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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Need to defragment HFS Plus hard drives?

Need to defragment HFS Plus hard drives?
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: South Australia-- & Tasmania
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Jan 30, 2000, 01:02 AM
Some where along the road I have never picked up on this most basic fact - with my old 6200 I used to use Norton Utilites every month to check and defragment my hard drives but I remember reading I should not use it on my iMac or other HFS plus formatted drives so I am wondering just what maintenance I should be doing to my iMac hard drive - lord knows it gets checked by First Aid every day when it invariably crashes for one reason or another but I have done no "housekeeping" on it since I bought it last May - what should I be doing ? And what tools are recommended if any? And can one do it is the drive is in one partition only?
Ron Co
Moonta, South Australia

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Join Date: Mar 1999
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Jan 30, 2000, 01:48 AM
Norton Utilities 5.0 will do the job for MacOS 9 HFS+ volumes, you can startup from the Norton Util's CD, see www.symantec.com (Norton Util's 4.0 works for MacOS8.6 HFS+, and older MacOS'es)

DiskWarrior is a fantastic diskrepair (no defrag) utility which comes on a bootable CD, by Alsoft www.alsoft.com they also have PlusOptimizer for defragging HFS+ volumes, not sure if available on CD...

And I do not know if TechToolPro2 defrags or not, see www.micromat.com

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Feb 3, 2000, 09:15 AM
TechTool Pro 2.5.3 does indeed defragment and optimize. I haven't needed (or wanted) Norton in over two years.
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Join Date: Sep 1999
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Feb 3, 2000, 12:56 PM
You need a backup. Unfortunately USB is 10-20x slower than SCSI. An Ethernet hub with a "Lan Server" 10 GB $499 is - in my opinion, better. Because you don't want to lose data which can and does happen sometimes running any disk utility, incl. DFA.

Disk Warrior includes Optimizer Plus on the CD. Or TTP CD - you can't optimize the disk, only defrag the startup volume.

A 2nd partition for emergency repair - but you have to reformat.

In all that time, and taking crashes as normal, files get corrupted. IE cache, Favorites, Internet Preferences, Netscape cache. Look for most recently modified the minute (or two) of the crash. Keep a good copy and replace.

USB Zip 250 - once you have a backup, figure 50 MB of changes per day to update backup set.

OS 8.6 and DFA were not totally safe, so I hope you are running OS 9. Disk Warrior 2.0 also attempts to prevent directory damage.

The iMac is too much of a "Network Computer" designed to boot from and backup to a server and prevent backups and copying files off the machine. At least now they have FireWire which allows using ATA-embeded externals.

De-fraging a drive isn't that important on large drives or with sufficient free space. If you try to save a QuickTime video of 100 MB and it seems to take a minute, you don't have enough free space. Then defrag.

It is faster for me to use my backup and just reinitialize than to optimize - or just walk away for lunch etc for an hour or so on a 6GB (in use) partition.

Norton 4.x was also problematic, buggy, Symantec finally conceeded CrashGuard caused problems, (FileSaver I won't use either).

3rd party extensions can lead to unstable system. Background processes. Stuff you can really do without.

A computer should not be crashing on a daily (or more) basis - there is something amiss.

- Gregory
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Feb 15, 2000, 08:56 AM
I am useing 8.6 on a Performa 6400/200 with 2 gig ATA HD formatted as one partition.Which utility is my "best buy" in this respect. Please, I am not a real chiphead, keep it simple. Thanks. tv.
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA
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Mar 5, 2000, 09:47 AM
It is a good idea to defrag your disk if only to defrag the free space. Many applications use disk free space for temporary use and they can slow down markedly if the free space is badly fragmented.
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA, USA
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Mar 5, 2000, 10:38 PM
Don't waste your money on Norton. Tech Tool Pro 2.5.3 does SO MUCH MORE and defragments faster then Norton. This program also stays more current as the OS changes and moves to upgrades. Micromat's Techs are Johnny on the Spot over at Macfixit if you ever run into anything that remotely suggest a problem. I defragment my drives and rebuild my desktop once a week and have NEVER lost data. The interface is the essence of simplicity and elegance and you'll love all the many and varied features, albeit, some may be superfluous. Send them an extra $99 and you'll get every CD update(needed for defragmenting now)sent to your home at no extra charge for a year... something to consider with OS X on the horizon.

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