I am always looking for utilities that help me cleaning and monitoring my Macs. It that puts me in the meticulous category, so be it. Many Mac users are not this detailed, but if you are in the more Intermediate or Advanced Mac user category you know what I mean. Enter a neat drive health and monitoring app called DriveDx by Binary Fruit Software. This is a very cool app, lets check it out.
The DriveDx app pretty much does one thing and does it well. It monitors and diagnoses your spinning hard drives and SSD’s for overall health. This includes external hard drives (will cover this in my next article). Here is Binary Fruits overall description of DriveDx functionality:
Regular diagnostic tools simply check the built-in S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive, which provides the user with little information about the actual state of the physical drive. As opposed to such tools, DriveDx analyzes the current state of the drive using all the drive health indicators that are most likely to point to a potential drive issue (for instance, SSD wear out / write endurance, I/O errors, pending sectors, reallocated bad sectors, etc).
The app goes way beyond S.M.A.R.T status in monitoring your drives. Lets take a look at how it works, it really is quite sophisticated.
When you first open DriveDx you get this main window:1
This is my main Mac SSD HD. The most important areas to consider are the Advanced S.M.A.R.T Status, Problems Summary and Important Health Indicators. There are other sections you can look at like Temperature, but these three sections quickly show you the health of your HD.
Here is my internal Apple SSD drive. This was part of my Fusion Drive setup that I removed so I could install a Crucial MX 300 SSD:
DriveDx is showing a SSD Lifetime Left Indicator of 48%, about half of the SSD’s lifetime. Also, you can see the same info in the Wear Leveling Count down below. This makes sense because the internal Apple SSD is about 4 ½ years old. It should be showing some wear.
If you click on the Health Indicators section below the HD you get a total readout of all the things this app checks:
Anybody out there know what an Average Block Erase Count is? Don’t let all those technical items scare you. DriveDx is checking all those things in the background. However, if you are curious what those tests do, just hold your mouse over one and DriveDx pops up an explanation:
That is a totally cool feature! No, I have not checked every one of these tests, I probably would not understand a lot of this stuff anyway. But, it is nice to be able to drill down a bit of you are curious.
While we are considering this popup ability of DriveDx, I want to mention you can do the same thing on the main page:
Not all the items will give you an explanation, but when you roll your mouse over certain items in the main window they too will provide a popup.
DriveDx has more features, but I want to cover them in my next article where we will take a look at installing the DriveDx driver on external USB drives, the Self-test function and the fact that one of my hard drives seems to be failing. Yikes! Tune in to my next article to see what is going on with my drive Self-test failure.
DriveDx sells from their website only for $19.99. It is not on the App Store. It is currently on sale by the way. As far as I am concerned if you are the least bit concerned about your information, DriveDx is a wise investment. Having good backups is great, but it does not hurt to have a little warning if one of your drives is about to go off into Drive Heaven.
- There are lots of screen images in this article so hang in there. It is the best way to show the apps capabilities. ↩