Logo Harddisk Disk Communicator
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Disk Communicator is a small system utility used to monitor your ATA devices status. Disk Communicator can be used to predict the failure of the HDD using SMART. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology. S.M.A.R.T. is an industry standard for monitoring and reporting fault conditions in a peripheral storage device, whether from damage or normal wear-and-tear. S.M.A.R.T. is intended to decrease the chance of data loss by giving adequate warning to these conditions, but it is no replacement for good disaster-recovery planning. Disk Communicator is also usable when dealing with partitions. Here is the full list of features that Disk Communicator has

  • Shows SMART Information (Disk Communicator is able read the following information from ATA devices - Raw Read Error Rate, Spin Up Time, Start/Stop Count, Reallocated Sector Count, Seek Error Rate, Power On Hours Count, Spin Retry Count, Calibration Retry Count, Power Cycle Count, Temperature, Current Pending Sector Count, Off-line Scan Incorrect. Sector Count, Ultra ATA CRC Error Count, Write Error Count)
  • It will indicate the HDD's Temperature
  • HDD Identification - (Disk Communicator reads the Harddisk identification marks using the ATA identify device command. It is able to display hard disk model and serial number, firmware revision)
  • HDD Capabilities - (Using the same ATA identify device command. It extracts hard disk capability such as LBA, PIO, DMA Modes supported, and Power Management etc.)
  • It is a Lightweight application so you can run it even with a high load on your system.
  • Disk communicator has a Partition viewer tool to view the partition table specific information such as Starting Cylinder, Head, Sector and Ending Cylinder, Head, Sector etc.
Disk Communicator is read only system that is it won't write anything to the ATA device. So you can try it without any fear. Disk Communicator is able to handle multiple devices without any problem.
Screen Shots
The following are the screen shots taken in a development machine.
Main Window Screen Shot Main Window Screen Shot ATA Device Info SMART Info Screen Master Boot Record The About Box
You can download the Disk Communicator executables and source files from Source Forge file section. Click the below the following link to go to the SourceForge's download page. The size of Disk Communicator alone is just 200 KB, however it depends on MFC42.dll which is around 1MB in size. So I have here provided two zip files one without MFC and one with MFC. Most of the computers have the MFC dll so you don't need to download it if you have one already in your machine.
There is no installation is required. Just copy the DiskCommunicator.Exe where you want and click it to run it. But be sure you have the MFC42.dll in the search directory. If you get any error like missing dll then copy the MFC42.dll to the directory where you have copied DiskCommunicator.exe. To uninstall the application just delete the DiskCommunicator.exe.
Disk Communicator is free and open source software. It is distributed under GNU General Public License (GPL). It uses the SMART IOCTL to extract SMART information from any ATA Device. It is developed using VC++ as MFC Application. I have developed this project using VC++ 6.0. I have not tested it with the VC++ 7.0 or higher. It may not compile in the higher versions. This version is compiled for Windows 2000, XP and higher. It wont work with the older systems such as Windows 98.

You can get the complete details about SMART from the web site of Technical Committee T13 (AT Attachment). Download ATA 5 specification and find the SMART section. Playing It - From Seagate
SMART User guide from PC Guide
SMART Specifications (large in size)-
Another SMART Tool for Windows from BeyondLogic
Linux based SMART Tool
Developer - Samuel ( home page:

I started Disk Communicator to test my Windows Device Driver knowledge, after some google I found that Windows already have an IOCTL API to extract SMART information from a hard disk. So my program is ended with the front end MFC. Initially I have a thought of having the following functions - Offline - SMART status, Linux Version, Partition Creation and Deletion. But due to time constraint and other works I am unable to continue on this project.

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