If your Mac suddenly stops responding while performing a read and write operation, then you may need to put your hard drive through a series of read and write tests to identify the root cause of the slow read/write operation. One of the reasons why hard disk starts experiencing read/write issues is frequent use of low-level hard disk utilities and data recovery tools. Although Mac OS X native disk utility lets you apply both basic and advance fixes to prevent hard disk damages, it doesn’t notify you about imminent hard drive failures. SMARTReporter is a tiny app for Mac OS X that deploys an efficient S.M.A.R.T-based monitoring system to keep you updated about your hard disk health as well as, performance. The workability of this hard drive monitoring tool is based on consistent polling the S.M.A.R.T status of hard disk. You can set it to perform S.M.A.R.T tests silently in the background, and send email to specified recipient, display warning message or launch an application when an impending hard drive failure is anticipated. Details to follow after the jump.
For those who aren’t familiar with S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology), it is a built-in feature of modern hard drives that is basically designed to check disk health in order to anticipate disk failures. In short, it acts as a warning system that alerts you about the developing disk issues, so that you can backup your important data and get a new hard drive.
SMARTReporter supports ATA, SATA or eSATA hard disk drives and depends solely on S.M.A.R.T technology built into the hard drive. After downloading the application, move it to Applications folder, and then launch it.
The application resides in menu bar, allowing to you quickly check the current disk health status and view disk health log file. From menu bar, you can bring up Preferences, which includes customization options such as menu bar icon color & appearance, app behavior etc. For the first time usage, open Preferences to select the hard disk you want to monitor for disk failures.
It will list down all the hard disks, letting you select the hard disks and time interval. It also displays total size of all connected hard drives and current S.M.A.R.T status. If it fails to verify any connected hard disks, you may need to restart the application and then select the hard drive from Preferences.
Under On disk-failure do: section, you can choose to specify type of disk failure alert including pop-up alert dialog, execute an application and send an email.
As stated earlier, you can change the menu bar icon appearance. Just head over to Appearance tab, and select how the application should notify you about disk failure. It lets you disable menu bar icon / notification, replace default icon with small colored dots or with specified icon from given icon set.
The Behavior tab lets you change S.M.A.R.T report log target path and limit log file size. The application is, by default, set to check disks for I/O errors, but you can permanently disable I/O error disk scanning.
SMARTReporter is quite a powerful disk monitoring application for Mac machines with old hard disks. However, it may fail to report any non-S.M.A.R.T disk related issues. Therefore, you should use your hard disk manufacturer’s provided tools to thoroughly monitor the hard disk’s overall performance.
The application works on Mac OS X 10.5 and higher.