Does a Mac need Tech Tool periodically?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by appledog, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. appledog macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2006
    I've had a Mac Pro for 2.5 years. I've never run diagnostics or de-fragged the HD like I did with my old G4. I called AppleCare to ask if I should do this periodically (I have the Tech Tool "light" disk that came w/Apple Care, and I often hear ads for $99 Tech Tool Pro). He asked if my drive was slow or having issues. I said no.

    While there apparently is no Apple party line on this, he said he never uses Tech Tool. He showed me how to empty the caches (also never done, 9,000 files deleted) and sent me on my way.

    Just wondering what others think about running diagnostic/de-frag software.

  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Defragmentation is unnecessary outside a few specific use cases. The OS automatically defragments smaller, commonly used files on the fly, which would be the most major cause of slowdown.

    So long as your drive isn't almost completely full and you don't frequently do a lot of media capture (large video files on a mostly full drive interspersed with thousands of smaller files, some of which get deleted), you're unlikely to ever need it.

    I even did some checks on systems that had been in regular use for years and only showed minor fragmentation--not enough to cause any slowdown. At this point most people can safely ignore it entirely.

    Checking your drive once in a while for directory structure problems isn't a bad idea, even though they're a lot less common with journaled filesystems. You don't need Techtool to do that--just open up Disk Utility and click Verify. Can be done on-the-fly in Snow Leopard, although you'll need to boot from a utility disc or into single user mode to actually fix problems if any are found.
  4. appledog thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2006

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