Volitans Software Announces SMART Utility 3.0

March 8, 2011 in Utility (E)

[prMac.com] Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Volitans software today is pleased to announce the release of SMART Utility 3.0, a major update to the hard drive diagnostic application. The new features include a menu icon to run in the background, better UI for single partitions, and better support for SSDs, as well as many bug fixes.

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.

Full release notes for Version 3.0:
* Added menu extra, which uses app's preferences to operate, including periodic checks and Growl notifications
* Added last time updated to main window
* Fixed a Growl notification misname for failed drives
* Fixed a bug where the estimated time at the beginning of tests would be reported wrong
* Fixed a bug where the info windows attached to a drive report would not close after closing the drive report
* Fixed a bug where the Tests window would not close after scanning for new drives
* Fixed a few bugs where setting preferences to only alert on new changes still caused some attributes and tests to be highlighted as failing
* Fixed a bug where More Info button did not have a space between the words
* Fixed a bug that would cause a harmless error message to pop up
* Fixed a bug where test information in main window would not clear out when switching to an unsupported drive
* Fixed a few memory leaks
* Forced running in 32 bit on 10.5 due to OS issues
* Now estimated time remaining in tests is a little more accurate at beginning of test (no more Calculating)
* Now capacity shows in gigabytes
* Now if there is only one partition, that will be displayed instead of /dev/diskX
* Reordered general preferences for better organization and readability
* Updated help to add information about tests
* Updated smartctl engine to 5.40, which adds better support for SSDs as well as bug fixes

* 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 as a menu icon
* Run scan every hour, day, or week
* Run built in drive self tests
* Customize failing triggers
* Print drive reports
* Save and open drive reports
* 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 10.4.11, 10.5, and 10.6 as well as 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.