Hard Disk Sentinel Help - Configuration: Advanced options

Advanced options

These options should be modified only by advanced, experienced users as these options may cause incorrect or inappropriate system operation.

Detection frequency: the time between two consecutive hard disk information detections (detecting S.M.A.R.T. information to display temperature, health, etc). By default, Hard Disk Sentinel detects such information once per every 5 minutes. Too many hard disks or slow devices may reduce the performance of the application and increase response times. This case it is recommended to drag the slider to right, but it is possible to detect more often. Note: very frequent detections (once per every 1 or 5 seconds) may reduce performance or responsiveness of the software (which would constantly need to access disk drives and wait for response from them).

Generally Hard Disk Sentinel verifies if the drive is sleeping when the periodic detection should occur and if so, it does not wake up the drive just to update its status. Some drives (and disk controllers, drivers) may provide incorrect disk power state, which means that the software (even if it does the best to determine the power state) may think that the drive is active (when sleeping) and perform the detection - which wakes up the drive. For this, there is an option Automatic detection based on disk utilization which can help: if enabled, Hard Disk Sentinel also checks if there was any real disk activity on the drive since the last detection and performs disk access only in that case (otherwise the drive is considered inactive/sleeping).

Health calculation method: the user can select the method to calculate the health and the performance values for the hard disks. It is recommended to use the "Analyse data field" option or the more strict analysis option to improve data safety. The stict method is recommended on servers, notebooks or computers with high disk usage or extremely important information.

Enable warning if the hard disk is not responding: if the hard disk does not respond to the detections of Hard Disk Sentinel, a log entry is generated (which may lead to an alert if enabled). On the disk information page a yellow and then a red label will be displayed with the problem. The use of this option is not recommended in all cases, only when it is really neccessary (for example, under Windows 98/ME).

Disable automatic scandisk: by using this option, it is possible to disable the automatic disk check procedure which may start with Windows. This may prevent a damaged head to incorrectly access and damage the stable disk areas.

Delay before scandisk: if the automatic disk check is enabled, it is possible to control how much seconds the system should wait before starting this procedure. During this time, the user can cancel the disk check by pressing any key.

Synchronize computer clock with atomic clock: the clock of the computer will be synchronized to a remote time server by using the NTP (Network time protocol) to display the correct date and time. This is useful when determining the exact date and time of any alerts. The option may be useful on older systems (Windows XP and previous) especially if the PROFESSIONAL version is installed and configured to start scheduled backup projects. Note: if the unregistered version is used, this option will be automatically disabled after the first time the clock has been synchronized.

Generate and update XML file: if enabled, the hard disk details are automatically exported into a special XML file which can be processed by other software. By default, HDSentinel.xml file is used but it can be changed if the Select button is pressed. The last XML file saved on previous day is saved as a backup copy with .BAK extension. For more information, sample script please check: How to: integrate Hard Disk Sentinel by automatic XML report export. Note: this function can be used only in the registered version.

Provide status by WMI: if enabled, disk drive status and details (detected from Hard Disk Sentinel) can be accessed by 3rd party applications/scripts. This allows developers, admins, system integrators to make custom tools to log/alert/output any detected detail(s). For more information, sample script please check: How to: query disk information by WMI from Hard Disk Sentinel. Note: this function can be used only in the registered version.

Automatically save disk test results to folder option enables automatic saving of the results after any tests completed (including the short/extended/conveyance test and all disk surface tests from Disk menu -> Surface test). When the tests completed, the results and details are automatically saved to the specified folder, including:
- a quick log file (selftestlog.txt) which contains the test date/time, type, duration, results for all hardware self-tests (Disk menu -> Short self test, Extended self test)
- complete disk report about the affected hard disk when the short/extended test completed
- complete details (disk surface map images, transfer speed exports, error logs) when any of the surface test (Disk menu -> Surface test) completed.

Monitor Windows Event Log for problems related to disks and storage: By this function, while running, Hard Disk Sentinel detects if there is any issue related to the storage subsystem, reported by the disk controller driver or Windows itself (independently from the self-monitoring status of the drive). This includes problems related directly to hard disk drive (eg. bad sectors) - but also related to something else (cables, connections) which may cause bus reset, retries, communication problems or other issues. Such problems reported in the health and the text description, for example:
Recently the following entries added to System Event Log:
56 warnings, most recent: The IO operation at logical block address 8fa0 for Disk 9 (PDO name: \Device\0000009d) was retried. (disk; ID: 153)
The following function can be used to improve the situation: Disk -> Surface Test -> Disk repair

Change folder to store statistics and settings: by this option, it is possible to configure Hard Disk Sentinel to save all information (statistics, settings, logs, details, license) to a different folder (or even a different drive) instead of using its local folder. It is possible to configure even remote or network drives, but be careful: if the appropriate folder (drive) is not accessible on startup, Hard Disk Sentinel may not able to load the license and previous settings/configuration, so it may not work as expected.