Does my Mac mini Need to be defrag?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by loby, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. loby macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    Hello all,
    I have heard that Macs do not need to be defrag...but I have a Mac mini 2009 (bought three months before the 2010 came out) and the hard drive is sounding like it needs to be defrag - acting "just like" my PCs over the years...

    This also happens when I am booting up, but stops when done. Occasionally, it starts up again when I am surfing the web, or using a program.

    I have read and heard that Mac OX does "not' need such a thing, but again, the hard drive "sounds" like it does... :confused:

    The hard drive does not appear to be damaged.

    Please advise.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  3. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    What I noticed with PC systems when they needed defrag-ing is the drive seems to be spinning around, making a clicking sound as if looking for files when booting or when first running a program, then stops when it has loaded what it needs into memory.

    Runs a little slow on boot-up and opening programs. I did delete a few programs that I noticed loaded (without my permission) like "Growl" when I downloaded "Dropbox"... and seem to help some. So, it may be other things running without my knowledge, but do not know where to look for them...

    Again, with my experience in the PC world for many years tells me that defragmented files is the symptom (but Mac OX does not defrag its files-as I have read), I may be wrong, since I am still cleaning out my mind from the "Gates" world. :)

    I crossed over from PC to Mac world a few years ago in order to exodus from these issues and configurations traumas etc. Macs just "work" with limited maintenance which was my draw to them.

    Ran basic checks on the drive and it seems ok. I read around the web and people have said to reinstall everything...but I am trying to avoid this.
  4. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    Thanks for the links, I'll check them out. Appreciate the assistance. :)
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Run Activity Monitor to see what apps/widgets/processes are running. Be sure to change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes". If you want to know what a particular process is, simply Google "Mac process processname" and you'll likely find it.

    If you're getting a lot of hard drive activity, check to see if Spotlight is indexing. You can determine if it's indexing by the Menu Bar icon:
    [​IMG] (not indexing) [​IMG] (indexing)​
    It does take some time to transition to the realization that you don't have to "fiddle" with Mac OS X for it to run well. You really don't.
    That's definitely not necessary and is overkill.
  6. soberbrain macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)


    Try repairing permissions. It's a good step 2 on a Mac if restarting doesn't fix any weirdness.

    See the article below and skip to "Try Disk Utility"
  7. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    How much RAM do you have? If RAM is low, your machine will be accessing the virtual memory on disk quite heavily, which might be what you're hearing.

    You can use the System Memory tab in Activity Monitor to see how much RAM is free.

    Also, if you're a PC user new to the Mac you might not be used to quitting your applications when you're done with them (you may be accustomed to the program quitting when you close the last window in Windows apps, that's not the typical behaviour on OSX). Sorry if that sounds a little condescending, but I thought I'd mention it!
  8. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    I have 4 gigs of memory and did notice the light under the icons (great idea) when a program is running and is a great feature. ;) Don't mine the "basics" for suggestions. Sometimes the basics can be overlooked when trying to resolve issues and it might be an easy resolve.

    Thanks again for the suggestions, I will try them and see what happens.
  9. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    Interesting, I ran the Disk Utility while the operating system was running a few days ago thinking that it might resolve the didn't really help much.

    But...I tried running the Disk Utility from the original installation disk (as suggested above) that came with my Mac Mini and it seem to help. Running much better with minimal hard drive noise.

    I will probably wipe out the system and install everything when OX Lion comes out for a clean install. :cool: Thanks again.
  10. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Growl is a very common and well-respected notification utility. It's a shame you deleted it, but that probably didn't harm anything.

    What applications do you typically have running? Email apps, for example, will exercise the disk frequently, 24/7. And don't even get me started on Flash... I was amazed at how much less activity my MacBook Pro exhibits at all times once I removed Flash. (It's built-into the Chrome browser, so I keep that around for accessing the occasional website that insists on using Flash.)

    Certain automatic system cleanup processes (including some automatic defrag stuff that runs on files smaller than 20MB or so) will also cause the system to use a lot of disk access now and then. Leave your system running for a day or two to ensure those have had a chance to complete.

    Bottom line: Unless you run a utility that actually measures actual fragmentation, you really don't know the facts yet. Try for some real info.
  11. niksimpsons macrumors member


    May 12, 2011
    Disk utility present in Mac OS can resolve lots of such issues. No doubt Mac promises to defrag automatically but with some restriction that it defrags file upto 20 MBs (Read out more:
    Apple itself tried to resolve such issue, you can find out here: &

    As you are new Mac user and love to work on optimized performance system, I suggest to use third party tool available on the web. Today they are become so powerful that can defrag unlimited MBs of files. Some of best options are:
    iDefrag, Stellar Defrag Drive, Defrag Mac Os X etc.


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