Find Out if Your Hard Disk is About to Fail with SMARTReporter [Mac]

Find Out if Your Hard Disk is About to Fail with SMARTReporter [Mac]

If you’ve ever suffered a hard disk failure on your computer, you know how devastating it can be – especially if you haven’t been backing up your data regularly (or at all). Most of the time, there is no type of warning when your hard disk is about to go out on you; it just happens and you’re left totally frustrated and unprepared.

If you’re a Mac user, there’s a very useful application that can help to prepare you for an impending disk failure. This application is SMARTReporter, and it works by periodically polling the S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) status of your hard disk drives; it’s basically like an “early warning system.” SMARTReporter uses this technology to keep you up-to-date on the status of your hard disk and lets you know right away if errors are found.

If you have a ATA, SATA, or eSATA hard disk, here’s how you can find out if your hard disk is about to fail.

Installation and Setup

First, you’ll need to download SMARTReporter to your Mac. You can download the free “TRYOUT Version” from their website, or download it from the Mac App Store for $4.99. All of the included disk checks and features make SMARTReporter well worth the $5 price tag.

Once installed, open the application and you’ll be greeted by the SMARTReporter Welcome Assistant.

SMARTReporter Welcome Assistant

Since SMARTReporter has to be running in order to predict hard disk failures, it’s recommended that you keep it running at all times. In the Welcome Assistant, you’ll have the option to launch the app at login, and you can also choose to display the app in the menu bar (as opposed to the Dock).

When you’re done, click on “Finish Setup.”


Now that you’re done with the Welcome Assistant, the application window will appear. Here you can see the status of your hard disk, perform disk checks, manage SMARTReporter’s settings, and view your data history.

If there are any issues with your hard disk, you will see them listed on the Status tab. You’ll can also check to see the last time a specific disk check was performed.

See the status of your hard disk.

The most important section is the Disk Checks tab. You’ll need to go through each section and customize them to suit your own  needs and preferences. For instance, you can tell SMARTReporter how often to check your hard disk for errors. There are different options for each section, and you can also enable/disable notifications on an individual basis.

Note: S.M.A.R.T. checks will not be performed when on battery power, but you can changed this in Advanced Options (Disk Checks tab -> S.M.A.R.T. tab -> Advanced Options section).

Perform various disk checks for your hard drive.

In the Settings tab, you can change the menu bar appearance or Dock appearance, depending on which one you’re using. You can also choose to receive a daily status email and useful notifications.

Change the settings of SMARTReporter.

Finally, in the History tab you can view a graph and log regarding your data and the activities that SMARTReporter has performed on your computer.

View a graph and log regarding your data and the activities that SMARTReporter has performed.

If you’re using the menu bar icon, you can check the status of your hard disk at any time by clicking on it. Checks will be done as often as you’ve set them to be (under the Disk Checks tab).

Check the status of your hard disk from the menu bar icon.

Final Thoughts

Even though no hard disk will last forever, we often have the “it will never happen to me” attitude about them. It’s time to change that attitude because you never know when it will happen to you. SMARTReporter is the perfect tool to help you keep your hard disk in check. Not only will it help to alleviate most surprise disk failures, but it will also get you better prepared for when it does actually happen.

Charnita Fance Charnita Fance

Charnita has been a Freelance Writer & Professional Blogger since 2008. As an early adopter she loves trying out new apps and services. As a Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS user, she has a great love for bleeding edge technology. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.


    1. You can check your hard disk’s health via Disk Utility and see if you can repair the issues that way. Defragmenting your hard disk may also may help to fix the issues (iDefrag is a good one to try).

      If all else fails, you should make sure that all of your data and important files are backed for safe-keeping! There are a lot of tools available for Mac users. Then, you’ll need to purchase a new one ASAP.

  1. If you already have DiskWarrior, there’s no need for SMARTReporter, as DW has the same thing built in (but you do have to enable it).

    That said, I have seen reports that claim S.M.A.R.T. (the drive technology that these programs use) isn’t actually all that useful in predicting drive failures. Still, it can’t hurt.

  2. Thanks a lot for wonderful information. This information gonna help me a lot to be on safer side. Will remember all the tricks for next time. Thank you very much.

  3. Stellar Volume Repair is another good tool to monitor a disk drive failure. It can save the disk failure by replacing the damaged directory structure.

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