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Hard Disc Monitoring Programs


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#1 Magic Sam

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 02:59 PM

I have got more than one hard drive (internal and external) some of which I think are suspect.  It seems common sense to run periodic DIY "health checks" before going to the professionals each time.  I know that I can download Seatools apps from Seagate but I have drives from other manufacturers also - Hitachi.  Has anyone had experience of either manufacturer-specific monitoring programs, or of those that claim to be able to cover all drives? Tks



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#2 hamluis

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 03:32 PM

Frankly...even though I have one installed...I see little value in monitoring hard drives via 3d-party utilities.

 

I suppose that the only reason I bought mine was...curiosity and the fact that I have had 5 or 6 hard drives attached at one time to each of my two desktops.  When the monitoring program showed problems with a drive, I followed that up by running the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic.  Between the two, I managed not to be surprised when a given drive failed.

 

The signs of hard drive problems become manifest in Windows...the monitor just helps to pinpoint the root cause of problems detected by Windows.

 

IMO, the paid versions of these monitor/diagnostic programs...is more useful than the free/trial versions for anyone really doing serious troubleshooting.

 

Because there are so many of these tools...it would help if you indicate just which tools you might be interested in...member usage of these will vary.

 

Louis



#3 Magic Sam

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 03:56 PM

I have Seagate, Hitachi and Maxtor drives and am aware of the two Seatools programs that can be used to monitor the first of these. I am toying with getting another external drive, from Buffalo.  "Serious troubleshooting" is above my pay grade, more to the point is to have a pointer when the time has come to engage the services of a professional (and not waste his time and my money).  The current problems are a bit mystical and at this point could be hardware or software related >> the more info I have - within reason - and can make sense of, the better.



#4 hamluis

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:33 PM

Understood :).

 

But, as I stated....Windows provides warnings of sme type before every hard drive failure that I've experienced...all I have to do is read the right report, investigate...and I then know if I have a hard drive problem.

 

Since I troubleshoot my own systems (I got very tired of paying someone to do it for me in my Win 95-98 days), I could make a case for having the tool I use.

 

Which tool do you intend to use?  Like human beings, they are NOT the same in ease of use, understanding, utility...and it's somewhat foolish to have a utility which you don't understand how to use properly.

 

Louis



#5 Magic Sam

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:56 PM

Which tool to use is the $64 K question!!  I started off thinking of installing one of the third party ones, preferably without OpenCandy, but the more I listen to advice I am coming round to the view that I should use the individual drive manufacturer's software in each case, hoping that each is sufficiently intelligible for the average mortal to use effectively. I suppose the logic is along the lines of preventative maintenance rather than wait for Windows to flag something up.



#6 hamluis

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 06:55 PM

Understood...the problem with preventive maintenance as a concept on hard drives...is that hard drives have (IMO) the highest mortality rate of any other computer system component...which probably makes sense because it is one of the few components with moving parts.

 

SMART is the predictive feature designed to warn users of impending hard drive failures...but many users don't realize that and interpreting SMART results is not for the average computer user (like myself), IMO.  Another weakness with SMART (IMO) is that a user can disable it in the BIOS, defeating the purpose of its existence.

 

There are far more persons here with experience and knowledge beyond mine...whose opinions should be made available on this subject...if they just choose to post.

 

Louis



#7 Magic Sam

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 05:18 AM

A quick google for SMART came up with not only CrystalDiskInfo with its OpenCandy downside, but also the DOS wmic command. Another source recommended the "DiskCheckup" app.  I have yet to try either but perhaps there are readers who have done so and survived to tell the tale?



#8 hamluis

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 10:55 AM

I think that I've checked out Crystal Disk Info...wasn't impressed, but I already had Hard Disk Sentinel installed/paid for.

 

With software like this, I find it interesting to see the evolution of a given version...gives you an idea of previous shortfalls which may influence any decision to use that product.  See http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/manual-en/History.html .

 

DiskCheckup is one that I had not tried...but it's a PassMark product, which I consider rates it as worth a look.

 

With many programs (not just hard drive utilieis)...it's a matter of user preference for interface, usefulness of data presented, how it's presented, etc.  Example:  I use 4 different programs to edit video after I have captured it via WinTV 7.  I like some things that each does but there is no one program that allows me the flexibility that I have with the 4.

 

I don't take that approach with hard drive utilities, just pointing out that it's "user preference" that's the key factor for installing/using software, IMO.

 

Louis



#9 Magic Sam

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 11:41 AM

[There was a previous post from me that vanished into cyberspace - explains the lack of continuity]

 

In such technical topics I tend to trust other folks' experience and recommendations rather than my own preferences / abilities, such as with CrystalDiskInfo where I was initially enthusiastic until it was pointed out to me that it was bundled with OpenCandy.  I might now end up using a variety from time to time: DOS, Seagate etc, DiskCheckUp, unless one or more readers advise against this.



#10 Magic Sam

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 05:36 PM

My PC shop recommended today a program called "Hard Disc Regenerator" though with the caveat to use it to monitor only but not to fix.  I looked this up but it is a bit confusing.  Some versions are free, others you pay $99 for, some call themselves HDD Regenerator, others "... with crack".  One of the write-ups wasn't the best example of the Queen's English - why should it be?! - but came bundled with a pop-up for casino gaming.  Can anyone shed any light / speak from experience?



#11 hamluis

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 05:39 PM

It's the Web...in 2013.

 

Louis






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