SMARTReporter is an application that can warn you of some hard disk drive failures before they actually happen! It does so by periodically polling the S.M.A.R.T. status of your hard disk drives. S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a technology built into most modern hard disk drives that acts as an "early warning system" for pending hard disk drive problems. SMARTReporter can notify you of impending hard disk drive failures by a variety of notification options including alert boxes, on-screen notifications and email. The current status of your hard disk drives is also always easily recognizable because SMARTReporter changes its icon (optionally in the menubar) from green to red if a problem occurs. SMARTReporter does not only check for S.M.A.R.T. disk failure predictions but increases failure prediction accuracy by checking for dangerous I/O errors as well. Additionally SMARTReporter can monitor the status of software R.A.I.D. sets for degradation or check free space on the boot disk.
Please note that a S.M.A.R.T. alert does not mean that your disk will certainly fail completely, nor can S.M.A.R.T. (or I/O-error checking) catch all possible disk problems before they happen - it's just a very valuable indicator. SMARTReporter is NOT a substitute for regular backups especially as it only concerns itself with hardware-level problems (like physical drive failures) and not at all with software-level problems (like filesystem health) that could also destroy all your data. Perform regular backups, make sure you read the F.A.Q. entry about prediction reliability and follow these links for more information about S.M.A.R.T. technology in general.
Only 'internal' disks are supported for the S.M.A.R.T.-check, but some external disks can be made to work with additional software.
Some disks do not support S.M.A.R.T. at all and therefore do not work with SMARTReporter's S.M.A.R.T.-check:
• the 'OWC Aura SSD for Mac Pro' is incompatible
• Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
• 64-bit processor (Intel Core 2 Duo or better)
License & Cost:
SMARTReporter is licensed under a proprietary license and costs 5.99$/€.
Contact & Support:
The product website is located here: https://www.corecode.io/smartreporter/
Technical support is available only from within SMARTReporter, click the "Documentation" tab in the main window and press "Contact support…"
0.) Download SMARTReporter from the "Mac App Store" and once it has finished downloading start it from Launchpad or your Applications folder.
1.) The "SMARTReporter Welcome Assistant" will be opened. The assistant gives you options to automatically launch SMARTReporter when starting your computer and the option to remove SMARTReporter from being displayed in the Dock. It is strongly recommended to check both options as SMARTReporter needs to be running all the time to perform its problem-detecting checks. Click "Finish Setup" to apply your settings.
2.) SMARTReporter will now open its main configuration window because this is the first time you use it. You can now see the "Status" tab which displays an overview over the result of all performed checks and the status of the problem notification mechanisms. If one of the checks finds a problem with your computer SMARTReporter's icon (in the Dock or the Menubar, wherever you have set it to display) will turn red to indicate an error. If a problem prevents some check from being performed or some problem notification mechanism is misconfigured, the icon will turn to the yellow warning state.
3.) SMARTReporter's default configuration already protects you quite well from disk related problems but there are a few things you might want to adjust:
• If you have a software R.A.I.D. attached to your Mac you should turn on the R.A.I.D. check to be notified of degradation.
• If you have "Growl" or OS X 10.8 installed you might want to enable "on-screen" notifications for all checks.
• If your Mac often runs unattended you might want to enable notification of problems by email. Email notification should only be enabled additionally because it can't be 100% reliable (e.g. network / server problems).
• If your Mac often runs unattended you might want to enable the disk-space check with email notification, Mac OS X warns about low-running disk space, but only with an on-screen dialog box.
Note that you can click the "Help" icon in the "Disk Checks" tab to obtain information about the background, purpose and significance of each check that SMARTReporter can perform.
Also be aware that not all attached disks are checked, but only "mounted" ones. Also the S.M.A.R.T. check cannot inspect USB/FireWire disks unless you install additional software, see the corresponding F.A.Q. entry.
4.) After you've configured SMARTReporter to your liking you can close its configuration window. As long as SMARTReporter runs it will protect you by performing the selected checks and it will alert you when it determines any impending problems.
5.) If SMARTReporter notifies you of a problem you should act dependent on the actual check that failed. While a failed S.M.A.R.T. check often precedes a serious disk hardware failure, a failed disk-space check simply means that you have to free up some space or your Mac could be freezing. Therefore you should make sure you read both the in-app help section about the failed check (see above) and also read the F.A.Q. entry about how to act when the corresponding check fails.
The "S.M.A.R.T." check is the main function of SMARTReporter. The Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology is built into nearly all modern storage disks (mechanical hard disk drives or SSDs) and calculates a summary status that predicts whether the disk will fail in the near future. While Mac OS X supports retrieving the S.M.A.R.T. status of disks, it only displays this status when manually launching "Disk Utility" and selecting all disks, but doesn't inform you automatically if the status predicts a disk failure. Although S.M.A.R.T. can only predict some kinds of disk failures, the check is very important and it is recommended to enable it. S.M.A.R.T. summary status checks are very fast and the only requirement is that the disk has to be "spun up" for the check to be performed. Therefore the default check interval in SMARTReporter is lower for the boot disk than for other disks, which are less used and more likely to be "spun down".
S.M.A.R.T. and external disks (USB / FireWire): Mac OS X can only perform S.M.A.R.T. checking for internal (S)ATA disks, and therefore external USB/FW disks are not checked by default. Please consult the corresponding section in the FAQ to learn how S.M.A.R.T. checking for external disks can be enabled.
What to do when a failure occurs: Please consult the corresponding section in the FAQ for more information and suggested next steps
S.M.A.R.T. prediction accuracy: Not all disk failures can be predicted before it happens and even if S.M.A.R.T. predicts a disk failure it is not certain the disk will really break down. Please don't think SMARTReporter will protect you from all possible disk failures, make regular backups and read the corresponding section in the FAQ.
Advanced Options: The advanced S.M.A.R.T. options are for technically adept users, please don't change the preferences unless you know what you are doing.
• Schedule short self-tests: turning this option will regularly perform short S.M.A.R.T. self-tests on all connected disks at the specified interval. If the self-test for a disk fails, all enabled notifications are triggered to notify you. The self-tests may interfere with normal disk operation and last about two minutes. This option meant only for experienced users and not part of the officially supported core feature set of SMARTReporter!
• Schedule attribute checks: This option lets you specify an interval to automatically check all individual S.M.A.R.T. attributes for all connected disks. The attributes are saved to the "History" and can be used to plot graphs to see the changes of disk attributes over time. This option meant only for experienced users and not part of the officially supported core feature set of SMARTReporter!
• Exclude disks from checks: this option is probably useful if some disk is known to have a S.M.A.R.T. error and you don't want any more notifications while working on replacing the disk.
• Check disks on battery power: by default SMARTReporter doesn't perform any S.M.A.R.T. checks when your Mac is a laptop and running on battery power (spinning up disks can drain the battery). This options lets you enable the checks to run even when battery power is used.
Advanced Tools: The advanced tools let you display the individual S.M.A.R.T. attributes and perform short and long S.M.A.R.T. self-tests. Long self tests run multiple hours and are often interrupted by disk activity so they probably can not performed on the boot disk or disks that are otherwise in use. You can double-click on the name of a disk in the table to switch to the display of the raw BSD device number (double-click again to switch back). The advanced tools are for experienced users only and are not part of the officially supported core feature set of SMARTReporter.
The "I/O-Error" check scans the system log-file for so called "I/O-Errors", which are serious disk related problems. Whenever a read ("input") or write ("output") to a disk fails, an I/O-Error is logged to the system log-file (kernel.log), but Mac OS X doesn't do anything else to inform you, so enabling this check in SMARTReporter is important and recommended. There can be a variety of causes for I/O-Errors, e.g. bad cables or termination and defective disk controllers, but the most common reason is so called "bad blocks", which are sectors on your disk that are permanently damaged. Occurrence of these bad blocks is "normal" and can result in sporadic "I/O-Error" notifications. However, when the disk runs out of spare blocks to remap all the bad blocks, the disk constantly emits I/O errors and can be considered broken. If you are experiencing constant I/O error notifications please consult the corresponding section in the FAQ for more information and suggested next steps. SMARTReporter also checks for the related "CoreStorageGroup::completeIORequest" errors, which may have similar causes as I/O errors.
The "R.A.I.D." check can be enabled to automatically notify you if one of the "software" R.A.I.D. sets connected to your Mac has a problem ("R.A.I.D. degradation"). Enabling this check makes only sense if you actually have a R.A.I.D. attached to your Mac, if you are not sure you most likely don't have a R.A.I.D. If you have a R.A.I.D. it is recommended that you turn on this check unless you have some other software to automatically notify you of R.A.I.D. degradation. This check only works with so called "software" R.A.I.D. sets, i.e. ones that work without additional R.A.I.D. hardware PCI cards, and are configured from within "Disk Utility". You can configure the check to notify you either only if the R.A.I.D. is "degraded" (recommended) or also if it becomes "offline".
The "Disk-Space" check can be enabled to automatically notify you if the free space on your boot disk is lower than a specified threshold. If the boot disk is completely filled up it is possible that Mac OS X crashes because there is no space left to store important system files. The boot disk should always have at least 1GB of space free to prevent system crashes. Mac OS X has a built-in function to warn you when space runs low on the boot disk with an alert box, so this check is probably only useful if you want additional notification (e.g. via email). Related to free disk space, all disks should generally have more than 5% percent space free to prevent slow-downs. You can enable the "Disk-Space" check either only for the boot disk (recommended), or for all connected disks.
There are also some 'hidden' options that can only be switched in the 'Terminal' because we deem them to unpopular to complicate the interface with them:
You can change the cutoff day when SMARTReporter starts trimming saved data in Terminal.app: defaults write com.corecode.SMARTReporter compress_database_entries_olderthan -int 25
You can change the cutoff day when SMARTReporter starts erasing saved data in Terminal.app: defaults write com.corecode.SMARTReporter erase_database_entries_olderthan -int 120
If you want to use "custom settings" email delivery but don't want to use the keychain for password storage:
defaults write com.corecode.SMARTReporter DontUseTheKeychain -bool true && defaults write com.corecode.SMARTReporter EmailPassword -string "YOURPASSWORD"
The 'eSellerate' version of SMARTReporter can be set not to show visible dialogues for activation:
defaults write com.corecode.SMARTReporter esellerateActivateWithoutPrompt -bool true && defaults write com.corecode.SMARTReporter SilentActivation -bool true