What is SMART?
Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting (aka SMART) technology is a capability integrated into most modern computers that enable the user to keep an eye on the health of your of its systems. It can be used to assess the health of both conventional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and Solid State Drives (SSDs).
Whilst SMART is built into every Windows computer, viewing the information isn’t as straightforward as it could and as result of this, it’s usually better to try a third-party application rather than view very basic info via a command prompt.
We hold no affiliation with any of these types of software and as such, we can’t vouch for the reliability or efficacy. However, judging by the many positive reviews, apps like HD Tune and GSmartControl are the kind of utility software you are looking for that supports the SMART facility.
Although the layout and procedures of each brand of open source software will differ, they will work along the same lines. With each, there will be a way to begin the health check and a way to view status information. Whichever you choose, there will be clear indications that a problem exists with either your HDD or your SSD.
There will obviously be gradations of health and you might see notifications relating to areas of caution to be aware of if it detects that your non-volatile memory is beginning to deteriorate.
It could be that your Hard Drive or SSD is literally about to fail or the info displayed could point to a failure months or even years into the future. However, armed with this information, you can take whatever steps you need to a) backup all of your important data and b) look at replacing the hardware as necessary.
That is about the long and short of it for this useful type of diagnostic software, but some will also have a useful feature that can be used as an early warning system for potential issues. Running silently in the background as SMART programs can notify you when the status of any of your drives change. Again, the steps for each 3rd party app will differ, but will all do pretty much the same thing.