Notice: MacBook Air SSD Issues

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 | Uncategorized | No Comments

We’ve had a few reports of recent MacBook Air SSD issues. The drive reports as passed, but the attributes report FAILING_NOW. This is a possible firmware bug, but the drives are fine. We are doing more research and will keep the blog updated if anything changes.

New Website Coming Soon

Friday, August 1st, 2014 | Company News | No Comments

Just a little notice, in the next few weeks, I’ll be switching over to a new server with a newly designed website. I’m hoping its going to be a pretty fancy and eye-pleasing design. I’m switching from a shared host to a VPS, partly for cost and performance, but also because I like to mess with that stuff.

Old URLs will be redirected, including the RSS feed for the blog.

I’m excited about a new update- it will be only the third website design in company history, and the first since 2008!

SMART Utility and Yosemite

Monday, July 28th, 2014 | SMART Utility | No Comments

Just a quick note: Yes, SMART Utility is fully compatible with Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite. All features were tested and worked without issue.

Testing will continue through the new builds Apple releases.

I will say I do like the new interface!

Supported External Drives: Two Suggestions

Friday, July 25th, 2014 | Reviews, SMART Utility | No Comments

For those of you looking for suggestions for enclosures or other methods of reading SMART off of drives, this post is for you. I wanted to share a couple of enclosures and a cool “connector” that support reading SMART data.

First, for buying an exclosure to put a drive in or one with a drive, I highly recommend the Mercury Elite Pro enclosures from Other World Computing. I’ve been a customer of OWC for over a decade, and they always have quality products and they stand by them. The Mercuries come in both 2.5 and 3.5 inch sizes. I bought two of the 2.5 inch sizes for SuperDuper clones of my laptop, and I rotate them weekly offsite. I bought a 3.5 inch size for a HD out of a computer I was retiring, since it was 3TB. It serves as a Time Machine backup of my Mac Mini server. The 2.5 inch ones support eSATA, FW800, and USB, while the 3.5 inch size supports just FW800 and USB. Both sizes support reading SMART data over FireWire (I didn’t try USB), but not eSATA for the small size.

Second, a very interesting connection is the StarTech HD Docking Station. This handy station is great for testing HDs or using them quickly. It connects via USB, and supports reading SMART data. It supports both 2.5 and 3.5 inch drive sizes. I find it very handy for checking the myriad of HDs I’ve collected over the years, and also for testing out SMART Utility with different types of bad drives.

I hope that helps, and if anybody else has any more suggestions, I’d love to hear them! My plan is to add a page to list supported enclosures and docking stations, and maybe even add a way within SMART Utility to easily notify me.

SMART Utility 3.1.2 Is (Finally) Out!

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 | SMART Utility | Comments Off

The long awaited SMART Utility 3.1.2 has been released, which brings a few new features as well as many bug fixes and enhancements.

Note that 3.1.x will be the final versions that will support 10.5,  10.6, and 10.7.

Download for 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion). and 10.8 (Moutain Lion)

Here’s the full release notes:

  • Implemented new sending email system to provide better support, fixing bugs with Gmail and 10.9 (Mavericks)
  • Analyzed all code, cleaned up code, and fixed many potential bugs
  • Added check time to Casper plist
  • Changed email to include all drives in one email
  • Changed email to include “SMART Utility” and host name in subject line
  • Changed “Last Updated” display to include date as well as time
  • Fixed bug on 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7 systems where “Install SAT SMART Driver” menu item would not work
  • Fixed bug where Casper plist would not be created when all drives passed
  • Fixed bug where Casper plist would not be created by menu extra
  • Fixed bug in Casper script
  • Fixed bug with toggling tests
  • Fixed rare bug where menu extra would run scheduled tests when preferences were changed
  • Fixed some bugs with French localization in Menu Extra
  • Removed “/dev/” from drive descriptions for better clarity
  • Updated help
  • Updated French Localization
  • Updated model list for new Macs
  • Updated attribute human readable names
  • Updated SAT SMART Driver to version 0.8
  • Updated smartctl engine to 6.2, which supports many more drives, especially SSDs

Today We Fight Back

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 | Company News, Opinion | Comments Off

Two years ago Volitans Software joined the internet wide protest against SOPA and PIPA. Today, we are joining another internet wide protest  against the NSA. The NSA threatens the security and openness of the internet, as well as the liberties of all Americans. They must be reigned in. Call or write your legislators today.

To find out more, go to the Today We Fight Back site.

Another Blackblaze Study

Friday, February 7th, 2014 | SMART Utility, Story | Comments Off

They have an interesting post on the reliability of drives from different manufacturers. Check it out here.

Backblaze Study on HD Lifetimes

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 | Company News, SMART Utility, Story | Comments Off

A fascinating study done by Backblaze on the lifetimes of hard drives. After four years of running 25,000 drives, they analyzed all of their data. Based on that, they found that 95% last just 1 year, 94% last 2 years, 90% last 3 years, 80% last 4 years, and just 50% last 5 years.

My conclusion from this is make sure you check the drive at least once a day with SMART Utility, but even more importantly- always have backups.

Check out some more discussion, or check out the original study.

SMART Utility and Mavericks

Friday, October 25th, 2013 | SMART Utility | Comments Off

SMART Utility has been tested on the Mavericks public release , and there is one bug discovered- email notifications are failing. And update will be out shortly to address this issue (as well as fix a longstanding gmail bug).

Other than that, SMART Utility is fully compatible with Mavericks.

SMART Utility Update

Thursday, September 5th, 2013 | Company News, SMART Utility | Comments Off

Here is a brief update on SMART Utility. 3.1.2 will be out soon, which will fix some bugs as well as add better SSD support. Its possible this version will also modify the algorithm for SSDs to better indicate failures.

After that, 3.2 will be out with some additional features that will help performance and prepare for version 4.0. That version will introduce a brand new UI. Its been a while since the UI was update, and it needs to be modernized. It was written back in 10.4 days, and has largely remained the same. While it still is okay looking and is functional, there have been a lot of advances in UI design, and its time to take advantage of that. There are already some sketches for the new UI, and I’m excited to begin design on it.

SMART Utility already works with 10.9 Mavericks, and the future of SMART Utility is bright.