A maintenance tool for the rest of us?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by macstatic, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. macstatic macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    I want my Mac running top performance and likewise keep my files safe so I do the following:

    • Backup up all my drives (Time Machine, Chronosync -using internal and external drives with my Mac Pro)
    • Run OSX 's Disk Utility (in the "Applications/Utility" folder) and AppleJack (unlike Disk Utility it can check the boot drive but without needing the OSX system DVD) to check/fix my hard drives and permissions
    • Have Trim Enabler turned on for my boot/OSX-SSD
    • Use Amnesia for removing software so as not to leave unnecessary files behind

    However I believe I might need more extensive tools for really checking the hard drives for errors before they escalate and I'm for one puzzled about this whole permissions thing (having run Disk utility to fix this once, and immediately running it a second time and still finding permission errors I'm asking myself it really does fix anything, or does it the wrong way. Likewise, Applejack seemingly fixes permissions but they still come up wrong in Disk Utility).
    I'm really looking for a tool which doesn't need a whole lot of knowledge on how to use (a single "check and fix" button would be great as opposed to the numerous geeky stuff most of these tools have).

    I see that Micromat sells a TechTool Pro/CheckMate bundle for US$ 49 until May 1st 2013 and Disktools Pro comes as part of the Name your own price Mac bundle 2.0 for US$ 9.75 (good for 5 more days at the time of writing). I've also seen recommendations for TinkerTool System 2 costing 10 Euros.
    Finally there's DiskWarrior which I've heard a lot of good stuff about, but costing US$ 99.95 (haven't found any deals or bundles on that one).
    Do you suggest I get one of these or are they for the most part unnecessary?
  2. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Mac's don't need maintenance, only worry when problems arise, not before.

    Onyx is the best overall utility for maintenance but again not needed, OS X takes care of itself, Disk Utility does the rest and don't worry about permissions, you only need to repair them if you have trouble.
  3. Drew017 macrumors 65816


    May 29, 2011
    East coast, USA
    This is very true- your Mac can take care of itself pretty well. OP if you want to try Onyx you may download it here
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Repair Permissions doesn't "repair" permissions. Permissions don't rust, decay or spontaneously combust. RP will ALWAYS produce a report saying that some permissions needed changing, but then not change them.
    RP only works on a selection of Apple system files. It compares the file attributes with a list of known values. It does not affect your user files or third-party software.
    The need for running RP is much reduced on recent versions of OS X. (It was introduced because when you could run Classic or dual boot OS 9, that OS didn't respect Unix file attributes.)
    Many people assume that it's the first thing to try in the event of any problem and will cure all known ills. It won't.

    "For the most part unnecessary." Definitely don't get any "cleaning" app.

    Your Mac will run fine and does not normally need any oil changes at 5000 miles. However, if you do have a problem, then a tool like Onyx is quite good for emptying caches (which should only be done if there is a problem), checking Pref file validity, rebuilding various databases and indexes, and a few other things.

    Disk Warrior is great is your drive shows signs of corruption, or you need to recover lost files. But then -- you have a backup, don't you?
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    The permissions things is confusing since Disk Utility reports things like "Permissions differ on "System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Classes/dt.jar", should be lrwxr-xr-x , they are lrw-r--r--" which would indicate that something is wrong and should be corrected. This is why I ran Disk utility in the first place: to give my Mac a checkup.

    As for the "repair" software (Techtool, Diskwarrior or anything similar) I really don't need it at all unless I accidently delete files, a hard drive breaks down etc. and I don't have a backup? There's no need to give the computer "checkups" now and then and repair minor issues before they become irrepairable?
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If repairing permissions results in error messages, some of these messages can be ignored and should be no cause for concern.
    Some people repair, or recommend repairing permissions for situations where it isn't appropriate. Repairing permissions only addresses very specific issues. It is not a "cure all" or a general performance enhancer, and doesn't need to be done on a regular basis. It also doesn't address permissions problems with your files or 3rd party apps.

    You don't need to "maintain" your Mac and you don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well. Some of these apps can do more harm than good. Some can even degrade, rather than improve system performance.

    Some remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process. These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space.

    Some of these apps delete caches, which can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt. Caches exist to improve performance, so deleting them isn't advisable in most cases.

    Many of the tasks performed by these apps should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention. You can use Maintidget to see the last time these scripts were run.
  7. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    Thanks for clearing up some misconceptions. Disk utility sure makes a great job of confusing people as it certainly seems to tell us something is wrong and needs fixing.
    Having done some further research it seems that the Java folders/sub-folders are the main culprits here and if I've understood correctly different parts of OSX or different apps can't quite agree on what the correct permissions are, hence the "fixing" without actually repairing anything.

    I remember several years ago (the MacOS 7/8/9 days) when a hard drive of mine suddenly became unreadable (MacOS told me so and suggested I initialize the drive). Fortunately I had some sort of maintenance software available (Disk First Aid, Norton utilities or something similar -can't remember) which fixed the drive and made it fully readable again. I understand that disk directories can get damaged and I've heard of "data rot" which can creep up when least expected. I was hoping that running some sort of maintenance software regularly would keep the risk of these things happening to a minimum. So having set the records straight concerning OSX maintenance not needed, is there software I should look into which takes care of the drives (in addition to backing-up of course)?
  8. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    There is no "Drive Conditioner", to maintain shiny, healthy looking disks.

    But if your drive does corrupt, then Disk Warrior is the preferred tool for fixing it. (Of course, a wipe and restore from your backup is just as good.)

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