HDD Health is a full-featured failure-prediction agent for machines using Windows. Sitting in the system tray, it monitors hard disks and alerts you to impending failure.
The program uses Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) built into all new hard disks, and can predict failures on your hard drives. A host of alerting features include email, local pop-up messages, net messages, and event logging, while using no system resources.
Simplified, it looks like the HDD is continuously making self-tests and calculating some "attributes", which reflect the current state of efficiency and status of the HDD. Each attribute means some detail in HDD status C total hours of work, count of read errors, and others. If after a self-test, the HDD "thinks" that its state is changed, it changes the value of the corresponding attribute.
For example, if the time of spin-up from idle state changed, the HDD would change (lower) the value of the "Spin-Up Time" attribute. Each attribute has a threshold (lower) value and, at achievement, the HDD may stop working.
HDD Health monitors attribute changes, analyzes speed of falling (lowering), and calculates remaining time of life HDD based on this data. The drive health status can be observed in percents in the main window of HDD Health.
You can even setup HDD Health to alert you in case of critical drive health conditions. In order to do so, follow the steps below:
1.) Open HDD Health.
2.) Navigate to File –> Options.
3.) Under Options, check the notification checkbox for Critical Drive Health. Select the checkbox for Popup and Sound.
Once you have selected the above option, HDD Health will alert you of any critical health issues for your hard disk by playing a sound and popping an alert.
* A computer running Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT4,
Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows
* Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 SP1 or later recommended.
* Approximately 2MB of free hard disk space.
Note that the software, posted on the developers’ website is not portable, and does require installation on the hard drive. I could also locate the portable version of this utility, which can be downloaded here. Simply extract the archive and copy at any location on the external drive you intend to launch it from.