Have you ever wondered what your computer’s CPU or hard drive temperature readings are? What about how many hours your hard drives have been powered-on? Most users, indeed, will be able to retrieve these computer component temperatures. Given most computer systems have sensors to monitor these readings, it’s just a matter of using the right tool to retrieve the data.
A very popular computer sensor reading tool is SpeedFan. This little program is only lightweight in footprint. It has the ability to read CPU & hard drive temperatures, fan speeds and even various voltages inside your computer. Of course, in order for SpeedFan to work, your computer must have the appropriate sensors.
For enthusiasts who are interested to know more of the inner workings of their computers, SpeedFan is a must-have tool. Recently, there was a computer in our office that needed a check-up and SpeedFan reported all the necessary info to help troubleshoot the problem.
SpeedFan is an easy program to use and it’s completely free. After installation, just start it up and it will report back as many sensors as it can detect from your computer. Unfortunately, on one Windows Vista machine, SpeedFan only reported CPU temperatures but was unable to pull SMART info, hard drive temperatures or the number of hours the hard drives have been used. All computer hard drives can log this type information, you just need to know how to retrieve it. After some testing, it turns out that it was a permission issue. We were able to resolved the problem and got SpeedFan to report the missing information by right-clicking on the program icon and choosing “Run as administrator“. Allowing SpeedFan to run with administrator privileges, we were able to see the number of hours a hard drive has logged as well as minimum and maximum temperatures during its lifespan.
If SpeedFan is not showing your hard drive temperatures or SMART info under Windows Vista, try running it with administrator privileges. If you still cannot retrieve various readings, more than likely, your computer probably does not have the appropriate monitoring chips.