Free O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition!

Software Description

The following is a description of O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition, as per the developer:

No other single part of the modern computer system is more susceptible to malfunction than the hard disk. In fact, such a malfunction can come without warning and often strikes while the computer’s being used. O&O DriveLED, working quietly in the background, permanently monitors the status of your hard disks and warns you of any impending problems.

An early-warning system for hard disk crashes

When is it the right time for giving your computer a rest? When it’s too hot? Overloaded? Vital components are on the verge of breaking down? No other single part of the modern computer system is more susceptible to malfunction than the hard disk. In fact, such a malfunction can come without warning and often strikes while the computer’s being used. O&O DriveLED, working quietly in the background, permanently monitors the status of your hard disks and warns you of any impending problems. With it, you’ll always have time to backup your data and so avoid losing any of it when exchanging a hard disk. This is time a sudden crash will never give you.

Important Features at a Glance

  • NEW: Redesigned user interface
  • NEW: Also available in Workstation and Server Editions
  • NEW: Status reports
  • Displays read/write access for logical volumes
  • Displays storage capacity for every drive
  • Automatic monitoring of all S.M.A.R.T. properties
  • Displays current temperatures on all hard disk drives (when supported by manufacturer)
  • Warning of possible operational errors on all hard disk drives
  • Supports all Windows-compatible disks
  • Support of SCSI-disk drives
  • Monitors network drives

dotTech Advice

Without a doubt (traditional) hard drives are one of the most susceptible parts of computers to fail. The goal of O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition is to warn users of potential hard drive failure with the hope that users are able to transfer data to another hard drive before the failure occurs.

The main crux of O&O DriveLED 4 Pro is monitoring hard drives using a system called S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology). [O&O DriveLED 4 Pro monitors local and network hard drives.]

S.M.A.R.T is an industry-accepted method of anticipating hard drive failures that looks at a specific set of hard drive attributes. Each hard drive manufacturer sets the threshold for each relevant attribute and if S.M.A.R.T tests determine an attribute is below the specified threshold, then that means the hard drive is more prone to failure than before. In other words, one S.M.A.R.T. attribute below the threshold means a hard drive is more likely to fail than if it had no S.M.A.R.T. attributes below the threshold; obviously the more attributes that fall below their specified thresholds, the more likely it is a hard drive is going to fail.

There are two main issues with S.M.A.R.T. Firstly, S.M.A.R.T. isn’t 100% accurate. For example:

Work at Google on over 100,000 drives found correlations between certain S.M.A.R.T. information and actual failure rates. In the 60 days following the first scan error on a drive, the drive was, on average, 39 times more likely to fail than it would have been had no such error occurred. First errors in reallocations, offline reallocations and probational counts were also strongly correlated to higher probabilities of failure. Conversely, no correlations were found for increased temperature or usage level. However, a large proportion of the failed drives failed without giving any S.M.A.R.T. warnings at all, meaning that S.M.A.R.T. data alone was of limited usefulness in anticipating failures.

There is no one sure-fire way of knowing your hard drive is about to fail. S.M.A.R.T. is simply a smart way (pun intended) to attempt to predict failure.

Secondly, S.M.A.R.T depends on manufactures to define the threshold for each attribute on their hard drives. Sometimes manufacturers are not so willing. Out of 22 attributes, O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition was only able to detect 5 for my hard drive, presumably because the manufacturer of my hard drive didn’t define the thresholds for the other 17 attributes.

That then brings me to O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition. I cannot think of any criticism of the program per se but I have to question how useful it is to the home user. The advantage of O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition obviously is it gives you a easy-to-understand status of your hard drive, telling you if your hard drive is OK or not, while still giving advanced users the option to look at specific S.M.A.R.T. attributes. However if S.M.A.R.T itself is not perfect and O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition can only detect a limited number of S.M.A.R.T thresholds (i.e. 5/22) how useful is this program?

I honestly don’t see much use to regularly running O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition to check the status of my hard drive or, alternatively, have it always running in the background. I mean if your hard drive is going to fail it is going to fail — O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition won’t stop it from failing. O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition will only attempt to warn you when before your drive fails in which case, presumably, you will backup your data and move it to another hard drive. Well guess what? You should be regularly backing up your important data anyway. If you do regularly backup your data, when (if) your hard drive fails just buy a new drive, transfer the data from backups, and move on. No need to complicate your already complicated digital life by trying to predict when your hard drive will fail. Indeed you may even end up wasting cash on new hard drives because O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition tells you your hard drive status is not OK but in reality the hard drive continues to last for months (maybe even years).

I can see the usefulness of O&O DriveLED-like software in businesses and organizations that need to avoid downtime as much as possible — S.M.A.R.T. can assist IT in swapping out drives prior to failure, thus avoiding downtime. But for home use? Meh. I personally wouldn’t bother with it. But, hey, if you want… get it.

Freebie Details

O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition is being given away in a promotion by O&O Software themselves. There is no information on how long this promotion will be live nor if you can install/reinstall after the promotion ends.

To get O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition for free, doing the following:

Version being given out for free: v4.2 Build 157

Free updates and technical support: Unknown

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7

Download size: 29.2 (32-bit) | 52.7 MB (64-bit)

Note: O&O Software are known to send unsolicited e-mail (some may call it spam). By getting this freebie, expect them to send you tons of e-mails unless you manually opt out later.

  • Check the inbox of the e-mail address you registered with. Look for an e-mail from O&O Software register@oo-software.com with subject of Your license of O&O DriveLED 4. In the e-mail you will find the registration details for O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition:

Keep these registration details safe because you will need them soon. Take note your e-mail address is used for the Name and Company values — you will need to enter them along with the license key when registering the software.

  • Download (32-bit | 64-bit) and install O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition.
  • At the end of the installation you will be asked to restart your computer. Do so.
  • After you have restarted your computer, run O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition.
  • When you run it, you will be asked to register O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition. Register it using the registration details you received earlier:

  • Enjoy!

If you have trouble getting O&O DriveLED 4 Professional Edition for free, post below and other dotTechies or I will try to help.

[Thanks to the multiple people that informed about this freebie.]

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5 comments

  1. Giovanni

    The following FREE tool does the same thing and even more than this (time-limited) freebie:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Hard-Disk-Utils/EASIS-Drive-Check.shtml

    As you can see, it’s able to check not only the health of your HD but also of your flash drives, USB sticks, external hard drives etc….

    To do that, it uses 2 different approaches to diagnostic any possible future hard drives failure (so not just SMART), informing users by sending reports by email afterwards.

    So I believe that it’s much more useful than this freebie even for the average home user: do you agree with me Ashraf??

    Alternatively or in addition to it you may also try this freeware:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Hard-Disk-Utils/HDD-Scan.shtml

    Enjoy!!!

  2. Robert

    Appreciate the free offer but the EULA should be trimmed WAY down by excluding the products that don’t pertain to the software being installed. If a product is made for a MS OS it only has to be stated once. Not repeated over & over & over.

    Displayed data didn’t appear to track correctly and not all SMART info was displayed for my drives.

    Reports only contain the PC name but no data.

    Also installation options should be available during installation.

  3. Rob (Down Under)

    I agree with Ashraf (imaging is what you should be doing instead).
    He perhaps is not as strident as I.
    Buy a shotgun, and load it.
    If you are not creating images of your hard drive, then take the shotgun outside, and use it on yourself.

    For those that are not yet imaging -
    Buy two docks from eBay (perhps in US you can purchase locally, as your electronics have always been half the price of similar items in Aust)
    The dock does not ‘contain’ a drive, rather the (3.5″) drive is shoved vertically into it.
    I had problems in my earlier days (images corrupt). I eventually put that down to the nearly imperceptible problems with USB, when your PCs are a bit old. Verification of images (which you should always do), will detect the slightest glitch in your image.
    What I now do is use Docks that have an eSata socket on them.
    Buy a couple of Seagate 500GB drives (I have a hunch that the larger capacity drives are not as reliable).
    Shove one into each dock, and alternate which Dock you create your image in.
    Download the free Seagate Disk Wizard, and burn it to become a bootable CD.
    Do not create images from within Windows, use the bootable CD instead.
    I would not recommend being a cheapskate (by alternating two drives into one Dock), as I am leery of wear and tear that would be caused by constant insertion of the drives.
    Rob
    PS You can install Seagate Disk Wizrd (eg to create the bootable CD).
    If you keep the program installed, it will provide a benefit in that you can view any of your images, and select individual files for perusal/copying.