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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > whats the diff between pre-binding and HD optimizing

whats the diff between pre-binding and HD optimizing
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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Apr 2, 2002, 11:20 PM
I made the switch over to osX, and while I like it, unfortunatly it is slow. So I was looking around the web to clean up my HD (since I hear that osX fragments up your HD badly). I can across Nortons speed disk program which speeds up by deframenting and another separate program which pre- binds. Are these two entities the same?
Pismo 400 | Powerbook 1.5 GHz | MacPro 2.66/6GB/7300GT
Big Mac
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Apr 2, 2002, 11:59 PM
No, these two concepts are very different. Concerning defragmentation: Hard disks are segmented into many small blocks, which store the files. As files are written to a disk, they are written (because of necessity) in non-contiguous blocks. After all, when a file is written, the computer has no way to determine how large that file will end up being in the course of its existence. A file of 5KB could be increased in size to 125KB, for instance. Yet, in between that enlargement, other files would be written to the disk, so when the file in question would grow, it would have to be written to a separate block away from its first segment. That's simply what fragmentation is, when the file's segments are written to separate parts of the disk. A disk defragmentation tools rebuilds a disk by reuniting files into contiguous chunks, which improves speed especially for highly fragmented drives

Pre-binding, on the other hand, is a pretty new issue brought to us by Cocoa. As I understand it, when a program links to necessary libraries, it can link in two different ways, which I will call hard and soft for lack of better terminology. Hard links are much more common. Soft links, however, offer the programmer much more flexibility. Pre-binding searches ahead of time and hard links the libraries to the Cocoa applications, thus improving speed.

Both defragmentation and pre-binding are important. I've heard that people usually defragment and then pre-bind. Another thing I've heard is that if you have your Virtual Memory swap space on your regular partition as opposed to a separate one, then your disk will be severely fragmented. (Most everyone has their swap space on their regular partition, since that's the way Apple sets our machines up.) Since OS X makes heavy use of VM, constantly writing and destroying data on the drive and consequently separating file segments, that theory makes a whole lot of sense to me. This is my understanding; I believe I'm correct, but I'm not a programmer, so any criticism is welcome.

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Ilene Hoffman
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Apr 3, 2002, 12:07 AM
OSX is only as slow as its user. End of story.
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Apr 3, 2002, 12:36 AM
You want to speed up OS X (especially when running many apps at once)? Get more RAM. What's that? You already have 320 megs of RAM? It's not enough. Get 256 more megs.
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tkmd  (op)
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Apr 3, 2002, 12:51 AM
Thank you big mac for keeping on the topic, however, for further information I am running a Pismo 400 48GB HD/ 768Mb. So as one can see I have done litterally everything possible to speed up this mac with the faster spinning HD for the virtual memory and the extra RAM for the tax from Aqua. I fully understand it will not be as fast as a g4. But I still like osX- but it is slow. Being on a students budget, does not afford me to purchase big caliber G4 machines.
Now getting back to my original question in this thread....
Pismo 400 | Powerbook 1.5 GHz | MacPro 2.66/6GB/7300GT
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