Allen J. Hall

Materials Science & Engineering, Productivity, and Life

Monthly Archives: December 2008

Use GeekTool to show S.M.A.R.T. drive status on the desktop (osX)

GeekTool Shows SmartStatusWell, recently I had a hard-drive corruption occur due to my use of TechTool (as shipped by Apple with their extended coverage- Apple, please ship DiskWarrior with your extended coverage!!!). Since then I’ve been worried about the health of my main os drive, and just learned about S.M.A.R.T. (which is supported by ATA/IDE drives in OsX).

The S.M.A.R.T. status for your drive can be checked in (where I’m not sure- couldn’t find it with a cursory check). You can also check it in the command line by typing the following (did you know Disk Util was available in the command line?)…

diskutil info /dev/disk0

Of course you may have to check which drive is the drive you hope to check the smart-status on, but disk0 is most likely your boot drive.

To get this as a visual reminder of your disk status, add the following code into GeekTool:

diskutil info disk0 | grep Verified > /dev/null

Then turn on GeekTool‘s Icon mode, which uses logical output from the commandline to select an icon to display on the desktop. I used the “default” icons (green or red dot). (This last step comes courtesy of beerguy in the comments area of of this article.)

So, there you have it, a little icon on your desktop which can warn you of impending doom for your hard drive. [See the upper left corner of this blog post.] Very helpful for thesis writers. Of course, impending doom may be too late- so you better have a good backup solution in the works. Oh, and I suggest either adding a title for the icon (try another little mini geektool item) or placing it somewhere (where your drive usually resides) so that in the future you don’t have some odd green or red dot which has no meaning, but which you are sure must be important.

Christmas-Stumped? Send an Amazon Gift Card!

If you’re stumped for Christmas and need a gift idea- why not send an Amazon Gift Card? They arrive immediately (so technically, you could wait until Christmas day even… you slacker you…) If you purchase via the link below I get a small affiliate referral to help support this blog (at no cost to you).

Here’s wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!

A Quick Introduction...

I'm a graduate student (PhD Candidate) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I've studied and researched in two fields of Materials Science and Engineering (Polymers and Semiconductors). My interests are as diverse as my musical tastes and I usually have my hand in some crazy project during my free time.

I'm available for consulting and have access to a world-renown materials research user-facility supported by the D.O.E. If you would like to know more, please contact me.

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