On a) User comments. Yes, I use that comment field to add extra info on certain disks, which then show on the disk list. Very useful, but unfortunately would not help, as it is not showing paired with the log-entries (logged with the event they explain), and is too limited.
On b) The filtering of disks. I tried to change the button "sizes", but that really only works by limiting the information shown. I prefer the large buttons to see as much info as possible.
I thought since, that a much easier and probably more useful way would be to add a simple search/filter text-field up top, where one can type a text string. Also likely the easiest to implement.
The list of disks being enumerated could then be limited to showing disks where one or more of the text info fields (model, serial, disk-label, mount-point, comment string) on the disks match that filter string, if not blank..
Part of the serial, limit to certain models (type in "WD" and all disks with WD in their model would show), type in part of the disk-label, ...
Whatever identifying info makes sense to the user.
If that text/search field supported entering a standard regular expression, even better. For example, all my disk-labels include a physical location identifier (so I can find the drive in case of trouble).
Regular expression support would allow search strings like 'B[0-9]$' for my chassis right-side 10 bay drives, 'W5$' limit to the disk in wall-carrier 5, 'R[0-9]$' to limit the list to all drives in one of my JBODs, '^WD.*' to restrict the list to WD models, .
You get the point. A fairly simplistic limitation to implement, where as you enumerate the disks in the list, each drive is displayed ONLY if one of it's text fields match the search string.
On Alerts. Yes, I use that selection already to select content of email alerts. I had to check the "Alert about problem disks only", as the default of showing all disks make the alert emails totally impossible in size and irrelevant. Get an alert caused by one drive, and the email contains info on 30+ drives to scan through to find out what the problem is. Not possible..
I can see your point on the disk numbering, although there is really not a normal RAID config I know of that will hide anywhere close to 26 drives as a combined cluster of disks, all grouped together behind a single Windows disk number?
A RAID cabinet can surely contain many drives, some of them combined in various RAID configs, with each RAID grouping hiding behind a single Windows Disk#, but I still thing alphabetic suffixes would work. No individual Windows disk # would ever hide more than 26 alpha-letter disks behind it.
Now that I know the numbers are skewed, that initial panic feeling is less. Maybe a slight change in the title bar would help, also showing the number(s) of the HDS disks involved would be useful. (HDS#/Win#)
Pulling down the slider/separator to "hide" or limit the volume/space section and see more physical disks. Yes, perfect..
Why did I not notice to do just that.. Works great.
Add-on about the email alert subject lines..
With the number of alerts I have seen now, I have learned that it would be very nice if the subject lines actually contained some useful identifying info.
All my subject lines are essentially the exact same, no indication of the drive causing the trouble, which forces you to open each email to see if it is merely a repeat alert or a new drive overheating.
For example, all my email subjects are essentially like "Hard Disk Sentinel: Overheat (ATHENA) [69 %]".
a) "(ATHENA)" is the same in all emails (since only one system is alerting). Maybe an option to turn off node-name to give more space for other info, if node name is not needed because there are multiple systems sending emails?
b) I realize that the "69%" is an indication of the lowest health drive overall, completely unrelated to the drive doing the alerting.
But that is fairly useless. I my case, the "69%" stems from an 8-year old SSD drive, still attached.
HDS gives it 69% only because of it's wear-leveling count, but Samsung Magician still claims the drive is "Good".
I do not let it carry important data anymore, but use it only for temporary, fast data moves, but reminding me about the 69% on every email about other drives seems less useful.
Better to just remind me about that drive when it has it's own problems or the health deteriorates further.
If the email subject line contained useful, identifying info about the drive doing the alerting would be better. Disk #, Model/Serial.
Like for overheat emails maybe change to subjects like:
"HDS: Overheat (Disk: #27: WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B1)"
Or here is another alert I got:
Hard Disk Sentinel: Critical value degradation (ATHENA) [70 %]
The actual issue was that a spinner drive had seen an uptick in bad sectors.
A very useful alert as such, once you read the email body, but there is no identification in the subject that relates to the actual drive in question.
(It is still ATHENA, and the 70% refers to that same old SSD drive that now later shows as "69%". The actual drive generating the alert is in 100% health.)
Also mystified that in the list of alert emails I looked at, there is no actual alert that the old SSD suddenly got downgraded from 70% to 69%.. That would have been a useful "degradation" alert.
But as I mentioned earlier, I really LOVE HDS.. VERY USEFUL. Great Job.
My wish-list is more from a developers perspective, that "Had I developed this software myself, I would like to have done this"...
Things that could make it even more useful..
So don't take it as negative feedback.. It is not meant that way. More as potentially useful changes that could make an already fantastic piece of software even more fantastic.