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Thread: OSX disc utility

  1. #1
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    recommendations for a good OSX disc utility?
    something like disk warrior?
    i want to defrag and generally speed up drive performance on my G4 sawtooth running 10.1.5.

  2. #2
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    bif,

    ?So far I've been using DW while booted into the DW CD as my only utility for OSX. It has saved my bacon twice, resolving hardcore issues that had me unable to run.

    ?Gregory mentioned DriveX from MicroMat as being viable, I haven't tried it. I think we'll see more choice once 10.2 gets released. With all the proposed I/O changes that are upcoming in 10.2 our favorite developers have been hanging back so they only have to release their product once.

    Rick

    [This message has been edited by ricks (edited 03 July 2002).]

  3. #3
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    Drive10 from MicroMat will do the job. And they'll need an update after jaguar - but Jaguar will also ship with some things "incomplete" and rely on Software Update - no change there. Disk Warrior will probably be ready this fall??

    Having tested and run optimizing, defrag, etc. I have to ask, "Why bother?" It is slow, limited results. For me, backup to another DRIVE, then restore. Voila! you have a backup and a system to boot from for emergencies.

    Norton 7 and Disk Warrior have worked well together (DW first though). Symantec will hopefully rewrite their Norton SW 2 and do it right - or better.

    btw, anyone using Carbon Copy Cloner, run Disk Utility and Verify/Repair afterwards. Seems the free blocks count is incorrect, at least it is for me on EVERY run I have made, and I erase or partition so it is a clean destination.

    If you want to 'optimize' maybe keep OS X system on its own volume and that way you can erase, clone, boot to the new drive/volume, and do so in minutes. Want to work on large files and need free space? use another drive with a free partition. something like that.

    Gregory

  4. #4
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    Also bif, don't forget the fsck -y routine (stands for file system check yes)on a restart or startup: boot into single-user mode by holding down command and the S keys after the startup bong. Hold the keys until a black screen appears with white writing. Let it do its thang 'til the writing stops. Then type in 'fsck -y' (without the quotes and note the space after the k). It 'll do its thing again and then the message at the bottom will say either 'the volume (your volumename) appears to be OK' or 'the file system has been modified'. If necessary, run fsck -y again and again until you get the ...OK' message, then type 'reboot' (without the quotes)
    As I understand it, this routine is the equivalent of running the First Aid portion of the Disk Utility app on your startup volume, which you can't do from Disk Utility.

    I found like Gregory, that every clone I've done has shown problems in DiskWarrior regardless of whether I started from a newly-initialized or erased volume or not. So I always run my maintenance routine on those files before cloning, and then again afterwards. I only clone systems- I don't use CCC for backups...Switchback and Retrospect for that.

    I burned myself a nice 'mainentance' cd with DFA, DiskWarrior, Norton Disk Doctor, and Speed Disk; all the latest versions. I just boot to that and run DFA, DW, NDD always in that order (NEVER NDD first! I been burned horribly running NDD prior to DW). I rarely run SpeedDisk, but if I do I always run DiskWarrior again afterwards.

    George

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    Something mentioned in prior thread on same subject, but worth repeating, a tip from macosxhints and elsewhere:

    From Terminal, you can run fsck. Just use the command 'sudo shutdown now' which will drop you into command line (single user mode) after authenticating your password. When done, 'reboot'.

    I use CCC because I like and am familiar with ditto's long heritage. But I wonder if other backup type programs exhibit errors by Disk First Aid (10.1 version).

    I don't bother with OS 9 or OS 9 utilities anymore. I was really disappointed that Norton SystemWorks 2.0 was still using and including the Norton 6.03. Either Norton 6.03 has proven its worth (it has been at that release version now for a full year), and they didn't need to and couldn't find anything to improve upon. But it works when run after DW (which builds a clean directory based on what is found on a drive). That may be safe and reliable 99% and has only very rarely failed.

    I actually think OS X is already more stable and reliable than OS 9 seemed to be. I have ALWAYS found one major error with OS 9 that shows up with ResEdit if I verify the System file that it has an incorrect length - a minor error that can cause system problems, Finder problems, lead later to more serious issues. For that alone, and that fact that it existed through every version of OS 9, I abandoned that OS. And I tried. I am use to testing and dealing with beta software. I tried to talk to Connectix and MicroMat as to this - CC8/9 would identify the problem, TechTool Pro would not (or Lite), but resedit always would.

    Even when you boot from an OS X CD, you can drop into single user mode, and it will run fsck against whatever system volume was last selected by the Startup Disk - which is not affected by using the "C" key. Not sure what system picker does and if you selected your startup that way.

  6. #6
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    Interesting.
    One field example of the differences with DFA 8.6.1 in 9 from that of the First Aid portion of Disk Utility in X.1.5:
    I blew a disk from a kp while running a backup- had to hard restart..
    Upon reboot, disk was unmounted which Disk Utility showed. I was able to run First Aid against it which showed some problems. Then tried to remount it, got a general cryptic error message, couldn't remount it.
    Booted off my repair cd. Volume was mounted on desktop. DFA found same errors and actually said it could not repair the problems...
    DiskWarrior of course, took care of everything-

    Gregory, I was struck by your comment about 9's system file with it's inherent defect. What are the actual problems which result from this as they appear in normal usage?

    George

  7. #7
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    OS 9 is 'dead' and while I talked to MicroMat and Casedy & Greene on the issue, it was the instability and errors that would 'snowball' slightly. Being a purist, I would check the system file any time there was a crash or freeze in any application.

    The current IE 5.1.5 for OS 8/9 says it fixes some memory leaks which was the one app I used all the time and constantly in OS 9, even setting the default to 100MB.

    I took care of RAM, I found SoftRAID to be most reliable driver, and booting from a mirror RAID helped a lot, never a loss of data. That also reduced problems and if there was a crash, then SoftRAID would ask to rebuild/resynch the mirror.

    I don't have any problems with OS X, and maybe 10.2 will allow booting from a mirror. (but can't access internal drive(s) to create a mirror from the OS X CD - 7/5 KB article).

    You were lucky - someone misconfigured their bus speed on their box and it trashed the drive's headers.

    Did you try booting to 'single user mode' and running fsck from there? Would have been interested in seeing what Drive10 did and compare the time to run.

  8. #8
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    I figure it ought to be possible to run fsck on any volume from single-user or maybe verbose.

    I regret purchasing NU7 so early- NDD for Classic is the same and all you really get is a Carbon version for X that I would never run prior to DW..Plus the custom install option for NU in X is non-existent- you either take the whole package or none; that means all that FileSaver stuff which puts a bunch of munchkins bandying about in each volume directory.

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    Well, Norton 7.01 is up via their Live Software Update.

    Again, use Boot Config to disable the startup items for FileSaver functions like Track Deleted Files - something I for one have never and would never use.

    SpeedDisk for X - everyone wants to defrag files and volumes, so your wish is granted.

    I have never had trouble with Norton 6.03 when used 'properly' so, while I rate Symantec as a near-second to M$ after NUM 4/5 fiasco, competition is good and if it works on some problems for someone, but mostly, as long as it doesn't CREATE problems which has been the big Gotcha!

    Why now, when JAG is around the corner (a month away or so)? To get one update fix out there before their rewrite?

  10. #10
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    Speaking of Filesaver and UnErase..
    Is anybody using these? Are these considered a legit and reliable means for recovering 'lost' data? Does anybody have any positive or negative war stories?
    My current understanding- scanty at best, never having actually used them since 8, and I didn't know anything then anyway- is that they interfere and add undesirable processor and disk activity. And why not just focus instead on a good backup routine...
    Am I off or is there some benefit (if used wisely) to these utilities?

  11. #11
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    I don't use either of them and like you since OS8 because at that time they were famous for losing data rather than recovering lost data. k

  12. #12
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    Well I did my little experiment of running Filesaver et al in the background for a few weeks...never got around to intentionally trying to use UnErase or Volume Recover to actually restore something.

    Decided to shut down Filesaver and all its background noise. Rather than deleting the app, I wanted to see if I could effectively disable it- had to work at it through several restarts:
    1. Open Filesaver, click radio button to stop (need admin access), unchecked all checkboxes. Don't open Filesaver.app again- it'll just make another set of index files at the top of each volume.
    2. Using SNAX, deleted the four invisible Norton files from each volume.
    3. 'Disabled' (unchecked) TrackDelete and VolumeAssist using Boot Config but that didn't stick so I:
    4. Deleted both of those items from /Library/StartupItems; had to change permissions using Super Get Info for VolumeAssist.

    This way if I want to use Filesaver again (ha,ha,ha), I can just put those 2 items (I saved them) back in /Library/Startup items.

    My machine is noticeably snappier now in all apps and boots much more quickly..(just empirical, mind you)
    It'd be interesting to talk to anybody who actually uses that stuff...

  13. #13
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    I found FS files reappearing even after using SNAX to delete them, along with startupitems and the Applcation Support / Norton stuff.

    NAV 8 also interferes with system and has a drastic effect on operations.

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    As far as I can tell, with NAV set for manual scans, there is no background op occuring-
    Tried Virex- again, seems to be mostly a manual op unless set to check on login..

    What I'd like to do, which would be ideal, is write a script to have NAV or Virex start and scan automatically for any download op- email, SU, ftp, browser cache, etc- and then quit. I have most of my download stuff arrive on a seperate hard drive but haven't yet figured out how to point SU and certain Mail.app functions to that partition...

  15. #15
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    Boots, if you do any disk I/O (say use ditto to backup), keep terminal running top. NAV may be okay, it wasn't for me. NUM got the heave-hoh aka dirty uninstall. I can't stand that against objections it was written in CFM, has poor support for talking to hardware, and is slow as blazes. SJ went so far as to criticize anyone using CFM at this point for apps and utilities.

    Disk Warrior, Alsoft, can't yet say when? or if it will be less than 60 days along with SoftRAID's "early 3rd quarter" which is now 50% gone... looks like 'early 4th QTR.' aka a month or two after 10.2.

  16. #16
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    Ran some i/o watching in top- no Norton AV spotted...(other than Norton Personal Firewall and Norton Privacy Control). Some interesting apps going on here: 'SecurityAg', Security Se'...
    I'll have to look those up.
    Maybe Jag will have firewall built in so I can ditch Norton all together...
    That Virex is fast..

  17. #17
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    Yes, JAG has firewall config utility (ipfw has always been there and Brickhouse is a good way to configure even now). Also, Apple Disk Utility is improved. Drive10 (1.1.1) still has some issues I'm finding (doesn't report boot block problems that Disk Warrior and Norton see - is it because there isn't a problem and those utilities are OS 9-centric and wrong?), freezes, takes way too long to optimize. (Then too, I just ran Disk Optimizer, and that took longer than I thought on a 3GB (6GB free) OS X volume that was just RESTORED and had little if any need for it).

    Because Dantz is reporting trouble with JAG and Retrospect I expect Apple has done it again and a new round of updates and upgrades. Backup, and trust the Apple utilities, and forgete this 3rd party stuff.

    Disk Utility now has Repair Permissions built in.

  18. #18
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    Jaguar breakage:

    Eudora 5.1; it supposedly crashes on the address book-
    ASM; he's aware it won't work with Jag and promises an update in time.
    RetroRun of Retrospect supposedly 'll crash Retrospect. Hopefully, they'll have an update before August 24.
    Norton Disk Doctor can't scan for problems or something like that...
    Font Reserve won't work supposedly... Hopefully, they'll have an update before August 24.

    Hopefully that's not the tip o' the iceberg.

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