The authors of SoftRAID are offering a free public beta (requires registration) of SmartAlec, which monitors drive health. Essentially, it extracts the drive health monitoring features of SoftRAID.
This monitoring aspect of SoftRAID saved my bacon last year; see Even ”Enterprise Grade” Drives Fail.
Also, the DiskTester fill-volume command can be used even on in-use disks to force writing and reading of unused sectors, which can help flush out any latent issues.
Kudos to OWC for making something available for free that MPG feels ought to be an essential part of macOS: a basic version will be free in the Apple AppStore, with a more advanced version (email notifications, etc) will be available for purchase.
OWC ANNOUNCES SMART ALEC ESSENTIAL UTILITY FOR YOUR MAC DRIVES PREDICTS DRIVE FAILURES
DON’T LOSE IMPORTANT DATA, PHOTOS, VIDEOS, & OTHER FILES TO DISK FAILURE AGAIN
Available in Beta Now – Shipping July
“A Check Engine Light for Your Disks” -- Constantly Monitors Drives with Predictive Failure Analysis For Mac Hard Drives, SSDs, Firewire Disks, & USB Drives Checks for Errors & Warns in Advance if Disks Have Failed or are About to Fail
Free Download from the iTunes App Store -- $9.99 Upgrade Available
https://www.thomas-pr.com/smartalec/owcsmartalecrelease.html– OWC, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, announced today SMART Alec https://www.smartalec.biz/, an essential Mac utility that constantly monitors and checks your Mac hard drives, SSDs, Firewire disks, and USB drives, warning you in advance if drives are failing or about to fail, so you’ll have plenty of time to back up and replace a bad drive. SMART Alec can help you avoid losing years of sensitive, irreplaceable data from databases, word processing, Excel, PowerPoint and other business files, precious photos and videos, music compositions, and more. SMART Alec is currently available in beta at: smartalec.biz/beta_test. The free final version of SMART Alec and $9.99 upgrade with additional features will be available in July.
“A check engine light for your disks,” Smart Alec’s Advanced Warning System employs Disk Data Analysis and Predictive Failure Analysis, quietly working in the background to alert you if your drives currently have, or are developing problems -- before it’s too late and you experience catastrophic disk failure. SMART AlecTM is available in July as a free download from the iTunes App Store, with a $9.99 paid upgrade with additional features, including USB/Firewire disk monitoring, email alerts, and more.
Drives Frequently Fail -- Why Wait Until a Disk Drive Fails to Take Action?
Although users expect hard drives to last forever, drives can frequently fail for numerous reasons, including overheating, power failures, surges from lightning strikes, water damage, and more. Once a drive fails, it can be virtually impossible or cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to reconstruct sensitive data through a computer technician or data recovery forensics company. Daily back-ups to a secondary drive are also risky, since unknowingly you may be backing up data from an already corrupted drive or to another drive with problems. Instead of waiting for the drive to fail or just hoping it won’t happen, users rely on SMART Alec’s continual background disk monitoring to protect sensitive data --Why wait until a disk drive fails to take action?
SMART Alec works in the background, constantly monitoring & checking your disks, and warning you if any disks are faulty, or about to fail. With SMART Alec's advanced warning, you'll have plenty of time to replace a bad disk and keep your data safe.
- PREDICTED-TO-FAIL DISK: If your disk is likely to fail in the near future you'll get a "predicted to fail" warning.
- FAILING DISK: If your disk is failing, SMART Alec will tell you right away, giving you time to replace your disk and save your data.
- TEST YOUR DISK: SMART Alec will display a green bar by all disks that are healthy. Still worried? Get SMART Alec to retest disks at any time.
- KNOW YOUR DISK: All the information about your disk is readily available and there's a disk log to track your disk's history.
- HOW RELIABLE IS MY DISK MODEL/BRAND? Opt-in to share data about your disk's reliability and performance with SMART Alec's self-learning disk failure prediction system (using predictive disk-failure analysis), and you'll get access to the most up-to-date statistics about the safest—and least safe—disks around. Plus we'll let you know how reliable the disks you're using are, and whether your data could be at risk.