S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives
Your rating: Now say why...

(12) 4.791666666666667

Provides S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic data for external drives (beta).   Free
Add to my Watch List
Email me when discounted
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
  • Intel
  • OS X 10.6 or later
  • USB or FireWire drive







  • SMARTReporter
    +1

  • SMART Utility
    +1
S.M.A.R.T. for USB... User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 0.x:
(12)
Your rating: Now say why...
Overall:
(12)

sort: smiles | time
burypromote

+109

Andy-Hewitt reviewed on 12 Apr 2014
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.
[Version 0.9]

2 Replies

burypromote

+97
Thresher-The-Shark replied on 14 Apr 2014
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.
burypromote

+109
Andy-Hewitt replied on 14 Apr 2014
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.
burypromote

+80

piquadratpi2 reviewed on 11 Apr 2014
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...
[Version 0.9]


burypromote

+3

RodgerW6021 reviewed on 11 Apr 2014
Works with Seagate Barracuda in a miniStack Classic enclosure via FireWire. Definitely wish this was standard in OS X!
[Version 0.9]


burypromote

-10

Ephg reviewed on 17 Dec 2013
Thank you for this program. It works great and I can now keep an eye on my three external drives.
[Version 0.6]


burypromote

+197
GeoProf commented on 12 Aug 2013
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.
[Version 0.6]

1 Reply

burypromote

+197
GeoProf replied on 12 Aug 2013
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 :(
burypromote
+1

+852

Negritude reviewed on 27 Jul 2013
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. :-)
[Version 0.6]


burypromote

+17

Paul Cook reviewed on 01 Jul 2013
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.
[Version 0.6]

1 Reply

burypromote

+852
Negritude replied on 27 Jul 2013
"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.
burypromote

Kazura reviewed on 10 Jun 2013
Unless I've REALLY missed something (yes, followed instructions) this AWSOME tool breaks in 10.8.4 ... :-(
[Version 0.6]


burypromote

+375

B. Jefferson Le Blanc reviewed on 08 Jun 2013
This works for four out of seven of my external drives - the newest ones. I don't understand the details of how it works, but adding SMART support to some drives is better than nome.

Getting it to work is a bit tricky. You have to follow the installation instructions carefully. Un-mount the drives before you run the installer and power-cycle the drives afterwards. Just remounting them is not enough. You have to turn them off and back on again.
[Version 0.6]

2 Replies

burypromote
+1

+852
Negritude replied on 09 Jun 2013
Just curious, but why only 3.5 stars? The developer has given us something in his spare time, that hundreds of highly paid programmers employed by Apple haven't done in ten years, which is about how long people have been asking for this capability in OS X.
burypromote

+375
B. Jefferson Le Blanc replied on 09 Jun 2013
@ Negritude: The developer has no doubt done a good job, but, through no fault of his as far as I can tell, the software is tricky to install, as some of the comments and my own experience show. Likewise, it's probably not his fault that it doesn't work with older hard drives, but that fact limits its usefulness nonetheless. If it works better for you, you're free to give it more stars. But I can only speak for my experience. As the saying goes, YMMV.
burypromote

+275
MisterE commented on 07 Jun 2013
I'm not sure which is the better option. This driver or this one: https://github.com/RJVB/OS-X-SAT-SMART-Driver

Both Read Me files say in a 2012.05.21 note, "I created a fork (https://github.com/RJVB/OS-X-SAT-SMART-Driver) that works with enclosures that weren't supported before, in 64bit." But, they can not both be forks of kasbert's repository.

I think I'm going to stick with the RJVB fork even though it hasn't been updated as recently. The last update was just to sync versions with kasbert's. It's also the one that smartmontools documentation links to.
I have not had any problems with it in 10.8.3 so until it's broken I'm not fixing it. :)

Incidentally, this was last updated 2 months ago, it just hit MU today.
[Version 0.6]

2 Replies

burypromote
+3

+852
Negritude replied on 08 Jun 2013
The changes in the fork were already merged with kasbert's mainline. The fork no longer has a specific purpose, other than as a mirror. You want to stick with kasbert.
burypromote
+1

+275
MisterE replied on 08 Jun 2013
Excellent, I had come to that conclusion myself but appreciate the confirmation from a trusted source. :)
burypromote

+117
Gary30 had trouble on 09 Aug 2013
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.
[Version 0.6]


burypromote

+1
Scoops98 had trouble on 03 Mar 2013
After installing I found my system unstable and experience boot issues. I uninstalled as per the instructions, my built in drives no longer report their SMART status. I have reinstalled my system now too.

Mac OS 10.8.2
[Version 0.5]



-1

ErvinsS rated on 11 Apr 2014

[Version 0.9]



+7

Appleday88 rated on 15 Mar 2014

[Version 0.6]



+2

RONIN427 rated on 27 Sep 2013

[Version 0.6]



Fussell rated on 07 Jun 2013

[Version 0.6]



Mactechnician rated on 07 Jun 2013

[Version 0.6]


Downloads:8,063
Version Downloads:2,396
Type:Drivers : Storage
License:Free
Date:11 Apr 2014
Platform:Intel 64 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price:Free0.00
Overall (Version 0.x):
Features:
Ease of Use:
Value:
Stability:
Displaying 1-10 of 14
1 2 >
Displaying 1-2 of 2
Displaying 1-5 of 5
-
-
-
Please login or create a new
MacUpdate Member account
to use this feature
Watch Lists are available to
MacUpdate Desktop Members
Upgrade Now
Install with MacUpdate Desktop.
Save time moving files & cleaning
up space wasting archives.
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.


- -