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Best Freeware/Shareware Maintenance Software
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Banned
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Mar 18, 2014, 07:09 PM
 
I've always wanted to see some type of review to compare at least 4 freeware/shareware programs to use for maintenance/cleaning, but that has not been the case. So, I'm wondering what people think of the following 4 programs:

Onyx (free)
Cocktail (Shareware)
TinkerTool
TinkerTool System (Shareware)

Myself, I have been relying on Oynx for so long.

While Disk Utility is fine, I prefer Onyx. Then of course, there are the 3 commercial options:

Tech Tool Pro (I also rely on that one)
Disk Warrior (I've also, at times, been recently using this one also)
Drive Genius

I'm sure there are other freeware/shareware/commercial programs that exist, but these seem to be the most prevalent.
     
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Mar 18, 2014, 09:06 PM
 
There is widespread consensus amongst those in the know that with current Mac OSs you don't need regular maintenance, I only use DW or TTP if I'm having a problem, which is very seldom. The OS maintains itself through various housekeeping routines. That's why your are ising a Mac, enjoy and chill
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 19, 2014, 08:15 AM
 
Exactly. Stop wasting your time.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 19, 2014, 02:46 PM
 
I actually clean up unneeded items just about every day, and I also want to do a back up once a month (don't use Time Machine). So, I do my maintenance/cleanup/backup tasks, on both of my machines, once a month. Whether it is "critically" needed or not, I still do it. When doing a Volume Rebuild via TechTool Pro, or a Directory Repair via Disk Warrior, both of them always find a few items not needed (via the smaller size of the resulting new Directory).

Maybe it's overkill, but I prefer to be safe than sorry. And, of course, as is always advocated, back ups are a necessity.

In any event, my initial question still "begs" an answer.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 19, 2014, 02:57 PM
 
If you really want to clean your system of unnecessary stuff, you'll want to minimize swap/VM files, run your logrotate script to compress logs, empty your web browser's cache, stop all daemons so you can delete their socket files, make sure that whenever you uninstall something it doesn't leave remnants behind, remove all annoying OS X created files that aren't necessary (the caches, HFS dot directories), compress your VM images, keep your email mailboxes free of mail you do not need (or opt to not keep a cache)... These are just some things I came up with off the top of my head.

There is no point though, a Unix system always has a bunch of temp files by design. What you are doing is like trying to clean the engine of your car, when it is naturally a pretty dirty thing that you can choose to not look at.

TL;DR: don't waste your time.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 19, 2014, 04:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
If you really want to clean your system of unnecessary stuff, you'll want to minimize swap/VM files, run your logrotate script to compress logs, empty your web browser's cache, stop all daemons so you can delete their socket files, make sure that whenever you uninstall something it doesn't leave remnants behind, remove all annoying OS X created files that aren't necessary (the caches, HFS dot directories), compress your VM images, keep your email mailboxes free of mail you do not need (or opt to not keep a cache)... These are just some things I came up with off the top of my head.

There is no point though, a Unix system always has a bunch of temp files by design. What you are doing is like trying to clean the engine of your car, when it is naturally a pretty dirty thing that you can choose to not look at.

TL;DR: don't waste your time.
Oynx does some (or quite a bit) of that. Also, I see nothing wrong with being pro-active and using a tool like TechTool Pro (and/or Disk Warrior) to "look" at my engines.

No matter how "dirty" they are, I still want to keep my engines clean. If you (and others) do not want to, that's your decision, not mine.

I guess folks around here don't want to answer my original question as to which one is the best. Oh well, to each his/her own, I guess!
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 19, 2014, 05:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Oynx does some (or quite a bit) of that. Also, I see nothing wrong with being pro-active and using a tool like TechTool Pro (and/or Disk Warrior) to "look" at my engines.

No matter how "dirty" they are, I still want to keep my engines clean. If you (and others) do not want to, that's your decision, not mine.

I guess folks around here don't want to answer my original question as to which one is the best. Oh well, to each his/her own, I guess!

If it makes you happy, great. I'm just saying that there is pretty much no technical benefit, save reclaiming a little disk space. There are usually a million and one ways to do that though.

Regarding your question, it's not that we don't want to help you, I just don't think that those who don't believe in the benefit of these tools can without experience to draw from.
     
P
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Mar 19, 2014, 07:26 PM
 
In a nutshell, it's like this: The most common configuration of any Mac is one that arrived with one OS and was then used with that until it died, or straight upgraded to the latest version regularly with no Archive & Install, and never ever being subjected to permissions repair or other "maintenance" applications. Apple tests and supports the most common configuration, because why should they do anything else? By using these programs, you are using code paths that are less tested, which means that you are more likely to have problems. Simple as that. Use maintenance apps when you have a problem, or be honest with yourself and say that it is because you like to tinker and have a backup regimen to match. Nothing wrong with that - I amused myself with trying to make the Apple menu blue using Resedit back in System 7.1 - but I was never deluding myself that I was making my Mac any faster or more stable.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 20, 2014, 03:32 PM
 
Also, it's worth noting that deleting caches will actually slow down your machine. Cache files are designed to accelerate repeating tasks. Removing them means the system has to re-generate them.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 20, 2014, 03:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Also, it's worth noting that deleting caches will actually slow down your machine. Cache files are designed to accelerate repeating tasks. Removing them means the system has to re-generate them.
Yes, that is an initial unfortunate side effect of that. But, maybe some of the information in some/many cache files does more harm than good. For me, it does not take too long for those cache files to get refreshed, and then the machine is quick again.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 20, 2014, 07:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Yes, that is an initial unfortunate side effect of that. But, maybe some of the information in some/many cache files does more harm than good. For me, it does not take too long for those cache files to get refreshed, and then the machine is quick again.
It caches were corruption prone or there was no way to automatically recreate a corrupt cache, they probably wouldn't be used.

I suggest doing whatever makes you most content, but if this is a question of "what sort of things can I do with my time that will maximize my ability to use my computer as a means to generate income", I would never suggest running these tools over actually using your computer for work.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 20, 2014, 07:27 PM
 
Here is just about the only "maintenance" tip I can think of that is worthwhile, in my opinion...

If you are a laptop user in particular, open your laptop up from time to time to run a can of compressed air over your fans and give it a good cleaning. I've had fans completely clogged before, and fans running far less efficiently because they had crud in them. To me, it's so satisfying to have my fans come on less often and my machine stay cooler because it is clean. Plus, your machine probably runs a little better when it is staying cool, and it probably preserves the life of it a little.

This is where my clean car engine analogy falls apart though, as I figured it might when I wrote it

My list, of course, excludes hardware upgrades which go without saying are a good way to make stuff better.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 20, 2014, 07:35 PM
 
Here's another candidate for a maintenance tip...

In theory, having a smaller number of files and running fsck/Disk First Aid's repair disk tool frequently could help things in coddling the inherent limitations and weaknesses of HFS+.

However, while in theory corruption is probably more prone with a greater number of files, you could have corruption on a disk with 10,000 files while a disk that has 100,000 has none. Fsck could find something after 2 days, or nothing after 6 months.

Therefore, to me the best solution is having a solid backup plan, which is another no-brainer maintenance tip that absolutely goes without saying, especially if you are relying on SATA drives staying healthy.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 21, 2014, 02:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I suggest doing whatever makes you most content, but if this is a question of "what sort of things can I do with my time that will maximize my ability to use my computer as a means to generate income", I would never suggest running these tools over actually using your computer for work.
That was, in no way, the reason for my question. But, it certainly looks like the answer will never be given. That's fine by me. I'll just continue doing what I do.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 21, 2014, 02:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Therefore, to me the best solution is having a solid backup plan, which is another no-brainer maintenance tip that absolutely goes without saying, especially if you are relying on SATA drives staying healthy.
As I stated above, I always backup both of my machines at least once a month, using SuperDuper. I just do some maintenance/cleanup tasks as part of that. Since the drives in both of my machines are 256 gig SSDs, it does not take very long to do those additional tasks. No sweat off my back!
     
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Mar 22, 2014, 10:10 AM
 
The monthly backups are great, but there isn't a lot of need to second-guess the OS on upkeep. Old logs will collect, yes, but unless you've had issues, there is not likely to be a lot of log files to worry about. There are basic OS-level chron jobs that, if you let them work, will do a great job, without your intervention.

On the flip side of that, as P noted, if you fiddle with stuff that isn't part of the well-tested code base, you're likely to have more problems. I would even suggest that you could cause problems with fiddling in a way that the OS doesn't handle well.

It's your machine, do what you want with it. But it sounds like you're doing the equivalent of "polishing the hub caps" on a car that you do your daily commute in; it may give you a warm feeling that you're "taking care of it," but it really isn't benefitting you, and it does eat up time you could be spending usiing that car - or your computer.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 22, 2014, 12:11 PM
 
Another note: Do you actually have a real backup scheme in place, or just the duplication using SuperDuper?

Duplication is a great way to keep a failsafe if you need to get your system up and running again within minutes of a failure (such as in a production or live performance environment).

It is not, however, a useful data backup, as you may not even realize that files have been damaged until your duplicate copy has been overwritten with the damaged files. A real backup with versioning (such as that created by Time Machine) will allow you to go back in time until you find the last uncorrupted, functional version of a document.

Incidentally, Time Machine now allows multiple backup volumes, so a lack of redundancy (which previously made me nervous) is no longer an issue. I let the system maintain hourly automatic Time Machine backups on two separate external drives.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 22, 2014, 01:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
The monthly backups are great, but there isn't a lot of need to second-guess the OS on upkeep. Old logs will collect, yes, but unless you've had issues, there is not likely to be a lot of log files to worry about. There are basic OS-level chron jobs that, if you let them work, will do a great job, without your intervention.

On the flip side of that, as P noted, if you fiddle with stuff that isn't part of the well-tested code base, you're likely to have more problems. I would even suggest that you could cause problems with fiddling in a way that the OS doesn't handle well.

It's your machine, do what you want with it. But it sounds like you're doing the equivalent of "polishing the hub caps" on a car that you do your daily commute in; it may give you a warm feeling that you're "taking care of it," but it really isn't benefitting you, and it does eat up time you could be spending usiing that car - or your computer.
I feel very comfortable with my maintenance/cleaning/backup process that I go through once a month. I've been following the same scheme for quite a few years now, through various OS versions and Macs. I've never encountered a problem. On the contrary, there have been times where it has, indeed, helped me out.

Onyx, TechTool Pro and Disk Warrior have been around quite a while, and thus they have been well tested. I've never seen, nor encountered, any issues with any of those programs.

Finally, I just don't sit idly by and watch the machine go through these tasks. I actually do other, productive things at the same time.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 22, 2014, 01:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Another note: Do you actually have a real backup scheme in place, or just the duplication using SuperDuper?

Duplication is a great way to keep a failsafe if you need to get your system up and running again within minutes of a failure (such as in a production or live performance environment).

It is not, however, a useful data backup, as you may not even realize that files have been damaged until your duplicate copy has been overwritten with the damaged files. A real backup with versioning (such as that created by Time Machine) will allow you to go back in time until you find the last uncorrupted, functional version of a document.

Incidentally, Time Machine now allows multiple backup volumes, so a lack of redundancy (which previously made me nervous) is no longer an issue. I let the system maintain hourly automatic Time Machine backups on two separate external drives.
That is exactly why I use Onyx and TechTool FIRST before doing the backup/duplication. The system is as "clean" as it can be before I launch SuperDuper.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 22, 2014, 03:02 PM
 
There are no tools that will fix files already corrupt by HFS bit rot. Spheric is right.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 22, 2014, 03:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
That is exactly why I use Onyx and TechTool FIRST before doing the backup/duplication. The system is as "clean" as it can be before I launch SuperDuper.
You're missing the point.

You don't know exactly *when* that formatting bug in Microsoft Word hit your manuscript and caused it to fail to open, or when exactly the text-rendering bug in iMovie caused your database and that one project you're working on to crash every 45 seconds.

Your directory-checking routines tell you NOTHING about whether your files are okay.

It's sort of like rebuilding the phone book on a regular basis. It's nice to know that all entries correspond to real addresses — it's worthless for knowing whether the people who live there are still healthy, or even alive. You won't know until you call them, and that might be years in the future.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 22, 2014, 03:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
There are no tools that will fix files already corrupt by HFS bit rot. Spheric is right.
Understand, although TechTool Pro does identify some "problematic" files (they are rather obscure, as far as I can tell). But, I try my best to clean up whatever I can.

Still, my original point, about this software being well tested applies. I figure I am not hurting anything, and possibly helping.

Yeah, this software is not a "cure all" (I never said it was), but that's OK. I am not expecting it to be.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 22, 2014, 03:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
You're missing the point.

You don't know exactly *when* that formatting bug in Microsoft Word hit your manuscript and caused it to fail to open, or when exactly the text-rendering bug in iMovie caused your database and that one project you're working on to crash every 45 seconds.

Your directory-checking routines tell you NOTHING about whether your files are okay.

It's sort of like rebuilding the phone book on a regular basis. It's nice to know that all entries correspond to real addresses — it's worthless for knowing whether the people who live there are still healthy, or even alive. You won't know until you call them, and that might be years in the future.
That's true. I don't know EXACTLY when some bug happened. The same thing, though, can happen if one uses Time Machine for frequent back ups. I can only do so much. (See my reply above to besson3c's post.

I guess a similar analysis can apply to how often I clean our town home, or how often I clean our cars. I don't necessarily have the "latest and greatest" tools, but they work fine. I am just trying to be safe than sorry.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 22, 2014, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
That's true. I don't know EXACTLY when some bug happened. The same thing, though, can happen if one uses Time Machine for frequent back ups. I can only do so much. (See my reply above to besson3c's post.

I guess a similar analysis can apply to how often I clean our town home, or how often I clean our cars. I don't necessarily have the "latest and greatest" tools, but they work fine. I am just trying to be safe than sorry.
Spheric's point is that versioning backups like Time Machine are much better than single monthly snapshots, because at least there is a possibility that a non-corrupt version of a corrupt file will exist in a previous backup, and that you identify this corruption before your backup is turned over.

I'm still not sure what you think these tools do to "help". They don't help anything. This sounds like I'm being ideological here, but I'm not trying to be, I'm trying to be literal and matter-of-fact: these maintenance tools do nothing to help anything, except reclaim a small amount of disk space temporarily.

For somebody as fastidious as you seem to be, my suggestion is this: your time is *much* better spent setting up a Time Machine or similar backup than it is messing around with Onyx and the like. My suggestion about using a can of compressed air is also a better use of time than Onyx, because it actually does something (unless you manage to keep your computer innards dust bunny free).
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 22, 2014, 08:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Spheric's point is that versioning backups like Time Machine are much better than single monthly snapshots, because at least there is a possibility that a non-corrupt version of a corrupt file will exist in a previous backup, and that you identify this corruption before your backup is turned over.

I'm still not sure what you think these tools do to "help". They don't help anything. This sounds like I'm being ideological here, but I'm not trying to be, I'm trying to be literal and matter-of-fact: these maintenance tools do nothing to help anything, except reclaim a small amount of disk space temporarily.

For somebody as fastidious as you seem to be, my suggestion is this: your time is *much* better spent setting up a Time Machine or similar backup than it is messing around with Onyx and the like. My suggestion about using a can of compressed air is also a better use of time than Onyx, because it actually does something (unless you manage to keep your computer innards dust bunny free).
There have been numerous "theories" about back ups, ranging from Time Machine "versioning" to daily to monthly backups with software such as SuperDuper! and Copy Carbon Cloner (Retrospect used to be another such product, but then it went by the wayside for a few years. It seems, tough, to be making somewhat of a comeback (based on some reports I've seen)). Here are some links to articles/reviews of Oynx, TechTool Pro, SuperDuper!, and Carbon Copy Cloner:

Onyx:

OnyX Review - MacReview.com

How to Optimize Your Mac with Onyx | Mac|Life

OnyX: Free System Maintenance Software for Mac | Mac.AppStorm

SuperDuper!:

SuperDuper for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

SuperDuper! Review 2014 - TopTenREVIEWS

SuperDuper 2.6.4 Review - Backup Software for the Mac

Carbon Copy Cloner:

Carbon Copy Cloner for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.3 Review - Backup Software for the Mac

TechTool Pro:

TechTool Pro 7 review: A nearly complete set of Mac troubleshooting tools | Macworld

TechTool Pro for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Proactive Troubleshooting With TechTool Pro 7 | Mac.AppStorm

Not sure if you will take the time to read any of those, but I do not see anything adversely negative about any of those products. (I still see where you have yet to dispute that, especially in light of my earlier remarks about them being tested (and these links show they have been thoroughly tested)).

Yes, Onyx and/or TechTool Pro (also Disk Warrior) are not cure alls. But, as a number of those articles/reviews state, such products can be used in a pro-active fashion (which is what I do), that is, to try and get in front of identifying problems/issues etc. I can certainly attest to all of that.

Using such products is like getting a yearly physical. For most folks, they "pass" yearly physicals with flying colors. But, there is always that chance that something negative will come from them. I have been getting my yearly physical for so long, and I am just being pro-active. I am doing the same thing with the procedures I follow on my Macs (again, have been doing them for a long time).

I have also been in other forums where individuals perform similar procedures like I do, and such folks make similar, positive comments.

Again, I am not here to "fight" anyone about this. What's good for one person might not be good for another. I just know what works best for me (and has for so many years). You (and others) are content with using Time Machine for back ups, and also not using any of the products I mentioned except when needed (usually when a some what serious issue arises). Fine, if that works for you, good. Myself, I just want to be more pro-active regarding any potential problems with any of my machines. I also see it as a productive use of my time. And, I feel real comfortable with doing monthly backups via SuperDuper!.

One thing I do agree with you about is the compressed air idea. Fortunately, my Mac Book Air does not get too much "heavy" use, so I think I'm okay with it (also have only had the machine since Columbus Day). But, I'll certainly remember it, and possibly look into what it takes to do it, assuming it is really necessary. I'm willing to bet there are some folks who swear by that, but others who say it's a waste of time and effort, just like the current discussions. Hopefully, the insides of both of my machines are dust bunny free.
( Last edited by akent35; Mar 22, 2014 at 08:48 PM. )
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 22, 2014, 09:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
That's true. I don't know EXACTLY when some bug happened. The same thing, though, can happen if one uses Time Machine for frequent back ups. I can only do so much. (See my reply above to besson3c's post.

I guess a similar analysis can apply to how often I clean our town home, or how often I clean our cars. I don't necessarily have the "latest and greatest" tools, but they work fine. I am just trying to be safe than sorry.
If you rely on a daily driver for your work, I strongly suggest that you look into a real backup strategy, regardless of whether you wish to waste your time on changing oil and brake fluid monthly.

Your strategy is not aimed at keeping a safe, recoverable backup of your data, despite what you might think you're doing.

I urge you to reconsider.

In the meantime, feel free to run all those tools that probably won't do any good until you've already noticed problems elsewhere. No skin off my back.
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
There have been numerous "theories" about back ups, ranging from Time Machine "versioning" to daily to monthly backups with software such as SuperDuper! and Copy Carbon Cloner (Retrospect used to be another such product, but then it went by the wayside for a few years. It seems, tough, to be making somewhat of a comeback (based on some reports I've seen)). Here are some links to articles/reviews of Oynx, TechTool Pro, SuperDuper!, and Carbon Copy Cloner:

Onyx:

OnyX Review - MacReview.com

How to Optimize Your Mac with Onyx | Mac|Life

OnyX: Free System Maintenance Software for Mac | Mac.AppStorm

SuperDuper!:

SuperDuper for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

SuperDuper! Review 2014 - TopTenREVIEWS

SuperDuper 2.6.4 Review - Backup Software for the Mac

Carbon Copy Cloner:

Carbon Copy Cloner for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.3 Review - Backup Software for the Mac

TechTool Pro:

TechTool Pro 7 review: A nearly complete set of Mac troubleshooting tools | Macworld

TechTool Pro for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Proactive Troubleshooting With TechTool Pro 7 | Mac.AppStorm

Not sure if you will take the time to read any of those, but I do not see anything adversely negative about any of those products. (I still see where you have yet to dispute that, especially in light of my earlier remarks about them being tested (and these links show they have been thoroughly tested)).

Yes, Onyx and/or TechTool Pro (also Disk Warrior) are not cure alls. But, as a number of those articles/reviews state, such products can be used in a pro-active fashion (which is what I do), that is, to try and get in front of identifying problems/issues etc. I can certainly attest to all of that.

Using such products is like getting a yearly physical. For most folks, they "pass" yearly physicals with flying colors. But, there is always that chance that something negative will come from them. I have been getting my yearly physical for so long, and I am just being pro-active. I am doing the same thing with the procedures I follow on my Macs (again, have been doing them for a long time).

I have also been in other forums where individuals perform similar procedures like I do, and such folks make similar, positive comments.

Again, I am not here to "fight" anyone about this. What's good for one person might not be good for another. I just know what works best for me (and has for so many years). You (and others) are content with using Time Machine for back ups, and also not using any of the products I mentioned except when needed (usually when a some what serious issue arises). Fine, if that works for you, good. Myself, I just want to be more pro-active regarding any potential problems with any of my machines. I also see it as a productive use of my time. And, I feel real comfortable with doing monthly backups via SuperDuper!.

One thing I do agree with you about is the compressed air idea. Fortunately, my Mac Book Air does not get too much "heavy" use, so I think I'm okay with it (also have only had the machine since Columbus Day). But, I'll certainly remember it, and possibly look into what it takes to do it, assuming it is really necessary. I'm willing to bet there are some folks who swear by that, but others who say it's a waste of time and effort, just like the current discussions. Hopefully, the insides of both of my machines are dust bunny free.


Do any of these reviewers tell you the technical reasons why you should run these apps? I only skimmed through the first two, and didn't find anything.

Even if these apps did some good in some circumstances (and I'm obviously not convinced that they do), running them just because seems like taking Tylenol just in case you experience pain when the next 6 hours, even through there is no particular reason to expect that you will. Sure, taking the Tylenol might help with the pain should it set in unexpectedly, but then maybe I should take Rogaine even though my hair is still fine? Where does this end?

Only, I would say that to complete this analogy, the Tylenol/Rogaine would be placebo pills that don't really do anything.
( Last edited by besson3c; Mar 23, 2014 at 02:01 PM. )
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
If you rely on a daily driver for your work, I strongly suggest that you look into a real backup strategy, regardless of whether you wish to waste your time on changing oil and brake fluid monthly.

Your strategy is not aimed at keeping a safe, recoverable backup of your data, despite what you might think you're doing.

I urge you to reconsider.

In the meantime, feel free to run all those tools that probably won't do any good until you've already noticed problems elsewhere. No skin off my back.
I don't rely on a daily driver. I do my own driving, maintenance, etc.

If my backup strategy is so bad, then why are there so many positive articles written about the exact thing I am doing?

If you want to just rely on Time Machine backups, along with waiting for a tragedy to happen until you use any tools, fine and good. I'm going to continue to be pro-active and stay in front of all this as much as I can. Not a problem for me at all, nor is it a waste of my time.
     
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Mar 23, 2014, 01:59 PM
 
Nobody is suggesting you switch to only use Time Machine, but to supplement your SuperDuper backups with some versioning system.

Why put so much stock into what tech journalists say? They aren't the be all, end all. There is also common sense - in this case pointing out the inherent flaws to relying solely on a single complete snapshot. One additional, and obvious flaw is simple human error: accidentally overwriting a file or trashing a file you had attempted to keep.

It seems like you are mistaking constructive advice with something that is making you seem defensive?
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Do any of these reviewers tell you the technical reasons why you should run these apps? I only skimmed through the first two, and didn't find anything.

Even if these apps did some good in some circumstances (and I'm obviously not convinced that they do), running them just because seems like taking Tylenol just in case you experience pain when the next 6 hours, even through there is no particular reason to expect that you will. Sure, taking the Tylenol might help with the pain should it set in unexpectedly, but then maybe I should take Rogaine even though my hair is still fine? Where does this end.

Only, I would say that to complete this analogy, the Tylenol/Rogaine would be placebo pills that don't really do anything.
I knew you would not read any of those articles seriously. As it is, your "non-testing" theory was false. But, I am positive the ones about TechTool Pro would say so. And, what technical reasons are there for just relying on Time Machine backups?

Using your strategy, I guess I should not have our furnace inspected at least once a year, and wait for it to go bad before doing anything. Similarly, as any of our automobiles get older and older, I should continue to not have any maintenance done on them, again waiting fro a tragedy to happen. And, of course, you would do the same about a yearly physical.

As for where this will end, I believe in the KISS philosophy: Keep It Simple Stupid. In this case, that means each of us is OK with our way of doing things. You are content with just doing Time Machine backups, and not using any of the software mentioned until something serious happens. Fine. I accept that. No migraine medicine for that. Myself, I want to be pro-active and use these tools as often as I feel comfortable with. It's not migraine medicine, but it sure does help in avoiding migraines. Is that simple enough?
     
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
I knew you would not read any of those articles seriously. As it is, your "non-testing" theory was false. But, I am positive the ones about TechTool Pro would say so. And, what technical reasons are there for just relying on Time Machine backups?
There aren't any, nobody is saying that you should.

I await somebody pointing out to me the technical reasons for running these apps. I will read anything you want me to read, just direct me to the section I should focus on.

Using your strategy, I guess I should not have our furnace inspected at least once a year, and wait for it to go bad before doing anything. Similarly, as any of our automobiles get older and older, I should continue to not have any maintenance done on them, again waiting fro a tragedy to happen. And, of course, you would do the same about a yearly physical.

As for where this will end, I believe in the KISS philosophy: Keep It Simple Stupid. In this case, that means each of us is OK with our way of doing things. You are content with just doing Time Machine backups, and not using any of the software mentioned until something serious happens. Fine. I accept that. No migraine medicine for that. Myself, I want to be pro-active and use these tools as often as I feel comfortable with. It's not migraine medicine, but it sure does help in avoiding migraines. Is that simple enough?

Note to self: stop trying to relate using analogies, because people like to pick them apart.

None of this is based on facts, including what you think my prescription is for backups, but it seems like this conversation is nearing its close since you seem resolved in not wanting to learn what these facts are, and would rather just be assured that you were right all along.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Nobody is suggesting you switch to only use Time Machine, but to supplement your SuperDuper backups with some versioning system.

Why put so much stock into what tech journalists say? They aren't the be all, end all. There is also common sense - in this case pointing out the inherent flaws to relying solely on a single complete snapshot. One additional, and obvious flaw is simple human error: accidentally overwriting a file or trashing a file you had attempted to keep.

It seems like you are mistaking constructive advice with something that is making you seem defensive?
First of all, I just pointed to a few links for those articles. There are many, many more. I suspect you will never take the time, nor make the effort, to research this any further. Yet, yesterday I went ahead and researched your idea about using compressed air to clean out the inside of a laptop, and sure enough, there were numerous positive and negative comments about it.

Secondly, I don't have to rely on such articles. I have been successfully following my routine for so, so long, and never encountered any issues with it. Obviously, there are hardware issues that are going to arise which are not preventatble through the application of any program. I do remember one time where some sort of directory damage happened, and I was able to recover from it using Disk Warrior. I do not know how that damage happened, but that was the one and only time. I was able to continue to use the drive without further issues.

Third, as for "constructive" advice, how can I take faith in that when you previously stated (falsely) that none of these products have been tested very much? And, how can I take such "advice" when there are so many positive articles/reviews about these products? Then, of course, there is the overriding fact that I have been successfully using this strategy for so, so long.
     
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:17 PM
 
I don't really care what you do at this point akent35, keep doing what you're doing, and next time I'll refrain from issuing advice. This sounds passive aggressive, but I'm sorry, I laid out the facts in front of you and you chose to be defensive by not looking at them, and clinging to the idea that if some random tech journalists have favorable reviews and if this system has been working well for you, these facts must be invalid.

Finally, I did not say that these products have been tested very much, which is another reason why I'm bowing out of this conversation. That is two things you have just fabricated about my positions. You clearly are much more invested in convincing yourself that you are right, which is fine, I guess, but at this point I'm just not particularly interested in trying to combat this defensiveness with further bickering.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I await somebody pointing out to me the technical reasons for running these apps. I will read anything you want me to read, just direct me to the section I should focus on.
I suspect that even if I did that, you would be a waste of my time. I'd rather use that time to perform my maintenance/cleaning/backup tasks.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Note to self: stop trying to relate using analogies, because people like to pick them apart.

None of this is based on facts, including what you think my prescription is for backups, but it seems like this conversation is nearing its close since you seem resolved in not wanting to learn what these facts are, and would rather just be assured that you were right all along.
Note to self: I guess there are folks who don't believe in the KISS philosophy.

I did not say your method was wrong. I said if you are content with that, fine. How simple can I state that? Another example of the KISS philosophy, or lack thereof, in this case.
     
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:22 PM
 
Dude, it is pretty clear that you don't even know what my "method" is, so it is rather sad that you have decided that it is "wrong" anyway, and also sad that you feel that this is about "right" and "wrong".

My advice was intended to help bolster your backup system and focus on things that will yield a return on investment rather than placebos, not make you feel that you are "wrong" or some misinformed loser. If this is how you feel, I suggest thinking about what you expect to gain from a thread where you seek technical feedback and advice on something - particularly when you seem disinterested in looking at facts when they counter what you have already been doing.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I don't really care what you do at this point akent35, keep doing what you're doing, and next time I'll refrain from issuing advice. This sounds passive aggressive, but I'm sorry, I laid out the facts in front of you and you chose to be defensive by not looking at them, and clinging to the idea that if some random tech journalists have favorable reviews and if this system has been working well for you, these facts must be invalid.

Finally, I did not say that these products have been tested very much, which is another reason why I'm bowing out of this conversation. That is two things you have just fabricated about my positions. You clearly are much more invested in convincing yourself that you are right, which is fine, I guess, but at this point I'm just not particularly interested in trying to combat this defensiveness with further bickering.
Just to set the record straight, yes, it was not you that made those testing remarks. It was two other folks.

I'm glad you are bowing out, as you are taking all my statements the wrong way. Again, you are ignoring the KISS philosophy. Again, there is no right and wrong here. But obviously, that is the way you see it. Fine. I for one do not see it that way. (A good analogy: I do not have tunnel vision).
( Last edited by akent35; Mar 23, 2014 at 03:19 PM. )
     
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:27 PM
 
How is doing something more KISS than not doing something because it is unnecessary?
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Dude, it is pretty clear that you don't even know what my "method" is, so it is rather sad that you have decided that it is "wrong" anyway, and also sad that you feel that this is about "right" and "wrong".

My advice was intended to help bolster your backup system and focus on things that will yield a return on investment rather than placebos, not make you feel that you are "wrong" or some misinformed loser. If this is how you feel, I suggest thinking about what you expect to gain from a thread where you seek technical feedback and advice on something - particularly when you seem disinterested in looking at facts when they counter what you have already been doing.
Dude, the original thread was about the comparison of the 4 products I mentioned, not if they are good, bad, or ineffective. Folks like yourself went the opposite direction. Apparently there are folks that have a difficult time reading.

And, why are you still insisting that I said your method is wrong? Man, you really can not read! I said it ai least twice, that if you are happy with your method, fine. I did not say it was wrong. Nor did I say that one method is "more right" than another.

Man, to use an analogy: It seems like I am beating a dead horse here with you.
     
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
I don't rely on a daily driver. I do my own driving, maintenance, etc.

If my backup strategy is so bad, then why are there so many positive articles written about the exact thing I am doing?
There are no positive articles written about the exact thing you are doing AS A BACKUP STRATEGY.

It is absolutely FINE (if unnecessary) as a pre-emptive maintenance routine.

It is NOT A SOLID BACKUP STRATEGY, for reasons which have been repeatedly explained to you.

I am not besson; don't get us confused with one another. All I am saying, in a nutshell, is this:

I don't care what "maintenance tools" you use. I don't care how often you use them. I answered that they are mostly pointless, only because you posted this thread, asking people to weigh in on various tools.

BUT THE WAY YOU ARE USING THESE TOOLS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A REAL BACKUP.

You need to be aware of this.


That's all I'm saying.

FWIW, I have two separate Time Machine backups of my system, and I have two working clones sitting around from several months ago, which I can just swap into my machine to at least continue working within minutes if the internal drive fails and I'm pressed for time.

Adding a real versioned backup like Time Machine to the mix doesn't need you to change ANYTHING of your current routine. All that happens is that you add another layer of real, actual backup, fully automatic, at very little monetary cost.
You stand to lose nothing and gain a real backup strategy in addition to your duplication/system "cleanup" efforts.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
How is doing something more KISS than not doing something because it is unnecessary?
Taking reading lessons, as some need to do here. That is definitely something that is KISS.

Also, saying that someone said something is wrong when that was not the case at all. That is definitely something that is KISS.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
There are no positive articles written about the exact thing you are doing AS A BACKUP STRATEGY.

It is absolutely FINE (if unnecessary) as a pre-emptive maintenance routine.

It is NOT A SOLID BACKUP STRATEGY, for reasons which have been repeatedly explained to you.

I am not besson; don't get us confused with one another. All I am saying, in a nutshell, is this:

I don't care what "maintenance tools" you use. I don't care how often you use them. I answered that they are mostly pointless, only because you posted this thread, asking people to weigh in on various tools.

BUT THE WAY YOU ARE USING THESE TOOLS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A REAL BACKUP.

You need to be aware of this.


That's all I'm saying.

FWIW, I have two separate Time Machine backups of my system, and I have two working clones sitting around from several months ago, which I can just swap into my machine to at least continue working within minutes if the internal drive fails and I'm pressed for time.

Adding a real versioned backup like Time Machine to the mix doesn't need you to change ANYTHING of your current routine. All that happens is that you add another layer of real, actual backup, fully automatic, at very little monetary cost.
You stand to lose nothing and gain a real backup strategy in addition to your duplication/system "cleanup" efforts.
OK, a couple of things.

First of all, I already stated that I was mistaken about the "testing" remark. You are one of the folks that made such a remark. Fine. But, they have been well-tested.

Secondly, I don't know if I would classify my use of SuperDuper! as not being a real backup strategy. I'll look into that more deeply, but it seems that I am doing what numerous others have stated about doing backups. In fact, maybe once a month is too much. I am not a very heavy user of my machines, but I want to always feel comfortable with them.

One other thing I need to clear up: my maintenance/cleaning routines are meant to augment my back up (via SuperDuper!). I of course understand such activities are not a substitute for it. I certainly don't think it hurts.

I guess the only possible flaw in my strategy is that I am not backing up a truly, "untouched" version of my system. I guess I could do that by just using SuperDuper! straight, without any other software to augment that. Yes, Time Machine basically automates that.

Finally, and this seems to be a "reading" issue with some folks. The very first post in this thread, by me, was meant to solicit opinions and/or links to reviews about the 4 products:

Onyx (free)
Cocktail (Shareware)
TinkerTool
TinkerTool System (Shareware)

Nothing was ever said in that post about using them as part of a backup strategy. For some reason, a few folks chose to concentrate on the "not so positive" aspects of these products, without ever pointing to specific articles about those "not so positive" aspects. Unfortunately, the discussions got more side tracked.

In any event, I guess it's best to leave things as they are. There is no "right" or "wrong" way of doing things. Again, I do appreciate, Spheric Harlot, your excellent take on Time Machine. I have never thought of my strategy as being completely fool proof, and as I already stated, I am not making an "untouched" backup. I have also never thought (nor stated) that the use of Onyx and TechTool, Pro was to be viewed as a backup strategy. Again, I am just using those tools to augment it.
( Last edited by akent35; Mar 23, 2014 at 03:18 PM. )
     
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Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Taking reading lessons, as some need to do here. That is definitely something that is KISS.

Also, saying that someone said something is wrong when that was not the case at all. That is definitely something that is KISS.
This is going nowhere.
     
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Mar 23, 2014, 03:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
I guess the only possible flaw in my strategy is that I am not backing up a truly, "untouched" version of my system. I guess I could do that by just using SuperDuper! straight, without any other software to augment that. Yes, Time Machine basically automates that.

There are multiple flaws in your strategy, which have been addressed in this thread. I'll let somebody else take it from here if they are so inclined, I'm running out of gas.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 03:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
This is going nowhere.
No, you are incorrect. I guess you truly do not believe in the KISS philosophy. You actually could benefit by taking reading lessons.
     
akent35  (op)
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Mar 23, 2014, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
There are multiple flaws in your strategy, which have been addressed in this thread. I'll let somebody else take it from here if they are so inclined, I'm running out of gas.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I've got a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell to you!

I am also out of gas, as it's like trying to explain something to a 6 year old. Even in simple terms, you still don't get it!
     
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Mar 23, 2014, 03:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Secondly, I don't know if I would classify my use of SuperDuper! as not being a real backup strategy. I'll look into that more deeply, but it seems that I am doing what numerous others have stated about doing backups.
It is not a backup strategy.

Data loss/corruption can and will often begin occurring LONG before you actually notice. Your current "strategy" will result in two exact copies of corrupted data when that happens, with NO actual backup of the intact data.

The fact that many people do not understand this does not mean that it's a good idea to work this way.


One other thing I need to clear up: my maintenance/cleaning routines are meant to augment my back up (via SuperDuper!). I of course understand such activities are not a substitute for it. I certainly don't think it hurts.
You're right: It doesn't hurt. As long as you don't consider your time (or your money, if you paid for the shareware versions) of any value.

Your use of those tools doesn't really "augment" anything; they are simply an additional waste of time in a complex procedure that doesn't actually do what you think it does.

I guess the only possible flaw in my strategy is that I am not backing up a truly, "untouched" version of my system. I guess I could do that by just using SuperDuper! straight, without any other software to augment that. Yes, Time Machine basically automates that.
Unless SuperDuper actually keeps multiple versions of all your documents, then NO, Time Machine and SuperDuper do completely different things.
     
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Mar 24, 2014, 05:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
This is going nowhere.
I agree.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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