Volitans Software Announces SMART Utility 2.0

January 27, 2009 in Utility (E)

[prMac.com] Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Volitans software today announces SMART Utility 2.0, a major update to the hard drive diagnostic scanning application. The new features include the ability to run built-in drive self tests, preferences to only alert new problems, and Growl support. Other smaller features and minor bug fixes are included as well.

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.

Release notes for Version 2.0:
* Added support for built-in drive self-tests
= Added self test count, last test time and status
= Added self test window which displays past tests and an interface to run short and long tests
= Progress bar updates as test progresses
= Does not scan drives if test in progress but drive does not support updating
* Added preference to ignore failing messages from the following attributes:
= Airflow Temperature (ID 190), usually found on Seagate drives
= Reallocated Events (ID 196)
* Added preference to only mark drive as failing if error count increased since last scan
* Added preference to only mark drive as failing if bad sector count increased since last scan
* Added preference to choose custom failing values for bad sectors and error count (default is 0 and 50 respectively)
* Added preference to display temperature in Fahrenheit
* Added reset preferences button
* Added Growl support, which supports notifications of drive scan complete, drive update complete, drive failing, drive failed, and test complete
* Changed drive info button to "More Info" instead of a "Show All" (matches better with the tests button)
* Corrected the system requirements alert message
* Fixed default column spacing in the attributes window
* Fixed bug where in progress self tests would report single digit percents instead of full percents, and without percent sign
* Fixed bug where open information windows would not update
* Overhauled help system using Omni's Helpify
* Rearranged preferences window to better view added preferences
* Updated eSellerate Embedded Engine to version 4.0.0
* Updated Sparkle to version 1.5
* Updated Smart Crash Reports to version 1.5

* Displays all supported drives and their partitions
* Displays easy to read overall SMART status with color coded text
* 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 more detailed information in separate windows, including capabilities, all available attributes, and the past five errors
* Run built in drive self tests
* Customize failing triggers
* 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 both PowerPC and Intel Macs

Pricing and Availability:
SMART Utility is available in a variety of licenses including a personal license for $25 (USD) and a family license for $40 (USD). It can be purchased online or in an innovative way: within SMART Utility itself through its embedded web store.

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.