SMART is an acronym that stands for Self Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology. It is present in all the hard disk drives and can be used to monitor the hard drive health. For example, using the data collected by SMART, you can find out how many times the hard drive was powered on, how many times the drive failed, what is the hard drive temperature etc.
With the help of an open-source tool GSmartControl, you can access SMART and find all the detailed information about your hard drives. It makes use of the another open-source project smartmontools which is a set of command line programs. GSmartControl works on all the desktop platforms like Linux, Windows, FreeBSD and macOS.
As soon as you launch GSmartControl, it will start scanning your system for any attached hard drives. It will display a list of all of these hard drives along with the SMART health status. If your drives pass the health check, then you will see basic health check as “Passed”.
In order to find more detailed information, you can double-click on the hard drive icons. In the new window that opens up, you will find all the information is listed under various categories like general, attributes, statistics, error log, temperature log, etc.
You can run some tests from under the self-tests category to find if something is wrong with the drive. It comes with three type of tests – short self-test (two-minute quick test), extended self-test (complete test that takes a very long time) and conveyance self-test (to find any damage caused by transportation).
All the data displayed in the GSmartControl window including the results of the tests can be saved in plain text file that you can later review or compare. Basically, you should run these tests only for newly bought hard drives and for the drives that you have been using for a long time to see if they are still healthy and reliable.
You can download GSmartControl https://gsmartcontrol.sourceforge.io/home/.