Hddscripttool has now become HDDSuperTool. Actually that was the first name I had for it, but I did not think it was worthy of having the word “super” in it when first released. HDDSuperTool is a scriptable tool for accessing hard drives. It is still closed source, but the free version is considered freeware (proprietary version to come in the future with more goodies). It now comes with more scripts that can do more of the things that MHDD can do, including scanning, smart data, and basic imaging. Since it is provided as an executable, it can be run from a Linux Live CD without installing. It is created in Ubuntu (Debian based), but also seems to work on other distributions such as Fedora. As long as the version of Linux supports the needed functions, it is likely to work.
HDDSuperTool can be found at:http://www.sdcomputingservice.com
There are also a couple exciting improvements over the original hddscripttool.
First, the advanced scripting has been opened up to be free. This allows the scripts to be written in a way that can be menu driven. The scripts I am providing with it are menu driven, but can also be run separate from the command line if desired. Along with the scripting menu ability, it now has the ability to list available drives with model and serial numbers and allow choosing the drive from a menu. Please feel free to suggest additional functions you would like to see added.
Second, HDDSuperTool now has the ability to perform direct port IO. This means it can see and work with drives that Linux or other operating systems are not able to. Direct IO only works in IDE mode for SATA drives, AHCI is not supported. Some computers may not properly support IDE mode. I happen to have one of those computers, and Linux sees all SATA drives as AHCI even though it is switched in the BIOS, where MHDD is able to see them. On the plus side, I also have computers without IDE connectors on the motherboard (as many newer ones do not have this), and have installed JMicron IDE PCI adapter cards. MHDD is unable to see those, but HDDSuperTool can. When using direct IO mode, it is highly recommended to apply power to the drive AFTER Linux boots up. That way the OS doesn’t see the drive and therefore does not try to access it. Please see the warnings in the manual about direct IO before using it.
An additional bonus is that it can work with USB attached ATA drives in the normal passthrough mode. However, you are at the mercy of the USB to ATA adapter as to what commands are supported, and how it responds to those commands.
Please use HDDSuperTool with caution. It is a very powerful tool. It is also very flexible since it is script based. This means anyone that wants to learn the scripting language can write their own functions. I have documented the language as best I could. It also means that if for some reason I am no longer able/willing to support it, new scripts can still be written for it. As long as the core program is as bug free as possible, it could live on for some time. Move over, MHDD! HDDSuperTool is coming out to play!
Wonder why I think it is now worthy of the word “Super”? Direct IO can do some amazing things. I have seen the potential to be able to work with and even clone drives that something like ddrescue would struggle with or totally fail. There is great potential to be able to work with some drives that would normally require an expensive hardware tool. So maybe you can look forward to a new style cloning utility in the future, although that option will not be free (but likely very affordable). Much work is needed before that will be ready…