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tanvivien Level 1 (0 points)

How should I optimize my Macbook Pro to improve its performance?  Is it possible to defrag the hard disk like we do on a pc running on windows?

MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.4Ghz, iBook G4 (2004), iPhone 3GS, iPod, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • John Hammer1 Level 4 (2,805 points)

    You shouldn't have to do anything. The most important maintenance routines run by themselves in the background. You should never have to defragment a Mac's hard drive; HFS+ handles that automatically in the background for the most part.


    Some people recommend using Disk Utility to perform a Permissions Repair just before and just after installing a system update. I recommend doing that myself.


    If you want to get into the habit of a monthly backup and maintenance routine, good for you. Get the backup solution of your choice (I like a combination of Time Machine and backuplist+, the former is part of Mac OS X and the latter is freeware) and a good maintenance utility (I like Onyx).


  • tanvivien Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the info.  I've downloaded backuplist+ & Onyx as advised.  What do I need to do with Onyx?  Can't find instructions anywhere.  Seen some menu options when I open the program but not quite sure what I need to do for maintenance. 


    Does backuplist+ work the same way like Time Machine?  Where are the backups stored?  I'm currently using Tme Machine to do my backups into an ext HD.

  • LexSchellings Level 6 (8,747 points)

    If you do'nt know what to do with it, do'nt use it. Mac takes care of itself: you just need some free memory and enough free space on the disk.

  • John Hammer1 Level 4 (2,805 points)

    Lex is right that you don't need to do anything. Which is what I said in my first reply. If you want to go above and beyond, then Onyx is a good way to go for someone who doesn't really know what they're doing because it can do everything automatically with very little input from the user beyond starting it up, clicking a "go" button, and entering your password.


    When you first run Onyx, it will try to check the S.M.A.R.T status of your boot drive. Let it do so.


    Next it will ask to verify the startup partition. Let it do so.


    When done with verifying, it will ask for your password. Enter it.


    Next you'll get a Help screen with "important information" - read it the first time you see it.


    Finally, look for AUTOMATION on the toolbar strip which is the main window of the Onyx application. Let it do all its automated tasks. When its done, quit out of the application.


    When you have time but only if you're interested, read all the Onyx help and you can learn about more things it can do.




    The backuplist+ application does NOT work like Time Machine. If it did, there'd be no need for it since you're already using Time Machine. Backuplist+ allows you to make bootable backups, and then update them quickly so you don't have to write every single file every time you run a backup process (the first time it has to write everything, of course). Having a bootable backup is REALLY useful if your main drive ever goes completely kaput, or even if you want to take all of your work, settings, files, applications, etc. with you to another computer and have it feel (and in fact, be) almost exactly like working at your own computer.


    Use an external hard drive, preferably one with a partition at least as large as the partition you are going to back up. If you can't make such an one available, use one with a partition at least a bit larger than the total data you are going to back up.


    Within backuplist+ create a new backup set. Name it anything you want.


    Under settings, check USE RSYNC DELETE OPTION.


    Under EXCLUDE LIST, leave it all blank, check nothing.


    We aren't creating a disk image, so the DISK IMAGE tab doesn't matter - leave it alone.


    Under AUTOMATION, leave it all blank, check nothing.


    Under ADVANCED, leave it all blank, check nothing.


    Drag the partition you want to clone into the SOURCE field. The backuplist+ application will enter the logical path name for you.


    Drag the partition you want to clone to into the DESTINATION field. The backuplist+ application will enter the logical path name for you.


    Now just click the BACKUP button and have some patience. The first backup will take longer than your subsequent backups of the same drive.


    Again, there are lots more options in backuplist+ and there are many more things you can do with it than just make a clone. Go to its HELP menu and read as much as you like, if you're interested.

  • jpcwa Level 1 (10 points)

    This site here says you should defrag an HDD on a mac.

  • LexSchellings Level 6 (8,747 points)

    READ the article: products affected OS 9 and earlier. And Apple does not endorse it.

  • John Hammer1 Level 4 (2,805 points)

    Yes and no, but basically, you're wrong.


    The document you linked refers only to Macs running Mac OS 9. The OP is not running Mac OS 9. Very few people do nowadays. Maybe you should read this one:


    While people do argue about the need to defragment HFS+ volumes running Mac OS X, most people who have ANY technical understanding tend to agree that it is absolutely not necessary for the vast, VAST majority of users.


    My iMac is nearly four years old, I have never performed a manual defrag of any kind on it, and a scan shows surprisingly little fragmentation; certainly not enough to produce any performance penalty. And I use it every day, writing and deleting large numbers of files all the time.

  • jpcwa Level 1 (10 points)

    But all HDDs are subject to fragmentation regardless of the OS.

  • jpcwa Level 1 (10 points)

    And for Mac Os X, that same site links to an article that says basically the same thing for Mac Os X. It can be found here:

  • jpcwa Level 1 (10 points)
  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,910 points)

    Hi jpcwa, lot's of posts on your first day, maybe that's why I'm still waiting for your reply to the question below (from one of your other posts)





    jpcwa wrote:


    Contrary to popular belief macs can get viruses.


    Would you name one for me please?

  • jpcwa Level 1 (10 points)

    Lets be clear on something first. When I say viruses I mean: triojans, worms, rootkits, etc.. and the like. Now, as for specifics. Gladly. I will name a bunch.


    MAC Defender














  • John Hammer1 Level 4 (2,805 points)

    So let's be REAL clear on something else: You are making up your own definitions for words. Because those aren't viruses.


    Yours is just another name to add to my TrollBlocker blacklist.


    Go away now, please. Your misinformation has done enough damage for one day.

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,910 points)

    So what you meant to say was that there are no viruses but it came out wrong?

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