Mac needs cleaning / optimizing, any software recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by fcorry, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. fcorry macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    We'll I've just installed a new hard drive today, after finally taking the plunge and opening her up. I've cloned my external usb disk to the new disk, as I didn't really want to do a fresh install.

    I say though my macs seen better days, its running slow, likely for 4 years worth of stuff thats cluttering up my hard drive and system files. I basically want to speed up the system and free up some disk space.

    Can you recommend any program(s), for cleaning, optimizing, or uncluttering that actually work well. I know there's a lot of gimicky stuff around so don't want to waste my time downloading stuff that won't do the job. I've seen one called Spring Cleaning 11, but not going to buy it if there's better programs out there or even free ones.

    Thanks for helping.

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  3. fcorry thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
  4. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    Can't see beyond -

    1. Backup documents and maybe your Library folders (well, you should be backing up everything periodically anyway).
    2. Reformat
    3. Re-install, OS and apps, and restore your documents. Application preferences should be in your Library shuld you need them.
    4. Do it once a year or every 18 months, your choice.

    You should be able to use some common sense in the re-install of apps, skipping those that you realise you no longer desire to use.

    If you have a stable OS (ie. 10.3.x or 10.4.x) and enough disk, you could create a software testing / evaluation partition, keeping a backup of the "virgin" partition before any extra software has been loaded. If you need to test a utility, try a newer iTunes, boot into that, install and evaluate and restore that partition from the backup every 6 months or so - to clear out all the utils you tried. When I had the desk space, I used an old iMac for that.
  5. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Onyx doesn't optimize, does it? I'm too lazy to look, but I don't think it does.

    The majority will tell you that you don't need to optimize in OSX. I assume you have some version of X.

    There is no free "defrag" application. iDefrag is reasonably priced.
  6. SHADO macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2008
    Onyx, and Disk Utility (the repair permissions function, specifically), and AppleJack (a useful command-line utility) should be enough, and they're all free. If you are looking for more professional applications, try DiskWarrior or Drive Genius 2.
  7. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    Well, first, IMO without a HD erase and clean install of the OS, and a reinstall of your applications and data (and an optional manual replacement of the app preferences), you are going to have a hard time getting a clean, optimized, and uncluttered HD, and it will be time consuming too. However, if you are up for the task, try this in order while booted up from the cloned external disk:
    1. Use "AppCleaner" to delete old applications you no longer need, and their associated files.
    2. Manually delete old unnecessary files everywhere, especially in the ~/Library/Applications Support and Preferences folders
    3. Check the /Library/ LaunchDaemons, LaunchAgents, and the Internet Plug-Ins folders - delete old stuff
    4. Cloning the external HD back to the new internal HD will defrag the internal disk to a good extent.
    5. (Optional) You may want to run the latest combo updater downloaded from Apple here, pointed to the internal disk, to make sure the OS is up to date (have to run Software Update later booted from the internal drive to complete this update process).
    6. After cloning your system back, run DiskWarrior on the internal drive while booted up from the cloned external disk, which will optimize the directory and speed things up while it makes sure your files are in good shape. DW is REALLY the best HD utility on the market, and well worth the reasonable cost.
    Add anything else you can think of here, I'm running out of ideas.:cool:
  8. Leng Jai macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    Try cleanmymac.
    You can even uninstall applications safely with this one.
  9. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    *cough* Clean CrashMyMac *cough*
  10. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Trust me, I know plenty people who have had apps and even OS X installations ruined by it.
  11. FinanceGalSF macrumors newbie


    Dec 11, 2009
    San Francisco
    Disk Utility Best Bet

    Thanks for all the advice. The Disk Utility that comes with MacOSX appears to function in much the same way as Defrag in Windows. It is in the Applications folder, so I just ran it, let's see if the "unexpected errors" are reduced in number.
  12. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Agreed, and never try to defrag Mac OSX.
  13. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Pfffft! I not only try, I've done it many times.
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    If your Mac is four years old, how much RAM do you have? Have you ever started "Activity Monitor" and looked what your Mac is doing? What OS version are you running?
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Um-m-m-m, no. Fragmentation and damage have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Fragmentation is a standard process in the operation of hard drives. Certain files systems like FAT are at risk on highly fragmented drives. However, the fragmentation is not the damage. It just amplified the effects of the damage. The Windows utility DEFRAG defrags your drive, it does not repair damage.

    On the Mac, the Disk First Aid facility within Disk Utility will effect minor repairs. However, the most effective utility is the command line File System Check [fsck -fy] invoked within Single User Mode. Truth to tell, MacOS X rarely needs file system maintenance since Apple added journaling to HFS+. If your Mac really has file system problems, then it is likely that your hard drive is starting to fail. Software can't fix that.
  16. ZenErik macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2007
  17. rayleterleir macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2010
    And I myself have used it without a problem.
  18. ThomasJL macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    If you are using Leopard or Snow Leopard, do this 10 step process in this order:

    1. Repair permissions.
    2. Download the latest combo update for your OS and install it. (Copy the combo update file to a USB flash drive, because you will need it for step 8.)
    3. Go to Software Update and install all available updates. Repeat until there is nothing available to install.
    4. Repair permissions.
    5. Do a full backup with Time Machine on an external USB or Firewire hard drive.
    6. Reformat your internal hard drive.
    7. Do a clean install of your OS, and on the last step of the installation process, select the feature that lets you import everything from a previous backup.
    8. When you get to the desktop for the first time, grab your USB flash drive with the latest combo update file, drag the file to the desktop, and install it.
    9. After the computer restarts, go to Software Update and install all available updates. Repeat until there is nothing available to install.
    10. After the computer restarts, repair permissions.

    All done! The above should give you a stable and reliable system, unlike third party tools which can cause major headaches and complications.
  19. Zoreke macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Here's wht I did...

    I'm not saying is the best option...

    I bought a nice 1TB caviar Black 7200 RMP put in on my old G5 tower, installed Leopard and just the apps I need, it is running fine and it will run anotjher 3 years or so without any clean up (yes I'm lazy)...

    I stuill have my trusty tiger system on the other drive just in case I need something! :D

    Good luck

    By the way a Hd is as cheap as a cleaning app nowadays...
  20. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008

    LOL, agreed! Hard drives have 50% failure rates, it's all about profit rather than long term use and apple is guilty as others for selling them.
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Use CleanMyMac at your own risk!
    One of many threads in this forum with posters who had problems with this app:

    CleanMyMac cleaned too much
  22. cerote macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2009
    Had no issues with CleanmyMac either. I don't have everything checked. Just certain items.
  23. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    The utility is completely unnecessary. Therefore, it makes absolutely no sense to risk your system using it.
  24. ravinder08 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2010
    Any one have a good guide on using ONYX properly. I have installed the program but not sure how to use it properly.

    Many Thanks

  25. Tonsko macrumors 6502


    Aug 19, 2010
    I thougth one of the main strengths of EFI was that it didn't need to be defragged?

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