CrystalDiskInfo is a free application for monitoring the health status and temperature of hard drives. With support for both HDDs and SSDs, the program retrieves all S.M.A.R.T information, includes a mail alert option and lets you control AAM and APM settings, among other features.
Installation & Requirements
CrystalDiskInfo has a standard installation, although users will also have to go through an adware window that will install a third-party application unless the option is unchecked.
The utility runs on Windows 2000 (32-bit) and all versions of Windows 2003, XP, 2008, Vista, 7, 2012 and 8. It also requires Internet Explorer 6 (or newer) and Microsoft .NET Framework (for the alert mail feature).
As soon as you open the program, it displays general info and S.M.A.R.T info in two dedicated areas. General info of the selected drive includes hardware specifications such as firmware version, serial number, buffer size, interface, transfer mode, rotation rate and others.
Using S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology), which is included in all modern hard drives, CrystalDiskInfo reads and displays all the current and worst values for S.M.A.R.T. attributes.
Two large icons will also show the health status and temperature of the disk drive. The health status is displayed based on whether the raw values are above or below threshold values of reallocated sectors, current pending sector and uncorrectable sector counts. Clicking on the health status icon will display the Health Status Setting window, where the threshold values can be modified or specific attributes can be disabled.
The icon under the program’s menu allows users to select a specific drive to show related information. On mouse over, it will also display a pop-up text box with used space/total space and used space percentage for each drive.
The Function menu includes a wide array of options from refresh and rescan to setting alerts and advanced features. An interesting function is the Graph, which offers a graphical comparison of all detected disks based on a parameter chosen from an extensive list. The Alert Mail option requires the users to set up an SMTP server and an e-mail address where they will receive notifications when any of the drives encounter problems.
– Free, easy to install utility.
– Displays comprehensive general HDD and S.M.A.R.T information.
– Clean, user-friendly interface.
– Graph function enables side-by-side comparison of multiple hard drives.
– Extensive help documentation.
– S.M.A.R.T attributes lack a description, which would be very useful for less experienced users.
CrystalDiskInfo doesn’t include any HDD or SSD repair functionality, but it is a reliable tool when it comes to monitoring these storage devices and alerting the user should any problems appear.