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Looking for a good drive utility/defragger


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#1 clocknova

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 05:27 PM

Since Norton Utilities has been discontinued, I'm looking for a good disk utility program to go with a new G5.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to make up my mind between Techtool Pro 4 and Diskwarrior.  What's the general opinion here on which one is the better purchase, assuming that I'm only going to  buy one of them?  I realize that Techtool has a whole suite of hardware utilities built into it as well, but let's just compare them on the merits of their hard drive utilities, namely data recovery and drive optimization.

Also, I understand that hard drive defragmentation is not as vital in 10.2 and later, but I'd still like to have the ability to defrag an entire hard drive.  Can both of these programs perform this task?

Any other suggestions?
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#2 Tomatocow

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 06:04 PM

I hear all kinds of good things about TechTool Pro 4, but I am only one voice in this large expanse of the internet.

#3 monkeyphonix

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 06:07 PM

clocknova, on February 21st 2005, 11:27 PM, said:

Since Norton Utilities has been discontinued, I'm looking for a good disk utility program to go with a new G5.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to make up my mind between Techtool Pro 4 and Diskwarrior.  What's the general opinion here on which one is the better purchase, assuming that I'm only going to  buy one of them?  I realize that Techtool has a whole suite of hardware utilities built into it as well, but let's just compare them on the merits of their hard drive utilities, namely data recovery and drive optimization.

Also, I understand that hard drive defragmentation is not as vital in 10.2 and later, but I'd still like to have the ability to defrag an entire hard drive.  Can both of these programs perform this task?

Any other suggestions?

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Nortons was dodgy as all hell and I lost several hard drives to its half-assed diagnostics. RIP I say.

Disk Warrior is an essential tool. Nothing repairs a disk quicker with less hassle. Both Disk Warrior 2 (OS 9) and Disk Warrior 3 (OS X) I highly recommend. Haven't got much experience with Tech Tools.

Disk Warrior can't be used for individual file recovery like Nortons tried. Never got that to work anyway.

My understanding is that OS X writes its files differently to OS 9 so apparently fragmentation in the classical sense isn't so much of a problem as it was under 9. Disk Warrior 3 does a wicked job of basic maintenence. The only problem is that the version 3.01 we have won't boot the G5's since they require 10.3 and DW3 has a 10.2.8 system folder. If you buy it make sure you can start your G5 from the DW cd.

#4 the Battle Cat

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Posted 21 February 2005 - 07:13 PM

clocknova, on February 21st 2005, 04:27 PM, said:

Since Norton Utilities has been discontinued, I'm looking for a good disk utility program to go with a new G5.á Unfortunately, I can't seem to make up my mind between Techtool Pro 4 and Diskwarrior.á What's the general opinion here on which one is the better purchase, assuming that I'm only going toá buy one of them?á I realize that Techtool has a whole suite of hardware utilities built into it as well, but let's just compare them on the merits of their hard drive utilities, namely data recovery and drive optimization.

Also, I understand that hard drive defragmentation is not as vital in 10.2 and later, but I'd still like to have the ability to defrag an entire hard drive.á Can both of these programs perform this task?

Any other suggestions?

View Post


Diskwarrior and Tech Too Pro will both repair your hard disk directories.  Diskwarrior X will do it better and do it faster, however that is all that Diskwarrior does other than schedule your maintenance and test your SMART functions.  It has no other tools.  Tech Tool Pro 4 has lots of disk utilities and overall computer hardware testing and diagnostics.  Tech Tool will defrag your HD and although it's true that recent versions of OSX will concatenate files 20 megs or smaller on the fly it will not free up the huge unused portions of your HD necessary for very large projects like video editing etc.  Tech Tool Pro 4 has extensive file protection and recovery tools.

I have both and I love em both and I use em both.

monkeyphonix, on February 21st 2005, 05:07 PM, said:

Disk Warrior 3 does a wicked job of basic maintenence. The only problem is that the version 3.01 we have won't boot the G5's since they require 10.3 and DW3 has a 10.2.8 system folder. If you buy it make sure you can start your G5 from the DW cd.

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I created a bootable partition within which I installed Diskwarrior.  Perhaps he can overcome this CD OS incompatibility problem on his G5 by doing that?  Anyone tried that?
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#5 ehuelga

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 07:53 AM

DiskWarrior is a must-have. You can purchase a CD from their website that will boot a G5 (also Mini Macs and Macs with 30" screens), but I'm not sure if the boxed one you may find at your local Apple Store will be bootable. Read their support page closely. DiskWarrior Support

Note: Using the DiskWarrior 3.0.2 CD Update will NOT create a CD that will start up your Mac if your current DiskWarrior CD cannot.

A new product called iDefrag ( Coriolis Systems iDefrag ) was released about the beginning of the year, and has been updated about every two weeks -- 1.06 is now the latest. As TBC said, defragging may be useful if you're using a separate drive for video editing and need a lot of contiguous space, but I would be wary of using it on your main drive and/or boot drive. It's a new product and they've worked out the bugs very attentively and quickly, proceed with caution.
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#6 iEvan

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 04:16 PM

I repair Macs for a living, and my toolkit includes both of these fine pieces of software. They each have their own purpose though in my mind. I use DiskWarrior for the Macs that crashed hard and I need to recover their data. TechTool Pro is useful when the Mac is acting flakey and I need to pin-point what the culprit is (e.g. RAM, failing hard drive, etc).

They both provide great disk cleanup... but it really isn't necessary these days, you just won't see any noticeable improvement.

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#7 The iMac Man

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 06:26 PM

Disk defragmentation hasn't been needed since Apple started using the HFS+ disk format many many years ago.

I suggest DiskWarrior... I wouldn't feel safe without it.

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#8 ehuelga

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 10:23 AM

The iMac Man, on February 22nd 2005, 07:26 PM, said:

Disk defragmentation hasn't been needed since Apple started using the HFS+ disk format many many years ago.

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Never say never. HFS+ and Panther's built in defrag for <20MB files will cover almost everyone. However, if you regularly write and rewrite very large files, notably video editing and (in my case) hi-res Photoshop work, then defragging can be useful. Not urgent, but useful enough that you'll notice when the drive seems to be accessing different zip codes just to open a few hundred MBs.

Of course, it's always risky to defrag a boot drive, and it's not smart to use your boot drive to write and rewrite GBs of data every week. So the first thing to do is to buy a second hard drive to use as a work volume.

Nevertheless, I'm sure someone out there will try defragging their iPod or worry that all those downloads for UT2004 would be better off if they physically resided next to each other on the drive. :P
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#9 The iMac Man

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 09:09 PM

ehuelga, on February 23rd 2005, 10:23 AM, said:

Never say never. HFS+ and Panther's built in defrag for <20MB files will cover almost everyone. However, if you regularly write and rewrite very large files, notably video editing and (in my case) hi-res Photoshop work, then defragging can be useful. Not urgent, but useful enough that you'll notice when the drive seems to be accessing different zip codes just to open a few hundred MBs.

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Oh of course, in that case defragging can be helpful, and sometimes even necessary for video editing.

But, in general, defragging really does nothing to speed up your system.
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#10 王將軍

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 09:46 PM

DiskWarrior has worked wonders for me.

#11 JackSYi

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 07:29 PM

Does anyone know of any good disk defragmenters for the Mac OS X, both free and for purchase, thanks.

#12 ehuelga

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 07:48 PM

Covered that topic a while backů see this thread. :D
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#13 Mandrake628

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 07:50 PM

I don't see why you would need disk defragmenters, as Mac OSX does it automatically.  But anyways...here are some results on Versiontracker.

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#14 c15zyx

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 08:49 PM

Mac OS X automatically attempts to keep files < 20MB defragged, but when the disk is near capacity (and sometimes not) files will still become fragmented.

As for utilities, I recommend the SpeedTools kit, which has an excellent defragmenter. It does not 'compact' the drive, with good reason, and therefore won't stress your harddrive as much as other utilities with compaction enabled. Don't use Norton, since OS X it's been rendered obsolete pretty much. Other good utilities include TechTool 4, or Drive 10 for defragging. If you like to live on the edge, you can try the newer and cheaper shareware alternatives such as iDefrag... but beware... known issues in early versions of iDefrag have lead to data loss.

#15 Tesseract

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:01 PM

If you really do need to defrag, I'd recommend a second hard drive. Copy everything over to the new drive (with Carbon Copy Cloner for example). All your files are now defragmented (on the new drive). If you only have room for one internal HD, you would then erase everything off the old drive then copy it all back on. Otherwise just use the new one.

This method is probably not much more expensive than many defrag programs (depending on your disk size of course), and you get a backup thrown in.

#16 the Battle Cat

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 11:09 AM

Rather than lock JackSYi's thread and let him follow ehuelga's link, I thought the new thread added some information to the preexisting conversation so I merged the two together.
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#17 Maestro

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:02 PM

the Battle Cat, on February 22nd 2005, 01:13 AM, said:

I created a bootable partition within which I installed Diskwarrior.  Perhaps he can overcome this CD OS incompatibility problem on his G5 by doing that?  Anyone tried that?

View Post


I know that i'm chiming in a little late but....

You can only boot to the out of the box or higher version of the OS. You can't go lower, (you can't boot to 10.3 if your unit came with 10.3.1 installed)

but

You could boot to a firewire device (iPod or Target Mode, etc.), and run Disk Warrior from that.
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