iDefrag

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ktalebian, May 8, 2008.

  1. ktalebian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    #1
    Hi there
    I want to run a full defrag. Can I use the CDs that came with Mac to boot the system from them and run the defrag? Or do i need to make a boot cd another way?

    Thanks!
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    You are wasting your money and wasting your time. It can actually do more harm than good. Defragging is a Windows solution to a Windows problem. Apple explicitly recommends that Mac users not do it. MacOS X defrags automatically.
     
  3. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

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    Nov 12, 2007
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    Phoenix
    #3
    hey, if he wants to defrag an HFS system, let him..... :D
     
  4. ktalebian thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 25, 2007
    #4
    Why do I feel like that's a trap?? :p:D Is it??
     
  5. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    You ARE aware that OS X does file-level defragmentation on the fly, yes?
    You are also aware that a full defrag will actually slow down your system as it's far slower to read data from a single contiguous area on an HD rather than from several areas/platters simultaneously, yes?

    There are a very small number of reasons why a defrag can sometimes be a good idea on a *nix operating system, but these are few and far between (mostly involving editing large video or audio files on a partition containing other data - although even then, a dedicated volume is a much better idea). Most people would be far better advised to leave well alone.
     
  6. Nubben macrumors regular

    Nubben

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    #6
    All of you are wrong.

    1. Mac OS X only defrags files below the 20MB level.

    2. How can reading a file that's scattared on a HD be faster than reading from one single defragged file? Simply not true. The drive head has to move constantly to different parts of the disk.

    3. Apple doesn't explicitly say EITHER that defragging should NOT be done. It's probably because the large part of Mac users - read regular users - do not have large files that are bigger than 20MB.

    4. Genius Bars use on a regular basis Disk Rescue and Drive Genius (defragger) to optimise the drives. They used those on my Mac when I handed mine in for its yearly check-up.

    So, defragging is only useful if you have plenty of large files (above 20MB).
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Um-m-m-m, yes it does.
     
  8. iSamurai macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

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    #8
    yeah, I thought this was weird. obviously the drive head has to move around the disk to search for pieces of a file... this will be slower than a chunk of data on a same sector.
     
  9. thunderclap macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 8, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    Where? Can you link please?
     
  10. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Uh. No.

    lol
     
  11. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502

    ElectricSheep

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    Wilmington, DE
    #11
    KB Note 25668:

     
  12. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

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    #12
  13. err404 macrumors 68020

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #13
    What about a FAT32 disk? Is there a tool for OS X to defrag a USB drive formatted in FAT32? I ask because I have an old device that uses SD cards and it has issues with files fragmented into more than 32 chunks. I have to break out my old Windows laptop every once and a while just to do the defrag...
     
  14. err404 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #14
    This whole thread is FUD against MS. I don't see anything on Apple's site telling you not to defragment HSF+. They only say you 'shouldn't' need to. The article on the subject even recommends four third party tools for it.

    :eek:


    I realize that HFS+ is less prone to severe fragmentaion then NTFS, but frankly an NTFS disk with a lot of free space and few large files will never need to be defragmented either. At least MS includes the tool if it occurs.
     
  15. Plusbits macrumors member

    Plusbits

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    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #15
    Actually, you are. If the read head is going to constantly be scanning the drive and across platters for a string of data, of course it's going too be faster for it to read if it's in a continuous string, not spread out across the drive. Especially if it's a larger capacity drive that's almost full. There have also been instances where drives have become so fragmented that they won't even boot. Seriously, do your homework before you shoot your mouth off
     
  16. portent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    #16
    Take your own advice there.

    Firstly, Mac OS X does its own optimization of system files. Moving them around with the intention of putting them in neat, pretty little rows may seem like a good idea, but it can actually destroy the ordering of these files.

    Second, files are not static things. Oftentimes, existing files need to be modified. On a just-defragged disk, all the files are bunched up together with no room to grow. Adding data to any file means the entire file has to be duplicated somewhere else or (you guessed it) fragmented, whereas "fragmented" disks often have plenty of "in between" space all around the disk.

    The idea of defragmenting files into neat little rows appeals to the obsessive-compulsive mind, but usually is just a waste of time on modern systems.
     
  17. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    There is a defragmenter included in the "TechTools" application (on the AppleCare CD). I don't think you need to worry about using it if you have an abundance of free space, though. OSs will only fragment the file if it can't find contiguous space large enough to plant the entire thing.
     
  18. Plusbits macrumors member

    Plusbits

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #18
    Firstly, I never said anything about defragging on a Mac, I'm aware that it can mess with the system, I was merely referring to the idea as a whole, primarily on MS machines. Should've mentioned that, so I appologise for that mistake

    Secondly, that's just more reason to defrag often. Having a drive full of defragmented files is a hell of a lot worse than some defragmented some not. Granted, if you defrag a drive and then don't do so again for a long time it's going to make it slower, but as long as you keep on top of it, even schedualing a background defrag, it'll keep the drive healthier

    A perfect example is Steam releasing a defragger for Half Life 2, because it was running stupidly slow and crashing for some people due to, you guessed it, fragmented files
     
  19. err404 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #19
    I partially agree that both NTFS and HSF+ are fairly resistant to fragmentation so long as a reasonable amount of the disk remains free, but you don't seem to have a very good understanding of disk fragmentation. I want to point out that compacting data into 'neat little rows' is not that same a defragmentation. Defragmentation is just the reordering of files pieces into a contiguous block. A good defrag tool will not compact all of the files to the beginning of your disk, but rather leave space between files. Even the basic Windows tool leaves this space. A good defrag tool will also order files on your drive according to usage statistics to group related files together (Both Windows and OS X do this automatically w/o the need for an actual defrag). There is literally no modern defrag tool that will 'destroy the ordering of files', but even if it did, the effect would be minimal since OS X employs aggressive read buffers to minimize parallel IO seeks. Disk head travel due to fragmentation is much worse than file ordering since there is no method to read an entire file faster if you have parts all over he disk, each requiring an addition head seek.

    The fact is HFS+ does fragment over time and for files over 20mb, there is nothing built into the OS to fix it (outside of Apple's recommendation to format your disk and start over)

    That all said, I don't bother with defrags.
    BTW - In my job, I monitor a few thousand windows servers. For servers that maintain at least 20% free space, a defrag is NEVER needed. But when you push that limit, watch out, that disk is going to need some work soon.
     
  20. Ploki macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #20
    i defragged my drive :)
    cant say that it affects normal use.
    logic pro however... ;)
     
  21. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    compost heap
    #21
    Anecdotal evidence here from real life... I defragged my mac mini several times using iDefrag (an app from a company that is very respected). I never noticed any speedup of my system - in fact, I am quite certain that it SLOWED it down (Tiger 10.4.9). Finally, after one defragg, my HDD croaked - I don't know if it was connected with iDefrag, but I've read several reports to the effect that it can kill your HDD, and it happened to me (the only time ever I got a dead HDD)... maybe it was coincidence, maybe not. Bottom line: I'm staying away. No benefit, possible harm. YMMV.
     
  22. err404 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #22
    @OldCorpse - Defragging a drive is a very intensive process that can push a failing disk over the edge, but assuming your disk is free of any pre-existing defects, you should be fine. If it failed on a defrag, it was probably on it's last leg all ready.
     

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