Disk Utilities: Whom Do You Trust?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Gary Morrison, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. Norton Utilities (the latest rev as far as I can tell 7.0.3) Disk Doctor
    believes my OS-X partition to have a B-tree problem (I can't recall whether
    it's catalog B-trees, extent B-trees, or what). Apple's OS-X disk utility,
    however, doesn't find anything wrong with that partition, although it
    doesn't seem to be doing as thorough a check (at least not taking as much
    time to check it anyway). From using it day-to-day, I don't see any reason
    to think that the disk has problems.

    Which do I believe?

    I've seen this before of course: I correct one "major" problem, another
    one pops up, then another then another, and eventually the whole disk is

    I do have two up-to-date backups of two different types of that partition
    on different media - a CarbonCopy Cloner backup on an external firewire
    disk, and Retrospect on CDs. Both disk utilities agree that the CCC backup
    is in perfect shape, and it definitely boots up fine. If I'm going to take
    such a risk, I guess now is the ideal time. In theory at least I should be
    able to recover from any kind of damage Disk Doctor might do to my disk, in
    the even that it causes more damage than it fixes.

    There is an additional wrinkle: It insists, even when I boot from the CCC
    bootable backup (i.e., not repairing the boot volume), that I make such
    repairs from the original Norton-Utilities CD, and that CD has only 7.0 (I
    think) on it.

    Waddaya folks think?
    Gary Morrison, Oct 8, 2003
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  2. Gary Morrison

    Tom Stiller Guest

    I think you should get and use Alsoft's DiskWarrior.
    Tom Stiller, Oct 8, 2003
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  3. MacAddict, a magazine I like and trust a lot, claims that _all_ disk
    utilities sometimes do more damage than they try to repair.

    I have unfortunately experienced this with Norton. However, I have
    _never_ regretted letting Disk Warrior work on my drives. The newest
    version (3) is OS X native, but even the old ones can work on OS X

    Maybe one of the Gentle Readers has a horror story about Disk Warrior,
    but I do not. (http://www.alsoft.com.)

    David Derbes
    david raoul derbes, Oct 8, 2003
  4. Gary Morrison

    Chris Moore Guest

    I went to a Drive Savers seminar and they said basically the same thing
    except for Disk First Aid. Claimed "Disk First Aid has never caused a
    problem in the history on mankind," and recommended always using that
    first (this was pre OS X days). Problem is DFA's limitations. Any other
    utility will work for most people most of the time without ever having
    a problem. There will of course be someone somewhere that claims

    I use Disk First Aid/Disk Utility, DiskWarrior, Norton Disk Doctor, and
    TechTool Pro in that order. Each one has at one time saved a computer
    that the others couldn't, and not one has ever caused _me_ a problem.
    If your budget only allows you purchase one though I'd say DiskWarrior
    is the place to start.
    Chris Moore, Oct 9, 2003
  5. NUM is fubar for Mac OSX. It's da bomb with Classic, but I've pretty
    much given up on it for OSX. Everyone has complained for years now
    about their overuse of kext files but they have yet to work out a more
    elegant solution, so it's my guess they are but half-heartedly working
    on it any longer. Maybe Symantec will get back on track, or maybe
    they'll sell NUM to Aladdin -- it would be a perfect match. <eyes

    sQuid Pro Quo, Oct 9, 2003
  6. Gary Morrison

    George Guest

    I agree: Don't use Norton with OSX. Disk Warrior is the drug of
    choice. One can also use the disk utility that comes on the apple
    installer disk and startup with the CD.
    George, Oct 9, 2003
  7. Thanks for the replies, everybody.

    Two other friends at work also recommended DiskWarrior. I'll definitely find
    me a copy. Thanks again.
    Gary Morrison, Oct 9, 2003
  8. So what does everyone here use for defragging? I've heard that OS X
    does this in the wee hourrs of the night but I've been putting my G5 to
    sleep when I sleep...
    Crunch Hardtack, Oct 9, 2003
  9. Gary Morrison

    Tom Stiller Guest

    Most of us don't bother with defragging and you misunderstood what you
    heard about the periodic cron jobs that are normally scheduled to run in
    the early AM. Those are routine housekeeping tasks that clean up and
    rotate log files and update the locate directory. If you must sleep
    your machine overnight, you should install something like anacron or
    Macaroni that can reschedule the jobs to run when the machine is awake.
    Tom Stiller, Oct 9, 2003
  10. Gary Morrison

    Chris Moore Guest

    Best way to defrag a drive is to copy the contents to another drive,
    erase, copy back. Don't drag items, use sudo or Carbon Copy Cloner. At
    *most* do this about once a year. If you never did it you probably
    wouldn't have any ill effects.
    Chris Moore, Oct 9, 2003
  11. Gary Morrison

    Leo Dekeo Guest

    Or MacJanitor (to run manually but free).
    Leo Dekeo, Oct 9, 2003
  12. Gary Morrison

    Enough Guest

    Or simply edit for crontab so that the jobs run when the machine is
    awake! KISS.
    Enough, Oct 9, 2003
  13. Gary Morrison

    Enough Guest

    Or any text editor to edit crontab (to run automatically and free).
    Enough, Oct 9, 2003
  14. Since you have a complete & verified backup, I think your course is
    clear: erase/re-format the suspect partition, then clone/restore your
    backup to it.

    This is the only way I've found of eliminating these 'mystery diseases'
    before they bring the machine down.
    Charlie Moody, Oct 9, 2003
  15. when you drag you won't have selected things you can't see, and the copied
    files will not have the right permissions since they will have been copied
    by you. You will also not have copied files/folders you don't have the
    permissions to read.

    Frederick Cheung, Oct 9, 2003
  16. DiskWarrior found something wrong with the disk too, and fixed it. I'm not sure
    whether what it found was the same as what Norton allegedly found (but I didn't
    yet it fix), because neither was quite specific enough about the nature of the

    DiskWarrior said that something (but it didn't say what) was wrong with what's
    called the "wrapper volume," and Norton said that there were B-tree problems,
    but it didn't say whether it was in the HFS+ volume itself or in the HFS wrapper
    around it. If the exact nature of the problems was B-tree errors in the wrapper
    volume, then they probably found the same problem, otherwise, perhaps Norton
    could have been confused.
    Gary Morrison, Oct 10, 2003
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