You said "I believe the 'problem' here is that when you plug a device into a USB slot it communicates with the system using the USB mass storage protocol. It simply doesn't support SMART..." - it is puzzling why you believe that. Where is your evidence? As I said, the best two free SMART data checkers that I use regularly, "CrystalDiskInfo" and "PassMark DiskCheckup", work perfectly well with USB attached Drives. Hard evidence that contradicts what you believe.
And you said "The system doesn't know what sits on the other end..." - that's odd. How is it then that all the PC's I've ever had with USB ports have always been able to tell me exactly "what sits on the other end", be it FLASH, HDD, SSD, or whatever, giving all manner of details about the devices?
Continuing, "...it may not speak ATA at all" - well if it isn't a drive, then it probably won't, but give me an example of a drive that doesn't speak ATA please.
Here is a snippet from an article on James Litten's website: "In order to check the S.M.A.R.T. data on a HDD:
- In the case of external drives connected via USB they need to be detected by the computer’s Plug and Play software (responds to the ATA command IDENTFY_DEVICE)".
Your next paragraph starts with a mixture of statements that don't inspire any more confidence in their factuality. For instance, here's what one programmer has to say about accessing SMART data with WMI: "If you want to know how well your disk drive is performing then there is a way of accessing the SMART data - including the temperature - using WMI and it is fairly easy." If Speccy can access internal HDDs using WMI, then it seems to me it should be able to do the same for drives attached via USB - as long as they respond to the ATA command IDENTFY_DEVICE just like internal drives do... And here's a thought, why would the Speccy programmers go to all the trouble of showing a whole table of SMART info' if the SMART info' is not accessible?
Could I be so bold as to make a suggestion please? Please don't waste our time with such responses.
Your final sentence is both enlightening and encouraging.
Augeas, mate, can I ask you to address what really matters with all this, and that is the last question I asked originally, which seems to have been overlooked: "Is there any way of kindly asking Piriform to correct the problem please?"
If it turns out that Speccy is written to use WMI, and WMI can't access SMART data on USB connected drives, then Speccy needs to have all the SMART tables removed when showing details of those external drives.
All the best to you,