Ashampoo HDD Control 2 Review - gHacks Tech News

Ashampoo HDD Control 2 Review

Since it is likely that you store all your data on hard drives, it is important to make sure they run properly to avoid running into issues during operation. A hard drive failure can for instance make all data stored on the drive inaccessible, and even if drives are still working, you may experience data loss if a drive is damaged.

Ashampoo HDD Control 2 is a hard drive management and monitoring program for the Windows operating system that acts as an early warning system to inform you about potential issues before it is too late to do something about them.

The program displays all connected hard drives, platter-based and Flash memory-based, in its interface on start. Here you see the drive name and drive letter, size, health, performance, and if platter-based temperature. The three values of importance here are health, performance and temperature.

ashampoo hdd control 2

The date is taken from SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) values that hard drives record automatically during operation.

The program interprets the values and gives you an assessment of the drive's health, performance and temperature. The selected drive on the screenshot above has a health rating of 88% which is still ok but indicates that it needs to be replaced eventually. I already have a replacement drive at home and will do that in the next couple of days.

You can click on the SMART data icon in the top toolbar to display detailed information of all SMART readings in a new window. Here you may find out why a drive's health is listed at the level it is currently listed. For my drive, it is the spin-up time which has dropped significantly.

There are a couple of other things that you can do right from the main program window. The performance information on the page list options to manage the drive's Automatic Acoustic Management (AAM) feature and the Advanced Power Management (APM) feature. The first, if supported by the drive, enables you to adjust the noise to performance ratio of a drive. That's very helpful if a hard drive is particularly noisy and you'd like to make it quieter. Note that this may result in a performance drop, which is something that you can test using the program's benchmarking module.

APM allows you to adjust the ratio of the drive's power consumption and performance. This is usually only needed for mobile devices as you may use it to safe power during operation. Note that this can reduce performance and a drive's lifespan.

Ashampoo's HDD Control 2 packs a set of additional hard drive related features:

  • Defrag to defragment hard drives manually or automatically by enabling proactive defragmentation.
  • Benchmark to test the performance of selected drives and compare results online.
  • Drive Cleaner and Internet Cleaner to remove temporary files from the drive.
  • Data Recovery to recover (accidentally) deleted files on a drive.
  • Analysis to display large folders and files.
  • Data Destruction to securely remove folders and files from a drive to avoid recovery.

You can change SMART and temperature thresholds in the options which adjusts the rating system that is displayed on the front.

The program loads a resident guard module in the background whenever Windows starts that monitors the hard drives automatically. It can display notifications as soon as problems are discovered on one of the connected drives.

Verdict

The program is an effective hard drive monitoring application for Windows. There are a couple of little things that I'd like to see in an update, like the ability to securely wipe all free space of a drive, or better distinction between Solid State Drives and platter-based drives. Other than that, it leaves little to be desired.





  • We need your help

    Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

    We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.

    If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

    Comments

    1. Stig said on December 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

      At the moment I have some clicking from one of the 6 hard drives in my fileserver. I haven’t been able to find out which is the culprit because then I would have to take the filserver offline. This software might find the disk at fault so I can assess what to do.

    2. Julia said on December 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Crossing fingers: luckily I never had any hard drive horror stories so far…
      Every once in a while I run Western Digital Data LifeGuard Diagnostics to check for looming disasters…

    3. David Bradley said on December 5, 2012 at 10:45 am

      I’ve used SpinDisk in the past but that’s lower level than this I assume. I really ought to check over my getting-on-a-bit laptop hard drive…

    4. Cool said on December 5, 2012 at 10:56 am

      I don’t have any kind of these tool yet on my system but I do use Hiren to check my hard disk for bad sector and also System Mechanic for hard drive error.
      Thank and count me in too!

    5. RoryRu said on December 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

      I have never used this kind of tool before but I am definitely interested as my PC is getting on for 5 years old now and it could be time to watch out for issues that could arise.

    6. Thomas said on December 5, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Currently I use the build in tools of PC of windows- checkdisk via the command line.

    7. woomera said on December 5, 2012 at 11:14 am

      this is a very nice informational tool which could also help one preventing data loss by noticing failing patterns before they happen.

      count me in please and thank you.

    8. Javier said on December 5, 2012 at 10:45 am

      I think ashampoo like a application with all hdd utilities, but it’s evident that need work more with it. Now there are many freeware app that can do all that

    9. LG said on December 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

      I use the built-in checkdisk to repair errors and check hdd. I hope to win.

    10. goran said on December 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Hello,
      I don’t have any tool for hdd management but in the past i lost 120+ unpublished documents because of hdd failure.

    11. Bill S. said on December 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Does this work for Raid drives? I have a Raid 5 and don’t know if I can use this for trouble shooting.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm

        Bill, while I can’t say it for 100% I think you can use it to monitor the individual drives of your raid setup, but not the raid health itself.

    12. Paulus said on December 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Right now I am using the Acronis Drive Monitor to see how main drives are doing, I think I pretty sure that this program (being Ashampoo HDD Control 2) is much better after reading your article about it.

    13. Doc said on December 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      At the moment I’m not monitoring my hdds, but I just bought a new one just in case the old ones would fail.
      With this software I can predict eventual fails.

    14. Will_N_kcmo_usa said on December 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      I remember my first fdisk in the dos days. Need I say more.
      Thank you,

      Will N KCMO-US

    15. Greg said on December 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      I’ve been lucky to date. Had one drive go, sort of, system detected and issue and wouldn’t load, tried a second time and system booted OK. At that time I backed up all important data to a second drive and replaced.

      At this time I do not have any method to detect when a drive goes, just hope I’m able to pull anything not backed up off the drives before they are completely gone.

      Good review, I’m surprised that they would allow some tweaks that could decrease the health/life of the drive. Unless of course there is some sort of measure that indicates by how much you are decreasing the lifespan of the drive.

    16. Shoikan said on December 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Hi, I’ve got several WD green disks containing *cof cof* personal use films and had been kinda lucky as only one failed starting to give read errors. My monitoring software is badblocks under linux, launched every month. A dedicated software could be great, tried HDD Life but didn’t like so much.

      Thanks!

    17. yuppy said on December 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      I lost my hdd drive by bad sectors. So i’m using now hard disc sentinel pro.

    18. BadLuckLuke said on December 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Currently not using any similar program, and – luky me – I got no horror story to share!!!
      Thx for the great giveaways…

    19. KM said on December 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Ashampoo is my favorite software company. I have WinOptimizer and Burning Studio, but I miss the HDD.

    20. Paul said on December 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Interesting article. I’ve been using Hard Disk Sentinel (trial) after bringing my PC in for unrelated work and being advised that one of my 3 HD was at 36% health! I generally tend to try to have redundant copies of key programs and files on at least one other source (blu-ray or separate HD for example) but like most, I’m not always perfect with this. After checking the data on the failing HD that wasn’t copied elsewhere, it helped me realize the importance of monitoring and early detection / prevention vs. the horror stories which can otherwise result. I’m actually almost blind and use speech synthesis software to “read” what’s displayed on the screen. Hard Disk Sentinel isn’t entirely compatible or user-friendly in this context and I’d be curious to see how the reviewed program would stack up. Happy holidays everyone!

    21. Virtualguy said on December 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      I just lost a WD hard drive and some data that was on it. I bet this utility could have warned me of impending doom.

    22. Mark said on December 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      I am using Hard Disk Sentinel Pro. It’s a known fact that S.M.A.R.T. data returned can give inaccurate info, so HD Sentinel compares the data to its huge database of failed HDDs collected over the years to give a more meaningful prediction of drive failure.

    23. Aaron said on December 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      I’ve used a lot of different applications for this kind of stuff… Generally I rely on offline scanners like Hitachi’s Drive Fitness Test (DFT), but I’ve tended to run some sort of scheduled defragmentation software that does a more thorough/thoughtful job than the built-in Windows defragmentation software. Something like Piriform’s Defraggler, or Perfect Disk/Diskeeper once upon a time when they were a little less resource intensive.

      Since most of the drives in my file server have been Seagate for a while, I’ve been using Seatools, which I don’t particularly like, but does a decent-ish job of scanning the drives in Windows and therefore allowing me to keep the server up while scanning the drives.

    24. Steve said on December 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      I don’t use anything now and I should – my wife would be happy if I wouldn’t lose any more family photos!

    25. bob said on December 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Count me in Martin, I like Ashampoo products such as Burning Studio.

      bob

    26. AltReality said on December 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      I’d like to know if this is a suitable replacement for chkdsk.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        It is an addition, not a replacement.

    27. Peter said on December 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      I would love to have this gem of a program to monitor my drives.

    28. John Morse said on December 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      Using Hard Disk Sentinel …. But, it and Win 7 are not giving me info about “hangs” with the laptop’s Hard Drive light remaining on continuously… This “hang” does not cause a Blue Screen of Death, but, the only way to recover is to do a power off as none of the keys or mouse are usable.

    29. Jeff said on December 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Count me in Please.

      I have lost 50+ drives over the years, Don’t worry I have backups most of the time, but you lose a lot of time also. I finally went with a raid 5 it cost more up front, but it’s been a lot cheaper in the long-term and no aggravation. I however had one time that the hard drive went bad ( loud clicking noise) went to tape backup to load on a new drive. Guess what, tape was stretched too much couldn’t read it. So tried freezer, replace board and other things. finally had to send to Ontrack and let them get the data off of the old drive, They did get the information for me, but it cost almost $4,000. to get it ( the data was worth 3-5 times that ). I have since went with using hard drives for the main backup using firewire/usb.
      So this software looks like it might be a good way to check those drives as they are rotated for backups

      Thanks, Merry Christmas

    30. Rodalpho said on December 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Windows has SMART monitoring built in, so yes I am monitoring my drives. This software looks interesting, though, so count me in!

    31. vhick said on December 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      Currentyly, I still not using some HDD monitoring software like this. My horror story: I just ignore the notification of Windows 7 that the hard drive is going to fail. I don’t have a backup HDD that will backup almost 500+ GB of files. After the restart, the HDD is not detected even in BIOS. I felt regret till now and some of my important file is on my 1TB HDD.

    32. apn58 said on December 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Ashampoo is my favorite software company.

    33. gh said on December 5, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      I use the free HD tune to run benchmarks and monitor smart/health, but this needs to be run. If HDD Control 2 uses few system resources, it would be nice to have a constant monitor.

    34. leroma said on December 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      I don’t use any HDD monitoring tool, but I try to keep 3 discs in sync. Some files that may be shared goes to the cloud, but this accounts for less than 0.5% of my data, mainly because of connection speeds.

    35. Rene said on December 6, 2012 at 12:10 am

      I really want to win this! Currently I use CrystalDiskInfo. I want to try something new for a change. Thanks for the giveaway.

    36. Johan Gustavsson said on December 6, 2012 at 12:45 am

      I don’t currently monitor my HDDs (My main C: Drive is a SSD), but maybe I should? I think this is a great piece of software for that!

    37. JFP said on December 6, 2012 at 4:16 am

      I have Hard Disk Sentinel right now but i’m not sure if it is ok with the result it give me.

      I’d like to have this Ashampoo soft.

      Thanks.

    38. Tblogger said on December 6, 2012 at 8:18 am

      I was Downloaded This Awesome software Many months Ago, then i liked it tooooo much , but i cannot buy that software so that , i had no choice but to leave that software , i have too much addiction for that software even now.

      I will be happy to hope one license .

      I am currently not monitoring my hard-drive , but by chance if my luck success To Win then surely install it and use ,

      many many thanks for this , You have again lit a light of hope for using this Software.

    39. Ghost said on December 6, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Until now, it was fine. Thanks.

    40. Shea Bunge said on December 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      I’ve never had any troubles with my own personal hard drive, but my brother has had no end of troubles with his external. One day it just decided to stop working… time to dig out those old backups.

      That said, I have had plenty of trouble with USB drives. They have been: misplaced, stolen and run over by a bus, yanked out of the computer by some irresponsible idiot, and just failed randomly at the worst possible time.

      Nowadays, I still use and love USBs and hard drives, but I keep my important stuff in Dropbox, and I try to keep regular backups.

    41. kurtextrem said on December 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      I’m not monitoring right now, but sometimes my PC lags and the light for “hdd is busy” is on and won’t go off. I’m not sure what’s happening… Maybe it’s time to take a look at the health of my HDD.

    42. Vijay said on December 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      I do not have a HDD monitoring tool installed. It would be great to try ” Ashampoo HDD Control 2 “

    43. Zeus said on December 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Count me in! I don’t monitor my hard drives right now, but I do have a horror story: my first computer suffered multiple hard drive crashes.

    44. Ankur Gupta said on December 7, 2012 at 7:54 am

      I need this software.

    45. Q said on December 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      I do monitor hard disks. I typically use SpeedFan to monitor them.

    46. Jeffery Marizo said on December 10, 2012 at 6:36 am

      I’m in on this software! I’m using four harddrives on my PC. Count me in Thanks