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jeff k Nov 14, 2013 03:32 PM
Monthly maintenance and Checkmate
I think on another thread here and elsewhere, I inquired about doing monthly maintenance.

The verdict is pretty much don't bother anymore, but someone suggested on another board checkmate.

I tried it, but it screwed up super duper, and did not check all the hardrives.

They claim it's better now, but does anyone bother with checkmate? is it good?
Spheric Harlot Nov 14, 2013 05:46 PM
You asked here; everybody told you not to bother.

You listened to some moron elsewhere and went ahead anyway, it ****ed you over, and now you're coming back to the place where everybody advised against it to ask whether we approve of this "maintenance" software?

Are you for real?

Hell yeah.

In fact, I suggest a weekly maintenance schedule using a tool called "Sledgehammer". You can get it at any hardware store. Works fine with SuperDuper and Checkmate. Fixes all technology issues.
turtle777 Nov 14, 2013 06:02 PM

Thought the same thing.

jeff k Nov 14, 2013 06:12 PM
S, BEFORE you get hot under the collar, I did take your advice. I was using Cocktail for years and then stopped. Also I was doing some manual things with DU.

But this was recommended by super smart guy — so it was only $20 special.

Supposedly is checks all your hardrives and does smart test as some other stuff automatically, you don't have to thing.

That said you don't buy it. You think its BS.
Spheric Harlot Nov 14, 2013 06:27 PM
Super Smart Guy sold you software for $20 that you didn't need.

Super Smart Marketing Guy.
jeff k Nov 14, 2013 07:18 PM
The Smart guy, who like you has given me great advice for years on , now called finetuned Mac, is not part of Checkmate, Micromat — he really like it and uses it, but anyway — it's a bunch of bs? scanning, checking hardrives.. smart test...?

$20 is cheap, I've wasted more in other things and bad advice!
Spheric Harlot Nov 14, 2013 08:38 PM
Except, um, "it screwed up super duper, and did not check all the hardrives."
besson3c Nov 14, 2013 08:48 PM
Checkmate is based on a more sound principal than Cocktail in that it doesn't actually alter stuff, it just runs tests to allow you to be pre-emptive about addressing hardware/software failures, but I still wouldn't recommend running it.

It's tests are tests for things which are, for the most part, exceedingly rare, the least rare of these situations being SATA hard drive failure and file system corruption, where in the case of the former you could reproduce this with any utility that alerts you when the SMART status of your drive fails, and in the case of the latter it is not a given that this third party software can accurately diagnose HFS+ failures.

However, even if it could detect HFS+ failures and you wanted to run it to monitor SMART status, it would cause things to slow down while these tests were being run, and would be something that could be invasive to your workflow. This is like running tests every week to see if you have Chinese monkey pox, cancer, or AIDS... "Do I have these diseases now?" "How about now?" "Any sign of these diseases?"

Why not wait until your computer starts exhibiting symptoms before worrying? Have you been burned in the past somehow, Jeff? You seem a little paranoid.
reader50 Nov 14, 2013 08:48 PM
OS X does some maintenance routines of its own at regular intervals. The average user doesn't need an extra utility for tidying up.

Under certain circumstances, defragging can be useful. But those circumstances (running for an extended time above 80% full HD) do not apply to the average user. And if you do a clean OS X upgrade every 1-2 years, then you get much the same result as a defrag.

Monitoring SMART is somewhat useful. You can check yourself with Disk Utility, and failing HDs usually give other symptoms. Excessive clicking, slowdowns, machine lockups. But Google did a study of their own datacenter HD failures, and found most failed HDs did not give advance SMART warning. That's for spinning HDs, which we have decades of failure experience on. Today we're transitioning to SSDs, which we have little failure experience with. So SMART is going to be even less useful predicting SSD failures.

I don't know of any maintenance utility the average user needs to buy. If you regularly run above 90% full on your HD with heavy fragmentation, you don't need a defragger. You need a bigger HD. A SMART monitor that pops up a warning of impending failure might be useful, but having a good Time Machine backup makes even that of little use.
Spheric Harlot Nov 14, 2013 08:59 PM
Two hard drives died on me today. On my production machine. (This may be part of why I sound a little crabby, though Jeff's posting history plays its part.)

Neither of them gave any diagnostic warning signs (I have SMART reporter running on my machines).
besson3c Nov 14, 2013 09:26 PM
Yeah, and if you are running an SSD, you definitely shouldn't worry about SMART status, as it is inapplicable.
jeff k Nov 14, 2013 09:39 PM
Besson, great post!
No, but I come from the era of 'monthly maintenance" cocktail, all that, then I did take advice here and not do manual stuff anymore. Checkmate was recommended by someone who is usually brilliant. But yeah.. it's sounds like it will cause more problems than it solves...
jeff k Nov 14, 2013 09:40 PM
My laptop is ssd, but all my desktop is externals traditional.
CharlesS Nov 15, 2013 03:01 PM
I recently got a license to TechTool Pro as part of a MacUpdate bundle that I bought for some of the other apps that were in it. I decided to give TTP a spin to see if it had improved since the last time I'd looked at it, which was a few years ago. Since DiskWarrior isn't able to scan drives with a catalog file larger than 4 GB, I decided to see if it could operate on my Time Machine drive since that's the one thing that can be kind of a problem if it fails, these days, and since having another utility as a backup in case fsck can't fix something (not that I've even had fsck ever detect any problems whatsoever in at least six years, but hey). To my surprise, TTP was actually able to scan the backup drive. However, I noticed that the tests it was running looked kind of familiar, so I decided to have a look at something. Here's what I found:

It's just using fsck under the hood. I... don't even know what to say about that. TTP appears to be doing the same exact thing that Disk Utility does.

Needless to say, my opinion of MicroMat is not too high right now.
turtle777 Nov 15, 2013 03:22 PM

I'm glad I didn't bother to buy it. I saw the bundle, but really didn't need much of the apps. TTP looked interesting.

jeff k Nov 15, 2013 03:32 PM
thanks Charles,
I'll be uninstalling Checkmate, I'm done.

I used use/ love discwarrior, but have not owned it in many years, maybe hardrives have gotten better or DU has gotten better?

I did have TT pro also, and never found it as powerful as discwarrior.
reader50 Nov 15, 2013 03:53 PM
I do recommend owning DiskWarrior. It's not a monthly maintenance or cleanup utility, it's an emergency tool.

You may never need it. But if you do, it will likely pay for itself on the first use.
besson3c Nov 15, 2013 06:03 PM
DiskWarrior should become completely unnecessary once Apple adopts a better file system. The fact that people recommend owning it is not some representation of normal, it is a representation of how bad HFS+ is. CharlesS, I'm surprised you've never had problems fsck could not fix.
CharlesS Nov 15, 2013 06:45 PM
DiskWarrior is pretty unnecessary already, since it's unable to operate on Time Machine volumes due to their directory structures often being larger than 4 GB (DiskWarrior tries to load the entire directory into RAM, but can't store more than 4 GB due to being a 32-bit app), and since any other disk can just be reformatted and restored from the Time Machine backup.

I'm not saying I've never had problems that fsck can't fix — I have, but it's been a really long time. Directory corruption used to be pretty common in the early days of OS X, but it's been many years now since I've seen fsck return any errors at all — let alone ones that it can't fix. I'm not disagreeing with you that HFS+ needs to be replaced by something more modern, but Apple really does seem to have cleaned up its implementation a lot recently. Things like leaving a disk almost full, for example, used to be just asking for problems with HFS+, but now things like MobileBackups (and Time Machine in general) pretty much ensure that the disk is going to be perpetually in that state, and yet, it still works, at least in my case.
jeff k Nov 15, 2013 09:19 PM
Nice posts.
So Charles, you don't think.. Well, yeah, I have not had any need for disc warrior, I used to have it back to OS 9. So DU and the more modern Apple is getting better?

A lot of this goes over my head. I don't really understand fsck at all, but I just have not see a major hardrive issue that needed disc warrior in several version (5-6?) of the OS, and you need to pay them for all those new versions of disc warrior right?

I also exclude a lot in TM, so I probably then don't get those benefits you mention Charles. I just use time machine for certain folders. I would have to buy 3 4 TB drives to back up all my 2TB of data, and don't want to fork out another $500 or so.
CharlesS Nov 15, 2013 11:10 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by jeff k (Post 4257676)
I also exclude a lot in TM, so I probably then don't get those benefits you mention Charles. I just use time machine for certain folders. I would have to buy 3 4 TB drives to back up all my 2TB of data, and don't want to fork out another $500 or so.
That's a mistake IMO. In the case of a software-related disk failure, DiskWarrior might be able to save you, but I'd much rather have a decent backup. And of course, in the case of a hardware-related disk failure, neither DiskWarrior nor any other software utility is going to be able to save you. Not having a backup is just asking for it.

A 4 TB drive costs less than $200 on Newegg, and should be plenty to back up your 2 TB of data (with another 2 TB left over for incrementals).
jeff k Nov 16, 2013 04:05 PM
Charles a back up of what? Isn't time machine supposed to be back up files and folders?

For full disc, including bootable OS, I use scheduled backups with Super Duper.
jeff k Dec 3, 2013 03:28 PM
This is kind of unrelated, but, somewhat related, a very software developer who handles one of my most important software —
There was some weird bug, we fixed it had to do with this new checkbox in finder called
'Prevent App Nap' option.

Anyway I unchecked it and the issue solved.

I told him that I don't do any more maintenance (influence of this group) This is what he wrote, anyone agree with this..??

"Hi Jeff,

Well, in the past Onyx fixed very weird problems on my computer. The best way to fix problems is to reinstall the whole system but this is extremely time consuming. Windows users are very used to it and they find it normal. Mac users don't but each Mac OS X version is worst than the previous, it starts to look like Windows, I mean, Mac systems are now full of bugs, crash often...etc... it is no longer the quality we had a few years ago. Every day I see new problems and I have been living with bugs up to 3 years old."
besson3c Dec 3, 2013 03:33 PM
A software developer doesn't necessarily understand OSes and system administration just because he/she is a developer.

Modern OSes don't need regular "maintenance" - period, end of story. The only exception in OS X is the file system, because it is the only part of the OS that isn't modern. Still, there are no third party apps/utilities you should run on a regular basis for dealing with the file system.

The bugs in OS X are completely and utterly irrelevant to this conversation. Regular "maintenance" does not fix bugs.
jeff k Dec 3, 2013 05:19 PM
thanks B, just curious, is what he is saying about Mac being full of bugs, and each OS being worse than previous true? I'd never even suspect that.
besson3c Dec 3, 2013 05:34 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by jeff k (Post 4259961)
thanks B, just curious, is what he is saying about Mac being full of bugs, and each OS being worse than previous true? I'd never even suspect that.

There is no way I can answer that, and there is no way he can know. He is reporting his particular experience to you and trying to make the case that it is representative, which is as small a sample size as sample sizes come. What is apparent is that a number of people don't like some of the UI changes Apple has made, and in my opinion it is easy to conflate distaste in UI with the general technical sophistication/soundness of the underpinnings/backend of the underlying product.

Put more simply, all I'd have to do is say that my Mavericks experience has been great (which it has, with one exception), and you will walk away confused as to whose experience to trust and/or put stock into, right?

Look for larger sample sizes of reports of the applications you count on, and don't put stock into individual little anecdotes.
jeff k Dec 3, 2013 05:54 PM
B, I gotta say, I'm real impressed that I only had to wait for one Epson scanner to get up to par after installing Mavericks.
Compare that to 5-6 years ago, when you would upgrade an OS, and all my drivers and whatnot — total chaos.

Still, was surprised when this guy wrote that complaint about Mac, he is 100 x more tech savvy than me.
P Dec 4, 2013 08:51 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by jeff k (Post 4259961)
thanks B, just curious, is what he is saying about Mac being full of bugs, and each OS being worse than previous true? I'd never even suspect that.
Snow Leopard was arguably the most stable version ever, so everything since is a step down. I think the complaint is that with the yearly release cycles, Apple moves away from post-launch fixing much sooner, which means that the last fix level is probably less "done" than it used to be. .0 is probably better, though - by all accounts, 10.9.0 i the best .0 ever.
jeff k Dec 4, 2013 02:16 PM
Funny, just got this from the guy now:

"It is not my experience. The best OS Apple released was Snow Leopard. "


For me I love the fact I can now upgrade the OS without total chaos with apps and drivers.
Spheric Harlot Dec 4, 2013 03:01 PM
I just discovered that Mavericks killed my scanner, which had been working better than ever under Lion and Mountain Lion.
jeff k Dec 4, 2013 05:41 PM
joking right?

you mean driver is toast now? can't update that?

This is what I'm impressed about OS now, they really notify developers better to updates happen more seamless, used to just such a horror every OS update.
Spheric Harlot Dec 4, 2013 06:17 PM
My scanner is not working. It is about seven years old, and was working fine just up until the Mavericks update. It works on neither machine, and Canon drivers only support up to 10.8. Installing them under Mavericks does nothing.
jeff k Dec 4, 2013 08:42 PM
Time for 3rd party drivers .?
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