Defrag Of my mac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tomf, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. tomf macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Hi All,

    i was wondering if there is a kind of Defrag/Cleanup operation that i could carry out on my mac pro/snow leopard.
    It's become kinda buggy over the last month or 2, i have 60gb hard drive left and i run with 5gb ram & 2 x 2.66Ghz Dual Core Intel Xenons.

    I have a lot of stuff on here and have had the machine for a few years now so i'd just like to give it a clean up.

    Any advice or help would be great,


    Tom :)
  2. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    For all its faults, HFS+ is a fairly well-organized filesystem. There really wont be much improvement. Defragging is only needed for messy filesystems like NTFS.
  3. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Your Mac is constantly de-fragging, as one William Smith once put it, "all day, ehr day."
  4. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
  5. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Yep. You don't need it.
  6. tomf thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2009
    Oh, surely these products do actually do someting? like clean up your drive sort of thing, i've seen numerous defrag programs for mac.
  7. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Defragging your Mac is like watering your lawn in the rain.

    By the way, don't call me Shirley.
  8. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    They do defrag, but the also have hidden features, such as burning a hole in your wallet, and wasting your time. These products were made for the rather large market of windows switchers who haven't got the memo that Macs don't need such programs.
  9. Feek macrumors regular


    Nov 9, 2009
    Just don't bother, it's a waste of time and money. Especially if you've got an SSD!
  10. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
  11. DESNOS macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2011
    Yep. New HD, new data, no problem! Just keep buying new harddrives when it gets very fragmented. (for special people) </sarcasm>
  12. bushbeat macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009
    Defrag is not really needed with OSX/HFS+. 'Buggy' can be a lot of issues - it dosen't take long to repair permissions on the drive. Disk errors could point to a faulty disk. Did you consider to make a clean install of Snow Leopard? If still 'buggy', it is maybe time for a new disk. 5GB of memory is possibly a mix of modules (?) Memory is cheap at the moment - i'll suggest an upgrade.
  13. gullySn0wCat, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    MP1,1 RAM is very expensive (comparatively, around $50 per gb).

    He probably has a set up like

    2x2gb and 2x512 as you must install RAM in pairs.

    To the smartass guy, drives can get slow as they get full and use the inner areas of the HDD. So a migrating to a larger (and faster) HDD along with accompanying "fresh" OSX will probably fix his issue.
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    so you have 60gb of empty hdd? that is how I read this post.

    well if you have a 1 tb hdd you have no room left!= 94% full.

    If you have a 500gb hdd you are 88% full.

    If you have a 320gb hdd you are 81% full.

    So get back to this post and let us know what size hdd you have.

    In any of the above case go out and buy a 2tb hdd.
    then download superduper to you original hdd.
    then clone the oem hdd to the 2tb.
    then let us know what the room did for you. higher end and more durable. less size but a lower price.
  15. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    You say that it's only been getting buggy over the last couple of months... Did you install a new piece of software that may be creating conflicts ?

    Otherwise I second the calls for you to get a new hard drive, 2TB is pretty cheap and all hard drives need free space as head room for optimal performance.
  16. tiptopp macrumors regular


    Aug 15, 2008
    Norwich, UK
    There are other things as well...

    I have Onyx, which does a number of things that Macs do overnight anyway, plus a few other bits and pieces. If my iMac (250gb, 50gb free) starts slowing up (usually resulting in spinning pizzas too often) I run most of the things that Onyx does, and it gets better. I suspect that, on the whole, its repairing permissions that does the trick, but as it clears caches of various sorts as well, I run the lot.

    It may well be the placebo effect, but it works for me...

  17. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    I tried this program on my mac pro I used to have. Made things worst. If your having big issues, do a clean install and probably replace the hard drive while your at it.
  18. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I don't think defrag will fix something that is "kinda buggy". It might slightly decrease load times during hard drive access.
  19. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Not, actually.

    Having a full drive can shrink the amount of virtual memory available, and that could have a drastic effect on the performance. Where the data is on the drive, as long as it's not horribly fragmented, will have no real-world effects.

    I hate when people go by artificial benchmark values rather than real world tests. I don't give a damn if Geekbench gives it 2 more points if it finishes exporting about as quickly.

    OP, you should have minimum 5GB free on each drive to allow for swapping and virtual memory. Once you reach about 5GB...things start plummeting and flying off the walls.
  20. speacock macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2011
    60GB free out of how much?

    The person who asked "60GB free on how big a disk?" is spot on.

    All modern filesystems include mechanisms for avoiding defragmentation and all can suffer from fragmentation, but overfull disks are both a cause of fragmentation and a problem in their own right.

    As a general rule you can avoid fragmentation and see much better performance if you keep your disks less than 60%-70% full and ideally keep them only 1/2 full. While that seems terribly wasteful, it has always been the case and it's also worth remembering that disk is very cheap now.

    As disks get fuller all filesystems slow down and when you get over 90% full they get really slow. But fragmentation also increases as the disk gets fuller as there is less and less likelihood that an new block will be allocated in contiguous space and more likely that it will be allocated elsewhere.

    Fragmentation is also more complex than whether the file is just fragmented, but also a question of how many extents are used, their spacing on the disk, the number of head movements, distance of head movement and so on, it all gets very complicated. There's a fella called Amit Singh who has written all about it if you really want the nuts and bolts.

    I'd also have to disagree with people who have criticised NTFS for suffering more fragmentation and being messy. It's not really more or less likely to get fragmented, it all depends what you're doing with it, the type of files you store and how they change over time. NTFS is actually a very good and very elegant filesystem. There's some things it does better than HFS+ and some things that aren't as good. As ever, it's horses for courses.

    Another point that several people have made is that SSDs overcome this problem, which is absolutely true. They still suffer from fragmentation, but as random reads on an SSD are barely any slower than sequential ones, then it makes not difference to the performance as perceived by you. The other beauty with an SSD is that you can fill it right up and it won't get a lot slower.

    So, the summarised answer:
    1. Get an SSD and use it to store your frequently accessed files (such as OS)
    2. Buy a big spinning disk for your other files and keep it as empty as you can. If you can afford it, use 15K RPM SAS disks and put them in a RAID0+1 array for optimum performance
    3. If all that is too expensive get rid of as much data as you possibly can or buy a bigger disk
  21. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    Yes, actually. Now go and do some research on modern hardware:rolleyes:
  22. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    So the best defrag you can do is backup your system or whatever to a .dmg. and restore this back to fresh HDD. Boom. Everything in line and wicked fast and costs nothing. Then when having problems you use Diskwarrior. Every defrag app I have ever used has mucked things up. That is not to say HFS+ doesn't get torn up, it does, especially with HD Video files moving on and off but disk image method seems to be the best. The "Auto-defrag" abilities of HFS+ are severely overstated.
  23. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Actually, you should do just that. This is an antiquated situation. It comes from the days when a 2mb drive was all you'd need in the world.

    In the modern world, where the data is located on the drive has almost no noticeable performance hit unless you're the kind of transfer-rate-measuring gnarb that installs tools on their computer to monitor page-ins and pull their hair out with every kb it increases...

    Next you're going to tell us that having non-paired RAM is going to cripple the system and make it nearly unusable :rolleyes:
  24. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    Again, research;)

    His system REQUIRES paired RAM. You should really get your facts straight before trying to be a smartass, unless you want to keep making a fool of yourself.
  25. MrCheeto, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

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