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#25580 - 03/30/13 02:39 PM Do maintenance or not?
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
There is a debate I'm having with some folks:
Do monthly maintenance or not?

Some say don't use Cocktail, so I bailed on that.

And then some say don't even repair hard rives until they are broken. any opinions here? thanks.

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#25581 - 03/30/13 03:19 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
All I can tell you is what I do, you have to make your own decision. Lots of thing have changed including Apple's recommended routines. I used to repair permissions after every update, now I only do it after an upgrade — if I remember to do it then. I used to run volume repair regularly, but that was at least four of five years ago. I also used to defragment the HD every few months, but that was even longer ago. I don't even remember the last time I ran the daily, weekly, and monthly log recycling routines.

Now I have a utility that checks the system memory at least once a day, runs an I/O check and monitors the Power on Self-Test; checks volume structures at least once a day, performs a full surface scan when I am not using the system, monitors the S.M.A.R.T. readings, and checks the file structures daily. I have not had an alarm of any type from this system in months. The one I use is Micromat's Checkmate and it appears to me to be the most complete if for no other reason than the surface scan, but Micromat's TechTool Pro, Prosoft Engineering's Drive Genius, and other utilities offer some (most?) of this kind of routine monitoring and testing as well.

This saves me a lot of time, as well as providing advanced warning of impending problems. With this level of continual monitoring and testing I see no reason to perform any sort of routine maintenance.
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#25582 - 03/30/13 03:37 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
My reading of Joemikeb's reply is that he himself doesn't perform any sort of routine maintenance, because he has a utility that does it for him. Semantics. wink ;-)

Anyway, if you do run maintenance routines, you have a much better chance to catch problems before they become disasters. That said, it's still a chance, not a certainty. Having an independent (= separate HD etc.) running backup system in place helps mitigate the effects of disasters.
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#25583 - 03/30/13 05:09 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
I used to do several maintenance procedures on a regular basis, including rebuilding the directory (Disk Warrior), repairing permissions and running maintenance scripts. I have found that 10.6.8 is the most stable OS that I have ever used (I have no experience with 10.7 or 10.8) and, whenever I check the directory (a rare occurrence), Disk Warrior finds nothing to repair. I occasionally repair permissions (maybe every other month) just for laughs and I run the maintenance scripts if I'm bored, but otherwise I'm fairly relaxed about it.

I do, however, religiously maintain a Time Machine backup as well as a SuperDuper clone.

For another point of view, read Do You Need a Third-Party Disk Utility.


Edited by jchuzi (03/30/13 05:30 PM)
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.15.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#25584 - 03/30/13 06:23 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: alternaut]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Quote:
My reading of Joemikeb's reply is that he himself doesn't perform any sort of routine maintenance, because he has a utility that does it for him. Semantics. ;-)

Not quite. The utility performs NO maintenance and NO repairs. Instead it checks to see if there is any NEED for repairs or other actions such as replacing a failing HD.
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#25585 - 03/30/13 06:55 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
GUYS, thanks, great info.
Joe, I'm going to get checkmate. One question: Does it check both your Mac HD and multiple external hardrives?

This is great because it's inexpensive, and I'm doing this manually each month which is a PITA.

Appreciate it.



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#25586 - 03/31/13 04:43 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
It does check external drives that are connected directly to the computer, but it does not do S.M.A.R.T. testing of external drives, however IMO that is no great loss as the surface scan is proven to be a far better predictor of impending drive failure.
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#25587 - 03/31/13 06:07 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: joemikeb]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Thanks for the advice, Joe. I just downloaded and installed Checkmate. Oddly, the download is for version 1.0.3, an older version. Upon installation, Checkmate launched and immediately asked if I wanted to update to version 1.0.4, which I did. I wonder why Micromat hasn't updated their direct download to reflect this?

Incidentally (and for all who are contemplating doing this), Micromat has a special introductory offer of $29.99, down from $49.99. When you click Buy, there is an option for current users of Micromat to purchase it for $19.99. Not a bad deal!
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.15.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#25588 - 03/31/13 08:28 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: joemikeb]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Quote:
My reading of Joemikeb's reply is that he himself doesn't perform any sort of routine maintenance, because he has a utility that does it for him. Semantics. ;-)

Not quite. The utility performs NO maintenance and NO repairs. Instead it checks to see if there is any NEED for repairs or other actions such as replacing a failing HD.

I stand corrected. That said, against the backdrop of the OP's question the difference still has a flavor of 'semantics': the intent of both monitoring and maintenance routines referred to here is the same, to help avoid running into otherwise unforeseen problems, ideally while reducing the manual chore of it. But while both monitoring and maintenance routines can be automated, it's good to remember that they're not identical in the kind of issues they address, and that they may coexist.

PS, the Checkmate version issue Jon reported can be avoided by using the 'Checkmate Upgrade Offer Application' download button on the order confirmation.
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#25589 - 03/31/13 10:37 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: alternaut]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
thanks Joe/ others.
Checkmate wont check drives that are connected to hubs? they have to be connected to the computer?

All my externals (3), are going to a hub.

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#25590 - 03/31/13 03:08 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Obviously I didn't make myself clear. tongue

Checkmate is capable of performing most tests, including a surface scan, on any drive having a physical connection to the computer. This includes physical connections going through hubs.

The exception to this external drive testing is S.M.A.R.T. (Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) which is dependent in part on the ATA disk drive connection and although Firewire, USB, and Thunderbolt connections can be used to access external hard drives via a bridge chip those bridge chips seldom, if ever, access the SMART readings. However, the value of SMART in predicting drive failure is highly questionable while a surface scan has been proven to be the most reliable predictor of impending drive failure and Checkmate will perform a surface scan on external drives.

What Deskmate can't check are drives connected to the computer via WiFi such as a a Time Machine volume on a Time Capsule.
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#25592 - 04/01/13 09:37 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Ok Joe got it.
I have an external I keep at the bank.

Hence, my manual repairing of this disc.

Anyway, I assume checkmate would have notified me of this type of stuff for the drives that stay at home, but for this one drive — being I only bring it into the house for one day a month, it may not be a bad idea to run a manual check on it no?

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#25593 - 04/01/13 10:47 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Not a bad idea. Personally I have taken to keeping copies of my most critical — and potentially costly — data as well as current project files on encrypted backups in iCloud or Dropbox. In my case that offers the advantages of:
  • Continual instead of periodic backup
  • The data is available to me literally anywhere in the world
  • It keeps the data on my Mac mini, iPhone, and iPad continually synchronized
  • Apple and Dropbox have a far better backup systems for my data than I have.
Of course thoughts of a Thunderbolt RAID 5 array do flick through my mind occasionally. cool
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#25594 - 04/01/13 11:01 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
thanks Joe, ok so not bad idea to run a manual disk utility on the bank drive still, as that one only comes into the house once a month.. (just got checkmate, thanks for the tip)

Don't have an ipad or iphone yet, but that is a a good idea for when I plunge in. How much space does Apples icloud give for free? I like dropbox, but it's still a bit clunky the interface and how one deals with it. I still get this nuisance dropbox message sometimes with I reboot into other backup drives.

But really, all my stuff, gigs of it is easier to deal with on the externals still.

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#25595 - 04/01/13 12:08 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The iCloud storage plans are:
  • 5GB — Free
  • 10GB — $20/year
  • 20GB — $40/year
  • 50GB — $100/year
Applications must be specifically written to directly access iCloud data as if it were physically connected to the Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Apple's requirements for allowing apps to access iCloud are pretty stringent and require lots of security precautions such as "sandboxing" app data on the Mac or iDevice. That effectively limits iCloud compatible apps to distribution through the App Store channels. The restrictions are intended to increase data reliability and security. At the present time all the Apple apps and a pretty limited number of third party apps are iCloud compatible.

Dropbox starts out with 2GB of free data storage and that can be increased up to 18GB at the rate of 500MB per referral. For a fee, Dropbox Pro provides…
  • 100GB — $99/year
  • 200GB — $199
  • 500GB — $499
Dropbox does not have the application restrictions of iCloud, but arguably the price of that is a decrease in security and reliability. All you have to do with Dropbox is place the files and/or folders in a designated Dropbox folder on your system. The penalty for that is opening a data file in Dropbox can be slow — in my experience slower than iCloud.

An additional benefit of online data storage, at least in iCloud and Dropbox is the ability to publicly or selectively share some of your data on the web. Thus eliminating the need for third party services to transfer large amounts of data on the web. Dropbox in particular offers facilities for team collaboration — at a price.

I use both iCloud and Dropbox because I have some applications that are not iCloud compliant/compatible most notably the accounting system I use. If I had my "druthers", I would druther have everything on iCloud because it is unnoticeably transparent in implementation. The developers of my accounting system tell me they are working on getting Apple's approval for using iCloud and I am cheering them on.
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#25596 - 04/01/13 02:14 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: joemikeb]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: joemikeb

I use both iCloud and Dropbox because I have some applications that are not iCloud compliant/compatible most notably the accounting system I use. If I had my "druthers", I would druther have everything on iCloud because it is unnoticeably transparent in implementation. The developers of my accounting system tell me they are working on getting Apple's approval for using iCloud and I am cheering them on.


I am a big fan of Dropbox, but because of the lack of universality more reluctant to use iCloud. Having said that, I just came across a piece of software that attempts to (partially) eliminate this issue. Check out Cloud Mate , in which I have no vested interest. The video is quite intriguing, and the price quite reasonable.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#25597 - 04/01/13 08:12 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: Ira L]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Why do you want apps in the cloud? You are booting from the cloud? I guess we are moving toward eliminating hardrives? That might be nice, way too expensive for a long time correct?

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#25598 - 04/02/13 01:03 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
The questions may be moot if you're running 10.6.7 as you need 10.7 for iCloud. I'm 10.6.8 and was interested in iCloud to have commonality between my Mac and my iPad, however was stopped by the 10.7 requirement.
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ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

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#25599 - 04/02/13 06:53 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: kevs
Why do you want apps in the cloud? You are booting from the cloud? I guess we are moving toward eliminating hardrives? That might be nice, way too expensive for a long time correct?


It's not that I want apps in the cloud, but rather I want some of my information accessible from a variety of hardware in a variety of locations. I am very selective about what I put in cloud storage, but for what I do use, it is extremely convenient. And not expensive at all--free for my needs.
_________________________
On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!

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#25601 - 04/02/13 08:16 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I may find myself in disagreement with many here, but I perform little to zero periodic maintenance on my primary computer. And it gets HEAVILY used, 16 hrs a day, every day.

My servers have sophisticated scripts that watch over things, but for the most part they don't do any maintenance either. I just get emails when there are problems that either they have automatically repaired, or that need my attention.

I used to pull all the drives out of the servers once a year and do a health check on them, but I haven't found time to do that recently and it's overdue. I probably won't like the results anyway. frown I know I have somewhere between 1 and 3 drives getting ready to fail due to some advanced scan testing that runs on all attached drives continuously. (one of them is pestering me almost daily.... ) On that note, I'm looking for cheap 4TB satas, and would also like to know if the gen1 mac pros can use bigger drives, they have 2's, will they take 3-4?
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#25844 - 05/03/13 08:06 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: Virtual1]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Joe, sure checkmate can check other drives than the Mac HD?
I've gone back and forth with Micromat, and they have me a new beta, and it still only check the Mac HD.
Any other utilities that do what checkmate does that check all external drives? I do like the interface.

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#25851 - 05/04/13 06:24 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
On my system, Checkmate 1.0.4 checks the volume structures and file structures as well as performing Surface scans of all physically attached (FW400/800, USB, Thunderbolt, SATA, and ESATA) drives. To my surprise this includes thumb drives. SMART tests are limited to SATA and ESATA drives due to SMART design and implementation limitations.

To be honest, I have never gotten an accurate handle on how often and when the surface scans are performed but going back through the logs I see where they have been performed. The last surface scan on my FW800 external drive was a week ago.
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#25856 - 05/04/13 09:04 AM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: joemikeb]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
thanks Joe, that's what they said, works, so they are looking into my issue. Super duper is taking 2 hours in the morning instead of 10 minutes so that's another issue, I think it's conflicting with that too. but the interface is wonderful, just having these two issues.

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#25997 - 05/30/13 04:13 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
kevs Offline


Registered: 12/07/09
Joe, hate to bug you again..
I'm quitting checkmate for a bit. They are very good with tech support and say they have a final version coming in July.
Two issues
1) does not check any of my external hard-rives ( you already addressed that)— hopefully the future version will work.
2) interferes with Super Duper. this is worrisome. I have to wonder, what other things it may interfere with down the road? And it was not easy to figure that checkmate was the culprit on this. Is it like having anti-virus that running a lot in the background possible screwing with other apps?

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#25998 - 05/30/13 04:21 PM Re: Do maintenance or not? [Re: kevs]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: kevs
2) interferes with Super Duper. this is worrisome. I have to wonder, what other things it may interfere with down the road? And it was not easy to figure that checkmate was the culprit on this. Is it like having anti-virus that running a lot in the background possible screwing with other apps?
I use SuperDuper once a week to run a smart update to my backup drive. It is not automatically scheduled; I do this manually. I set up SD, walk away, and come back several minutes later when it's finished. The only "conflict" that I see with Checkmate is that I get a window that says that Checkmate could not complete its tests while SD was running and to try again in 15 minutes. I click OK and that seems to satisfy Checkmate.

The same thing happens when I run Disk Warrior.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.15.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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