The most critical part of a computer is the hard disk where you store all your important files. If your hard disk fails, then you lose all your files including your personal documents, financial reports, family pictures, vacation videos and more. You should stay in touch with the health of your hard disk so that you can pay attention to its needs. For example, if your hard disk is getting too hot, then you may want to install another cooling fan in your PC. The freeware HDDExpert from KC Software analyzes the S.M.A.R.T. data from your hard disk and informs you if you need a cooling fan, a backup software or a replacement hard disk.
HDDExpert is available both as a portable application and as an installable program. After the installation, you can run it from its desktop shortcut. Or if you have decided to choose the portable version, then you can just double-click on the hddexpert.exe file to launch the HDDExpert application. This application requires administrator privileges because it needs to access the S.M.A.R.T. data of your hard disks.
As soon as you launch the application, it displays the hard disks in form of selectable icons near the top-left corner of the program window. If your system has only one hard disk, then it displays only one icon. The S.M.A.R.T. data of the selected hard disk is displayed in a list. You can see all different kinds of errors that are being reported by your hard disk. The message box at the top-right corner displays the information about your hard disk temperature and recommendations about buying a cooling fan, spare hard disk, backup software etc.
By default the S.M.A.R.T. data is not updated automatically, but you can press the F5 key on your keyboard to refresh the data. You can also choose to automatically refresh the data after a few seconds by selecting Refresh → Periodicity and then choosing the time period of 10 seconds or 1 minute.
If you decide to buy a new cooling fan, a replacement hard disk or a backup software, then HDDExpert makes it easy. You can click on one of the buttons in the HDDExpert window to buy these items online. The Fans, Spare and Backup buttons in the HDDExpert window open amazon.com website for cooling fans, amazon.com website for hard disks and Paragon Software website for backup software respectively.
The free HDDExpert software does not give as comprehensive information as the Crystal Disk Info tool that we reviewed some time ago, but it makes it very easy to understand about the health status of your hard disk and allows you to quickly take an action if your hard disk is not feeling very healthy.
You can download HDDExpert from http://www.kcsoftwares.com/?hdde.