Windows S.M.A.R.T.

Windows doesn’t seem to have built in S.M.A.R.T. support! After reading this guide and this Stack question I think the best option is CrystalDiskInfo. It used to have some bundled adware but the author promises he removed it all, and there’s a portable version for download (ie: no installer). I took a chance and it seems to work.


That’s my USB drive. Ignore all the junk and focus on “Health Status: Good”. Its heuristics seem reasonable; at least it shows my two new drives healthy and identifies errors in a failing drive that look plausible.


Why the fuck doesn’t Windows have basic SMART error monitoring and notification? It’s the first line of detection for a failing drive, popping up errors for the user would save countless amounts of lost data. (And ignore the advice to try Windows’ wmic; at least on the drive I know is failing, it shows “OK” even though it’s not.)

And why are SMART tools so bad? Note the same user-hostile display table at the bottom as every other SMART tool in the world shows. What’s the temperature? 123? 111? No, it’s 00000000001D, which for some reason is being displayed in hex with leading zeros. At least this program translates it to 29C. No idea what the spin up time might mean though. I don’t even know what “Current” and “Worst” are supposed to mean. Linux smartmontools shows the same nonsense.

Speaking of smartmontools, I tried installing like four versions of it for Windows from dodgy SourceForge binaries. They all sucked, many couldn’t even find my drives. So much terrible Windows software out there.

Ken’s computer is showing signs of a failing hard drive. Last CHKDSK randomly found about 30 files corrupted. The machine is about five years old, just in time for a shitty consumer hard drive to fail. Ugh.