1, 2007. It's now June 4th and nothing has replaced the version which expired. Good thing I'm not really depending on this app and the developer. I'll take into consideration when deciding if it's worth a $20 shareware fee.
Like
Version 1.0.0B1
1 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
04 June 2007
Sorry, if you redownload the beta, it will last until the 15th. I should have given myself some leeway to get the new version out.
Like
Version 1.0.0B1
Elijahg3
22 May 2007
My 10,000rpm Raptor drives (one is brand new) report that there have been a few bad block reallocations, and so this utility claims the drive is failing. The drive is not failing because of a few bad block reallocations. Hard disk drives get bad blocks occasionally, it's just miniscule impurities in the surface of the disk that don't quite operate correctly. People without much knowledge of hard disks may get scared and replace their disk even though there is absolutely no need to whatsoever. From the read me: "If it says FAILING, it will probably die soon" Based on bad blocks, this is NOT the case. There are billions of blocks on hard disks, and having a few go wrong is not an indication of it's impeding failure. Do not believe what this utility says based on bad blocks alone.
Like
Version 1.0.0B1
4 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
22 May 2007
ELIJAHG3: "From the read me: "If it says FAILING, it will probably die soon" Based on bad blocks, this is NOT the case. There are billions of blocks on hard disks, and having a few go wrong is not an indication of it's impeding failure." Based on my experience repairing over 3000 Macs as an Apple Certified Desktop and Portable Technician, having any bad blocks to indicate that the HD will fail. It may not be immediately, it may not be for months, but eventually it will fail. I've tried forcing the drive to reallocate the blocks, and sometimes it does. But then more will appear, and then more, and then eventually no data will be recoverable. My customers are happy when the come in and are experiencing problems (spinning wheels/freezing), and I find its just a bad HD, and I caught it early enough to save most, if not all of their data. All drive manufacturers will take back drives with bad sectors- even just a few. If the Mac is still under warranty, Apple will also replace the drive. You may take the chance, but I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to my data. I hope that clears up why its reporting as FAILING.
Like
Version 1.0.0B1
Elijahg0
Elijahg0
22 May 2007
Thanks for the reply. I have had reallocated blocks on many of my drives, some from years back. According to hard disk manufacturers, it only really becomes a problem if thousands of reallocations are occurring, not one or two. I've dealt with a fair number of both Macs and PC's in my time, easily in the 4-500 range. obviously nothing like you, but quite a few. I've only known two hard disks fail, one WD drive in my old Performa 6400, and a drive in a MacBook that was knocked off a table. A Seagate drive in my old G5 had troubles, it made that taletale whiiir click whiiir click sound as it's reallocating blocks. But, it still goes perfectly. I was just pointing out that the drive isn't going to fail imminently just because of a few bad blocks. Only when it gets into the thousands it needs to be addressed.
Like
Version 1.0.0B1
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
24 May 2007
Yes, I understand that a few bad blocks doesn't necessarily mean that the drive will fail soon. But like I said, in my experience, it will fail eventually. My application just makes an assessment based on the SMART data, and makes a suggestion from that. You are of course free to take a chance. I leave what to do with the drive up to user. But I personally would get the drive replaced- just to be sure. But thank you for raising this important point.
Like
Version 1.0.0B1
Smkol
Smkol
16 June 2007
the problem is the all drives fail eventually. A key distinguishing issue is whether the bad blocks are new or old. If they already have data then presumably they are new bad blocks. I think that would be a way of increasing the warning level. Unfortunately it's not a way of general checking a large more or less empty drive. We generally write zeroes across drives as soon as we can to give the drive a full coverage and a chance to reallocate blocks the first time to settle if blocks are new or old. Later if we run into a drive that has a delay writing zeroes again (we're in a situation where we re-image large numbers of computers annually or so) then we KNOW its a dying drive just because we've got history. I don't know if you can build a kind of background write zeroes or ones into the system when idle without saving a file - or writing a file and mapping out sections of the drive until eventually the whole drive is covered - or even if its knowable that certain manufacturers do some write test at the factory and leave the blocks in a knowable state of 1 or 0.... something to give a baseline on changes in the drive....
Like
Version 1.0
Sivanamaom
22 May 2007
Does not work. Does not get past the "Updating SMART information" Window. Mac OSx10.4.9
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Version 1.0.0B1
1 answer(s)
Apple4ever
Apple4ever
22 May 2007
This is a known bug. If you would be willing to contact me at support@volitans-software.com, I would like to get a better idea of why it is happening. I have a theory, but I would like more information to be sure. Thank you for your interest!
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Version 1.0.0B1