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About My iMac Computer & Drive Genius 3?

1400 Views 38 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2013 8:21 AM by babowa RSS
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,615 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 29, 2012 7:56 AM (in response to Apple4Ever556)

    False. "ProCare" was discontinued years ago. Pretty much all the "Drive Genius" marketing material is either misleading or an outright lie.


    How to maintain a Mac


    1. Make redundant backups, keeping at least one off site at all times. One backup is not enough. Don’t back up your backups; make them independent of each other. Don’t rely completely on any single backup method, such as Time Machine. If you get an indication that a backup has failed, don't ignore it.


    2. Keep your software up to date. In the Software Update preference pane, you can configure automatic notifications of updates to OS X and other Mac App Store products. Some third-party applications from other sources have a similar feature, if you don’t mind letting them phone home. Otherwise you have to check yourself on a regular basis. This is especially important for complex software that modifies the operating system, such as device drivers. Before installing any Apple update, you must check that all such modifications that you use are compatible.


    3. Don't install crapware, such as “themes,” "haxies," “add-ons,” “toolbars,” “enhancers," “optimizers,” “accelerators,” “extenders,” “cleaners,” "tune-ups," “defragmenters,” “firewalls,” "barriers," “guardians,” “defenders,” “protectors,” most “plugins,” commercial "virus scanners,” "disk tools," or "utilities." With very few exceptions, this sort of stuff is useless, or worse than useless.


    The more actively promoted the product, the more likely it is to be garbage. The most extreme example is the “MacKeeper” scam.


    As a rule, the only software you should install is that which directly enables you to do the things you use a computer for — such as creating, communicating, and playing — and does not modify the way other software works. Use your computer; don't fuss with it.


    Never install any third-party software unless you know how to uninstall it. Otherwise you may create problems that are very hard to solve.


    The free anti-malware application ClamXav is not crap, and although it’s not routinely needed, it may be useful in some environments, such as a mixed Mac-Windows enterprise network.


    4. Beware of trojans. A trojan is malicious software (“malware”) that the user is duped into installing voluntarily. Such attacks were rare on the Mac platform until sometime in 2011, but are now increasingly common, and increasingly dangerous.


    There is some built-in protection against downloading malware, but you can’t rely on it — the attackers are always at least one day ahead of the defense. You can’t rely on third-party protection either. What you can rely on is common-sense awareness — not paranoia, which only makes you more vulnerable.


    Never install software from an untrustworthy or unknown source. If in doubt, do some research. Any website that prompts you to install a “codec” or “plugin” that comes from the same site, or an unknown site, is untrustworthy. Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, must be acquired directly from the developer. No intermediary is acceptable, and don’t trust links unless you know how to parse them. Any file that is automatically downloaded from a web page without your having requested it should go straight into the Trash. A website that claims you have a “virus,” or that anything else is wrong with your computer, is rogue.


    In OS X 10.7.5 or later, downloaded applications that have not been digitally signed by a developer registered with Apple are blocked from loading by default. The block can be overridden, but think carefully before you do so.


    Because of recurring security issues in Java, it’s best to disable it in your web browsers, if it’s installed. Few websites have Java content nowadays, so you won’t be missing much. This action is mandatory if you’re running any version of OS X older than 10.6.8 with the latest Java update. Note: Java has nothing to do with JavaScript, despite the similar names. Don't install Java unless you're sure you need it. Most users don't.


    5. Don't fill up your boot volume. A common mistake is adding more and more large files to your home folder until you start to get warnings that you're out of space, which may be followed in short order by a boot failure. This is more prone to happen on the newer Mac notebooks that come with an internal SSD instead of the traditional hard drive. The drive can be very nearly full before you become aware of the problem. While it's not true that you should or must keep any particular percentage of space free, you should monitor your storage consumption and make sure you're not in immediate danger of using it up. According to Apple documentation, you need at least 9 GB of free space on the startup volume for normal operation.


    Use a tool such as the free application OmniDiskSweeper to explore your volume and find out what's taking up the most space. Move rarely-used large files to secondary storage.


    6. Relax, don’t do it. Besides the above, no routine maintenance is necessary or beneficial for the vast majority of users; specifically not “cleaning caches,” “zapping the PRAM,” "resetting the SMC," “rebuilding the directory,” “running periodic scripts,” “dumping log files,” “scanning for viruses,” "purging memory," or “repairing permissions.” Such measures are either completely pointless or are useful only for solving problems, not for prevention.


    The very height of futility is running an expensive third-party application called “Disk Warrior” when nothing is wrong, or even when something is wrong and you have backups, which you must have. Disk Warrior is a data-salvage tool, not a maintenance tool, and you will never need it if your backups are adequate. Don’t waste money on it or anything like it.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,055 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 29, 2012 8:41 AM (in response to Apple4Ever556)

    Byron, remember a long time ago (at least a couple of years) we talked about some of the software you have - at the time you were running Drive Genius most of the time. I told you it wasn't necessary, sometimes that kind of stuff can cause problems.


    You said you haven't used it,  had uninstalled it and then installed it again - is that right? I know you're trying to do what's best, but just because someone says it's fantastic and sells it, doesn't mean that you need to have it.


    Also about two or more years ago I talked you through setting up an external hard drive and how to make a clone. A few months ago, you told me you haven't done that in a long time. But I think you said that you have your music and videos backed up, right? From what I know, you have nothing besides those things on your computer that you need to have - is that right?


    Do you have any other (important private or financial) info on your computer or does your Grandma take care of those things? If you do, then you definitely need to back that up. If not, having your music and videos on the G Drive is good enough. You have to think of it this way: which files do I have to have if my hard drive dies tomorrow - and then back up all of those.


    So let me know what you have on your G drive and if you need to back up more than what you have on there now, ok.

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,055 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 29, 2012 8:52 AM (in response to Apple4Ever556)

    Drive Genius will report false positives and may be responsible for causing disk corruption.


    Read DriveGenius = Problem


    Utilities such as Drive Genius 3 cost nearly as much as a backup hard disk.


    I do not recall any time in which the Apple Stores used Drive Genius. Their use of a similar product (TechTool Deluxe) ended about the time Leopard was introduced.

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPads  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  27 years Apple!
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,055 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 29, 2012 5:53 PM (in response to Apple4Ever556)

    Okay, Byron, so let's see what we need to do here.....


    First, you really don't need TechTool Pro either - what Linc was trying to tell you is that you really don't need any of those and you should be using them only if you have a problem. But, we've had this discussion before, so if you want to keep it, keep it - just try to use it less, okay? All of those softwares are only necessary if you are having a problem - they're like calling the repair man - you only need him when something is broken.


    Now, if you do use a financial app and it keeps track of things for you, you need to back that up - otherwise, you may lose it if something goes wrong. So, aside from your music and video, you should do a bootable clone backup with CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper - do you still have one of those? And, important, do you remember (or did you copy) my instructions from way back? If not, I can walk you through it again. Or, if you don't want to do that kind of backup, you can use Time Machine (which is on your machine), but before you use that, you need to read about it (a lot!!!) - it doesn't make a clone, it makes a copy and then it keeps making copies until the external drive is full. Then it deletes the oldest backup to make room for a newer one - and that is a very short explanation of how it works. I can't talk you through that because I don't use it; I like doing the bootable clones.


    So, you need to make a decision how you want to back up. Then, the next step is: you can keep your current G Drive and keep using it the way you have it. Then buy another hard drive and use that for your new backups.


    So, let me know what you want to do, ok.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,055 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 29, 2012 6:36 PM (in response to Apple4Ever556)

    Yes, it's fine if you do that, but......... important:


    If you want to backup your entire system using SuperDuper, you need to have an empty external drive or at least an empty partition on it.


    So, I've forgotten: can you send a screenshot of what your external hard drive has on it (what I need to know is how big is it - total, and do you have more than one partition on it). If you send a screenshot of Disk Utility with the drive attached, it should look similar to this (don't worry, my external drive has loads of partitions, so it's showing all of them) - here is a screen shot of mine - the top part is my internal drive and then the highlighted one is the external (1 TB OWC...). And make the screenshot big enough so I get to see the information below.


    Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 6.32.10 PM.png



    PS - they're having a problem with the forums here sometimes - my response to you didn't show up for 15 minutes, so just slow down and wait a while, ok.


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