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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Defragment internal drive on MacBook


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Beliblis

 
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Hi,

I want to defragment the internal drive on my MacBook. Currently at home with my folks, I have access to another MacBook. And I have a couple of empty portable USB drive. (Internal HD is 160GB, external ones are bigger than that). I'm running 10.5.9, my mother is on 10.4.11

What's the best procedure to go about this? Is the following step-by-step OK to do? Or can you think of an easier/quicker way?
  • Mirror my internal HD to an external USB drive via 'Ghostimage' or similar software
  • Switch off my MacBook, connect it to my Mom's MacBook via Firewire cable, then reboot my MacBook in Transfer mode ("Apple + T" during startup), so it appears on my Mother's as an external HD
  • Use DiskDoctor on my Mom's MacBook to reformat my MacBook drive ("HFS+, Journaled" I guess?)
  • Connect external USB drive with the mirrored image of my system to my Mom's computer & transfer it back to my MacBook (which would still be connected in Firewire mode).

Unfortunately I don't have DriveGenius, so that's not an option...

Thanks for your help & input on this!
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Beliblis

 
Member Since: Sep 03, 2008
Posts: 16
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Hi,

I want to defragment the internal drive on my MacBook. Currently at home with my folks, I have access to another MacBook. And I have a couple of empty portable USB drive. (Internal HD is 160GB, external ones are bigger than that). I'm running 10.5.9, my mother is on 10.4.11

What's the best procedure to go about this? Is the following step-by-step OK to do? Or can you think of an easier/quicker way?
  • Mirror my internal HD to an external USB drive via 'Ghostimage' or similar software
  • Switch off my MacBook, connect it to my Mom's MacBook via Firewire cable, then reboot my MacBook in Transfer mode ("Apple + T" during startup), so it appears on my Mother's as an external HD
  • Use DiskDoctor on my Mom's MacBook to reformat my MacBook drive ("HFS+, Journaled" I guess?)
Connect external USB drive with the mirrored image of my system to my Mom's computer & transfer it back to my MacBook (which would still be connected in Firewire mode).

Unfortunately I don't have DriveGenius, so that's not an option...

Thanks for your help & input on this!
QUOTE Thanks
Beliblis

 
Member Since: Sep 03, 2008
Posts: 16
Beliblis is on a distinguished road

Beliblis is offline
Hi,

I want to defragment the internal drive on my MacBook. Currently at home with my folks, I have access to another MacBook. And I have a couple of empty portable USB drive. (Internal HD is 160GB, external ones are bigger than that). I'm running 10.5.9, my mother is on 10.4.11

What's the best procedure to go about this? Is the following step-by-step OK to do? Or can you think of an easier/quicker way?
  • Mirror my internal HD to an external USB drive via 'Ghostimage' or similar software
  • Switch off my MacBook, connect it to my Mom's MacBook via Firewire cable, then reboot my MacBook in Transfer mode ("Apple + T" during startup), so it appears on my Mother's as an external HD
  • Use DiskDoctor on my Mom's MacBook to reformat my MacBook drive ("HFS+, Journaled" I guess?)
  • Connect external USB drive with the mirrored image of my system to my Mom's computer & transfer it back to my MacBook (which would still be connected in Firewire mode).

Unfortunately I don't have DriveGenius, so that's not an option...

Thanks for your help & input on this!
QUOTE Thanks
Slydude

 
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I assume that by Disk Doctor you mean Disk Utility? Otherwise you should be OK.

BTW does your Mac boot off of an external USB drive? If so, you could avoid Target Disk mode. Simply clone your internal drive to an external making sure to create a "bootable" clone. Then boot from the clone erase the internal drive and clone everything back.

I'd suggest either Super Duper pr Carbon Copy Cloner. Both are capable of creating "bootable" clones. Newer versions Disk Utility can as well but I don't remember when they added that ability.

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s2odin

 
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schweb

 
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What makes you think you even need to defragment? That's something that 99.9999% of Mac users never have to do.

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Slydude

 
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Thanks for that reminder. Most user won't see significant improvement from defragmenting an OS X drive. The exception would be if you are pushing large files such as in video editing. The other case is setting up a Bootcamp partition. The assistant looks for contiguous free space to create the Win partition.

Once again Schweb beats me to the punch. Gotta either type less or paster. lol

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schweb

 
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Please don't crosspost or ask your question multiple times in different places.

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Beliblis

 
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Sorry - the crossposting happened by accident. Something to do with the history in my browser & crash whilst submitting a post.

I think I need to defragment, because I noticed my mom's computer booting A LOT faster than mine, although it's older & with a slower processor.
And yes, I often do work with larger files and for the past 6 months (on and off), I've sometimes had VERY little space on the internal HD. Partly because of Photoshop swap files, partly because of filling up the HD with 24mp RAW files when I was on the move & external HD was full.
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Beliblis

 
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One thing I'm wondering:
If I create a copy of my fragmented drive via a disk image or similar (ghostimage): doesn't this also copy the actual fragmentation itself? In other words, makeing the whole exercise a bit pointless...?
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Slydude

 
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If I remember correctly the fragmentation is removed during the cloning process and things are copied in contiguous blocks. I used Drive Genius when I installed Windows but I am pretty sure I have used the cloning method in the past. Can someone else confirm this.

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@Slydude

Cloning doesn't remove the fragmentation as the cloning process is usually a block by block copy. (Both Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper use Block Level Copying) However, what seems to do the best job of removing fragmentation is an erase and reinstall and recovery with Time Machine. That has been my experience.

BTW, both Acronis True Image and Norton Ghost use the same Block Level Copying for cloning FAT-32, NTFS, and Ext3 partitions and drives.
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Slydude

 
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Thanks for clearing that up. I must have used Drive Genius the last time I did it.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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Bottom line: by NOW you might need to "defrag," but generally speaking you don't.

What you (and all other Mac users) DO need to do is NOT repeat NOT let the available HD space get too low. *That* is what causes a lot of these problems.

I've said here many times that I consider 12GB of free space a dead minimum for a well-functioning Mac. It's just an opinion, but I find that for the average Mac owner 12GB seems to be enough to keep the Mac humming along smoothly. Any less than that and you're asking for trouble IMHO.
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Beliblis

 
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Found this link:
7 disk defragmenters to boost performance on the Apple Mac OS X

According to this, CCC and SuperDuper actually DO work for defragmenting. This actually makes sense to me (correct me if I'm wrong): since CCC just copies the files from one drive to the other and DOESNT create an image file. Data Rescue / Drive Genius create image files, as far as I can remember. And that would be a block level copy, no?
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