July 16, 2012 in Software (E)
[prMac.com] Reston, Virginia - Reston, Virginia - Software and Computer Systems Company, LLC, (SCSC) has released Scannerz with FSE-Lite for the Mac OS X Operating System. Scannerz is a hard drive analysis tool utilizing advanced diagnostic algorithms developed by SCSC. It can be used to analyze not only the drive, but the circuitry supporting the drive. Unlike other hard drive tools on the market, Scannerz is a hardware oriented tool with the sole purpose of detecting problems and helping the user isolate their actual cause before attempting a repair. FSE-Lite, which is a file system events monitor, can help isolate applications that may be generating excessive drive activity and misleading a user into believing their system has problems when none actually exist.
"People very often think they have hard drive problems when in fact they're not being caused by the drive but supporting components, such as faulty cables, bad connectors, or faulty logic board traces," stated an SCSC spokesman. "Some problems can even be caused by background applications or an anti-virus program locking out or hogging up drive access with the end user being completely unaware of it. I don't know how many times people have contacted us and sworn they had a bad hard drive and replaced it only to find the problems still persist."
"At SCSC, we decided to put an end to the guessing game. Other products on the market offer only a very basic surface scanning capability, usually coupled with a lot of other features like RAM testing or defragmentation, but the actual drive scanning process is limited and not terribly sophisticated. At SCSC we decided to develop a product that does only one thing, and does it very, very well. With Scannerz, the user will be not only be testing for surface scan errors, the user is also looking for critical timing errors and the repeatability of test results. This gives the user much more confidence knowing the source of the underlying problems."
SCSC's web site defines a critical timing error, which they refer to as an "irregularity," as a measured timing event that falls outside the bounds of normal operation. Instead of simply reading a sector on a drive and assigning it a pass/fail status, Scannerz measures the amount of time that it took to perform the operation. SCSC has found that an increasing number of irregularities is often a pre-cursor to a myriad of drive or system related failures. Irregularities are typically completely ignored by other hard drive scanning tools on the market.
Scannerz ability to detect not only surface scan errors but irregularities allows the user to isolate problems with the system more easily. Errors and irregularities that are repeatable over a fixed region of a hard drive's surface typically indicate that the problems are related directly to the hard drive's heads and platters. Irregularities or errors that are erratic and can't be associated with a specific region of the hard drive most often indicate that a component in the system itself is having problems. Both irregularities and errors often manifest themselves to end user as "spinning beach balls" when a system is running.
Scannerz offers end users two modes of operation named "normal" and "cursory." Normal mode is typically used by an end user to verify that their hard drive and system are working properly. Cursory mode is used to evaluate a system when errors or irregularities have been detected.
In normal mode, an end user uses Scannerz to test an entire drive or volume. Scannerz compares the results of the tests with historical data that was previously recorded for the drive or volume under test. If significant deviation between the current and previous scans is apparent, Scannerz identifies it as a potential or real problem. In normal mode, the user can break up the scans over a period of time thus allowing a user to start a scan, stop it, and then resume it at a later time. This is invaluable to users with large hard drives because they don't have to tie their system up for hours on end performing a test.
In cursory mode, an end user may scan specific regions of a hard drive instead of the entire drive. This is typically done to see if test results, usually obtained from a normal scan containing errors or irregularities are repeatable. Repeatable errors or irregularities typically indicate the surface of the hard drive has, or is in the process of developing bad sectors. Errors or irregularities that cannot be repeated usually indicate the unit will need to be opened up and checked for cable faults, failing connectors, or even faults in the logic board itself. Irregularities and errors that cannot be repeated over a fixed region of the drive typically indicate intermittent loss of electrical contact in the data path between the drive and its controller.
Excessive hard drive activity may also lead an end user to believe that their hard drives are having problems when they may be functioning properly. This can often occur in a working environment when an application is installed by an administrator that the end user is unaware of. Typically, Scannerz will indicate this by having no surface scan errors reported, but a high number of erratic, non-repeatable irregularities. To help end users identify this type of condition, SCSC has included a light weight version of SCSC's file system events monitor, FSE, named FSE-Lite with all base releases of Scannerz. FSE-Lite is not as fully featured as FSE, but it will typically suffice in the identification of background applications that are drive intensive. Interested parties should consult SCSC's web site for more details on FSE if interested.
Scannerz with FSE-Lite for Mac OS X is fully supported by SCSC in the U.S. for registered users.
Software and Computer Systems Company, LLC (SCSC) was formed in 2005. It is legally licensed to do business as a limited liability company in accordance with the laws of the State of Virginia. Originally, SCSC focused on producing its own line of cross platform software tools using Java. The applications consisted of performance enhancing application tools, engineering and scientific tools, and tools for the medical sciences. In 2008, SCSC changed it's focus and became dedicated solely to developing products for use on the Mac OS X and IOS operating systems. Copyright (C) 2005-2012 Software and Computer Systems Company, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo and Mac OS X platforms are trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.