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View Full Version : Do we need to defrag Mac like PC?



johndope83
03-10-2011, 02:32 AM
Ei guys!!! Sorry again for being troublesome with all my questions and queries. Still new with MACs and still have a lot more to learn. Hope you can help me out.

Anyway, my question is do we need to defrag MACs like in PCs? I've been a long time PC user and I always defrag my hard disk at least 2 a month. Is it also applicable to MACs?

And lastly, any advice what should i do to keep my mac (the system) troublefree?

Hope some one can clarify this for me. Thanks!!!

Cheers!!!

roflitskyle
03-10-2011, 02:46 AM
You don't really need to defrag your Mac. Sometimes though, defragging (is that a word?) to put some data back in order.
(I am sure that some one with greater knowledge about defragging will chime in)

To answer your question about how to get your system trouble free, I suggest CleanMyMac. The app will run system checks, and you can have it get rid of languages you don't speak. This will free up some hard drive space.

Good luck, and don't hesitate about asking questions :D

- Kyle

osxx
03-10-2011, 03:11 AM
About disk optimization with Mac OS X (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1375)

johndope83
03-10-2011, 03:16 AM
You don't really need to defrag your Mac. Sometimes though, defragging (is that a word?) to put some data back in order.
(I am sure that some one with greater knowledge about defragging will chime in)

To answer your question about how to get your system trouble free, I suggest CleanMyMac. The app will run system checks, and you can have it get rid of languages you don't speak. This will free up some hard drive space.

Good luck, and don't hesitate about asking questions :D

- Kyle

thanks took your advise and tried cleanmymac. got rid of 850 MB of unwanted files thanks!!!

roflitskyle
03-10-2011, 03:25 AM
thanks took your advise and tried cleanmymac. got rid of 850 MB of unwanted files thanks!!!

No problem. Glad you found it useful.

- Kyle

johndope83
03-10-2011, 06:04 AM
@osxx - hmmm...what you sent seems really interesting. thanks for sharing

Oneironaut
03-10-2011, 12:08 PM
OSX defrags files under a certain size automatically. There are programs out there that are supposed to defrag larger files, but from what I've heard, they can cause system instability. If you want to free up some HD space, just do a clean install and use a Time Machine backup to restore your files. I did once and regained almost 30gb of space!

toMACsh
03-10-2011, 02:04 PM
There are programs out there that are supposed to defrag larger files, but from what I've heard, they can cause system instability.

I've used TechTool Pro to Optimize for at least 6 years. (OS 9 and OS X) I've never had it cause any sort of problem.

chscag
03-10-2011, 02:09 PM
Tech Tools Pro is good and perhaps even better is iDefrag (http://www.coriolis-systems.com/iDefrag.php). The problem with using iDefrag, however, is that for a complete defrag including consolidating free space is that it reboots the machine and takes control during the process. Depending on how large your hard drive is, it could take hours on end to finish. Rather inconvenient.

chas_m
03-11-2011, 06:08 AM
But the bottom line is NO, you don't need to defrag your Mac like you did your PC.

If you WANT to do it from time to time, there are several methods -- some of which are mentioned above -- but for a typical user it is by NO means mandatory.

I use the "clone, nuke, pave, restore" method maybe once a year or so -- and I use my Mac professionally so its on for easily 12-14 hours a day, doing all kinds of different things.

toMACsh
03-11-2011, 02:06 PM
The problem with using iDefrag, however, is that for a complete defrag including consolidating free space is that it reboots the machine and takes control during the process. Depending on how large your hard drive is, it could take hours on end to finish. Rather inconvenient.

TTP gets the job done in an hour or two. I get it started just before going to bed.

the8thark
03-11-2011, 02:11 PM
To answer the original poster.

No. You do not need to.
But if you are a little paranoid you can follow the advice of others above or:
try out the "Maintenance" app.
Titanium's Software • Home (http://www.titanium.free.fr/)

Tat little App is very good and keeps your Mac clean and ready to go.

Doug b
03-11-2011, 04:06 PM
I'm (once again) going to go against the grain, simply to provide a different perspective. I don't think that anybody here can say with certainty, how the OP uses their computer, so with that in mind, I'll direct said person to a post I made for a similar topic last week (or so)


First of all: There is NO REGISTRY in OS X, so don't even worry about that for half of a nanosecond. Secondly, Fragmentation in OS X doesn't really occur in the same way as it does in Windows. Check out this article for a pretty simple run down on the process and why using a defrag app is still useful: (read all the way through and don't skim)

Link:
Disk Fragmentation & OS X: When Does it Become a Problem?: Apple News, Tips and Reviews (http://gigaom.com/apple/disk-fragmentation-os-x-when-does-it-become-a-problem/)

Onyx is a gem of a tool. Useful for several different things, and is a one stop shop for maintenance. (doesn't defragment though)

I've had my MacBook Pro for a bit over 3 years, and all I have ever done is run Onyx, keep all my photos and music on an external hard drive (keeps lots of disk space free) and once a month calibrate the battery. I have to do this though, since it's always plugged in as I use an external monitor for photo editing.

I'll admit, when I upgraded to Snow Leopard I did a fresh install and wiped the previous data with the ol' 7 x wipe. (writes over the data 7 times) Total overkill, but I'm anal like that.

Everybody here has given the same good advice. You really don't need to go overboard with maintenance as you would with Windows. Try keeping your home folder and download folders clean, don't store unnecessary data etc..



Doug

the8thark
03-12-2011, 02:32 PM
There are programs out there that are supposed to defrag larger files, but from what I've heard, they can cause system instability.
It seems Apple also thinks they can cause system instability.

About disk optimization with Mac OS X (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1375)

Note:Mac OS X systems use hundreds of thousands of small files, many of which are rarely accessed. Optimizing them can be a major effort for very little practical gain. There is also a chance that one of the files placed in the "hot band" for rapid reads during system startup might be moved during defragmentation, which would decrease performance.

chscag
03-12-2011, 07:36 PM
It seems Apple also thinks they can cause system instability.

Microsoft said the same thing about NTFS. "It never needs to be defragmented or optimized" and it may cause problems. We found out it wasn't true and their warnings were ill founded. That's why they now include their own defrag program with Windows.

Granted, Unix is not Windows nor NTFS, but it does fragment over time. And I haven't heard of anyone who has made their system unstable by running a Unix defrag program. (iDefrag, Tech Tools Pro, etc.)

schweb
03-19-2011, 08:30 PM
Wow iDefrag and CleanMymac are both $29.95



And CleanMyMac is trash. No one should buy it.

chas_m
03-20-2011, 05:24 AM
And CleanMyMac is trash. No one should buy it.

Is there a "Like" button on this thing? There should be!! :)

Surfside
10-24-2011, 05:31 PM
I've got a problem with my "new" refurbished iMac, so I tho't I would do some research in here before i went any further. I don't know if anyone is still monitoring this thread, but I looked over all of the posts, and I think I know a couple of things I'll try that were recommended.

My iMac is a lot slower now than when i got it 1.5 months ago. My issue is that I have moved a LARGE amount of files in and out of this iMac, and I don't know if that has affected the speed. My wife is a photographer, and we have been waiting for the day that we could upgrade from PC to Mac, but I am still scratching my head with how to go about fixing this. On my PC, I would just defrag the computer and it should pretty much return back to normal speed, for the most part. With this iMac, I am just not sure what I should/can do to get back to my original speeds.

Because my iMac was so much faster as burning discs than my PC, I moved a bunch of large (10MB+) images files over to the iMac, burnt the images to discs, then I deleted the image files to make room for more image files to burn. I have a 1TB hard drive. All-in-all, I probably moved a total of 1.5TB of image files onto and off of the iMac, just so I could burn them to disc faster. I now have about 700GB still on the iMac, but everything seems slow: web browsing, navigating thru Finder, opening programs, etc. I would greatly appreciate any advice that anyone can offer. It may be a simple fix, but I am not over that learning curve, yet.

Thanks in advance.

pigoo3
10-24-2011, 05:41 PM
I don't know if anyone is still monitoring this thread...

Well we are now! Now that you "woke up" an old thread!;)

No you don't have to defrag. a Mac like you do with Windows computers..and...your slowness issues may not have anything to do with the hard drive at all.

My first question would be...how full is your hard drive. If it's say more than 85%-90% full...then maybe this could slow things down. But otherwise (assuming there are no hardware issues with the computer)...follow these tips:

- Restart your computer every once in a while...versus just putting it to "sleep" each night. I do this probably once a week.
- Repair Permissions (launch Disk Utility, and click "repair permissions")
- Don't have too many applications open at the same time. This just "fragments" the ram between too many applications...and then there's not enough ram for any single app. to run at it's best. Of course the more ram you have...the more apps. open at the same time can be supported without any performance penalties.

HTH,

- Nick

Surfside
10-24-2011, 06:01 PM
Thanks, Nick! I'll attempt to repair permissions as soon as I can get my wife off of the computer! She does have a tendency to have 8 applications running at the same time (sometimes that's an exaggeration, sometimes it's not), but I have noticed that even when I only have a browser going (Firefox or Safari) that it can be sluggish, too. Maybe I need to take that up with my ISP.

I'll let you know how it goes.

pigoo3
10-24-2011, 06:29 PM
Thanks, Nick! I'll attempt to repair permissions as soon as I can get my wife off of the computer! She does have a tendency to have 8 applications running at the same time (sometimes that's an exaggeration, sometimes it's not),

The number of open apps. also depends on how "ram hungry" the apps. are....and how much ram you have. If the computer only has 1-2 gigs of ram...8 apps. will certainly have an impact.

If the Powermac G5 listed in your profile is the computer we are talking about...4.5gigs is pretty decent. But you are:

- using an older Powermac G5. These aren't bad...but they are 5-8 years old (depending on the model). So the cpu & gpu aren't the fastest.
- using an older OS version (10.5.8)...which is the "newest" OS version you can run on a Powermac G5. So you are stuck with that.
- sounds like you only have had this computer for about 6 weeks. Maybe, maybe not enough time to know how fast/how slow it is...especially if you have been doing different things with it recently.

I personally usually only have my e-mail program and internet browser open...and then maybe a couple small apps. like the "Calculator" and "Activity Monitor". With a Mac Pro and 12gig of ram...I could certainly have many more open!:) But with my MacBook Pro with only 2 gig of ram...not a great idea to have too many apps. open simultaneously.


but I have noticed that even when I only have a browser going (Firefox or Safari) that it can be sluggish, too. Maybe I need to take that up with my ISP.

Maybe...maybe not. But you're certainly right...if you have cable modem service...this is a shared service (bandwidth is shared with your neighbors). So during peak times, things may be slower.

But other than ISP issues...restarting the computer every so often, repairing permissions, and not letting your HD get more than 85-90% full are areas to consider as well.

- Nick

Surfside
10-25-2011, 03:44 PM
Thanks again, Nick. I performed the "Repair Disk Permissions" process, and it seemed to speed things up at first, but after using the machine for 2-3 hours, it is moving very slow again within applications (not web browsing).

Re: profile info - Even though I transitioning into Mac, I am also collecting a few. I now have 2 MacBook Pros, 1 MacBook, a PowerMac and this iMac that I am struggling with - talk about "trial by fire"! I am LOVING the Apple products, but I am just not quite up to speed yet on the OS operation. The iMac specs are as follows:

27-inch
OS X 10.7
1TB HD (286GB avail)
2.7 GHz Intel Core i5
4GB 1333 MHz DDR3
AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB

This is the only Mac that I have purchased from Apple. It is a refurbished model. All of the others were bought from private parties.

I don't know if this does anything to help you help me, but I figured the info wouldn't hurt.

Now, issue #2. Can you direct me to the correct area of the forum to ask about where to find the proper replacement cooling fan in my 2007 MacBook Pro that is out of warranty?

Thanks again, everyone!

harryb2448
10-25-2011, 06:23 PM
Download and use Onyx for Lion. For the cooling fan replacement do a Google.


http://news.softpedia.com/news/OnyX-2-4-0-Arrives-for-Mac-OS-X-Lion-Free-Download-217859.shtml

chas_m
10-25-2011, 08:08 PM
There is no way a 27" i5 iMac w/4GB of RAM should be slow. At anything.

Something in wrong there ... most likely something you (she) is doing, but could also be a mechanical issue.

UPDATE: Wait, just thought of something. Try this:

1. Make a new folder on your desktop. Call it "Desktop Stuff" or whatever you like.
2. Put EVERYTHING (except the hard drive icon!) that is currently sitting on the desktop in that folder.
3. Double-click on the hard drive icon, locate the Home folder. Put the "Desktop Stuff" folder inside the Home folder.
4. If you like, make an "alias" of the Desktop Stuff folder and put that back out on the desktop.
5. Restart the machine.

Let me know if that makes a difference.

Surfside
10-25-2011, 08:13 PM
That's what I thought! But I don't know enough about it to make statements like that. Do you think Onyx, like harryb2448 suggested, will help?

chas_m
10-25-2011, 08:18 PM
That's what I thought! But I don't know enough about it to make statements like that. Do you think Onyx, like harryb2448 suggested, will help?

Try what I suggested first and see if that improves things. Call it a hunch.

OnyX is a fine program but I think there is something more going on here.

Surfside
10-25-2011, 08:22 PM
Also, this off topic, but is there an iPhone app that I can use to access this forum? Tapatalk didn't bring back any results when I did a search.

Surfside
10-25-2011, 09:01 PM
chas_m: initally, it did seems to speed things up again. But, I opened up a program of two and the traffic jam started again. I think I should explain a thing or two before I make people turn cartwheels trying to figure this out, if I am doing something to cause this.

I am editing photos in a pre-release of Photoshop CS6. Since this is a beta product, I am probably already shooting myself in the foot right there. Also, I still have Photoshop CS5.1 installed, but I am not trying to use both simultaneously. Should I try to uninstall&reinstall CS6 or dump it altogether?

Surfside
10-25-2011, 09:02 PM
I have downloaded Onyx, and I am about to install it.

Surfside
10-25-2011, 09:25 PM
Thanks, harryb2448. Installing Onyx now.

chas_m
10-26-2011, 03:42 AM
If you are not a registered Adobe developer who is beta-testing the product for them, I would suggest you dump it immediately and stick with CS 5.5. We don't help people with pirated products.

If you are a registered Adobe developer, you should be taking the issue to them, not to us -- as this likely violates your NDA.

shanlon
10-26-2011, 03:19 PM
OSX defrags files under a certain size automatically. There are programs out there that are supposed to defrag larger files, but from what I've heard, they can cause system instability. If you want to free up some HD space, just do a clean install and use a Time Machine backup to restore your files. I did once and regained almost 30gb of space!

While I'm sure reinstalling the operating system netted you some free space, it's a lot easier to run a utility that scans the disk and tells you where all the data is being taken up. I use a utility called JDisk Report

Surfside
10-28-2011, 01:12 PM
chas_m: I am not a developer, and I have no problem dumping CS6. It was given to me by "a friend'. Didn't realize I was breaking any rules/laws. No longer! Thanks for the heads-up.

shanlon: Thanks for the tip.

harryb2448: I used Onyx, and it seems to have really helped. I won't know for sure until over the weekend when we try to shove through the editing of a bunch of images when my wife gets back from her trip. Thanks for the suggestion - I hope it keeps things clear for me.

Doug b
10-28-2011, 01:46 PM
For the record, it is documented that OS X defragments the HD in the background to a certain extent. What it does not defrag, is larger volumes of data, say.. over 500 MB perhaps? That part is not clear. So moving major amounts of data, leaving non contiguous space will remain fragmented.

This is why I only use an external HD for my scratch disk. If I have to do a job, (photography) then so be it. But I have used iDefrag once, and it did make a significant difference. I've also regularly used Onyx, but the defrag program made a bigger difference overall, considering the amount of video and stills I've had to move back and forth.

Doug

Surfside
10-28-2011, 01:51 PM
Thanks, Doug_b. I'll check out iDefrag today.

Dysfunction
10-28-2011, 02:47 PM
For the record, it is documented that OS X defragments the HD in the background to a certain extent. What it does not defrag, is larger volumes of data, say.. over 500 MB perhaps? That part is not clear. So moving major amounts of data, leaving non contiguous space will remain fragmented.

This is why I only use an external HD for my scratch disk. If I have to do a job, (photography) then so be it. But I have used iDefrag once, and it did make a significant difference. I've also regularly used Onyx, but the defrag program made a bigger difference overall, considering the amount of video and stills I've had to move back and forth.

Doug


Here's the logical flow:

When a file is opened on an HFS+ volume, the following conditions are tested:

If the file is less than 20 MB in size
If the file is not already busy
If the file is not read-only
If the file has more than eight extents
If the system has been up for at least three minutes

If all of the above conditions are satisfied, the file is relocated -- it is defragmented on-the-fly.

Doug b
10-28-2011, 02:59 PM
Here's the logical flow:

When a file is opened on an HFS+ volume, the following conditions are tested:

If the file is less than 20 MB in size
If the file is not already busy
If the file is not read-only
If the file has more than eight extents
If the system has been up for at least three minutes

If all of the above conditions are satisfied, the file is relocated -- it is defragmented on-the-fly.

Good info. Lots of us of course move video, audio and image files far larger than 20 MB on and off our internal HD's to and from externals quite often. This can, over time.. be problematic. I've only had to use iDefrag once, but that one time really did make a substantial difference performance wise.

Doug

chscag
10-28-2011, 03:15 PM
I used my copy of iDefrag after I updated my 2008 MacBook from Snow Leopard to Lion. It made a world of difference in boot up speed and over all computing. Took all night to run but was worth it. The new iMac had SL preinstalled but did not need to be defragmented when I upgraded to Lion.

It's always a good idea to do the iDefrag analysis first before deciding to run the defrag. Very helpful.

Dysfunction
10-28-2011, 03:22 PM
Good info. Lots of us of course move video, audio and image files far larger than 20 MB on and off our internal HD's to and from externals quite often. This can, over time.. be problematic. I've only had to use iDefrag once, but that one time really did make a substantial difference performance wise.

Doug

Oh yea, there are plenty of times that many of us are shuffling around files larger than that. The data I got this from comes from, I believe the Panther era.. I'm not sure if this has changed since.

dvdchance
10-28-2011, 03:36 PM
And CleanMyMac is trash. No one should buy it.

Whats the problem with CleanMyMac? I use it and it seems to free up quite a bit of space for me.

chscag
10-28-2011, 04:09 PM
The problem with CleanMyMac is that it sometimes cleans things that do not need to be cleaned. Do a forum search with "CleanMyMac" as subject and read what others are saying and have experienced.

The best app to use for system maintenance is OnyX (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/11582/onyx). It's free, recommend by most of us, and safe to use.