WindowSMART 2015 Technical Details

All the gory details about WindowSMART

This page details everything you might want to know about WindowSMART 2015, from system requirements, all of the features and more.

This looks like geeky, technical stuff. Do I need to know it? There's a LOT on this page!

Good news! You don't need to worry about what's on this page. It is geeky, and it is technical. The information on this page is provided for folks who want to know all the details about every feature. If you're one of those people, read on. But if the mere thought of geeky stuff scares you, you can go back to the WindowSMART product page and leave what's on this page for the geeks.

Signs of Trouble

Slow file access, an occasional blue screen of death or random reboots may be disregarded by the user. Sometimes we blame Windows, or assume a virus is at fault. Unfortunately, many times a failing hard drive is the root cause. And while Solid State Disks (SSD) are often regarded as more reliable than hard disks, they too can show warning signs that the end is nigh.

How can we tell if our hard drive or SSD is healthy? Hard drives and SSDs contain technology called Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology, or SMART, which is a hard disk and SSD health monitoring and failure prediction technology. SMART tracks various disk health and performance attributes. Special tools, such as WindowSMART 2015, can read and analyze these attributes and then alert you if an unhealthy condition is detected.

Google conducted research that shows a hard drive is 39 times more likely to fail within 60 days after the first bad sector is detected. Each time a bad sector is detected, the drive must reallocate data to a spare sector--these remapping operations take time and can lead to slowdowns, freezes and blue screens.

End-to-end errors are another common failure. End-to-end errors involve data corruption--from the time the data is read from disk, transferred through the disk's cache and handed off to the OS--or the other way around--something got messed up. If an end-to-end error occurs while Windows is working with its critical paging file, a blue screen is almost guaranteed.

With WindowSMART 2015, you can be notified NOW when an unhealthy disk condition is detected. Be notified right on your desktop, via email and on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android phone or tablet, and Windows Phone.

Supported Operating Systems
Supported client editions of Microsoft Windows
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8 / 8.1
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP (Service Pack 3 or later) (support ends 12/31/2015)
Supported server editions of Microsoft Windows
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (except Essentials)
  • Windows Server 2012 (except Essentials)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2003 (Service Pack 2 or later; includes R2 edition) (support ends 12/31/2015)
32-bit or 64-bit? x86 or x64?
WindowSMART 2015 supports all of the above operating systems in both their 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) variants. You should check whether your version of Windows is 32- or 64-bit. You can see this by right-clicking Computer and selecting Properties. Windows will report "32-bit operating system" or "64-bit operating system." If you are running Windows XP, it's probably 32-bit, unless you notice each time it boots up that it explicitly refers to itself as "Windows XP x64 Edition."

Do NOT install the 32-bit version of WindowSMART 2015 into 64-bit Windows. It will install, and may even appear to function correctly. However, many core WindowSMART functions will not work correctly, and you will see several errors in the Application event log. If you make this mistake, just uninstall the 32-bit version and install the 64-bit version.

Itanium (IA64) versions of Windows are NOT supported.

Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Full
Microsoft .NET Framework 4 - Full or Client Profile

WindowSMART 2015 requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Full to be installed. If this is not installed, Windows Installer will return an error, and you will not be able to install WindowSMART. There is a smaller version of the .NET Framework called the Client Profile. Installation of this is not enough; WindowSMART leverages several components of the full framework, not just the client profile. Once the framework is installed, you can install WindowSMART.

Click here to download the framework.

Complete list of WindowSMART 2015 features
  • Continuously monitor hard disk health and SSD health of most IDE, SATA and eSATA devices as long as the computer is on, including most USB and FireWire (IEEE 1394) disk enclosures. (Hardware RAID arrays are not supported.)
  • Customizable disk polling interval--check the disks as often as every 3 minutes or as little as once per week. Longer intervals allows disks to sleep (power save).
  • Rich user interface
    • Get a quick, at-a-glance view of the health of all attached disks.
    • See physical disk characteristics, serial number, firmware revision, spindle speed, TRIM support and more.
    • See all SMART attributes for each disk, and the health state of each.
    • Double-click on any SMART attribute for an in-depth explanation of the attribute and whether or not any problems were detected.
  • Supports most laptop and desktop computers, and supports most IDE and SATA hard drives and Solid State Disks (SSDs).
  • Proactive alerting. Be notified NOW if a problem is detected.
    • Alerts can be delivered on your desktop via Growl or Snarl desktop clients, or through WindowSMART's own system tray notification tool.
    • Email up to three recipients. Warnings are sent at normal importance; Critical alerts are sent at high importance.
    • Notify multiple recipients on Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).
    • Notify multiple recipients on Android‡ mobile devices (phones and tablets).
    • Notify multiple recipients on Windows Phone (7.5 and later).
  • Simplified management for system administrators through Group Policy and scripting.
  • Run disk self-tests on disks that support self-testing. WindowSMART can start (or cancel) the short, extended (long) and conveyance tests if the disk indicates such tests are supported (dependent on controller and driver support).
  • Export disk reports, including SMART details, to HTML, text, comma-separated values (CSV) or tab-separated values (TSV) files. Have questions about your report? Share them in the Forum!
  • Full-featured 30-day trial. Use the software for a full 30 days without any feature limitations.
  • Easy, low-cost licensing. No need to hire a lawyer to explain how licensing works.
    • Home licenses are good for all computers and all users in the home. Buy just one license, and everyone is covered. Have just one home PC? We now offer a lower-cost option--Single PC!
    • Professional licenses are licensed per-device.
    • US Military Discount!
    • No annoying "activation" requirement. If you get a new computer, you can install and license the software on the new one.
  • Supports watchful waiting -- you can choose to ignore a specific problem (i.e. a bad sector) to disable an active alert, and you won't be notified again unless the problem gets worse. (You can always change your mind later and resume monitoring an ignored alert.)
  • Hide unsupported disks -- if you see unsupported items such as flash drives and media card readers cluttering up the UI, select the disk and then click "Ignore Disk" to hide it from view. (You can always change your mind later.)
  • Customizable settings - temperature display (Celsius, Fahrenheit or Kelvin), temperature overheat thresholds, SSD-specific features, user interface theme, disk polling interval and more.
  • Manually poll the disks to get the latest health status.
  • Works with Windows disk pooling Storage Spaces in Windows 8 and Server 2012, and third-party disk pooling software such as Drive Bender or StableBit DrivePool.
  • Detailed, searchable help documentation.
  • Built-in bug report helper makes it easy to help you report a bug (problem) with the software, or request a new feature.
Hardware RAID
Hardware RAID is Unsupported

WindowSMART 2015 is a powerful, flexible tool and it will work perfectly fine with MOST laptop and desktop computers made by most computer manufacturers. If you bought your computer at a store such as Best Buy, Fry's, Amazon, Walmart and the like, chances are WindowSMART 2015 will work just fine.

If you built your computer yourself, especially if you built yourself a high-end gaming desktop, or if you have a server, chances are very good you are using hardware RAID. Unfortunately, WindowSMART 2015 doesn't support hardware RAID arrays. If you have a hardware RAID controller and the disks are configured in standalone mode, then WindowSMART may be able to monitor them--this is the case in the very common, and popular, Intel ICH controllers. However, if the disks are configured in an actual array, these use proprietary non-public APIs and drivers, which prevents WindowSMART from communicating with them.

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) disks use a different set of Windows APIs than SATA and IDE disks, including USB-based SATA/IDE disks. These use the CSMI instruction set, which is also what the latest Intel RST drivers use. WindowSMART supports CSMI-based controllers and drives, and therefore should correctly report SMART data in disks attached to them.