Defragging & Cleaning ?????

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by razu13612, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. razu13612 macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    Way-UP in New York
    Recently got this IMac, previously had a desktop from that "other company", AND, I have a question for you pros (and/or pro-ettes). I am an "AARP-fart" and have been "fumbling/stumbling" trying to learn more about this machine.

    My first question is this............Is "defragging" and "cleaning memory" necessary as it was on my "other company" desktop. I have NOT installed any additional software, and am operating just as it came in the box. If these are necessary, how often? Any recommendations as to which one?

    Question #2........ Is additional virus protection needed? My 2 daughters say that the IMac is "virus-proof" outa the box BUT unless I see the wound in the side and the crown of thorns, I don't believe that !!!!!!!!!! Any suggestions ???

    These may qualify for "stupid questions of the century" but please bear with me........... It was just last week that I learned how to spell "PC", and I beg you indulgences for this "old fart".................. Marty
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    If you are running OSX you will likely never need to defrag and you will not need virus protection

    Just use common sense and don't type your admin password unless you know what you are giving permission to do
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Neither is needed. OSX defrags small files automatically and there is really little need purchase a defragger.

    OSX isn't ""virus proof" but the architecture makes it really difficult so virus makers don't concentrate their time on OSX. I'd not worry about anti-virus software, products like norton antivirus actually makes things worse then going w/o
  4. Sheeds macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2008
    True that you never need to defrag, and anti-virus software isn't called for.

    What I do though every so often is repair my permissions in Disk Utility (under the 'Utilities' folder in your Applications). I find that it speeds up the system, and it's definitely noticeable on computers I've worked on that have never done it.
  5. sjinsjca macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2008

    Boy howdy. Whatever you do, avoid, avoid Norton.

    As thing stand, the only way you can infect your system with something bad is if you succumb to the siren call of warez sites or torrents for too-good-to-be-true "free" software. OS X makes you authenticate any software installation, and when you do so it assumes you know what you're doing. So if you say "yes, go ahead and install" something that contains a lurking trojan horse, neither OS X or any other operating system can help you.

    So, you don't need an anti-virus program. You do need a smidgen of common sense.

    It is also a good idea to have an everyday user account with "standard" privileges, reserving your account with "administrative" privileges for ...well, administrative operations. Unlike Windows, standard-privileged accounts are fully functional and not at all limiting. So go to the Apple menu up in the upper left corner, select System Preferences, click on Accounts and add a new one with standard privileges. This is the account you should log into every day. It's a minor thing but adds a layer of extra security.
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Look up "cargo cult" on Wikipedia.

    To the original poster: In the original version of MacOS X (10.0, 10.1 and 10.2, we are talking about the year 2002 here), sometimes software updates ran into problems, which were fixed by a process called "repairing permissions". Since then, everybody with a little knowledge of MacOS X recommends "repair permission" as an aid to fix all kind of problems including the common cold. It's not something that you need to worry about.

    About Norton: There is no anti-virus product for the Macintosh that will do anything useful _for you_. What anti-virus products can do is stop you from passing a virus that is sent to you on to a Windows user; your Macintosh will not be affected anyway. Frankly, I think Windows users can look after themselves. The actual dangers are: Don't download pirated software. If you download what you think is a pirated copy of Photoshop, chances are it's not. A virus cannot attack you without your permission. If you give an application that you _think_ is Photoshop permission to run, then it has that permission even if it isn't Photoshop (obviously that appies to _any_ software). If any website tells you you need to install some Quicktime plugin to watch their interesting educational photos or movies, don't. They are lying. If you get an email from your bank that asks you for your name, account number, etc. etc., it doesn't come from your bank.

    All common sense. Nobody can get at your computer without you giving them permission, so people will try to trick you to give them permission. That is the only danger.
  7. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    Untrue about the no need to defrag. I got to a point with an old powerbook where I ran my hard drive down a little to close to capacity. Went through and deleted a bunch of stuff and regained a few GB of hard drive space. Problem is I couldn't write large files to it anymore even if they were within disk space capacity. I ran iDefrag and I regained the ability to write larger files once again.

    I tend to do it to my machines every 6 months or so just for the sake of it. Doesn't hurt anything and it can help.
  8. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    What were the large files that couldn't be written?

    Files usually don't have to occupy contiguous blocks on disk, unless the program specifically requests it for a specific reason. The only case that comes to mind is swap files.

    I have several non-contiguous large files, and they've always work fine. FWIW, I specifically created them non-contiguous to test some software and see if it made any difference. It didn't.
  9. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    I can't rmember now as it was years ago. But when I googled the error I was getting I specifically found other people to have had a similar problem. Everyone suggested defragging and it worked. I'm not going to claim to know everything about the internal goings on of a computer but I do know the problem I had and the solution that worked for me. YMMV.
  10. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Let me ask this: Would it hurt to fix permissions and would it hurt to get a third party piece of software for defragging? I realize you don't need to, but will it hurt? If the OP or others want to do this can they? :)
  11. razu13612 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    Way-UP in New York
    Defragging and Cleaning !!!!

    Hey Boyz and Galz....Thank you, Thank you, & Thank You !!!!! :):):):) Your replies and suggested procedures are SO GREATLY appreciated that I think I'll just have to have an "adult beverage" BEFORE 5PM ............ And all this in less than 12 hours, all except for MacDawg who took a whole 6 minutes to post his reply (I really didn't think Georgia Bulldogs got up that early) Ha Ha !!!!!!

    A satisfied AARP-Fart, Marty

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