GSmartControl – Monitor and Test Hard Drive SMART Data

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GSmartControl is an open source and portable application for identifying, monitoring and testing hard drives. GSmartControl differs from applications like CrystalDiskInfo because GSmartControl monitors the SMART data and runs tests, whereas CrystalDiskInfo just monitors the SMART data. The reason why you would want to actually test a hard drive rather than just monitoring its SMART data is because unless a hard drive has quite a few bad sectors, it probably wont trigger any warnings or alarms.

GSmartControl is capable of running the SMART Short self-test of 60 seconds and the Extended self-test which can take many hours depending on the size of the hard drive. The short diagnostic test will look for major issues but will often miss any smaller issues present. The Extended test is always recommended to test a hard drive if you have the time for it such as the machine being in your workshop.

GSmartControl runs on Windows, OSX, FreeBSD and a variety of Linux flavors including live CDs.

Screenshots:




Downloads:

Download from Official Site – 6.44mb

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Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
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Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

Comments (9)

  • Marco Segovia says:

    Any idea how this test / tool compares to things like DFT, or seatools? Is it purely informational, or will / can it attempt to repair bad sectors like seatools and dft can?

    • Bryce W says:

      I believe it would be the same as Seatools/DFT since they both run the standard SMART test.
      The SMART test is a passive thing so it wouldnt fix the problem, just tell you about it.
      Other than recovering data, you wouldnt want to repair a drive that was failing anyway. You would want to get whatever you could off it quickly and replace it. You dont mess around when it comes to hard drives starting to show issues.

  • Roger Hart says:

    GSmartSontrol is very handy for me as a tech. Here are three reasons I depend on it more than CrystalDiskInfo (CDI):

    1. You can also run GSmartControl using the LiveCD Parted Magic on an unbootable machine – http://www.partedmagic.com/
    - CDI can’t do this unless you can build it into a WinPE disc

    2. You can export a text file using the portable version like this:
    smartctl.exe -x /dev/pd0 > %COMPUTERNAME%_DISK0.txt
    - CDI has no command line interface

    3. Also take a look at the “Error Log” tab – if either it or “Attributes” are showing red I recommend replacing the drive.
    - CDI does not show the Error Log

    I still use CDI as a real-time app to show the general health of the drive on a working machine, but when I need to know if the drive is good or bad, I use GSmartControl.

  • Nathan says:

    This is a fairly nice S.M.A.R.T. testing tool. It’s nice to get this data from time to time, in addition to searching for bad sectors. (chkdsk /r/f on Windows, badblocks -nvs /dev/[Drive or partition mount point here] on Linux and Unix systems, including OS X.)

  • Nathan says:

    Oops! I should have pointed out that if in Unix, Linux, or a Unix-like system external media are often located at other mount points, such as in /sda/[X], /media/[X], etc.

    • Nathan says:

      Agh! Typos galore this morning. Not /sda/[X], but /mnt/[X]. I don’t know why I put “sda.” That’s typically the designation for external media and partitions on them (i.e., /media/sda2)

  • Joshua says:

    Meh, HDD diagnostic tools are kind of a thing of the past for me. I have run stress tests, checked the SMART, and run checks for bad sectors and had them come out clean. Then when I reboot suddenly the hard drive is no longer recognized on the customer’s pc or via usb to my laptop. There’s no sure fire way to test a hard drive. I just set my customers up with a backup drive with an image of the HD and set it to run daily. If the drive fails I come out with hard drive in hand and just restore from the image. If you are an on site tech I think running HD diagnostics is a waste of time.

  • Michael McKenzie says:

    I run a diagnostic on every machine that comes in the door. Now some pass and the drive is still bad, but I have found countless hard drive issues because of the diagnostics. People coming in and complaining that the computer is slow is a good sign the HD might have issues. Run a Diagnostic (I use Eurosoft’s PC check) if it passes, I assume it is software related. I would say that out of 100 that pass maybe one is secretly bad.

  • sbit says:

    How long do you need to run Eurosoft PC check to test the entire system?