I had a co-worker who talked about the “great hard drive crash of 98”, in which his computer drive failed and he lost tons of data. Even worse, he was in the middle of school and most of his projects were on the drive. Could disaster have been prevented? It’s possible.
Modern hard drives ship with SMART, or Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. SMART is like the check-engine light for your hard drive. The idea is to warn you that the drive may fail soon so you can take steps to backup your data and avoid your own personal “great hard drive crash of 98”. One drawback is, most operating systems are weak on reporting of this information, kind of like putting the check engine light in the trunk. But us Mac users have help thanks to SMARTReporter.
SMARTReporter is free software that monitors the SMART status of your drive and can alert you if there is a problem. Unfortunately, some drives crash too quickly and spectacularly for the SMART system to do any good. But if your drive is dying a slow death, SMARTReporter will be able to help.