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Max OS X kernel driver for providing access to external drive SMART data

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This is a kernel driver for Mac OS X external USB or FireWire drives. It extends the standard driver behaviour by providing access to drive SMART data. The interface to SMART data is same as with ATA family driver, so most existing applications should work.

The driver requires a SAT (SCSI ATA Translation) capable external drive enclosure. Check smartmontools list for supported devices: If the Option column contains sat or jmicron, the driver should work. The driver should work with Snow Leopard and Lion and Mountain Lion. People have reported problems with Lion and Encrypted volumes. Some enclosures are reported to work with FireWire but not with USB. The driver is not compatible to WD Drive Manager, or enclosures with custom kernel extensions.

Note for Yosemite (Mac OS X 10.10) users: Try first version 0.8. If it works for you, then just use it. If not or you want to try newer version or participate on development, then you must allow unsigned kernel extensions with command: sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1"

The code is based on Apple opensource files and is therefore published under Apple Public Source License. For details see


  • Unmount external drives
  • Use the dmg image and the installer
  • Check DiskUtility. The disks should have "S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified"


  • Remove driver and plugin sudo rm -r /System/Library/Extensions/SATSMARTDriver.kext sudo rm -r /System/Library/Extensions/SATSMARTLib.plugin sudo rm -r /Library/Extensions/SATSMARTDriver.kext sudo rm -r /Library/Extensions/SATSMARTLib.plugin
  • Reboot

Adding enclosure identification

Check, if the enclosure is identified using shell:

ioreg -r -w 0 -c fidungeondriver_IOSATDriver | egrep 'Enclosure|PassThroughMode|Capable'|grep -v Identifiers | "Enclosure Name" = "Unknown 0928:000a" | "SATSMARTCapable" = Yes | "PassThroughMode" = "sat16"

Add an issue to GitHub.


  • Compile all targets make package

  • Unmount all existing external drives.

  • Load the kernel extension. sudo tail -f /private/var/log/kernel.log & sudo make install

  • The external drives should mount automatically.

  • Test cd SATSMARTDriver/build/Debug/ ./smartstatus ./smartsample -a

  • Check DiskUtility. The disk should have "S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified"

  • Install the driver to system permanently sudo make realinstall

  • Reboot

  • If you want to limit the driver for certain hardware add product and vendor identification to SATSMARTDriver/Info.plist. Check chapter "Adding enclosure identification"

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