Hard disk errors can often occur due to intensive and complacent use of hard drives. Sometimes a system is not shut down properly or a faulty application can lead to read/write errors. Moreover, power fluctuations, high hard disk temperature and multiple other factors can often result in hard disk damage.
HDD Guardian is an open source application that alerts you in case of imminent failure, temperature threshold or vital parameter change of your hard disk. It provides instant overview of your hard disks health and allows you to identify if disk error checking should be conducted. All useful information are displayed, like the error rate, power cycle count, hard disk temperature, etc which allows you to take proper measures to protect your hard disk from damage due to variable factors.
Once HDD Guardian is launched, you are provided with a snapshot of your hard disk’s health. Raw read error rate, spin up time, reallocated sector, power on hours, power cycle count, load cycle count information and other important details can be read from the main interface.
The available information not only includes hard disk health information but also other important details, such as, include manufacturer’s name, serial number, firmware version and disk space. Some of this information can be quite handy in identifying suitable resources (such as developer’s forums) to see if the hard disk is prone to damage vulnerability and if there is a way to avoid it. This information is visible from the top of the main interface and the General Informations tab.
You can initiate a hard disk test from the SMART Self Test Logs tab. To start a test, click Run. SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) test details and error logs can be viewed from the General SMART Values and Smart Error Log tabs.
You can set custom parameters to review hard disk from the Monitoring tab (accessible from File -> Settings). Certain warning messages can be enabled to get system tray alerts, like high hard disk temperature. The data collected by HDD guardian can be saved to a shared folder from the Sharing tab. Such a practice can be handy for system admins to choose a network drive path for receiving hard disk related updates. The Look n Feel tab provides some common option like allowing HDD Guardian to start at system startup, enabling system tray icon, etc.
System tray notifications can be quite useful to keep an eye on hard disk issues and to instantly identify and resolve them to avoid severe hard disk damage.
HDD Guardian is quite a handy application for making sure that you are able to take the necessary steps to monitor and maintain the health of your hard disk for a prolonged HDD life. It works on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, provided you have .Net Framework 4.0 installed.