Acronis Drive Monitor Is S.M.A.R.T. about hard drives

Monitor your hard disk's health with this freebie from backup vendor Acronis

Monitor your hard disk's health with this freebie from backup vendor Acronis

Monitor your hard disk's health with this freebie from backup vendor Acronis

Your hard disk is a time bomb, waiting to go off. If you're lucky, like most people, it will never detonate. But if you're unlucky, like some people, you could lose all of your files, works, and applications, with no warning when your hard disk crashes. Acronis Drive Monitor (free) promises to give you warning before that crash, so that you can take action before you're hit with disaster.

Acronis Drive Monitor checks your hard disk health in multiple ways, and issues warnings when it appears there may be problems. With the program's advice, you can try to fix the problem, and back up all your data before a potential crash.

The software is exceedingly simple to use. Simply install it and it uses the S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) standard to check your hard disk health in many different ways, and show you what it finds. The easiest way to find out if your hard disk adheres to this standard is to run the Acronis Drive Monitor -- it will tell you. S.M.A.R.T. was first released in 1996, and Acronis says that if you have a hard disk made in the last 10 years, the great odds are that it adheres to S.M.A.R.T. (If you don't have a disk that adheres to the S.M.A.R.T. standard, you're out of luck, unless you're a scripting pro.) When it finds there may be a problem, it pops up an alert and offers advice on how the problem might be fixed.

A simple screen summarizes your hard disk's current state of health, and a detailed screen shows you more information that you'll ever want to know about your hard disk -- not just basics such as its temperature and read error rate, but details you may not even understand, such as the Reallocated Sectors Count.

Acronis Drive Monitor is superior to a number of competing products, such as HDDlife, whose free version doesn't offer as much detail as Acronis Drive Monitor. It's good that Drive Monitor is free, but keep in mind that it functions partially as an ad for buying Acronis software, notably the company's backup software.

I'm paranoid about losing any work, and so I have three different kinds of backup that work automatically ever day -- one to Windows Home Server, one to the Jungle Disk online backup service, and one using the SugarSync synchronization software. Despite that, though, Acronis Drive Monitor issued a backup warning, implying I had no backup software. The alert read "No backup software detected"... but reading the text underneath, I saw that the backup warning said that I wasn't using any Acronis backup software.

That misleading message seems a small price to pay for a solid (and free-of-cost) piece of monitoring software. Still, it lessens one's trust in Acronis Drive Monitor; Acronis would do well to fix it.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Drivesstoragehard drivesfreewareFreeware / sharewareUtilitiesHard DisksoftwareAcronisdownloadshdd

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Preston Gralla

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?