Re-build disk directory first or de-frag first?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Freeþinker, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Freeþinker macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2005
    northern Virginia
    This is a basic maintenance question: When I go to my auxiliary drive to do maintenance on my main drive, I often wonder what the order of doing maintenance should be. Should I de-frag first or re-build the directory with Disk Warrior first? If this matters, I do my maintenance every weekend.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    In Mac OS X, you don't need to do constant maintenance on drives like that. You're going way overboard. Unless you're addressing a particular known problem, it's best to leave your drives alone and just use them. This isn't Windows!
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    I check mine once a month. Today was that day. I didn't execute any optimization. Usually the Directory is fine, and I then check the files. That's the order I do them in, just because it seems logical to me. I can't give you any technical reason for doing it in that order.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Should I de-frag first or re-build the directory with Disk Warrior first? If this matters, I do my maintenance every weekend."

    I'd repair the directory first, because a corrupted directory could lead to problems with defragmenting.

    And yes, despite what others say, your Mac WILL run better after a defrag.

    Example in point: this post is being composed on an OLD PowerMac g4 (2004 vintage), still running 10.3.9. When I got it, I partitioned the drive, installed a clean copy of 10.3.2. Since then, it was updated to 10.3.9 through Software Update. But other than that, the ORIGINALLY-INSTALLED version of 10.3.x is STILL RUNNING on the same Mac, fully six years later. I've NEVER done a "software reinstall", not once. I _have_ routinely defragmented the volume as the years have gone by.

    Although lately, I've been wondering if I ought to upgrade to 10.4 <g> ....

    I see numerous posts on MacRumors from users - typically laptop users - who complain about "unresponsiveness" and "slowness". The very first thing I'd do if they asked me to help would be to defrag their drives and also to free up some space....

    You don't have to defrag weekly, though. Once every couple of months works fine for me.

    iDefrag is the "tool of choice" for me.
  5. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Defragmenting, on paper, looks like the best optimisation you could possibly run on a computer. I was a proponent of Defrag for a little while until I realised a cruicial thing, that 5 hours or so I spent defragging my HDD did absolutely jack.

    Okay, maybe a little, probably in a rapidly vanishing-over-a-few days benefit of 1-5%, something that can be attributed to a placebo effect.

    However, for certain situations, it might be prudent to run a defrag on your drive. The most important is when you filled up your drive beyond 95%, because then just about every single file you modify and create on that drive will be broken up into many dozens of 'fragments'. The remedy is to move data off that drive, THEN defrag. And never fill your drive beyond 85% again.

    OS X (don't know since when) has automatically defragmented files above 10MB, and apparently will also DF smaller files if it deems necessary. Rarely accessed files won't get DF'd for good reason.

    And to reiterate, quoting the above poster:
    The bolded part first, you can't defrag a full drive. The problems will stay away if you keep your drive <85%, all the time.

    I don't know what you use your main drive/computer for, but unless it's for work or something vitally important, a weekly DF is a little overboard. Hard drives these days and OS X transcend all these problems, cache, NCQ, faster IO etc.

    Logic says: fix the index, then order the pages. You rather have the index pointing to the right pages before you blindly pick the bits.

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