Hard drive defragmenting

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by jeffy.dee-lux, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. jeffy.dee-lux macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
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    montreal
    #1
    So a couple weeks ago, my computer got really messed up, couldn't even start up from a disk, i guess it got crazy fragmented cause of some video editting that was going on. it was nice to learn after paying the 200$ repair bill that whenever you're doing video editing, you're supposed to defrag your disk more often. We get the computer back, and now, about two weeks later, i decide, alright, better run norton speed disk to keep this guy running smoothe, and it tells me the disk is exremely fragmented and the directory structures are too big for this version of speed disk. The only thing i can think of is that when we got the computer back, i was like, "well i better go and delete that video stuff that was causing all the problems." it was something like 5 or 6 Gs on my 40G drive. so i'm guessing that whenever you clear big chunks of memory, you're creating big fragments or something. Now i've got a disk that's too fragmented for norton to handle, so what am i supposed to do? You'd think that since defragmenting is necessary for a properly functioning hard drive, computers would be built with this in mind and you wouldn't have to worry about it...
    anyways, i'm just wondering if there's anything i can do other than go and give money to the guys who didn't feel the need to inform me of other activities which might require more frequent defragmenting. and as far as using the computer untill i get the disk optimized, what should i avoid doing. should i just try not to use the computer at all?
    thanks all
    J
     
  2. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    NYC
    #2
    Back up and erase, then put back just what you need. This will clear up a lot of trouble.
     
  3. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #3
    Norton is always saying that it needs to defragment your disk. I used to do it, but in X, never did it again. It will probably save a few mb's of space and makes your Mac a bit faster. But I am running my HD for almost 3 years without defragging it! If it was such a big deal, why didn't Apple include in its system software?!? Or put a extra cdrom next to your OS? Just my two cents...
     
  4. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #4
    here's my solution. Backup whatever you need, format your HD, partition it into a, maybe, 5 or 10 gig OS X drive, and leave the rest for video work. You don't have to worry about the video scratch screwing up your system that way.

    better yet, get a 200 gig external drive for video work. but really, i would never do any serious video work on the same volume as my system.

    paul
     
  5. dukemeiser macrumors 6502a

    dukemeiser

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    Iowa
    #5
    Sounds like you need OS X. It's not as subject to fragmentation like OS 9 was.
     
  6. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 19, 2003
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    montreal
    #6
    yeah, i'm on 10.2.

    but man, you shoulda seen it the last time. my bro was doing some small video project for school, and when i get home, the computer was insanely slow, like open a folder and it takes about a minute to open. then inside the folder, there are no files, and there's a funny little icon up in the finder window toolbar, a folder icon with a big red x over it. yeah, it was pretty bad....
    at least i can still use my computer now
     
  7. dukemeiser macrumors 6502a

    dukemeiser

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    Dec 17, 2002
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    Iowa
    #7
    and you are sure it's your hard drive and not just a cluttered RAM? Sometimes the RAM can get slow after heavy use - like video editing - and usually a restart should speed things up. I would assume you have sufficient RAM too, but you didn't really say that either.

    Was this repair shop specific to Apple? Or a generic computer store? Because Windows is very bad a fragmentation. I know defragging OS X isn't necessary, and it seems like I've heard it might be bad for it.

    Or it could be your directories. You might try a disk utility like Disk Warrior if you start having troubles again.
     
  8. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 19, 2003
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    montreal
    #8
    yeah, uhh, the second one, xylophone, i mean directories. norton came up with an error while trying to defragment...
    the directory structures were too large. i'm guessing that just means that its so crazy fragmented that norton can't do anything about it. The repair shop is an apple specific computer store. And i think i noticed on the bill for the last time, it said they ran DW, i guess that was that disk warrior thing. someone wanna send me that for free?
    i dunno, the guys at this store are pretty cool, maybe they'll sympathize...
     
  9. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #9
    After reading this post and answering it, just for fun, I started up Norton and it says that my system is screwed! It has "major" problems and can only fix them from the boot cd! Also tried to defragment my iPod, and it can't... It keeps on saying that it needs diskdoctor first after a while of defragmentation. So I run diskdoctor several times and it keeps getting stuck, sometimes crashes, on the checking media test. I am running it now, it has been running all day know, for almost 12 hours and it is just under the half of the bar. Did anyone else had these "problems" or did you have to wait soooo long? I think I'll keep it running for the night and look if its done tomorrow. BTW, I have a 2G 20GB iPod.
     
  10. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    I have two suggestions based on personal experience: 1.) Edit video on a dedicated drive or partition. 2.) Don't use anything called "Norton" on a Mac.

    This is what I'd do in this situation if I had a couple bucks. If you have a PowerMac, buy an additional drive for video. If you have an iMac that will only take 1 drive, either get an external Firewire drive or a large IDE drive (120GB). If you got an IDE drive, make a partition for the OS (15-20GB should be ample) and use the rest for video.
     
  11. VegetaPunk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    AZ
    #11
    yes listen to Horrortaxi :) also I like Drive 10 for defraging I havent had any probelms with it. Also try to get panther (make sure it wont effect your workflow) I havent installed panther yet (tomorrow :) ) There should be a new file system that panther uses that defarags the drive for you, please correct me if Im wrong but ya Drive 10 = good imo
     
  12. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    montreal
    #12
    ooh, that's very intriguing, anybody know for sure if there's something on panther that does the defragging business? it makes a lot of sense to me that if something is necessary for your computer to run properly, it should be included in the operating system. but yeah, the video thing is no biggie, it was just a little project my bro had to do and his roomate just got a g5 anyways, so our little 500mHz imac can rest now.
     
  13. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Los Angeles
    #13
    Journaling.
     
  14. titaniumducky macrumors 6502a

    titaniumducky

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    #14
    umm...

    You shouldn't ever need to defrag your Mac if your running OS X. Sounds like you have some kind of problem.

    First try repairing permissions. Next, type "sudo periodic daily" w/o quotes into Terminal and at prompt enter admin password. Next do this again twice, substituting weekly for daily, then monthly for weekly. Lastly bootup holding Cmd-s. Once Cmd-prmpt finishes initializing, type "fsck -y" w/o quotes. This checks the HD for errors.

    Is everything OK? If not follow the below directions.

    Backup vital stuff and do a clean install of Panther. Panther automatically defrags files <= 20 MB on the fly. It's also a much better OS generally.

    Don't use Norton stuff.

    Also, run the hardware test to check for problems.
     
  15. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #15
    He, titaniumducky (cool name!)

    How do you know this stuff?! Where did you get it? Is there somewhere a list with these commands? If yes, please post it!!
     
  16. Thom_Edwards macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #16
    i'm not titaniumducky, but i'll go ahead and answer this...

    it's unix stuff. the commands with periodic tell the os to run what are called cron jobs. some run daily, others weekly, etc. they are used to clean up unnecessary temp files and other general housekeeping.

    thing is, they are set to run at times that most people don't have the computer on or it is asleep, so forcing them to run with those commands will hopefully fix some things for you. it may have no effect, but it certainly won't hurt.

    the fsck command is short for File System ChecK
     
  17. jeffy.dee-lux thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 19, 2003
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    montreal
    #17
    I'm on jaguar, i'm guessing it does not defrag on the fly like panther... but all those terminal commands, those are just unix and will work with jaguar too?

    do you guys see popping about 8 gigs into the trash can and deleting as the source of major problems? and would these unix commands fix my problems?

    and then why wouldn't these unix capabilities be implemented into the os, why do i have to go into terminal to set the periodic stuff?
     
  18. TyWahn macrumors 6502

    TyWahn

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    #18
    Cron jobs

    MacJanitor is an easy utility to use that performs all cron jobs when you want to, with a simple interface .. the jobs are broken down by daily, weekly and monthly. Very useful if you shut your Mac down or it is asleep when this otherwise automated system task is to take place
     
  19. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #19
  20. titaniumducky macrumors 6502a

    titaniumducky

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    Nov 22, 2003
    #20
    Thanks.

    These unix cleanup commands run when your computer is most likely asleep or off as others have said. If you substitute "/etc/daily" for "periodic daily", "/etc/weekly" for "periodic weekly", etc. you can see what each does.

    fsck -y does the same thing as repairing permissions from your install disk.
     
  21. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

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    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
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    #21
    It does? I thought it was just the equivalent of running "Verify/Repair Disk" in Disk Utility. I didn't think it touched permissions.
     
  22. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #22
    Well, after playing a bit with Janitor and Cocktail.... I started my mac just half an hour ago. I gotten directly in some sort of boot system, it was definately linux, that I recognized. It looked like a pc starting up (it was horrible! :D ). I did do "fsck -y" and it checked the system, which was ok. But anyway, the next time I have that, does anyone know the code to just go further with the startup? I got out of it by restarting and deleting the PR-ram three times. Also, now i'm going to get a book about linux for os X, the book for dummies!!! :D
     
  23. Chealion macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    #23
    I didn't think anyone defragged anymore. Thats a past time from Windows, and old filesystems.

    New filesystems don't fragment as much, and they cause more problems then they fix now, though the disk utility companies don't want you to know that. Heck a Symantec executive got into deep trouble because he let it leak that defragging is becoming more and more useless.

    fsck stands for File System ChecK, and has nothing to do with priveleges. And when you start up your computer using Command-S (Single User Mode) you get to see what is really happening behind the scenes. Hey, whadda ya know, Mac OS X really is a UNIX system with the best GUI ever!
     
  24. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Almere, The Netherlands
    #24
    so I started up with command s, or at least, that's what Cocktail did (turned that function on). But how do you go further with the startup when your done with your file systems check?
     

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