ActiveSMART is a hard disk diagnostic software tool, which contains monitoring and failure-prediction software, and a disk space usage tool.

Most users will be fine with a free program such as HD Tune, which simply retrieves your hard drive's S.M.A.R.T. data (self-monitoring information about your drive's health) when you run it. However, if your PC is always-on it might be worth your while to keep a program like ActiveSMART (or Active SMART as it's referred to in some areas of the program) running in the background to keep an eye on the status.

ActiveSMART installs, then runs as a service to keep tabs on your drive's health. The drive itself does the monitoring; these utilities simply query the drive and display the information the drive returns. ActiveSMART displays the information in a way that's easier for less experienced users to understand than tools such as Active@ Hard Disk Monitor and also offers a rather effective disk space analyzer that graphically portrays where and how of most data resides. One other feature I like is the history of the drive temperatures which can help you spot problems with your systems cooling.

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ActiveSMART: Specs

  • Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7
  • Pentium 233 MHz or higher processor, 128MB RAM (256 MB recommended), 7 MB available hard disk space, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher
  • Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7
  • Pentium 233 MHz or higher processor, 128MB RAM (256 MB recommended), 7 MB available hard disk space, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher

OUR VERDICT

ActiveSMART is easy to install as well as easy to use. I did have its monitor crash on me a few times initially, though after reinstalling the program never wavered. Also, it's a bit pricey for what it does - £19 at the time of this writing. If you've the need to monitor your hard drives on a constant basis, then this program is worth looking at. Otherwise, stick with one of the free alternatives.

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