Can you run some kind of Defragmenter on a Mac?

-Josh-

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 21, 2007
229
0
So, coming from the Window's side of things i run defrag...a lot. Disk clean up, Ad Aware, Defrag, Nortan, they're everyday routines.

What kind of routines are an essential for Macs? Spyware runnrs, I know theres no need for an antivirus, a defragmenter, disk cleanup?


Thanks..

Josh
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,752
1,218
New Zealand
The Mac filesystem is less susceptible to fragmentation so it's not so big an issue. But to top it off, OS X will automatically defrag in the background when it needs to :)
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,304
1,241
Not really much to do. OS X defrags small files (under 20 MB I believe) on the fly. OS X takes care of itself pretty darn well.
 

Mac OS X Ocelot

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2005
603
0
Are you kidding me? Look at my hard drive after a couple months with Drive Genius! Luckily, that'll defrag for me too.
 

basherhp2112

macrumors member
Jun 9, 2007
44
0
What about TechTool Pro

I'll admit it, I am a Noob...

I am new to the Apple family as of August when I picked up a 24" iMac.

As I am learning I tend to pick up a Macworld Magazine when I stroll through the local bookstore.

Every issue has a full page ad from Techtool Pro Software.

It even states in the ad that AppleCare Protection Plan uses TechTool Deluxe.

Is this just an ad to get Noobs like me to fork over more cash.

Or is this simply Peace of Mind software?

Here are a few sites if you are interested:

www.micromat.com
- Home Page

http://www.micromat.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=83
- Page to TechTool Pro

http://www.micromat.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=190
- Cool Free iPhone Application "Syphone" The iPhone/SMS utility for Mac.



So, coming from the Window's side of things i run defrag...a lot. Disk clean up, Ad Aware, Defrag, Nortan, they're everyday routines.

What kind of routines are an essential for Macs? Spyware runnrs, I know theres no need for an antivirus, a defragmenter, disk cleanup?


Thanks..

Josh
 

NoOneButMe

macrumors regular
Dec 10, 2006
130
0
Daily fragmentation is a bit obsessive, even for windows.

But as others have answered, you don't need to defragment hfs+ drives on OS X :)
 

danny_w

macrumors 601
Mar 8, 2005
4,380
127
Austin, TX
My first Mac (an original mini) was such a refreshing change from the constant housekeeping that was mandatory to keep a Windows system running smoothly. Now I spend so much less time keeping the computers running that I have time for other things.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,587
6
The Kop
It does get fragmented despite what people say, like ocelot it is pretty easy to see with Drive genius

There's a difference between fragmentation and problematic fragmentation.
Isn't it best to have no fragmentation as this will reduce the work the hd has to do and give gains in speed (probably too slight to see on a 7200 drive but on a lappy I think it will help) as well as increasing the life of the drive.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Daily fragmentation is a bit obsessive, even for windows.

Actually, you shouldn't have to defrag a moden Windows NTFS-formatted drive much at all, either.

And to the earlier poster: yes a LOT of the tools out there, for Windows and Mac, prey on people that I dub computer hypochondriacs. These are people who obsessively scrutinize every beep, grind and whir for the slightest sign of trouble, and overreact by running all kinds of utilities.

On a Windows machine, you really only need an enabled firewall, one up to date virus scanner, and one installation of Spyware removal software. The OS pretty much has everything else that it needs. Running more than this gives you diminishing returns, and little or no benefit is gained while your PC ends up slowing down.

On a Mac you need... well, nothing else, really. For now, OS X takes care of itself, and anything else at all is just superfluous. Sometimes TechTool and the like is useful for diagnosing rare serious problems, and if you get AppleCare, I'd say don't throw away the disk that they send you. But as long as you're running the included OS X disk utility about once a month, I would bet you'll probably never need TechTool.

In either case, if you go overboard, all you're doing is throwing money away and slowing your computer down to boot. The Nortons and Dvoraks and Gibsons of the world make their money by fear-mongering. They take legitimate risks and blow them way out of proportion, and scare the uninformed into buying package after package of diagnostic software, and sometimes the software ends up doing more harm than good.

I've been called to houses of people who complain that their system has slowed down and that it "must be spyware." Most of the time it is. But about 10 percent of the cases I see, it's people who have installed at least two virus scanners, at least two spyware blockers, and they have Norton utilities running in the background. In these instances, there's more CPU time and available memory devoted to finding out how the computer is doing than there is begin devoted to actual, productive work. A virus couldn't run if it wanted to... heck, a legitimate application can barely run if IT wants to! And inevitably, these people freak out when I tell them their system would run a lot faster if they got rid of the always-running diagnostic junk, and slimmed down to one virus scanner and one spyware blocker.

And that's fine with me. If they refuse, I point out that if they insist they know more about the situation than I do, then they shouldn't have called me. There's nothing wrong, and nothing I can do for them.
 

Ice-Cube

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2006
699
91
Somewhere over the rainbow
There is a difference between file fragmentation and disk fragmentation. The file fragmentation Mac OSX takes care of, leaving the disk fragmentation to you. You can use iDefrag to optimize the system for you, but in most situations your mac probably would not benefit much from the defrag. In most typical cases its for users who move files alot, usually video files and at least 8 months to a year of usage before you can feel the difference. If not, don't bother doing it.

I defrag my macbook after a year and, it speeds up the booting process by a what, a few seconds? And I wasted 15 hours just to defrag it.
 

diamond.g

macrumors 603
Mar 20, 2007
6,361
321
Virginia
It would only be useful if your defragmenter moved all files to the outer edge of the hd's platter, where rotational speed is the greatest. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother.
 

Ice-Cube

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2006
699
91
Somewhere over the rainbow
Disk fragmentation is best defined as the process by which logically-related data become physically disassociated on disk. Disk fragmentation can be considered a measurable current state of your data, as well as the dynamic process by which such fragmentation gradually occurs.

Within the context of disk fragmentation is the concept of a file extent. File fragmentation occurs when a file's set of extents becomes physically discontinuous on disk. The impact of file fragmentation is determined by the severity of fragmentation, the adequacy of main memory and the speed of disk devices.
 

saltyzoo

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2007
1,065
0
Disk fragmentation is best defined as the process by which logically-related data become physically disassociated on disk. Disk fragmentation can be considered a measurable current state of your data, as well as the dynamic process by which such fragmentation gradually occurs.

Within the context of disk fragmentation is the concept of a file extent. File fragmentation occurs when a file's set of extents becomes physically discontinuous on disk. The impact of file fragmentation is determined by the severity of fragmentation, the adequacy of main memory and the speed of disk devices.
Given that definition, your statement that file fragmentation is taken care of by OSX is incorrect.
 

dacreativeguy

macrumors 68020
Jan 27, 2007
2,014
210
The best way to defrag on the Mac is to make a cloned backup to an external HD using superduper or ccc, erase your system drive, and then clone the system back. This is faster and safer than letting some 3rd party defrag utility mess with your files.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,587
6
The Kop
The best way to defrag on the Mac is to make a cloned backup to an external HD using superduper or ccc, erase your system drive, and then clone the system back. This is faster and safer than letting some 3rd party defrag utility mess with your files.
But Superduper and CCC are third party utilities which mess with your files.

BTW it is not faster.
 

tmoney468

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2007
547
52
Actually, you shouldn't have to defrag a moden Windows NTFS-formatted drive much at all, either.

I've been called to houses of people who complain that their system has slowed down and that it "must be spyware." Most of the time it is. But about 10 percent of the cases I see, it's people who have installed at least two virus scanners, at least two spyware blockers, and they have Norton utilities running in the background. In these instances, there's more CPU time and available memory devoted to finding out how the computer is doing than there is begin devoted to actual, productive work. A virus couldn't run if it wanted to... heck, a legitimate application can barely run if IT wants to! And inevitably, these people freak out when I tell them their system would run a lot faster if they got rid of the always-running diagnostic junk, and slimmed down to one virus scanner and one spyware blocker.
I'm sorry, but to say you don't have to defragment a Windows NTFS drive is completely wrong. I have seen over time how much slower a computer can get, and yes there are other things out there such as spyware and bloatware that can slow things down, but disk fragmentation is a big part of it. Just run a scan of Diskeeper and you'll see how much fragmentation affects Windows PCs.
 

saltyzoo

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2007
1,065
0
I'm sorry, but to say you don't have to defragment a Windows NTFS drive is completely wrong. I have seen over time how much slower a computer can get, and yes there are other things out there such as spyware and bloatware that can slow things down, but disk fragmentation is a big part of it. Just run a scan of Diskeeper and you'll see how much fragmentation affects Windows PCs.
NTFS uses the same basic algorithm to avoid fragmentation that HPFS does.
 

danny_w

macrumors 601
Mar 8, 2005
4,380
127
Austin, TX
The best way to defrag on the Mac is to make a cloned backup to an external HD using superduper or ccc, erase your system drive, and then clone the system back. This is faster and safer than letting some 3rd party defrag utility mess with your files.
My company builds linux-based servers for the storage industry, and have found that when talking about very large files on very large file systems, even a small amount of disk fragmentation can have a very large performance impact when using ext3 (which is also supposed to never need defragmentation). What we do is copy the files to an empty file system, and change the mount point to that new filesystem after the copy is complete.
 

NoOneButMe

macrumors regular
Dec 10, 2006
130
0
Actually, you shouldn't have to defrag a moden Windows NTFS-formatted drive much at all, either.
I know, hence my 'bit obsessive' remark :p

It needs to be done once in awhile - less often then disk utility needs to be run but more often then never though.
 
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