Volitans Software Announces SMART Utility 1.1

January 22, 2008 in Software (E)


Lancaster, Penn - January 22, 2008 - Volitans Software today announces SMART Utility 1.1, a significant update to the hard drive diagnostic scanning application. The new features include software update functionality, highlighting failing drives in the list, automatically expanding drive listings, and a new icon. Other smaller features and minor bug fixes are also included.

SMART Utility is an application to scan the internal hardware diagnostics system of hard drives SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a system built into hard drives by their manufacturers to report on various measurements (called attributes) of a hard drive's operation. The attributes can be used to detect when a hard drive is having mechanical or electrical problems, and can indicate when the hard drive is failing. SMART Utility can read and display these attributes. This allows time to hopefully backup, and then replace the drive.

SMART Utility is different from other drive utilities, such as Disk Utility, which only read the overall SMART Status. SMART Utility not only displays the individual attributes to see their status and information, but it also uses an internal algorithm based on those attributes to detect drives failing before SMART indicates it has failed. This pre-fail detection can save precious data before SMART has determined that the drive has failed. And, while the raw information can be viewed on the command line with smartmontools (which is what SMART Utility is based on), SMART Utility presents it in an easy to read format, as well as running its internal pre-fail algorithm.

SMART Utility is perfect for consumers, businesses, and especially technicians. Consumers can monitor their hard drive, and if its failing, the early warning that SMART Utility provides time to back up all of the precious data. Businesses can run SMART Utility weekly or even daily on their most important Macs, and can back up important data before the drives fail. Finally, SMART Utility is perfect for technicians when diagnosing troubled Macs. Instead of wasting hours determining the problem, SMART Utility provides a quick check to see if the hard drive is causing all the trouble.

Pricing and Availability.
SMART Utility is available in three licenses: a 10 copy license for $20, a 100 copy license for $100, and the best deal in a Unlimited copy for $200. It can be purchased online or in an innovative way: within SMART Utility itself through its embedded web store.

Release Notes for 1.1
* New icon (thanks to Jordan Langille of One Toad Design)
* Icon flag's color will now be set to worst drive found
* Added Software Update functionality using the Sparkle Framework
- Added "Check for Updates" in applications menu
- Added "Check for updates on startup" checkbox in preferences
* Added preference to automatically expand drive listings to show volumes, set by default to on
* Added "Show Log" and "Send Log to Developer" menu items to "Help" menu
* Added smartctl version and processor type to debug log
* Added GUI support for a new self test status bit
* Now scans and display lifetime minimum and maximum temperature readings, if available
* Failing drives now are highlighted in list
* Holding shift down at boot will temporary activate outputting debug messages, regardless of current preference
* Reordered preferences window
* Progress bars should now animate in more cases
* Fixed hang at "Updating SMART Information" on drives with a failure to read the error log
* Fixed bug where drive with disabled SMART would be reported as unsupported; now enables SMART if possible
* Fixed an error message relating to not finding the smartctl engine
* Fixed bug where lower case letters entered for serial numbers would not be accepted
* Updated eSellerate Engine to providing better support for Leopard
* Updated smartctl engine to latest 5.38 CVS version, providing many updates and changes, including:
- added many more drives to database
- added names for attributes 187, 189, & 190
- improved interpretation for attribute 190 for WD disks

* Displays all supported drives and their partitions
* Displays important information in the main window, such as drive model, capacity, power on hours, temperature, bad sector counts, and error counts and types
* Displays easy to read overall SMART status with color coded text
* Displays more detailed information in separate windows, including capabilities, all available attributes, and the past five errors
* Supports scanning individual RAID drives in addition to non-RAIDed drives
* Supports logging all information to a log file for verifying SMART data
* Supports Mac OS X 10.4 or later (including Server and 10.5) and both PowerPC and Intel Macs

Volitans Software was founded on February 22, 2007, by Matthew Butch, to sell SMART Utility. The name Volitans comes from the scientific name of the Red Lionfish. Matthew is an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician, an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator, and an Apple Certified System Administrator. He conceived of the idea of SMART Utility because he wanted a better way to test hard drives in his job as an on-site Macintosh Technician.


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