Every day we offer FREE licensed software you’d have to buy otherwise.

HDData Giveaway

Giveaway of the day — HDData

HDData monitors your Hard Drive Temperature and SMART data to protect your Hard Drive and save your Data.
$12.95 EXPIRED
User rating: 120 60 comments

HDData was available as a giveaway on March 13, 2010!

Today Giveaway of the Day
free today
Merge Multiple PDF Files into one.

HDData measures all kind of Hard Drive parameters. If one of these parameters is exceeding a threshold or sensing an SMART error, HDData will warn you, HDData will Act for you. You can control what actions HDData will execute for you when the Hard Drive Temperature reaches a Warning and/or a SMART Alarm setting.

You will have time to save your work before the Hard Drive gets overheated and gets irretrievable broken down. You can act before losing everything!

System Requirements:

WinNT 4.x, WinXP, Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows Vista


MOLENKAMP software



File Size:

4.57 MB



GIVEAWAY download basket

Developed by Informer Technologies, Inc.
Developed by IObit
Developed by Garmin Ltd or its subsidiaries
Developed by ArcSoft

Comments on HDData

Thank you for voting!
Please add a comment explaining the reason behind your vote.

HARD DISK - Precautions for new ones prior to putting them into use

1 To test the bearings, run on the bench for 24 hours or more, with cooling if necessary. At hourly intervals, put the HD against your ear, and the bearings should make a shushing / humming noise; any rumbling is not acceptable, and indicates a flawed bearing. Try comparing the sound against an old HD.
2 Overwrite the complete HD, then formate in reiser, then X3, and finally, in NTFS for XP.
3 Set up a few partitions at random.
4 Run the manufacturers diagnostic tool, that you can download from their site. Now you've tested the platters.
5 If the HD passes all these tests, its very likely to last, so you won't waste valuable time, installing XP and your data. Also, it's cost you little time, because all the tests are set and walk.

Reply   |   Comment by Bill3  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Speedfan is much better and it is free all the time. This load of carp only found one of my harddrives. How they can sell this when it only finds some of your hardrives is beyond me.

Reply   |   Comment by Don  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Just came across another freeware hdd scanner/monitor. I'll add the disclaimer that I haven't tried this yet (too busy) but it certainly appears quite comprehensive (seems to be more of a diagnostic tool). I'm only adding this software here, because if I don't do it now while I remember... it won't happen (someone will like it).


Reply   |   Comment by BuBBy  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+8)

Program installed and runs fine under Win2k. However its unable to detect drives driven neighter by onboard nor external sata controllers (both configured in a jbod array).

Its absolutely unusable in this configuration.

Reply   |   Comment by someone  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I've still got my 1st "fixed drive" running on my old Motorola-68000-based machine: a "full-height", "IBM"-branded Seagate, with the old ESDI-506 interface connecting it to a SCSI-host-card, which I got & started using around 1986 or so;

I've never turned off that drive, and it just keeps on working; That seems to be how they like to run;

With the advent of those "Winchester-technology"-drives, the heads don't actually "fly" over the heads anymore; they ride on the glass-passivation-layer of the platter, although while they're in a "constant-crash" condition, (constant-contact), if the drive's spinning and takes a hard enough "jolt" or physical shock, the head CAN & just MAY "punch through" the passivation layer, since that passivation-layer's only from one to three microns or so thick, (or is it "thin"?);

So if you want to move your laptop & it's "On", put it in "Sleep-Mode" or turn it off, but stop that drive from spinning BEFORE you move it, and then once you're where you want it to be, you can "wake it up" or turn it back on, and let the drive spin again;

If you're in a place where there are a lot of freight-trains that vibrate the ground (and your floor), put some "isolation pads" under the table or case of the computer, (desktop or laptop), so the vibration won't be transmitted to the PC & its drives or CPU HSF-assembly.

Since most hard drives will either quit within the "infant mortality" 90-days, let them run for a few hours, then turn them off, & repeat; If you don't have any problems doing that every day for the first 3 months, then the drive is likely to run for many, many years with no troubles;

I've never found ANY "S.M.A.R.T."-monitoring hardware or S/W that will tell me anything I don't already know, or that doesn't give me impossible readings, like this "HD Data" prg, which finally "found" my drive, but it's telling me that I've got almost 50 YEARS of run-time on it, and the drive in this machine hadn't even been designed that long ago;
(It's an eSATA, connected so it can "talk to" either an AHCI/eSATA controller & S/W, or ATAPI/eIDE controller & S/W, with the proper cables connected to it).

Thanks anyway, GAOTD, but I'll have to pass on this one; I can't justify trying to load up a program that won't do anything for me, and which has so many very good freeware alternatives available, ("CrystalDiskInfo", "SpeedFan", etc.), But please do keep trying, though! This is one offering that has brought out some others who have put forth a lot of very good information!.

And at least the GAOTD folks ARE trying to get us some useful, and "different", things to try out! I'd give them an "A" for effort on that score alone!

Reply   |   Comment by Phoenix  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

Somewhat disappointing - only picks ups up 3 of 4 hard drives. Info window very small and requires scrolling - UGH!

Speedfan 4.40 is free and excellent!

Reply   |   Comment by Charles  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Well, installed it, and it eats CPU. So nah, i wont use it.

Reply   |   Comment by Johan  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

just hit a glitch in the temp monitor. it showed my HDD1 temp at 195 degrees F. informal (touch) testing showed it wasn't out of line with either of the 2 drives. installed active@disk monitor as doublecheck- it's the coolest of the drives at 80 f. No thanks, it's gone.

Reply   |   Comment by goodgotd  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)



MIKE please see no 28 on Passwords yesterday.

Here's something you may like, that I copied and pasted from one of my manuals


HARD DISK FAILURE - common cause of

1 The most common cause of Hard Drive Failure is excessive SHOCK. People having the PC on a desk above a heavy drawer that they slam closed, or under the desk where it is hit by the chair, or behind a door etc. The BANG causes the head to bounce off the platter spinning @ 5400 / 7200 RPM.

2 Corporations, experts, amateurs, etc, all have different contradictory experiences, and apart from buying quality, it appears the luck of the draw.

3 In engineering, a well established knowledge of bearings predicts, that a few fail very quickly, while most last for years. Most techs report this with hard disk bearings.

HARD DISK - prevent the need for data recovery and failures - Feb 2010

Introduction - Bench tests by Bill3

It is very important to first consider the parameters re heat kills :-

1 I live in Auckland, New Zealand, winter rarely goes below 0 C, summer rarely above 27 C.
2 Summer is the kill zone for computers. Power supplies die first, because they intake hot air from the case, then hard drives, because they are usually, stupidly cramped together, and get no air flow, so heat just builds up in them.
3 All the cases I have examined, have totally inefficient cooling, so I have researched an efficient design, that works mainly on convection cooling, so you only need one 120 mm fan running very quietly, at half speed, when the weather is cool.

As 7200rpm hard drives are standard today, in most desktop PCs, and not just in servers, hard drive cooling is important, as tests demonstrate they get hot to the touch, standing on the bench, after only 10 minuets in summer. Initially, heat is generated by motor, which is conducted into the body and platters, then as the temperature rises, data can be corrupted, and the chances of failure increase dramatically. This is often the reason for XP crashing.

Bench tests clearly show that if you mount a 50 mm fan, 8 -10 mm off the back of the motor, the hard drive remains cool, even after 24 hours in summer. In winter the fan only needs to run quietly, at half speed. This is cheaper and much more effective, compared to bought HDD coolers, I have seen, that generally have 2 fans. All you need are 4 motherboard mounting pedestals, to stand off your fan mounting plate, and 2 more motherboard mounting pedestals, that you file and epoxy resin to the side of the HDD motor, that hasn't got the screw holes.The fan mounting plate you can make from a scrap piece of 1 mm stainless steel, that you will aquire free, from any small sheet metalwork factory. Costs : Hand made HDD coolers 5 - 10 NZ$ + 1.5 hours work. Bought HDD coolers 25 NZ$ upwards. Finally, modify your drive bay, to accommodate the HDD's with the fans bolted to them - I usually completely remove the old bay, and make a new one.

HARD DISK MONITORING - does not prove helpful

Provided your computer is built to keep cool, the principles of failures in engineering experience, demonstrate that to a large degree, monitoring will not predict a failure; rather like mum knowing that whatever she does, she will never predict the day, if or when, her child injures themseves. Alternatively, predicting when your car will go wrong, to achieve this, the cost of monitoring would be massive. Individually testing components, will to a large degree, identify those that are about to fail, unfortunately, this is usually a very expensive exercise. Catastrophe theory, demonstrates that failures occur exponentially against time, or simply put, they happen so quick. A good example is bearings in any engineering application, they only need one tiny flaw to develop, that introduce minute metal particles, which grind the rest of the bearing up, and wreck it in seconds.

HARD DISK - Technical data on failures


Most recent IDE hard drives come with internal temperature sensors, and are capable of reporting their operating temperature via SMART; software utilities are available for displaying the temperature of your hard drive. This temperature readout is not very precise, but definitely good enough to give you a hint whether your drive is running too hot or not. Consult the website of your hard drive manufacturer to learn about the maximum operating temperature of your hard drive. Typical maximum temperature range is 50-55°C, with some drives being able to operate at up to 60°C.

There is, however, an important factor to consider:
Unlike CPUs, which are reliable parts, and fail rarely (even when operated very close to their maximum temperature), hard drives tend to fail more often than any other part in the PC. The MTBF (mean time between failure) of a hard drive can be substantially increased by lowering the drive's temperature. Some drive manufacturers even state this fact in their drives data sheets; but even if this information isn't included there, it is still true. So, even if your drive never exceeds its maximum allowed operating temperature, additional cooling will improve the drive's reliability. Unless you do daily backups, a hard drive failure usually results in substantial data loss - investing a small amount of time and money in your drive's cooling solution can often prevent the need for data recovery (which isn't cheap).

With optical disks, overheating usually results in destruction of the surface that actually contains the data (e.g. chemical dye in the case of CD-R/DVD-R media). However, with hard drives, overheating typically causes long-term failure of the mechanical and electrical parts of the drive; the magnetic platters that carry the data are less affected. Therefore, data recovery companies will normally be able to recover data from damaged overheated drives - but be prepared to pay much more for getting your data back than for a new drive.
Does hard drive cooling affect performance?
Although this is often claimed by manufacturers of HDD cooling products, the temperature does not directly affect the performance of the drive in any significant way - seek times and data transfer rate will stay the same, no matter how hot the drive is running.

Old hard drives had a thermal recalibration loop - from time to time, the hard drive would make a short pause and recalibrate itself. When the drive warmed up, the platters expand, and their geometry changes, thus making recalibration necessary. With such drives, good cooling resulted in less frequent recalibration, and therefore did improve performance, especially for Audio/Video applications. However, these days are long over - all recent drives with embedded servo do not have a thermal recalibration loop. Temperature will not affect performance in any way.
Do drives only get hot when accessed often?
No. What generates most heat in a drive is the friction between the platters and the air that surrounds them. The magnetic plates inside the drive rotate at a high speed, but the air inside the drive doesn't, and even if the plate is perfectly flat, there's a lot of air resistance, so a powerful spindle motor is required to keep the drive spinning at high speed.

The movement of the drive's heads and the heat emitted by the drive's electronics only have a small contribution to the total heat emitted by the drive. Therefore, even drives that are mostly idle still require cooling (unless, of course, auto-spindown is enabled and the drive shuts itself down after not being accessed at all for a longer period of time).
Hard drive cooling solutions
The best solution for cooling hard drive is one that is well-integrated with the case cooling concept. When purchasing a case, make sure that fan intakes and drive bays are located in a way that proper cooling of the drives is possible. A fan bay for a large fan (the bigger, the better - server cases usually come with 120mm fan bays) right in front of the drive bays is perfect. If your case has a fan bay suitable for cooling drives, get a good fan and install it there. This is cheaper than buying a dedicated hard drive cooler, provides good cooling for the drive, and will have a positive effect on overall case ventilation.
Dedicated hard drive coolers
If your case does not allow proper ventilation of the drives by using normal case fans, you might want to look at special hard drive coolers. A multitude of different models are available on the market; they usually come with small 40mm fans, which are less efficient and typically louder than larger case fans. Some come with heatsinks for hard drive cooling, others rely on fans alone.

There are, however, exceptions to this rule, like the Global WIN IStorm, which features an unusual cross-flow fan.

The most simple hard drive cooler simply consists of a 5.25 drive bay cover with two embedded 50mm fans.

More advanced drive coolers come with a heatsink/fan combination, or are just large passive heatsinks that should be mounted on the drive (which, of course, only helps if there is at least a minimum amount of air flow across the drive).

To show the advantages and disadvantages of different hard drive cooling concepts, here's a look at a few typical HDD coolers:

* Global WIN King Kong II - a standard hard drive cooler with two 50mm fans
* InClose BayCooler II - High-quality three-fan cooler with dust filter
* Global WIN IStorm / IStorm II - unusual hard drive cooler which uses a cross-flow fan
* Vantec "Ultimate HDD cooler" - Cooler with two fans and a heatsink
* CoolerMaster CoolDrive - Cooler with a large heatsink and two 50mm fans with dust filter

Best Regards Bill3

Reply   |   Comment by Bill3  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+10)

Excellent information today, suggestions leading me to DL several alternatives. Today's offering had too many comments against it to try. Thanks, everyone.
The last HD we had that failed started making grinding noises beforehand. Pretty obvious. Favorite comment (from a tech, no less): "sounds like a virus." Oh, really? Guess that would be the never-before-known "grinding virus". Of course, it was the drive, which we replaced. (Put the old one in a freezer for a while & then were able to retrieve most of the data.)

Reply   |   Comment by MichaelC  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+6)

Temperature does affect drive life, according to Seagate.

A Seagate White Paper (Estimating Drive Reliability in Desktop Computers and Consumer ...) dated 2000 says Seagate testing showed drives operated at 40c failed twice as fast as drives at 25c. 49c failed 3x sooner, 61c failed 5x sooner.


Reply   |   Comment by JMThomas  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

Latest data on cheapp IDE hard drives... if they survive the first 90 days, you can expect them to fail at the rate of 8% per year. So in one year 8% of all drives fail... by year 10 80% will have failed. At year 4 you have a one-in-three chance of losing all your data and in year 5-6 it's pretty much 50-50.

Despite Google's SMART findings (which were in highly-controlled data centers.. raised floor cooling etc., I will tell you with certainty that HEAT is the enemy of computer hard drives.

Cheap IDE drives fail - simple as that. Stay backed-up and you've got no worries. Use Carbonite or MozyPro - cheap and n0-brainers.

Reply   |   Comment by James Smoksweedingswerth  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-2)

No more beta test software P-L-E-A-S-E !

Reply   |   Comment by Ann J.  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

I like this one for casual monitoring. It works on most pc's and servers. http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

Reply   |   Comment by dslovejoy  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Just for the record, my Maxtor HD has been running for 10 years (on all day and off at night)...I was pleased to learn that others have had similar experiences, as those early posts got me scared..... Perhaps with good care, it is the norm for HD's to last a long time...?

Reply   |   Comment by Janet  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I use Drive Temperature V1.00 Build 34. Works OK and if the drive gets too hot I switch another fan on.

Re failure, years of experience (like everyone it seems ;))and only one failure and that was a "progressive" failure. The drive got harder and harder to start up, it was possibly sticky bearings as a hardish smack would get it going. I was able to get all the data off it OK and it's hidden in the back of the old drives cupboard. Might not go any more after a decade of just sitting there...

Reply   |   Comment by Joel B1  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I have 320gig Seagate IDE Hard drive > This one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148139 she still going strong for 5 years no issues. To keep mine clean I formated ever 6 months :).

Reply   |   Comment by robertmc8  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

@44 - Ira, "This software associates all the logical drives with one physical drive"

SMART or drive temperatures are concepts that relate only to the physical device. Reporting on Temperature per logical drive doesn't make sense.

Reply   |   Comment by BuBBy  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

I have three physical drives and 14 logical drives. This software associates all the logical drives with one physical drive and does not identify the other two physical drives.

Reply   |   Comment by Ira  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

I downloaded Harddrive Inspector from GOTD about 3 1/2 years ago, i bought my computer refurbished at factory direct and the harddrive is going six years, the harddrive is heading at 25% by year 2012.

Reply   |   Comment by Joseph  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

No discussion of hard drives is complete without mention of Spinrite (www.grc.com). I have several healthy drives fished from the Desktop Support group trash at work and brought back to health with this product. Plenty of other cool stuff at this site run by Steve Gibson, the guy who writes Windows applications in assembly language.

Reply   |   Comment by Richard Blake  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

well, for me it seems to be ok, though fairly ho-hum.

A plus is it found and read the S.M.A.R.T. data on my seagate SATA drive- but then, I haven't tried the seagate utility yet. I do need to add a heat sink to the SATA drive, but it's still in don't-trust-it-yet testing.

Reply   |   Comment by goodgotd  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

"While I don’t agree with much of what Chas said, I think you are misinterpreting what he did say. He didn’t mean that most hard drives die within 90 days, he meant that most hard drives THAT FAIL do so within 90 days.

And that usually is the case with most electronics – if they are going to fail, it is more likely to happen early on. As a system builder, you should know this – that’s why you do a burn-in when you install a new component or build a new system."

Tim - You are right on! I could not have said it better.

Just an observation FWIW: I've been building, programming and repairing computers since they first came out. That includes the first hard drives back in the early 80's. After almost 30 years of experience, I found that originally Maxtor was king. By the mid 90's Maxtor could no longer be trusted due to the high fail rate. Seagate was reliable then, but now the fail rate makes Maxtor look like gold! The only consistently reliable drives have been WD. Sure, occasionally a WD will expire, but they last the longest with the lowest death rate. We have 4 WD 200MB (yes, that's MEGABYTE) drives that are still in use in our accounting computers and they are each 15 years old!

If you are retiring drives when they reach their end of warranty, you are just enriching the drive manufacturer's pockets! Use a drive until it either starts to make "horrible noises," has read-write errors, or fails or shows signs of unreliability. If you back-up, image or otherwise store your drives data elsewhere, all you will ever lose it the couple of hours it takes to restore to a new drive. Always seek to get your money's worth!

Reply   |   Comment by Dan  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Hi all!!

Well I think that this FREEBIE is much much better than today's giveaway!!!




Reply   |   Comment by Giovanni (Italian King of Freebies...LOL!!)  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

1)Today's DISCUSSION about HDD Monitoring - is Superb. Worth marking this page (site) for future reference. I assume most of you would agree on that.
I think GaotD deserves compliment for allowing this to happen.

2) Hard Disk Sentinel >> HDD health, performance and temperature monitoring >> http://www.hdsentinel.com/#
Have been using that for some time and it truly saved me, as well as their report convinced a serious company as LaCie to replace their HDD for me (during the warranty time, of course). Recommended.

Reply   |   Comment by NorthernWolf  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Mike @No.13 -

While I don't agree with much of what Chas said, I think you are misinterpreting what he did say. He didn't mean that most hard drives die within 90 days, he meant that most hard drives THAT FAIL do so within 90 days.

And that usually is the case with most electronics - if they are going to fail, it is more likely to happen early on. As a system builder, you should know this - that's why you do a burn-in when you install a new component or build a new system.


Reply   |   Comment by ttfitz  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

I don't see any way of correcting #17, so here goes -
"Neither program reports any trouble with the 400 Gb, and CDI reports no problems with either Fantom. "

Reply   |   Comment by Thomas Williams  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-4)

I'm one of the lucky people: my harddrive runs for about 9 years now, with a daily average of about 4 hours (it's a Maxtor DiamondMax drive).
I've run several SMART programs, but none was convincing (and still they are too technical)...

Reply   |   Comment by Mike  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I installed both HDData and CrystalDiskInfo and have them both running. HDD only reads the 400 Gb drive in my HP desktop, whereas CDI reads it + 2 external Fantom USB drives - 500 Gb, and 1 Tb.
They have 3307 hours and 419 starts, 4923 and 374, and 3271 and 139 respectively. Neither program reports any trouble with any the 400 Gb, and CDI reports any problems with the CDI. The temps are running 98. 98. & 102. I think I've got some winners! And I will have both programs run at startup for awhile.

Reply   |   Comment by Thomas Williams  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Dear GAOTD members: Today's posts are incredibly helpful and informative. Thank you all for taking the time to benefit the rest of us. I also build and repair computers, and always use a free program called Everest to display the temperature of the HD's, the motherboard and the CPU, as well as to display all kinds of information about the system components, etc. Helps me to determine the specific hardware, etc. Download Everest Here! .

Reply   |   Comment by hayhaypaula  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

Most drives that fail very early in the cycle, have manufacturing defects. It may not be obvious right away, but there is something about them that is not up to spec as they are turned out the door in the production process. With any new drive though, backups are essential for critical data.

Bearings are pretty common causes of failure too. That's what the wail we often hear in a roomful of computers is. However even after they start making noise, they may still last for another year or more, depending on the environment they are part of. Physical impact on the drives is also potentially disastrous, as already stated, and should be avoided wherever possible. Heads fly only micro-inches off the surface of the magnetic platter. (that's millionths of an inch). Although physical impact is much less of a problem now, than it was with older drives.

I have stopped using WD altogether some years back, because my experiences with reliability has not been anywhere near solid. Those are usually the cheapest, but for me there is an element of getting what we pay for.

While I note SMART failures and do monitor to some extent, I haven't really found that such signs are the best indications of potential failure, or something to rely upon heavily. Its a secondary, or perhaps even a third consideration. I believe that process will be much improved in years to come. What I do find essential are HDD read/write/seek diagnostics, and everybody should run those periodically.

Just a little more FYI. I'll be passing on this one. But thanks for the offer.


Reply   |   Comment by JC  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

The program isn't worth of downloading. Hard Disk Sentinel is more reliable for me. My mobo Asus P5K-VM suddenly warned two months ago about Maxtor 500 GB HDD failure. I checked SMART and it has countless relocated sectors. Thanks GOD! It was in warranty. I got replacement from Seagate, but replaced drive has already 99 relocated sectors as well. It really annoyed me. I purchased WD Blue 320GB just for backup in case Maxtor fails again.

Reply   |   Comment by Friend  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Hi, I've been working with cpus for 30+ years now and - in that time - the best thing I've found for hard drive maintenance/repair is Spinrite by Gibson Research. It's not the second coming but it's saved my bacon more than a few times (I run it every six months on about a dozen drives, and it's resurrected a few from the dead over the years). You do have to buy it but they only update it every four or five years so you have good run before you even have to consider upgrading.. [http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm]. Just a suggestion..

Reply   |   Comment by Wm Shore  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

#13: "I’ve been building PCs for the last 17 years & I HAVE NEVER had a drive fail in 3 months of install !!!"

Head over to Newegg.com product reviews, or to Seagate or Western Digital forums... I've not had a new hdd fail [knock wood], but the same could be said of hitting a bridge abutment on the x-way. Just because I've been [very thankfully] lucky, doesn't mean it won't happen tomorrow.

* * *

#16: "Replace after 3 yrs. means I’ve got go shop for a couple hdds."

Maybe -- maybe not... If/when you're the primary user of a PC/laptop, you can often [usually?] tell when a drive starts to get flaky, whereas in a server type environ it's only obvious when a drive completely fails. Seagate & Western Digital [not sure about others] have testing software that a) tells you the serial # & warranty status, & b) performs both quick & detailed testing. *Usually* experienced drives misbehave before they die, 'least in my experience and from every post I've read -- young drives OTOH can die from defects. At any rate (as in my earlier comment), you can usually plan on life expectancy = at least warranty duration.

FWIW my personal strategy is to have at least 2 hard drives in a PC, adding any new drive as 2ndary storage for at least a few months. If/when I pull the primary drive, I'll move that now experienced drive to system, & add the new drive as 2ndary. If the primary drive fails (or starts acting like it might), that 2ndary drive's right there, readily available -- I won't put a brand new drive as system in any of our home PCs. This spring for example the hdd in my wife's PC is going off warranty. I'll move that somewhere else (maybe an external housing), moving one of our other drives into it's place rather than risk having a new one fail.

Reply   |   Comment by mike  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

HDD's *WILL* fail. No question. If it's a Maxtor, it'll fail sooner than later. My Seagate failed about 3 months ago at 4 yrs of age. I was fortunate because I use carbonite.com. After about 5 weeks, I had everything back onto my new hdd [took 5 weeks because 400+ gigs doesn't download very quickly]. It may be slow but it saved my butt.

Reply   |   Comment by Michael Short  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

Mike @ No.13, thanks for your encouraging words, seems to b telling me not to be afraid of some sudden shocking Facts, and also never to consider The Number "13", as the unlucky number as most of the people super strongly Superstitiously Believe!!!!

Reply   |   Comment by Raj  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-3)

HDData reports temps, which isn't a bad idea if you're not monitoring temp already, at least occasionally checking that everything's cool enough inside your PC/laptop housing. Fans do fail, & more often, heatsinks & case air inlets get clogged with dust -- in the more or less closed environment in most PC cases & laptops, heat from individual components raises temperatures throughout. Higher than normal hdd temps probably aren't going to be caused by a failing drive, but they will point to problems effecting more than just your hdd(s). While apps like Hardware Monitor [http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php] help you keep an eye on everything, if/when you're maxing out your rig they minimally slow things down as well -- something the developers claim doesn't/won't happen with HDData. And while many m/board bios can monitor sensors, providing 1st a warning & then shutting down when a fan fails &/or things get too hot, 1) this has to be turned on, as well as work, & 2) it normally only monitors the CPU & 1 or 2 sensors located somewhere on the board [e.g. many AMD boards have a temp sensor for the power regulating MOSFET area in addition to monitoring board/ambient temps with a 2nd sensor]... neither gives you much if any idea what temps are like towards the front of a PC case where hdds are normally located.

HDData also reports your drive(s) SMART data... If you get the flu vaccine, &/or if you take vitamins, &/or if you try to eat/live healthy, then you probably believe that it's worth doing something to avoid future problems, even though there are no guarantees. Monitoring SMART data, even from time to time [your hdd(s) record it] isn't perfect, but it can warn you about problems before a drive totally fails. I've had it work, providing early warning on failing drives, many m/board bios have the option to check SMART data on boot, in my experience drive SMART data is accepted by manufacturers as reason to a replace the drive under warranty. Check out the hard drive forums for info & tools re: SMART if you're interested.

Far as hdd temps go, most everyone has found out [often the hard way] that something getting too hot is normally a bad thing. We've seen things with electric motors like household fans (or vacuums, or mixers) get hot & die. We've also seen electronics misbehave & fail when they've gotten too hot -- in fact most everyone's 1st reaction IMHO is usually to let whatever sit & cool before assuming it's dead. Hard drives contain both electric motors & electronics -- too much heat is bad for electric motors & electronics --> too much heat is bad for hard drives.

Google's report [referred to in earlier posts] is IMHO interesting, but in the absence of more studies, nothing more -- how often have individual studies found whatever food or drink or med bad for human health, only to be reversed later, & then often as not, reversed yet again? The problem is interpreting limited data -- you cannot assume any of the unmeasured variables & make accurate conclusions. TO interpret stats accurately, you can't even assume common sense, but have to test & verify for each variable you can think of... & then most often at least a few variables are overlooked, which is why we see debates whenever there's some new study.

1st, not all hard drives of the same make/model are equal -- retail packaged drives have longer warranties reflecting better handling & packaging (& possibly better QA) before winding up in your hands. It's easy to find all sorts of reports verifying that they last longer -- I can attest to that over a decade+. It would be fair to guess that while Google probably didn't buy drives retail, they bought large quantities direct which were then spared the normal handling of OEM type drives through distributors, retailers, warehousing, & shipping. Long story short, the drives they use are not comparable to the OEM drives most people have. 2nd, if the drives themselves are not equal, their environment is even less so. The condition of the power supplied to PCs/Servers, room temps, humidity, everything's different, especially when compared to the average home. If Google found drives that had lower average temps failed more often, next step in understanding why might be to talk to the hdd engineers... every product is designed for both expected use & expected environ -- could be a problem with mechanical tolerances at lower than expected temps [contracts & expands with cold/heat].

Far as starting/stopping hard drives, AFAIK jury's still out -- too dull a topic for Mythbusters so may never know. ;-) But it is in that category IMHO. Far as life expectancy, it's usually at least the warranty duration -- no one could (or would) make hdds otherwise. ;-) Retail usually = 5 years, while OEM can be 1 year ***from date of manufacture -- NOT sale***. Far as data on your drive(s) go, the more critical it is, & the lower the acceptable downtime, the more redundancy needed -- balanced in the real world by costs & for biz, regulatory requirements. Some corporations have server farms housed around the world in hardened facilities you might expect from the military. At the other extreme, a home user without a lot of software installed might reinstall Windows in a couple/few hours, & so feels the cost [time + money] of any precautions or backups are unnecessary. Remote storage is too often overlooked, in case of flood/fire/theft etc. If you back up to disc(s), not much hassle to mail or hand off a copy to a trusted friend/relative, or check out one of the on-line backup services.

Reply   |   Comment by mike  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

#1 Bubby’s comment cited a Google report regarding hardware monitoring programs like todays offering. In that report two areas covered in the results were the effectiveness of SMART, and whether temperature is a factor in predicting catastrophic hard drive failure. It overall gives me the impression that programs like these are basically a waste of time and shouldn’t be bothered with. I disagree and think this GOTD is a useful utility that is worth installing.
Google reported, “over 56% of them have no count in any of the four SMART signals, namely scan errors, reallocation count, offline reallocation and probational count.” If that indeed is the case then 44% of them did; and that is almost half of the PC’s! So in other words SMART did what it was intended to do. How then can a user be sure that their PC will or will not be in the worked for me group? I think it would be prudent and certainly wouldn’t hurt having a program like this, because why take the chance? Or in other words, “Do you feel lucky?”

Reply   |   Comment by aRenegade  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

the software "Crystal Disk" leaves someone who doesn't know how to use it with nothing to go by, the help sections sucks. Waste of time.

Reply   |   Comment by saywhat  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-3)

I don't like to disagree with Google's results, but when they first released that report it just did not tally with my own experiences.

Only three years for a HDD to be on the way out? That just does not fit in with my experiences. Here are the specs for a drive (no particular drive, just did a search for "Seagate" and "MTBF"):


That gives a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) of 1,200,000 Hours. That means you can typically expect your HDD to fail after 1,200,000/24 = 50,000 days, that's around 140 years!

Now in real life, the turning on and off, spinning up and down, insufficient cooling and above all in my experience is mechanical shock - These all drop that MTBF, but to three years???

I personally expect at least five years from a heavily-used HDD that is turned on and off at least once daily. I can claim 20 years experience and the manufacturer's own ratings, but that is up against all Google's experience. All I can say is that I feel that all Google's report proves is that a drive is past it's best after three years IF YOU USE IT THE WAY GOOGLE DOES...

If you are wondering why I picked Seagate, it's because I bought one of their drives recently after having a WD fail after only just under five years.

Reply   |   Comment by TeeK  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Oh geez. I have a 8-year-old PC, and the hard drive is still okay? Wow, I must be lucky. I'll try this out, but I want Ashraf's opinion on this later.

Reply   |   Comment by The PC Tech Guy  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-5)

1. A few years ago I had a hard drive fail in a laptop after 3+ years; just out of warranty on that backed up IDE HD. I had a SMART monitoring program installed and running in the background; it gave no warning whatsoever that failure was imminent. I'm sure the heads hit the surface since it was a pretty noisy crash.

2. I've got an 11 year old IBM Travelstar 4200RPM 4.3GB IDE HD running without problems in an ancient notebook that has no personal data. The drive appears to be pre-SMART.

3. I installed this program on an XP Pro SP3 system and uninstalled it immediately because the right side of the settings window was cut off; not visible. I couldn't see a lot of text on the right side of the window in any tab and the "close" [X] button was missing. I had to use Alt-F4 which closed the program, not just the window.

4. I've got Crystal Disk, mentioned by Robert P. It lacks a feature I want that this program has, viz., a warning sound for overheating.

5. Both the free version of Active Hard Disk Monitor and DRIVE LED 3.5 Free from O&O intermittently fail to see my one and only Seagate SATA 120GB drive in a 4 year old laptop while Crystal Disk never fails to report on that same drive.

So, does anybody know of a free or at least cheap (please mention the price) program that will sound an alarm when an HD gets too hot or when SMART health fails? TIA.

Reply   |   Comment by Don_Nadie  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

Installed fine on an old (2005) computer with licensed Windows XP Pro SP3. I have 2 PATA HDD's on the same channel and this software didn't detect the second one! ...and In Use parameter is far away from reality!

Instead of this I recommend HDD Life.

Reply   |   Comment by DrWoo  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

Well hddata did not recognize my drive correctly it is raid(striped) so Ashampoo hdd control does. Could not make a fair comparison but hddata fell short at start for me. hdd control has given me a few false alerts for a certain seagate 500 gig drive can't remember the model now but I had 4 and got same false alert on all 4. All 4 still in service 6 months later. I will try some alternatives suggested. Although these apps seem to be not very reliable any warning could be a data saver. There is no excuse BACK UP!

Reply   |   Comment by MuddyMike  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I have been using HDD Health. Very small and useful Freeware.

btw... What is a hard drive failure? My first HD from 1995 still works.

I like GAOTD. Some of them are very good.

Reply   |   Comment by Century22  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+12)

I see lots of good info here which is good. Only one response to todays giveaway. Bubby have you tried this yet? Your opinion is always worthy. I will dl and compare to Ashampoo HDD control and return with my mid-level opinion. Replace after 3 yrs. means I've got go shop for a couple hdds.

Reply   |   Comment by MuddyMike  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-9)

I have a hard drive that S M A R T has been warning of a failure coming for well over 3 years now. I turned off the ?? SMART ?? in the BIOS as it doesn't seem so smart to me. Windose 7 reports the same error on the hard drive which after 3 times I just click IGNORE.

Reply   |   Comment by Johnq Parks  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Hi Folks
Chas @ No.2 said Actually, most drives fail within 90 days of installation, just like most electronic items.

I can only suggest you use a different manufacturer because I've been building PCs for the last 17 years & I HAVE NEVER had a drive fail in 3 months of install !!!

In fact I've only had 2 fail within a year of first 'Spin-Up'. I routinely install Second-Hand Hard Drives as Masters as well as Slaves & I never have any bother !
I test them with Hard Disk Sentinel Pro & so long as their health is above 90% - I use them.

The most common cause of Hard Drive Failure - is excessive SHOCK. People having the PC on a desk above a heavy drawer while being slammed closed or under the desk - hit by the chair or behind a door etc. - the BANG impact causes the head to bounce off the platter spinning @ 5400 / 7200 RPM.

Since MOST PEOPLE aren't that daft - I'm not sure how "Most Drives" would fail with careful useage inside of their 5 year expected lifespan ! I'm still running disks older than that - I occasionally use 1Gb & 2Gb drives as a secondary 'FALL BACK' XP Environment Drive - which means they are running the entire time the PC is.

My laptops & PCs run 24/7 & I've had only 1 drive fail in the last 2 years &
it was my own fault
- the laptop was running 24/7 in a tall cupboard with not enough cold air ventilation -
The Hard Disk cooked itself ! It ran 2 months before that happened. I've even used cheaper GENERIC Branded Hard Disk Drives & STILL had no issues.

I would guess I've fitted 250 - 300 Hard Drives & maybe 5% have failed ( within the 5 year expectancy ) in the last 15 years -
So scaring users that their drive is going to die soon is not helpful !

I certainly agree that making regular backups is essential - especially for Windows Crashes / Viruses etc. BUT unless you are particularly careless with your hardware - like most stuff -
IF YOU LOOK AFTER IT (with plenty of ventilation & shock surpression under the PC etc.) your Hard Disk should continue to run fine !

I WILL be trialing this software & IF I get the chance I'll put a comment on here later BUT
I Don't want GAOTD users thinking that their drive is on it's Death Bed because it's older than 8 weeks !!!

I hope I've been of help to some of you!

Cheers For Now :o)

- - Mike - -
- Macs PC -

Reply   |   Comment by Macs-PC  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+91)

Here I sit with 5 failed WD 50gb drives, all less than 12m old, 2 are AAVS, 24/7 drives for setop boxes, cctv etc, all reporting sector errors and failing self test on smart, same errors on my 5000ABYS and 5002ABYS drives, one of which only lasted 22 minutes and was a WD replacment, with free finger prints, dust, and a sticky mark where a sticker had been removed... the AVVS ones are OEM so they wont warrenty them.... Wont be using WD again and when I get my replacments there off on ebay and I'm moving to another supplier - maybe i should have had this software.....

Reply   |   Comment by Lez, York, Uk  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-18)

You can find far more versatile and useful HD tools on internet and many of them are for free. It's strange this company require payment for such a poor soft.

Reply   |   Comment by Skow  –  14 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+7)
Add a comment

iPhone app giveaways »

Knots 3D Giveaway
Tie, untie and rotate more than 90 knots with just your finger!
$5.99 ➞ free today
Luca - Photo Editor & Filters Giveaway
Luca is the perfect app for photo editing.
$0.99 ➞ free today
Remote Drive Pro for Mac Giveaway
Turn your iPhone or iPad into the wireless flash drive for your Mac.
$4.99 ➞ free today
Gayatri Mantra - Prayer Audio Giveaway
Listen to Gayatri mantra prayer audio.
$2.99 ➞ free today
Fine Living Giveaway
Thinking of ideas for the interior design of your new house, then this app is for you.
$2.99 ➞ free today

Android app giveaways »

Galaxy Attack: Alien Shooter (Premium) Giveaway
Earth's last hope is in your hands, take control of the lone spaceship and protect Earth from alien swarms.
$0.99 ➞ free today
Stony Icon Pack Giveaway
A custom collection of icons for Android.
$1.19 ➞ free today
Flashlight Giveaway
Use Flashlight app for bright led flash light.
$0.99 ➞ free today
OctaRing - Icon Pack Giveaway
OctaRing - Icon pack is a Octagon version of Ring icon pack.
$1.49 ➞ free today
Octagon - Icon Pack Giveaway
Octagon - Icon pack is a octa shaped icon pack inspired by material design.
$1.49 ➞ free today