Monitoring hard disk health with Smartmontools


smartmontools is a cross-platform, open-source application that monitors hard disks through SMART so that you can tell if a disk is about to go south and you know it's time to get a replacement.


As of May 2014, two packages are available for Windows:

After running the installer, two applications are available: smartd is a daemon that will run periodically to perform tests and e-mail results, while smartclt is a CLI to perform tasks manually.

Important settings

-s on: Enable SMART monitoring on a disk

Playing with smartclt


How to configure smartd?

Using smart.conf, which by default is installed in "C:\Program Files\smartmontools for Windows\bin\" where smartd.exe is also located.

Any GUI alternative to smartclt?

Are SATA drives on Windows hdx or sdx?

How to list hard disks?

How to identify a disk?

smartctl.exe -i /dev/sda

How to enable SMART and other stuff?

smartctl -s on -o on -S on /dev/sda

How to check health?

smartctl -H /dev/sda

To run the short self-test

smartctl -t short /dev/sda

Wait a couple of minutes, and check the results:

smartctl -l selftest /dev/sda

To run the long self-test

The long test takes a couple of hours:

smartctl -t long /dev/sda

Diff between smartd and smartctl?

smartclt = CLI, while smartd = daemon that perform chronic tests and e-mails results?


Alternatives: SpeedFan, CrystalDiskInfo (the portable version is adware-free), HDTune, HDDLife, etc.