Mac monthly maintenance?

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
I am about to become a new Mac owner. I am seriously concidering an iMac 27" quad. I am getting very excited! But I want to be an informed buyer. I have been a PC user for many years and I have some basic questions about the Mac.

Do you have to do monthly maintenance on a Mac like you do a PC? I used to have to run monthly Disc checks, defrag and registry cleaners with my PC. Does a Mac require the same?

How often do the iMac screens have the yellowing and flickering problems? Is it often enough I should wait to buy an iMac? Does Apple have good support and customer service?

I know the Mac is a very safe computer as far as viruses and spyware is concerned, but should I still have some sort of anti virus/spyware program running on the Mac?

Thanks for you time.
Connie
 

lukefinch

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2009
404
0
South Yorkshire, England
I can tell you're going to love a mac. Be warned though, you'll have a lot more free time on your hands to actually use the computer. I cant imagine doing all of this every month!
 

stridemat

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
10,981
589
UK
You will also find that you don't need to turn it off that often (unless you want to). I remeber thinking this was very strange when I first got my mac.
 

Tumbleweed666

macrumors 68000
Mar 20, 2009
1,651
47
Near London, UK.
Once a month I take my HD out, disassemble it, then give the platters a really good shine with a high quality furniture polish, before putting it back together again. It always seems to run a little nicer after that.
The iMac CPU only needs an annual strip down and degrease.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
Once a month I take my HD out, disassemble it, then give the platters a really good shine with a high quality furniture polish, before putting it back together again. It always seems to run a little nicer after that.
The iMac CPU only needs an annual strip down and degrease.
Don't forget to rotate the keys on the keyboard and top off the fluids in your mouse. :D
 

Sambo110

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2007
1,684
0
Australia
Honestly, I do repair my hard drive about once a year, when I'm bored. And you don't need to turn it off, I literally never turn it off unless I am going away on holidays, or to restart to install updates etc. But really, just have fun using it, not fixing it so you can use it.
 

splitpea

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2009
996
226
Among the starlings
No, you don't need to do that sort of maintenance. OS X automatically defrags the disk as it goes. There is no registry or equivalent to clean. You can check your disk if you like, but most people don't bother unless their computer is acting up.

Checking and repairing permissions (a 5-10 minute process) is recommended after certain types of software installs and any system updates -- that's about all the regular maintenance your Mac needs.

As far as antivirus and anti-spyware, there's really nothing to defend against. The most you'll accomplish is knowing which of your spam is carrying Windows-only viruses, or if friends/colleagues accidentally send you files with Windows viruses embedded.

The only Mac exploits in the wild at this point are basically trojans embedded in pirated software. Only download from trusted sources and you should be fine.
 

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
I can tell you're going to love a mac. Be warned though, you'll have a lot more free time on your hands to actually use the computer. I cant imagine doing all of this every month!
Thanks for the reply, and yes, the maintenance on a PC is a pain!!
 

mac88

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2008
477
2
Boston, MA.
Just keep the screen clean and blow a little compressed air to clean out the key wells once in a while. Other than that, enjoy! :D
 

clw51

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 15, 2010
28
0
Arizona, USA
No, you don't need to do that sort of maintenance. OS X automatically defrags the disk as it goes. There is no registry or equivalent to clean. You can check your disk if you like, but most people don't bother unless their computer is acting up.

Checking and repairing permissions (a 5-10 minute process) is recommended after certain types of software installs and any system updates -- that's about all the regular maintenance your Mac needs.

As far as antivirus and anti-spyware, there's really nothing to defend against. The most you'll accomplish is knowing which of your spam is carrying Windows-only viruses, or if friends/colleagues accidentally send you files with Windows viruses embedded.

The only Mac exploits in the wild at this point are basically trojans embedded in pirated software. Only download from trusted sources and you should be fine.

Thanks very much for this information!
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
11
Yay Area, CA
OSX has built in Daily, Weekly and Monthly scripts. It automatically runs overnight. That's basically OSX's automatic maintenance feature.

I personally do a defrag after I install all my applications at first, then later on, maybe a defrag every month to every 6 months, depending on how much files i write/delete.

The whole macs don't need defragging is somewhat of a myth. the HFS file system automatically defrags files under 20MB but over that it will leave all over the place. This isn't like Windows where you need to defrag every week, a month is probably the least amount of time for a defrag.
 

Eddyisgreat

macrumors 601
Oct 24, 2007
4,847
1
My daily: Empty out trash . Clean off desktop of any stray files. Incremental Backup of system drive and external drives to NAS.

Weekly: Permission checks via Disk Warrior 4.1 and Disk Utility. iKlear full exterior detail.

Monthly: Built in Apple Hardware Test, Drive Genius 2 Integrity check of drives, Apple Service Diagnostic if I suspect serious issues beyond the scope of the built in AHT. Battery recalibration (Discharge/Charge).

Bi-Yearly or whenever service is performed on my MBP: Removal of Intel SSD and secure format , then full restore using latest backup (also tests integrity of backup).
 

richard.mac

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2007
6,298
2
51.50024, -0.12662
nothing :p

but try to limit the amount of apps and processes opening on startup and try to keep your hard drive at least 10% free.

if you get slowdowns i.e. 'the spinning beachball' a lot you are probably running out of memory and paging to disk which slows your Mac down. either upgrade your RAM or restart Safari once and a while, which i find helps as its a bit of a memory hog.
 

Sambo110

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2007
1,684
0
Australia
Speaking of maintenance, my apps weren't opening on login like they were supposed to, so I repaired the hard drive and it fixed it. Too easy.
 

colourfastt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2009
885
524
My daily: Empty out trash . Clean off desktop of any stray files. Incremental Backup of system drive and external drives to NAS.

Weekly: Permission checks via Disk Warrior 4.1 and Disk Utility. iKlear full exterior detail.

Monthly: Built in Apple Hardware Test, Drive Genius 2 Integrity check of drives, Apple Service Diagnostic if I suspect serious issues beyond the scope of the built in AHT. Battery recalibration (Discharge/Charge).

Bi-Yearly or whenever service is performed on my MBP: Removal of Intel SSD and secure format , then full restore using latest backup (also tests integrity of backup).
You don't even need to have icons on your desktop like Windows. Any app that you use daily you can place in your dock, and any app you use regularly enough to remember you can start from spotlight. So, there's no reason to place anything on the desktop.
 

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
1
Montreal, QC
Once a month I take my HD out, disassemble it, then give the platters a really good shine with a high quality furniture polish, before putting it back together again. It always seems to run a little nicer after that.
The iMac CPU only needs an annual strip down and degrease.
Okay, it's obvious to me that you're joking (and I find it quite funny :)), but a note for the technologically inept: if you attempt to disassemble a hard drive, it will never work again, unless you happen to have access to an industrial clean room. They're airtight for a very good reason.

Of course, it's highly unlikely that a neophyte would have the Torx screwdrivers necessary to do the job, but better safe than sorry.

For the record, I do absolutely no maintenance whatsoever. My 9-year-old iBook currently has 17 days' uptime, and last time I restarted was really for no good reason at all. Normally, I only turn my computers off when prompted to do so following software installs/updates, or (in the case of my Intel iMac) when I feel like playing Windows games.
 

forcefieldkid

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2010
313
0
My 9-year-old iBook currently has 17 days' uptime, and last time I restarted was really for no good reason at all. Normally, I only turn my computers off when prompted to do so following software installs/updates, or (in the case of my Intel iMac) when I feel like playing Windows games.
Just out of curiosity, how are your electricity bills? I often think of just leaving it on, set in sleep, so it can snap into action straight away when I've got my morning coffee but I get that queasy feeling when I think of my next bill if I did that....

What kind of energy are we talking about when the machine is in sleep mode?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
Just out of curiosity, how are your electricity bills? I often think of just leaving it on, set in sleep, so it can snap into action straight away when I've got my morning coffee but I get that queasy feeling when I think of my next bill if I did that....

What kind of energy are we talking about when the machine is in sleep mode?
Together, these adjustments make all three MacBook Pro notebooks much more energy efficient. In fact, they can run on about one-third the power of a single lightbulb.
https://www.apple.com/sg/macbookpro/environment.html
 

RandomKamikaze

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2009
884
45
UK
You can check your disk if you like, but most people don't bother unless their computer is acting up.
I had to boot off the Installer Disk the other day to repair my disk as apparently it had problems.

I say apparently, as I noticed no degradation in performance or stability of my system. I only found out as OnyX told me there was a problem
 

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
1
Montreal, QC
Just out of curiosity, how are your electricity bills? I often think of just leaving it on, set in sleep, so it can snap into action straight away when I've got my morning coffee but I get that queasy feeling when I think of my next bill if I did that....

What kind of energy are we talking about when the machine is in sleep mode?
I honestly haven't taken the time to itemize my computers' electrical demands, but as GGJstudios points out, Macs are incredibly energy-efficient. That quote actually refers to the laptop's energy use while running, and sleep mode uses even less power.
 

MacGurl111

macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2010
1,279
281
Seattle
What defrag program do you recommend? thanks.
OSX has built in Daily, Weekly and Monthly scripts. It automatically runs overnight. That's basically OSX's automatic maintenance feature.

I personally do a defrag after I install all my applications at first, then later on, maybe a defrag every month to every 6 months, depending on how much files i write/delete.

The whole macs don't need defragging is somewhat of a myth. the HFS file system automatically defrags files under 20MB but over that it will leave all over the place. This isn't like Windows where you need to defrag every week, a month is probably the least amount of time for a defrag.