Better safe than sorry. This might well be the motto that inspired the Hungarian designers of Hard Disk Sentinel Pro to produce a tool that provides you with all the information you need to predict and avoid hard disk failures. Apart from its monitoring and analysis functions, the program displays all S.M.A.R.T. data, runs extensive surface tests, and even fixes weak areas and reallocate bad sectors when found.
Suitable for all kinds of HDDs and SSDs, Hard Disk Sentinel comes in a colorful tabbed interface that tries to make up for the high level of technicality involved in a tool like this. On the Overview tab, you can see all your disks’ status at a glance, their temperature, overall health and performance, free space, and even the estimated remaining lifetime. Temperature being one of the main factors that may damage your hard disks, it did deserve a tab of its own. Here you will see the current temperature, the average temperature, as well as the maximum temperatures on that day, during the disk’s lifespan, and the one ever measured. You can set your own temperature thresholds, and tell the program to warn you anytime they’re crossed.
You don’t need to tell the program to check the S.M.A.R.T. values for you, though. They’re collected automatically as soon as the program starts and you can check them anytime just by selecting the S.M.A.R.T. tab. All you need now is to know how to read these values and the meaning of their variations to make the most of them. Other tabs, like Information and Disk Performance will provide you with detailed info about the different parts of the disks installed on your system and about how efficiently they’re performing.
Together with the app’s automatic tests and check-ups, it offers you hardware and software self-tests that you can launch at any time. They will verify the disk’s physical components and even the entire disk surface in order to detect and fix hard disk problems. These tests can be non-destructive or destructive. The latter will remove all data from your disk, while the former will simply read all sectors and perform minor repairs when necessary. Finally, the Seek Noise Test will verify the HDD’s noise and seek for time performance and temperature values.
Hard Disk Sentinel Pro is a highly technical tool. Anyone can use it, but not everyone will use it at its full potential. Less knowledgeable users will be content just having it there, working for them at the background, ready to warn them of any disk failure it may detect. They can even benefit from its automatic “panic backup” feature to keep their data always safe. More technical users, though, will love its comprehensiveness and its set of thorough tests and analysis tools, which they are advised to use wisely and cautiously. To avoid irrecoverable data loss, make use of the app’s various backup options, which can clone your data to a local disk, a LAN server, or a remote server via FTP.
- Permanent HD monitoring
- Suitable for SSD drives
- Thorough temperature control
- Deep surface tests
- Customizable backups
- Fixes sector problems
- Requires a learning curve
- Some options might be dangerous in the hands of inexperienced users