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Get an early warning of PC disasters with Acronis Drive Monitor

11 June 2010, Mike Williams

A hard drive crash is perhaps the worst of all PC problems. It will usually destroy all your data, and you can forget about undelete or recovery tools: the chances are you won’t be able to get any of it back. Every email, digital photo, music file, download, contact record or browser favourite that you haven’t backed up, will have gone forever.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Drive crashes generally don’t happen “just like that” – there are warnings. High temperatures, read and write errors, and other drive-related issues that tell you its reliability is failing. If only you could see those warnings then you’d be alerted, could buy another drive, or make sure this one was regularly backed up. And that’s where Acronis Drive Monitor comes in.

The program installs without hassle, and immediately begins monitoring your hard drive’s status. Don’t worry, this isn’t resource intensive and doesn’t mean your hard drive will be thrashing all the time – it’s a very quiet program. The checks Acronis Drive Monitor makes are minimal and mostly you’ll forget it’s even running.

If it does spot a problem, though, a pop-up alert will appear, and you’ll see a warning icon on your system tray. Double-click this and you’ll see a more detailed explanation of the issue, which will be in one of three areas.

If your drive supports S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) then that means internally it records details like spin-up time, temperature, seek errors and many other variables. Acronis Drive Monitor will check these values periodically, and if there are problems then it’ll let you know.

Some drives don’t support S.M.A.R.T., and the system won’t trap all errors anyway, so Acronis Drive Monitor also checks the Windows Event Log for drive-related issues: file system corruption, failed read and write operations, Volume Shadow Copy failures, and more.

And if you have an Acronis backup package then you’ll also be warned if the last backup failed for some reason, or perhaps you’ve not backed up at all for a while.

If you don’t regularly check the S.M.A.R.T. data from your drives, and the Event Log, then, it’s well worth installing Acronis Drive Monitor and leaving it to do the job for you. It just might provide the early warning you need to save your valuable files from imminent data disaster – so download and install a copy now.

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