"Querying and controlling SMART data on HDDs."
GSmartControl is a useful hard disk drive health inspection tool that monitors any drives attached to your system. The application uses a HDD health break-down system called S.M.A.R.T. which stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. This method has been the standard for diagnosing the status of the current life of your drive. GSmartControl does most of the work for you by analyzing S.M.A.R.T. and determining the condition of your drive giving you an overall health self-assessment test that shows whether your drive has passed or failed.
GSmartControl also breaks down the information for you to check yourself. The application lists individual attributes of your drive like the temperature of the drive, read error rates, power-on time, and numerous others. There are plenty of ways to check the status of your drive, but what makes GSmartControl so useful is how it manages to display information not only in an organized fashion, but also with a very easy to understand formula. Though it’s unavoidable at times, GSmartControl does an excellent job of describing capabilities and attributes in a way that even semi-tech savvy people should understand.
You have the option to run three hard drive tests at any time under the Perform Tests menu. The first and quickest test to perform is the Short Self-Test, which consists of a collection of test routines that have the highest chance of detecting drive problems. The results are reported in the Self-test Log. Note that this test is in no way comprehensive. Its main purpose is to detect totally damaged drives without running the full surface scan. The Extended self-test examines complete disk surface and performs various test routines built into the drive. Its result is reported in the Self-test Log. The last test is the Conveyance self-test which is intended to identify damage incurred during transporting of the drive. The last thing that I want to mention is the usefulness of being able to open multiple windows for multiple drives. If you’re like me and have a desk full of external drives as well as internal drives, than you’ll be happy to be able to view drives side-by-side.
Installation is very quick and simple with no packaged software. GSmartControl is free to download and use and is available on most Windows, Linux, and OS X systems. We'll test the Windows version here.
There isn't anything flashy about the interface, but it isn't ugly either. Everything is laid out in a easy to understand organized fashion.
- Is able to test even external drives as well as internal drives
- Lists details in a easy to understand environment
- Multiple test options.
- Can be useful to even the non-tech savvy.
- Doesn't offer much options to repair drives, but considering the software is free it still does its job well.
As I mentioned in the overview there are plenty of other options for running S.M.A.R.T. tests on your drives. HD Tune performs nearly the exact same functions as GSmartControl and also has the ability to scan external devices like mp3 players and SD cards. CrystalDiskInfo is another HDD utility that offers a bit more of a graphical approach to checking the health of your drives. It is designed for both HDD and SSD.
There are plenty of HDD utilities out there that scan for errors and display S.M.A.R.T. information and well you’ll probably do just fine with one or the other, GSmartControl should give you the information you need on your drive and it does an excellent job of displaying information in a easy to understand environment.
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