4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 13, 2007 8:16 PM by Tim Yang
cat00x Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm curious. Do I need to periodically optimize my disk on the Intel IMac? I used Norton Utilities on my old G3 (although it crashed when I tried to get it to optimize a 40 GB hard drive!). Is there optimization software that comes with Tiger, is this something I will need to purchase?

What other things does one periodically do to keep the computer in good, efficient running condition?

thanks for your help.

iMac (Intel), Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (289,700 points)
    See this article for information about defragmentation and Mac OS X.

  • Marty J Level 4 Level 4 (3,020 points)
    Try reading through this site for lots of info about maintaining OS X.
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (262,895 points)
    Kappy's Personal Suggestions for OS X Maintenance

    For disk repairs use Disk Utility. For situations DU cannot handle the best third-party utilities are: Disk Warrior; DW only fixes problems with the disk directory, but most disk problems are caused by directory corruption; Disk Warrior 4.0 is now Intel Mac compatible. TechTool Pro provides additional repair options including file repair and recovery, system diagnostics, and disk defragmentation. TechTool Pro 4.5.2 is Intel Mac compatible; Drive Genius is similar to TechTool Pro in terms of the various repair services provided. The current version, 1.5.1, is Intel Mac compatible.

    OS X performs certain maintenance functions that are scheduled to occur on a daily, weekly, or monthly period. The maintenance scripts run in the early AM only if the computer is turned on 24/7 (no sleep.) If this isn't the case, then an excellent solution is to download and install a shareware utility such as Macaroni, JAW PseudoAnacron, or Anacron that will automate the maintenance activity regardless of whether the computer is turned off or asleep.

    OS X automatically defrags files less than 20 MBs in size, so unless you have a disk full of very large files there's little need for defragmenting the hard drive. As for virus protection there are few if any such animals affecting OS X. You can protect the computer easily using the freeware Open Source virus protection software ClamXAV. Personally I would avoid most commercial anti-virus software because of their potential for causing problems.

    I would also recommend downloading the shareware utility TinkerTool System that you can use for periodic maintenance such as removing old logfiles and archives, clearing caches, etc.

    For emergency repairs install the freeware utility Applejack. If you cannot start up in OS X, you may be able to start in single-user mode from which you can run Applejack to do a whole set of repair and maintenance routines from the commandline.

    When you install any new system software or updates be sure to repair the hard drive and permissions beforehand. I also recommend booting into safe mode before doing system software updates.

    Get an external Firewire drive at least equal in size to the internal hard drive and make (and maintain) a bootable clone/backup. You can make a bootable clone using the Restore option of Disk Utility. You can also make and maintain clones with good backup software. My personal recommendations are (order is not significant):

    1. Retrospect Desktop (Commercial - not yet universal binary)
    2. Synchronize! Pro X (Commercial)
    3. Synk (Backup, Standard, or Pro)
    4. Deja Vu (Shareware)
    5. PsynchX 2.1.1 and RsyncX 2.1 (Freeware)
    6. Carbon Copy Cloner (Freeware - 3.0 is a Universal Binary)

    The following utilities can also be used for backup, but cannot create bootable clones:

    1. Backup (requires a .Mac account with Apple both to get the software and to use it.)
    2. Toast
    3. Impression
    4. arRSync

    Apple's Backup is a full backup tool capable of also backing up across multiple media such as CD/DVD. However, it cannot create bootable backups. It is primarily an "archiving" utility as are the other two.

    Impression and Toast are disk image based backups, only. Particularly useful if you need to backup to CD/DVD across multiple media.

    Visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQs on maintenance, optimization, virus protection, and backup and restore.

    Additional suggestions will be found in Mac Maintenance Quick Assist.

    Referenced software can be found at www.versiontracker.com and www.macupdate.com.

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  • Tim Yang Level 2 Level 2 (425 points)
    In addition to your list, there's also a free one from Lacie:
    Silverkeeper: http://www.lacie.com/silverkeeper/
    It's been working fine, although it's still not a universal binary.