How to defrag EXTERNAL drive? (Mountain Lion OSX)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Ben777, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. Ben777 macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2013

    It is weird how I can't find anywhere instructions about this:

    How to defragment external hard drive in Mountain Lion OSX?

    P.S I am using hard drive for music production with Pro Tools.

    I'd appreciate an advise! :)
  2. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  3. benthewraith macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Defragmenting isn't talked about much because there isn't much of a need to do it with OSX or Windows Vista and above. Journaled filesystems are much more resistant to fragmenting and defragmentation is done in the background (since Vista in Windows) and since Panther in OSX. You can try iDefrag if you want to. Piece of advice, if your main drive is an SSD, DO NOT DEFRAGMENT.
  4. Ben777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2013
    My main HD is SSD, I know I don't have to defragment it. But I still can defragment external drives, yes? They are not SSD.

    Thanks a lot for help.
  5. benthewraith macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    It shouldn't be needed, but yes you can use iDefrag to defragment it.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Feb 20, 2009
    There are valid reasons why a spinning HD used in music or video production should be defragmented. The important one is that defragging results in one contiguous area of "free space" at "the end" of the drive -- ready to receive new streams of data from the recording process.

    DiskWarrior can't do it. All DW does is repair and rebuild drive directories. It will not "relocate" the files that are actually "out there" on the drive's sectors.

    You need a defragging application. Some that come to mind:
    - iDefrag
    - Drive Genius
    - TechTool Pro

    It's recommended that you BACK UP the drive in question before you run the defragger. I will mention that in practice, I've never had a defrag program muck up a drive in a way that did any damage to it (if the defrag operation was cancelled "in-progress").

    The "poor man's" way to defrag:
    - Copy the contents of the drive (or partition) to another drive (or partition)
    - Erase the source drive (or partition)
    - Copy the contents BACK from the second drive to the first one.
    This works because during a full copy, the files will be copied contiguously, and the "free space" will be left "behind" the copied files -- the results are very similar to those you would see if you ran a defragging app.

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