DiskAlert

URL: http://www.execsoft.com/consumer/diskalert/diskalert.asp

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Rating: Excellent!

Review:

A smart guy I used to work with a long time ago in tech support used to say “It’s not a matter of if the drive fails, it’s when the drive fails. All hard drives fail, it’s just a matter of time.” Right he was. Hard drives do not last forever, they contain mechanical components that are subject to wear and tear, causing them to fail eventually. Some drives might last less than a month, others might last for a decade – you never know.

That’s where Executive Software’s DiskAlert comes in. The purpose of this program is to run in the background, quietly monitor your hard drives, analyze its health status, and immediately alert you if a failure is imminent. The average user usually finds out about a drive going south by sudden clicking noises from the drive, failure to load the operating system, missing or corrupted data, etc. By then it is often too late to save any data off the drive. DiskAlert’s intention is to notify you ahead of time in order for you to replace the drive with a minimum amount of downtime.

As Executive Software describes it aptly, “DiskAlert monitors the various types of disk errors, throughput and other information from the operating system and your disk drives. Using proprietary algorithms, it then automatically determines disk health, alerting you when a disk starts to get into trouble.”

DiskAlert also monitors free disk space and alerts you when the percentage of free disk space falls below a certain level. This feature is especially valuable to system administrators of file servers.

Whenever disk health or free space triggers an alert, DiskAlert will immediately send out an alert in form of a pop-up message, phone call, page, or e-mail, informing you of the problem even if you’re away from the computer.

DiskAlert is extremely easy to use. Run the installation, configure the alert thresholds, configure the alert methods – done. Once the software is configured, it runs quietly in the background, appropriately described as “set it and forget it”.

DiskAlert works with IDE and SCSI drives, as well as with RAID disk arrays. An administrator version of the software is also available, which allows remote distribution and monitoring over a network.

Conclusion

DiskAlert does not perform miracles. It does not save or repair failing drives, it does not eliminate the needs for good backups, it does not predict the exact time of failure. All it does is let you know when a drive failure is imminent. Instead of experiencing a nasty surprise when you least expect it, you can be in control and replace the drive in time before it’s too late. And for anybody who has important data on their machine or depends on their computer to be up and running, this extra level of control can make a big difference.

Submitted by: Alex “crazygerman” Byron

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