It’s no secret that hard drives will fail at some point and when this happens any data they contain will possibly be lost. Unless your drives contain noncritical data you should be constantly monitoring them for sings of possible failure. If this matters to you then you should consider using monitoring software, when it comes to monitoring the health of your drives I recommend Acronis Drive Monitor a free solution by Acronis intended to monitor server, workstation and PC hard disk drives. Acronis Drive Monitor is simple and fully functional monitoring software that makes use of the SMART interface built-in to modern drives to monitor and report back on any sings of possible failure. While Acronis Drive Monitor integrates nicely with other Acronis products like True Image Home 2010, Acronis Backup and Security 2010 PC backup and recovery they are not necessary in order to use Drive Monitor. I will no focus on the integration with other software in this post.
Monitoring will not prevent data loss, you should still backup since the technology is not 100% percent accurate.
Like I previously wrote, Acronis Drive Monitor is simple to understand, when the application is started you will be greeted to an easy to understand interface that will list all available drives and their health using a percentage bar, below you will also see three tabs. The tabs will give you drive specific information.
The first tab is Disk over view here you will see basic information like total Power on time, Disk health, and Disk temperature.
This tab contains a lot of valuable data, if you want to inform your self on the meaning of the values found in this tab I recommend reading the following Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T..
You will be notified of changes, in my case they all relate to high drive temperature.
Administrators will find the E-mail notification feature useful, alerts and notifications will be mailed to the configured address.
Acronis Drive Monitor is free and functional software that works. In my case all of my consumer drives worked without any issue. If you don’t have a budget but want to keep on a eye on the health of your drives Acronis Drive Monitor would be my first choice. Both business and home users can take advantage of this free application. Yes, I am aware that S.M.A.R.T. is not 100% accurate but it beats having no indicator at all. Home Page: Acronis Drive Monitor