defragging macs

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by RoxStrongo, May 7, 2006.

  1. RoxStrongo macrumors regular

    RoxStrongo

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    #1
    what do people use to defrag their macs? i used to use norton before the switch to osx but i have very little faith in those products since then.
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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  3. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #3
    DiskWarrior - but like once every two months - and I'm an industrial-strength user. If you are a lighter user, the built in "on the fly" OS X defragger will probably do fine.
     
  4. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #4
    OS X defrags itself on the fly...no user input needed.
     
  5. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    #5
    Actually you will want to, running disk warrior does give my mac a little speed boast after that :rolleyes:

    That said OSX will supposedly defragment files that are under 20mb automatically.
     
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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  7. RoxStrongo thread starter macrumors regular

    RoxStrongo

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    #7
    thats very interesting stuff, although it seems that apple might be avoiding the issue slightly if they are recommending a complete system reinstall rather than supplying their own utility.
     
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #8
    DiskWarrior does not defrag nor does it claim to do so. The utility is designed to repair your damaged file system by rebuilding its directories. There are other utilities such as TechTools Pro which claim to defrag your hard drive. The fact remains that defragging a Mac hard drive in not recommended. Doing so is a waste of time. Buying a utility to defrag your Mac hard drive is a waste of money.
     
  9. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #9
    So they put the graph of misplaced directories in the program just for fun?

    In YOUR opinion. :)
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #10
    Their is a program called iDefrag which claims to be a good de-fragmenter, you could try that, though I've never used it.

    Apple's way does have a point (if you have the backup facilities) as you can backup your files, then reinstall OS X and copy your files/settings back across, it probably won't take longer than a disk de-frag unless you have few files (and then fragmentation isn't a problem.)

    Apple's built in disk de-fragger isn't too bad TBH, Norton's isn't so good anymore as it uses the Window's engine so cannot de-frag the PageFile (the Virtual Memory store so therefore the most important thing to be de-fragged) among other things.
     
  11. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #11
    Misplaced directories have nothing to do with file fragmentation.
     
  12. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #12
    Directories have no files in them?
     
  13. steve_hill4 macrumors 68000

    steve_hill4

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    #13
    I would agree with all above comments. You'll notice pretty much every time you install something, (especially through software update), one of the last stages is optimising HD. i would be interested in using some diagnostic tools to see how much as a percentage my drive is fragmented. I have used PCs in the past with up to 90% with little disc space used and after only moderate use for a couple of months.

    Still seems to be needed less on Macs than PCs.
     
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #14
    "Optimising HD" after an install is NOT defragging or the like. It is linking libraries with the app for faster opening and operating.
     
  15. howesey macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I use iDefrag.

    I found when I installed it on my 3 week old iMac 60% of the drive was fragmented. I ran a full fragment and my bootup went from 60secs to just under 30secs. I feel Apple needs to do a lot about where things are placed on the HDD. They may not be fragmented, however multiple files for an app for example can be all over the drive, requiring the head all over the drive many times.
     
  16. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

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    Australia
    #16
    I agree, I have never defragged any of my Macs in all the years I've owned them (since the late 80's) and not had any trouble.

    These companies are just trying to make money through scare tactics.
     
  17. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #17
    Exactly. They just try and make money off of switchers that think they have to defrag.

    Next thing we'll see is virus scanners for OS X ... oh wait. :D :eek:
     
  18. ManchesterTrix macrumors 6502

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    Feb 24, 2005
    #18
    Your rhetorical question makes no sense. Directories having files in them has nothing to do with whether Disk Warrior defrags files or not, it doesn't. That doesn't mean it doesn't help your machine, it's a valuable resource and can speed up your machine when used as maintenance because of how it fixes directories. That said, it is not a defrag tool.
     
  19. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #19
    I've defragged my Macs on 3 separate occasions. All 2 of the 3 times, defragging slowed down my Mac. I used a stop watch to check for boot times and app loading times. I will never defrag a Mac again.
     
  20. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

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    #20
    In a nutshell, no.

    A disk directory is a pointer, basically think of it as a table of contents or an index used by the OS to locate data (files, programs, etc.) on your hard drive. File fragmentation is a different story where, over time, as files are constantly written (saved) to the disk, they are written in noncontiguous locations on the disk. The disk directory's job is to keep track of those locations, so when the file is accessed again, the directory knows where on the disk the various pieces (fragments) of that file are located and can "reassemble" them in memory when you open the file. If you make changes to the file and save it, once again the file may be further fragmented into various locations as it is written back to the hard disk. Depends on the size of the file, how full your disk is, and so on.

    Disk warrior can defrag (by completely rewriting) the disk directory, resulting, theoretically, in the ability for the OS to read the directory more quickly than a fragmented directory resulting in faster file access, but in practice, the Mac OS reads even a fragmented directory so fast that the speed gain accomplished by defragmenting the directory may be negligible. On a slow CPU and slow hard disk, it might make some difference - anything there to improve efficiency helps - but on a fast CPU and disk I wouldn't expect to see much of a speed bump.

    Alsoft sells a separate utility for defragmenting the hard disk, but it isn't compatible with 10.4. Unless you are constantly moving fairly huge files on and off the hard disk, OS X handles fragmentation quite well, and, as noted already, defrags small files on the fly. It's not the same with Windows, which can be less efficient in that area, to put it politely. Also, OS X uses hot file clustering, where constantly used, OS related files are permanently stored on the disk in a reserved space where they can be accessed quickly. If a defrag program doesn't know how to deal with that, you can end up screwing up your installation.
     
  21. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #21
    People don't.

    Small files (under 20 MB) are defragmented automatically by the operating system. Directories are allocated in a database, which never allocates less than 1 MB in the first place, so there is very little defragmentation as well, compared to Windows, where each single directory is its own fragment.

    There are defragmentation tools available. When you run them, they will report huge amount of fragmentation on your harddisk, then they run for ages doing whatever they do, then they report that the fragmentation is gone. Except for making the user feel better, they don't actually achieve anything.
     
  22. howesey macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 3, 2005
    #22
    Files under 20MB are defragmented when they are loaded.

    I do music production, where most files are above 20MBs. A quick defrag makes a lot of difference.
     

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