How to defrag EXTERNAL drive? (Mountain Lion OSX)

Ben777

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
70
4
Hi,

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! :)
 

benthewraith

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,090
86
Miami, FL
Hi,

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! :)
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.
 

Ben777

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2013
70
4
Piece of advice, if your main drive is an SSD, DO NOT DEFRAGMENT.
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.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,428
6,723
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").

Aside:
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.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.