I am aware that the current standard method of drive redundancy and backups would be a better solution, but I would be interested if there was a software that could be installed on workstation computers that could monitor hard drive health and give a warning if the drive looks like a failure is imminent. I have tried hdd health but it does not give me very useful information. I am not interested in drive space, just want a heads up before a drive failure. Anyone know anything like this?
The standard mechanism for hard drive health reporting is called SMART. This Google Labs Report (PDF) makes a strong case that the SMART data is mostly worthless.
'hdd health' probably extracts SMART data from drives, that's what all other hard drive health tools do as far as I know.
Thus I believe the only effective way to guard against drive failure remains the use of redundant drives.
With the greatest respect to Phil, I've heard this mis-statement of the Google Labs report too many times to let it pass again. They do not say the SMART data is "mostly worthless".
What they say is that "several parameters from the drive’s self monitoring facility (SMART) ... correlate highly with failures", specifically that "some SMART parameters (scan errors, reallocation counts, offline reallocation counts, and probational counts) have a large impact on failure probability". But "given the lack of occurrence of predictive SMART signals on a large fraction of failed drives, it is unlikely that an accurate predictive failure model can be built based on these signals alone."
What this amounts to is that:
The Google Labs report also makes no mention of the SMARTctl test modes (
I should add that I completely agree with Phil about the use of redundant drives. With the exception of laptops, I would never put a single HDD in service any more. Discs are so cheap that you should buy and deploy them in pairs (preferably from different vendors, to avoid putting two drives from a single manufacturing batch in a RAID-1 together).
Drive Health is a Windows program that helps you to estimate your hard disks Life Resource. This tool allows you to predict possible HDD failure and prevent losing the critical data. To estimate hard disk life our program uses special S.M.A.R.T. technology that is supported by the most of hard disk manufacturers.
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