Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD) is the main storage unit of a Computer. When a data is copied to a HDD/SSD it is stored to tiny areas in its surface. So, even a minute damage or dirt in that area can render that data unreadable. By default, HDD/SSD marks such area/sector as bad, tries to read and copy the data (reallocate) to a spare area first and then redirects all access to that bad sector to the spare area. As such that bad sector cannot be accessed even by a complete drive format. While it may sound good since this process doesn’t require user action, for drives with constantly increasing bad sectors, it can cause serious trouble because the user gets ultimately notified when very little spare area is left for reallocation and a very little time (about 24 hours) to backup the data. Moreover, problems resulting from Weak sectors, High temperature, Incorrect power, Mechanical shock, Vibration are not necessarily notified by the HDD/SSD.
Hard Disk Sentinel, in contrary runs in background and monitors the status and health of HDD/SSD by constantly monitoring the S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive(s), not by just checking S.M.A.R.T. attribute thresholds and values like most similar software and reports about even slightest errors/failures as soon it is detected.
Moreover HD Sentinel allows you to run tests on the HDD/SSD [Short Self Test, Extended Self Test, Random Seek Test, Surface Test] that allows the user to investigate the problem in more detail and repair the problem [reallocating bad sectors] in a faster pace or, recommends proper action to take on weak sectors and related problems. The user can also send test report to the developer who is helpful enough to analyze the report and suggest proper action to take on the faulty drive. In case of bad sectors, if the drive is found to be stable after performing tests on it, the user may like to clear the reported error so to get notified by HD Sentinel for further errors.
Hard Disk Sentinel Professional Features & Specifications
- The software can be downloaded as an archive [hdsentinel_pro_setup.zip ; 12.637 Mb] containing the executable [hdsentinel_pro_setup.exe ; 13.659 Mb] digitally signed in the same of the lead developer Janos Mathe. Portable version is also available.
- Installation is smooth and fast. Desktop and Quick-Launch icons are created by default.
The software is multilingual. More than 10 different languages are supported e.g. Bulgarian, Czech, English, Hungarian, Italian, French, Romanian, Russian, German, Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Spanish, Portuguese-Brazil, Dutch, Greek.
After launching the application a ‘status window’ is has been displayed in the upper right corner on top of all windows. It shows the models, temperature and condition values of installed hard disks. Upon left-clicking on the status window, the list of logical drives are displayed as a quick overview about free space available on each disks. Status window can be hidden.
HD Sentinel also shows a tray icon that shows the current temp of the disk(s) and blinks with a red-cross if a disk has low health. Mouse hovering on it shows the current status of the hard disk, including its health, temp and hard disk model number.
The software can integrate to Windows explorer and can display the status of these disks (health status: good, acceptable and bad) and the amount of used space. Network Drive and Removable drive icons can also be modified.
Graphical User Interface
The main GUI is very detailed in its description. Complete status of various component of the HDD/SSD is shown here. It is also possible to access all features and functions by using the main menu or the quick buttons.
The software can monitor the temperature of the HDD/SSD and marks it according to the default or custom temperature thresholds.
Details of HDD/SSD
Many details of the drive is available under Information tab.
Advanced Monitoring Options
It offers some advanced monitoring options.
Tests in Hard Disk Sentinel
Hard Disk Sentinel offers an wide variety of tests that can verify and fix problems in HDD/SSD under a controlled environment.
Hardware Self Tests
The hardware self tests built in IDE and Serial ATA hard disks are the perfect solution to test the hard disk status quickly or with very high detail.
- The Short self test verifies the major components of the hard disk (read/write heads, servo, electronics, internal memory, etc). This test takes only some minutes.
- The Extended self test performs the above and it has a complete surface scan which reveals the problematic areas (if any) and forces the bad sector reallocation. It is recommended to periodically use this test to verify the disk health – especially on a hard disk with less than 100% health.
Random Seek Test
By this test it is possible to verify the noise level, track-to-track seek time and temperature levels of the hard disk, especially under excessive disk usage.
By using this test, the surface of the hard disk can be examined with different methods.
- READ Test – Reads the disk surface to verify if all sectors are accessible and readable.
- WRITE test – Overwrites the disk surface with configurable pattern. Forces the analysis of any weak sectors and verifies any hidden problems and fixes them by reallocation of bad sectors (this is drive regeneration).
- WRITE + read test – Overwrites the disk surface with configurable pattern and then reads back sector contents, to verify if they are accessible and consistent. Forces the analysis of any weak sectors and verifies any hidden problems and fixes them by reallocation of bad sectors (this is drive regeneration).
- Read + WRITE + read test (refresh data area) – Reads stored data from each blocks, writes back the contents and finally reads the information and compare with original contents. By the extensive test, an additional write cycle is used before writing back the contents to improve the efficiency of the error correction (drive regeneration).
- Reinitialize disk surface – Overwrites the disk surface with special initialization pattern to restore the sectors to default (empty) status and reads back sector contents, to verify if they are accessible and consistent. Forces the analysis of any weak sectors and verifies any hidden problems and fixes them by reallocation of bad sectors (this is drive regeneration).
- HD Sentinel can be configured to send e-mail message if a failure predicted, if a hard disk is too hot or if a critical S..M.A.R.T. parameter is degraded. Also it can be used to send daily reports about the current status of hard disks.
- The user can also send test reports to developer for further help in analyzing the situation. Even in offline PC it is possible by creating the report, saving it and then sending it via a PC with internet connections.
HD Sentinel can ring sound alerts on any incidence that needs user to take action. By default, sound alert is not enabled.
Automatic or Scheduled Projects
With HD Sentinel Professional various projects can be defined, that can be scheduled to execute regularly or in case of some events, for example if a decrement in HDD/SSD health is observed. It is also possible to execute two or more different projects at the same time or sequentially (run a project after the the other project is completed). The type of the project can be:
Run external application or batch file: the project will start the specified external application, internal command (for example COPY) or batch (BAT) file.
Transfer files and folders: this case the internal archiver module is used to backup files. By using this module, it is possible to configure different archiving options and create different, specific backup tasks.
Burn CD/DVD by using NERO: Hard Disk Sentinel will use NERO (TM) application from Ahead Software AG to archive the contents of any specified folder to an optical disk.
Compress files by using RAR/7-Zip: Hard Disk Sentinel can use WINRAR (TM) application from RarSoft or the free 7-Zip application as compressor.
Export registry items: the specified registry keys will be exported into a file.
Power ON Computer: Power on (start) a remote computer on local area network by sending wake-up packet to the target computer.
Power OFF Computer: Local or remote computer can be stopped (shut down) or restarted (reboot). The local computer can be sent to standby or hibernate states also.
Send files in e-mail: By this function, files (or complete folders with all files and sub-folders) can be transferred in e-mails.
FTP Transfer Files: By this option it is possible to upload files or complete folders to FTP server.
Test hard disk(s): It is possible to examine and test the hard disks by using hardware self test functions (supported by IDE and S-ATA hard disks). The disks to be tested are listed and can be selected, or it is possible to test all installed hard disks simultaneously.
- If WebStatus is enabled, it is possible to examine hard disk status from the local or a remote computer/mobile phone/PDA by using a web browser. Optionally a password can be used to prevent unauthorized access.
- Hard Disk Sentinel can Accept remote connections from server and this way it can be used to remotely analyze hard disk problems, verify hard disk status and test hard disks.
- It can use DynDNS, No-IP or Custom Dyamic DNS service to assign a fix host name to a changing (dynamic) IP address of a computer. With this constant host name, the computer could be accessed remotely, so remote management (webstatus, remote connections) is possible.
Hot Keys are supported to access some functions of Hard Disk Sentinel.
System Requirements of Hard Disk Sentinel Professional
- Pentium or compatible CPU
- 32 megabytes of system memory
- 15 megabytes of hard disk space
- One or more hard disk or solid state disk with ATA (IDE or Serial ATA/SATA II), SCSI, SAS, USB interface.
See Hardware compatibility pages for supported hard disk drives, SSD models, disk controllers and external hard disks / enclosures / adapters.
Other type of external disks (IEEE 1394 or used in NAS enclosures and connected via Ethernet) are NOT supported because the hard disk controller chip in the external enclosure does not support the detection of hard disk status (S.M.A.R.T.) information.
- Windows operating system (Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, 2003, 2008, Vista, Windows 7, Windows Home Server, Windows 8) both 32 and 64 bit versions
- System administrator account (in service mode, it is possible to use without administrator rights and without even user logged in)
Note: hard disk controller drivers can also cause incompatibility problems and this case not all hard disk information may be displayed. For more information, please check the compatibility page and to download recommended drivers from the Driver Zone section.
Download Hard Disk Sentinel Professional
Hard Disk Sentinel Professional can be downloaded from the following link
The portable version is available here
The trial version has some limitations.
My Verdict on Hard Disk Sentinel Professional
|No Problem Detected in a HDD|
- Option to shutdown PC after a disk space because most of them runs for a long time.
- Alerts user if he quits the software from tray.
- Creation of developer test report via ‘Report’ menu of the software.
Giveaway of Hard Disk Sentinel Professional
3. Optional but Important: Like the Facebook page of Hard Disk Sentinel share about it.
Giveaway will run until 7th June 23:59 Hours GMT.
Giveaway Ended.Those who haven’t won a license of Hard Disk Sentinel Professional or have missed it, please purchase it. You won’t regret.