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HDD SMART tool(s) for win98 ?


TmEE
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I've been trying to find something capable of reading out SMART data from a HDD on win98 but I have not found anything useful. Closest thing has been DOS version of HDD Sentinel but you really got to be in DOS to use it.

I can only write DOS software myself so that would end up in same way as that program, it can only work when there's no windows in the way...

Does anyone know something useful on this regard ?

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SpeedFan

View SMART status, your system's temperatures, and control your fans.

DriveSMART

For IDE drives only.

HDD Health

Version 3 is reported to mess up a 98 system, even though 9x is listed as supported. I have not tested it, so I cannot confirm this. It is currently at version 4.2.

DTemp

This is the smallest, lightest and fastest of them all. Completely portable. Development stopped a decade ago.

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In addition to those mentioned by Foxbat, in the past I successfully tested these on Win9x ( with caveats ) ...

DriveSitter by Oliver Marr *** ... Link

Drive Health by Helexis *** ... Link

Astra32 by Sysinfo Lab ... Link

All three I believe are shareware. Trying the first two (***) I noticed added startup entries from the programs rather than it simply running and then exiting. As I prefer 'tamed' portable software myself, I consider that a black mark.

What would be really great is if there was an old version of EFD HD-Tune that worked on Win9x but I never saw one. That is what I call a well behaved program.

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Wow, that much software !

I gave SpeedFan another shot right now and it actually worked. For some reason it locked up on my PIII and my current PIV. I guess the logs etc. I sent to the author finally got put into use :D

I'll test out all the other programs too, thank you all :D

DriveSmart and HDD Health and Drive Health could not detect any of the drives I got

Astra32 froze the system, much like SpeedFan used to do

DriveSitter, SpeedFan and DTemp all worked, but looks like none of them can do anything about "SCSI" drives.

My main PC has all nice and dandy IDE HDD collection and few SATA drives over a RAID card (acting as SCSI).

My server machine is running off RAID0 through FastTrak66, so looks like I won't be able to use none of the tools on it. (but these are IDE drives, not SATA, so perhaps there's a chance...?)

Thänks again !

Edited by TmEE
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I got that very same Fastcheck installed on my server machine and it does not tell me anything but "functional" and "critical". Temperaturs and reallocation parameters are what interest me most, and those are not revealed in Fastcheck... at least I have not found any way to if there's a way...

FastCheck.png

Edited by TmEE
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Another one is PC-Wizard by Franck Delattre ( who authored CPU-Z among other things ). I don't know if it still runs on Win9x but I know for a fact that it used to, and many old versions can be found if necessary.

I gave SpeedFan another shot right now and it actually worked. For some reason it locked up on my PIII and my current PIV. I guess the logs etc. I sent to the author finally got put into use :D

Astra32 froze the system, much like SpeedFan used to do

DriveSitter, SpeedFan and DTemp all worked, but looks like none of them can do anything about "SCSI" drives.

Looks like you mentioned at least two hard lockups. These are almost always a hardware conflict.

I highly doubt those programs are to blame but it is possible. I would look first at all the fundamentals. IDE drive cable position, matching jumpers, cables not defective, pushed in all the way, heat ( are the HDD's cool? ).

You also mention SCSI ( didn't see that above ). If it is an add-in controller look for an IRQ conflict. You may have to mess with the BIOS of the card and system.

I think it is possible for software ( e.g., real-time temp monitors ) to lock-up the system if the BIOS is uncooperative, in this case you either need to get a different ( more advanced ) motherboard or simply not use any software that works at that kind of low-level.

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Most of those tools use Microsoft's smartvsd.vxd to fetch smart data on IDE drives and smartvsd will load only if esdi506.pdr is used for handling IDE drives which means they won't work on systems who use the Intel or VIA IDE drivers.

AFAIK, of all those tools there is only Astra, SmartUDM and Victoria as well as a russian only application called Dalas which will always work on IDE drives regardless of the IDE driver used but unfortunately even those won't work on any drives I have on my Promise controller (IDE or SATA) and Astra crashes on launch since I have 4GB of RAM.

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I have done my testing on my main machine, which uses an industrial mobo which has not been recognized by any system info software I have used, neither on XP or 98. This may be part of the hard lockups.

Speedfan used to lock up, but I contacted the guy and set him some debug logs, and seems things are now working.

My other PC is fairly old and standard stuff, but I have not tried the software that refused to work on my main machine on that oldie.

There is definitely no HW faults or conflicts, everything gets along and is rock solid.

Few programs like everest show a lot of info on older versions, but newer versions which still run no longer show any raw details (such as PCI devices). That seems to be true for a lot of HW info tools. I guess they rely on some functionality not present in 9x (though in reality they could just probe the HW directly and gain more than OS stuff would...?)

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There is definitely no HW faults or conflicts, everything gets along and is rock solid.

Few programs like everest show a lot of info on older versions, but newer versions which still run no longer show any raw details (such as PCI devices). That seems to be true for a lot of HW info tools. I guess they rely on some functionality not present in 9x (though in reality they could just probe the HW directly and gain more than OS stuff would...?)

If you are sure there are no IRQ or other BIOS conflicts *and* no cabling or jumper errors, then follow up on what loblo has said.

Is it esdi506.pdr and what version? Patched for large drives?

There are several versions of Smartvsd.vxd floating about as well, it sometimes comes with different HDD utilities. What version?

Also, search for all occurrences of both of those files within the \Windows directory tree. I seem to remember conflicts when they appear in multiple folders.

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The site for the Commercial/Shareware HD Sentinel:

http://www.hdsentinel.com/

besides the app itself contains quite a bit of information, see FAQ's:

http://www.hdsentinel.com/faq.php

and unless you want to monitor the hard disk while the 98 is running and continuosly, the DOS version (which BTW is free) should work "better":

http://www.hdsentinel.com/hard_disk_sentinel_dos.php

Drivers suck. :(

A reboot is not that bad IMHO.

jaclaz

PS: Have you tried smartmontools?

http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/smartmontools/wiki

but still if the issue is smartvsd.vxd they won't work as well :unsure:

Also an older version of diskcheckup:

http://www.passmark.com/products/diskcheckup.htm

might do.

Get one from here v 1.1:

http://web.archive.org/web/20051228132625/http://www.passmark.com/products/diskcheckup.htm

or here v 2.1:

http://web.archive.org/web/20071104213917/http://www.passmark.com/products/diskcheckup.htm

Edited by jaclaz
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I found 2x SMARTVSD.VXD :

SYSTEM had 4.10.2222 version

SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS had 4.90.3001

That above is definitely not good, I'll back up the vanilla file and put the newer files to both locations...

I'll do a check on my server machine too. EDIT: server machine had one single file in IOSUBSYS, which is the 4.90.3001. I'll delete the file from SYSTEM on my main machine.

EDIT2: speedfan no longer detects my 3rd IDE drive that's on secondary IDE channel on my main machine. Reboot fixed that

ESDI_506.PDR was only in SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS, and it is the LBA48 patched version.

EDIT3:

HDD Sentinel DOS could read SMART data off the FastTrak66 drives, and both drives got few bad sectors on them ! (so much for using rescued trash drives haha). Rebooting to DOS every once in a while is not so bad, but the machine being a server, it should not go offline (much haha).

Windows version did not detect the FT66 drives. Seems I will just periodically run the DOS program, or perhaps add to the system startup and make it send the output to some text file I can later on inspect... They're clever, they write to VRAM directly and aren't using DOS functions

SmartMonTools did not work last time I tried (about 1 year ago)

DiskCheckup detects only 2 drives too on my main machine, and it won't detect any SCSI or RAID drives, as the pages told.

Edited by TmEE
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I found 2x SMARTVSD.VXD :

SYSTEM had 4.10.2222 version

SYSTEM\IOSUBSYS had 4.90.3001

That above is definitely not good, I'll back up the vanilla file and put the newer files to both locations...

I'll do a check on my server machine too. EDIT: server machine had one single file in IOSUBSYS, which is the 4.90.3001. I'll delete the file from SYSTEM on my main machine.

ummm, I don't think you mentioned whether your box is Win98SE or ME. That 4.90 is definitely a WinME level file. If what you try fails ( and it should if you have Win98se ), try using the 4.10 instead in both places.

In that other post I should have been clearer, multiple files of different versions can be a problem. I'm pretty sure it is okay if the SAME file is in BOTH locations ( i.e., if 3rd party utilities do not have a local copy of the file in their private folder and simply import functions from the Windows path, they will receive whatever is in \System which now matches what is in \System\IoSubSys ).

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