Defrag for Mac?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Fabrix2003, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Fabrix2003 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
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    Cheshire UK
    #1
    OK so i was wondering how would you defrag on a mac powerbook?
    seen as i do so much photowork that fills up the HDD.
    is it built in with the OS? or do i purchase some software for Panther to do so?
     
  2. tomf87 macrumors 65816

    tomf87

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    Sep 10, 2003
    #2
    There's really no need to as the filesystem is much different than that of Windows.
     
  3. jbeetz macrumors member

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    Jan 8, 2004
    #3
    Pretty sure that the OS takes care of the disk all by itself... two indirect clues: 1) if you're working on a large iMovie project and empty the iMovie trash, it can take a long long time to "move" files around as a consequence of emptying the trash. This is likely a defrag run. Also, there aren't very many (any?) third party defrag apps -- commercial or shareware. Leads me to think they just aren't needed.
     
  4. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    Solon, OH
    #4
    You're right. Panther does, in fact, automatically defragment the hard drive. However, it only does it for files that are 20 MB or smaller...don't know why.
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #5
    Defragmentation is less of a problem because of the way HFS and HFS+ store the information to locate files. B-Trees (Binary Trees), which they use, are quickly searched and the search time doesn't tend to deteriorate as quickly, as files and folders are added, in contrast to other methods of storing the information.
     
  6. ericpeden macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    #6
    Disk fragmentation has little to do with the format in which directory information has stored. Fragmentation is caused when one file is split up into non-contiguous pieces spread out across the physical disk. It takes time for the drive to spin around and pick up those pieces when it comes time to read or modify the file, especially if there a lot of little pieces spready very far apart from one another. Macs suffer from fragmentation just as much as any other computer, although as pointed out above Panther includes some automatic defragmentation features that are meant to reduce the problem.

    Incidentally, both TechTool Pro 4 and the latest Norton Utilities have disk optimizers that are supposed to work in OS X. However, TTP4's caused some massive disk damage to one of my partitions when it just stopped working while I was booted off the TTP4 CD. I suspect it ran out of memory and just locked up, but restarting the machine (my only option) left the disk in an unpleasant condition I am still trying to get it out of--portions of files were overlapped, so that, for example, while playing an MP3 I will suddenly hear snippets of an MPEG music video stored on the same drive. Frustrating and impossible to detect without trying to use every single file on the partition. Norton's optimizer refused to acknowledge that I had any hard drives at all. Go figure.
     
  7. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    Jan 28, 2004
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    San Francisco, CA
    #7
    that because youre no SUPPOSE to defrag a osx drive... just let it take care of itself... every single defrag software that ive used has managed to eat my drive... So i finally just stopped and dealt with the occiasional slow down...
     
  8. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #8
    I have used both Norton System Works 2 and 3 on my computer they run fine for an optimization. I had really heavy fragmentation due to my large use of iMovie, I have had no problems with my computer since my optimization.
     
  9. applekid macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #9
    I remember someone telling me and reading something about how defragging a HD only recovers about 5-10% of the speed. Not all that useful, IMHO.
     
  10. billyboy macrumors 65816

    billyboy

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    #10
    Erasing a partition will defrag it 100%. Not a very useful tip if you want to keep your data though.
     
  11. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #11
    i never had good experience with defragin tool... sorry...just deal with the occassional slow down as the system's internal maintance tools will take care you biznaz.
     
  12. cjc343 macrumors 6502

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  13. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #13
    Dickwarrior messed my system up bad. but it may work for other people.
     
  14. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Re: Defrag for Mac?

    If you read everything posted here, the message should be clear: Defragging software on the Mac is controversial, at best. The probability that it will provide a benefit is more than offset by the probability that the defrag utility will screw-up your hard drive.

    Why do you think that Apple does not provide a defrag utility and that it does not recommend one? .Mac comes with backup software and antiviral software, but no defrag software. Can you take a hint?

    Don't defrag and don't worry about it.
     
  15. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #15
    Re: Re: Defrag for Mac?

    misterme really knows how to put something right!
     
  16. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #16
    I may be reading this differently than the poster intended, but if not this is incorrect. I don't know about HFS+, but the common Linux format ext2/ext3 does not fragment significantly, due to the way that filesystem is structured. Generally fragmentation rates stay well below 2% over time.

    I think the issue here is largely due to people being familiar with FAT16/FAT32, which of course do need to be defragmented regularly. NTFS is supposed to be significantly better in this regard, at least if you start with a blank disk.
     
  17. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #17
    it's great to hear how good the macs are in this matter

    as a pc tech, it's one of my main jobs i come across...my clients, both individuals and businesses, very rarely defrag their windows boxes and that causes all types of problems in the long run

    and when i tell my clients to defrag, they never remember but it gives me and other pc techs business and we can always rely on this easy process as a bread and butter task that pays us
     
  18. Noiseboy macrumors regular

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    Dec 25, 2002
    Location:
    Lurking nearby.
    #18

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