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#26606 - 09/04/13 02:08 PM DiskWarrior & TechTool
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
This question could turn out to be a Ford vs Chevy argument, but I hope not. For a very long time, I have used DiskWarrior, mainly because I like the notion of an orderly directory and the habit of keeping the fragmented files to a minimum. I currently use DW version 4.4 on Mt. Lion 10.8.4 and on Snow Leopard 10.6.8 on another Mac. I get weary of waiting for the application to get ready to work. They blame Apple for not giving them a faster booting version of MacOS X. So far, that disadvantage has not driven me to give up.

I've used TechTool and perceive that it offers more services for keeping the Mac in good shape. My questions are:

Is there any problem using them one after the other to clean up my system software from time to time? and

Is there truly anything to be gained by doing so?


Edited by cyn (09/07/13 02:42 AM)
Edit Reason: Topic moved from the Lounge to the Mac OS X Applications forum.
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#26608 - 09/04/13 04:44 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> I get weary of waiting for the application to get ready to work. They blame Apple for not giving them a faster booting version of MacOS X.

That sounds like you're running DW from its CD. If you run it from a bootable volume on either your internal HD or an external HD it will do its thing much, much faster.


Edited by artie505 (09/04/13 04:46 PM)
Edit Reason: Expand
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#26609 - 09/04/13 04:54 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
As Artie said, if you run DW from a bootable volume, it takes very little time. I do that by booting from my clone.

I see no point in running DW and TTP's version of directory repair one after another. Either one should suffice. I have always used DW for this task so I can't speak for TTP's efficacy, but I imagine that it is good also. The other things done by TTP, of course, are not within DW's purview.

As of 10.6.8, I don't use DW nearly as often as I did with previous OSs. Apple seems to have made everything more stable.
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Jon

OS 10.14.5, 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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#26613 - 09/04/13 07:11 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: artie505]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Yes. I am running it on its CD. I have three hard drives on my Mac Pro. One is for Mountain Lion. The other two are for Time Machine backups. One is for my wife's iMac that I put in target disk mode and use a long Firewire 800 cable to connect to my Mac Pro. My machine serves as a remote storage location for her. The third drive is my own internal backup for my Mountain Lion drive. Each of us also has an external backup for the Mountain Lion drive. So...I have no other bootable drive. That's why I do DiskWarrior 4.4 from its original drive. I could partition one of the discs to make a DiskWarrior partition which can boot, but that will take away some storage area from the Time Machine backup partition on that drive and we both have large collections of files that we need to save as far back as possible. That's why I boot from the original CD when I use DW. My experience is like jschuzi's, I don't use DW as much as I used to, so I put up with the original CD. Another factor is that my Mac Pro is an early 2008 model that is getting long in the tooth. I'm hanging on until the new, smaller, higher-powered Mac Pro is released. If I like it, I'll buy it and then I'll build in more capacity including a bootable partition for DiskWarrior to reside.

Getting back to TechTool. Except for the area of similar function, does anyone use both DW and TechTool together except for the area of overlap?
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#26614 - 09/04/13 09:49 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I've got TTP only because Micromat was selling it cheaply to TT Deluxe users, and except for SMART Check (which may not be a more vigorous HD test than DW's but generates more analytical results), it just sits on my deuced Mac(hina) and vegetates. DW, on the other hand, gets run the one time a month I boot into my backup volume...simply because I'm there and can run it, not because I particularly feel that I need to run it.

> Each of us also has an external backup for the Mountain Lion drive.

Those sound like they're not TimeMachine backups, and if so, they're probably bootable volumes. You can dump DW into /Apps/Utils on either one, boot into it, and run DW on either the MP or the iMac from there.

I think you're misunderstanding the concept of "bootable volume:" A separate DW volume will be a bootable volume, but with the same extended boot period as the CD because it will still be booting from the boot version of OS X that's on the CD; what you need to do to get DW to work quickly is run it from a separate OS X volume that will boot quickly and overcome the Apple/Alsoft limitation.

And finally, bear in mind that your DW CD will not be able to boot a new MP; if you buy one, you'll either have to buy a new CD or run DW from some bootable volume somewhere.

Hope this helps.


Edited by artie505 (09/05/13 01:27 AM)
Edit Reason: Cleanup
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#26615 - 09/05/13 01:26 AM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: artie505]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
All hard drives, including the external hard drives, are Time Machine format. The Mountain Lion Drive is the only bootable drive that I currently have and my wife's Snow Leopard drive is the only bootable drive she currently has.

I expect to need an updated version of DW on a new Mac Pro as well as an updated version of the MacOS 10 (probably Mavericks).

The statement I made in my last post that says "Each of us also has an external backup for the Mountain Lion drive." is flat out wrong. Sorry. That's very confusing. I have an external backup for my Mountain Lion drive and my wife has an external backup for her Snow Leopard drive. That's so all of our eggs are not in one basket on my machine. If my Mac has a disaster that destroys all the hard drives, we each have another backup sitting on our respective external drives.

If I were desperate to speed up DiskWarrior, I'd have to partition one of the three hard drives and install Mountain Lion on the new partition and then install DiskWarrior on the new partition. To me, it isn't worth the effort. I have too much on my plate right now. My reason for starting this thread is to know if it is possible and desirable to run both DiskWarrior and TechTool Pro during my periodic maintenance.


Edited by JoBoy (09/05/13 01:40 AM)
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#26616 - 09/05/13 01:36 AM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Oh, well...so it goes.

Under the circumstances, your only alternative is to load DW on to each machine and then cable them up and run DW on each from the other in FW Target Disk Mode.

The new MP which, incidentally, may be the "sexiest Mac ever" will come with whatever OS is current at the time, likely Mavericks, but whether DW will require a free update or a paid upgrade remains to be seen (unless Alsoft has already commented and I haven't heard about it).

Edit: You could also just buy another external HD, clone your Mounty to it, add DW, and voila!


Edited by artie505 (09/05/13 03:24 AM)
Edit Reason: Cleanup & Edit
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#26617 - 09/05/13 11:37 AM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: artie505]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Quote:
Edit: You could also just buy another external HD, clone your Mounty to it, add DW, and voila!


OK, you're convincing me. I'm saving my pennies for the new Mac Pro, but maybe I'll take your advice anyway unless my treasurer (you know who) objects. If she does, I'll partition my Mountain Lion disk and just install ML and DW on a rather small partition and only the other apps and data that are required. I do have a little space I can spare for now and maybe that will do the job until I see how the new Mac Pro seems to be doing. I never buy the first of any new thing--hardware, software or new cars especially.
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#26618 - 09/05/13 12:40 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> OK, you're convincing me.

Don't get carried away. I'm not trying to convince you, just to present as many of your options as I can think of.

I only run DW because it's something to do, not because I particularly feel like I need it, and it sounds to me like if I were in your shoes I'd sooner forego DW than go to the trouble you're talking about.

I wonder whether joemikeb will kick in, but I think that some of the stuff TTP does, surface scans for instance, is more important than running DW, and that your money might be better spent on it rather than on an HD and enclosure.

Go the cheap, easy route! The MP and iMac are always cabled up for Time Machine, so install DW on both, and take turns booting each one into FW Target Disk Mode to run DW on it.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#26619 - 09/05/13 01:51 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: JoBoy
Getting back to TechTool. Except for the area of similar function, does anyone use both DW and TechTool together except for the area of overlap?

In the past there have been reports of damaged volumes that DW could not repair but TTP could and vice-versa. The same has been said for Drive Genius and DG does perform some repairs faster. However as jchuzi said Apple has made the system far more stable and I for one do not run DW, TTP, or DG unless I have to — which means I haven't run any of them in over a year except to prove they are still working after an update.

Originally Posted By: artie505
…SMART Check (which may not be a more vigorous HD test than DW's but generates more analytical results)

This was a few years ago but TTP's SMART Check alerted me to a failing hard drive long before DW's, or Disk Utility's SMART check with no details noted the problem. Overall the SMART check reported good, but at least two of the 21 tested parameters were way out of line. A week or two later the drive failed completely and with no further warning.

For routine drive and volume testing I now rely on Micromat's Checkmate which routinely performs SMART testing, volume testing, and best of all — in my mind — full surface scans of all my drives and is totally unobtrusively. It cannot "fix" anything but it does provide early warning of possible problems and so far with none of the false positives I have encountered with both TTP and DG monitoring utilities.

Until recently I routinely installed TechTool Pro's eDrive on my hard drives in case of volume damage. The eDrive was ideal for the situation you describe. However a couple of years ago I had an old HD out of a laptop and a spare bus powered external drive lying around. I installed OS X on it together with a variety of utilities including DW, TTP, DU, and DG and use it when I need to make volume repairs etc. It was/is a lot more convenient than maintaining separate installations on each of the Macs I support. Obviously it has gotten very little use lately.
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#26620 - 09/05/13 04:14 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: joemikeb]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Many thanks to both of you. The cheap easy route you mentioned looked cheap and easy, but my wife is finishing a 1,200 page history book and she's pressing hard to get it done quickly. This sounds funny, but it's all I can do to take care of her machine and get out of her way until the book is finished. I have my own deadlines, too, so I decided to partition my Mountain Lion drive to provide an additional hard drive from which I could operate DiskWarrior on both machines without lengthening my wife's down time. I started the process, but, when it was time to download a copy of Mountain Lion, the downloading was very slow. I let the download run for an hour and the time remaining estimate was still 8 hours. I killed the effort and put the Mountain Lion drive back to 1 partition. I will not be consuming a total of 8 hours using DW for many months. It just wasn't worth it. I like the idea of Checkmate and will go that way. Again, thanks a lot.


Edited by JoBoy (09/05/13 04:26 PM)
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#26625 - 09/06/13 06:51 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
I had some unexpected downtime when my wife was not in the office and I could do a little playing around with DiskWarrior 4.4.

I installed it in the Utilities folder of Applications on both my Mac Pro and her iMac. I then connected both machines with the FW800 cord and put my Mac Pro in Target mode. The MP's hard drive appeared on the iMac. I ran DW from the iMac's Utilities folder and it booted almost instantly. From there on, it was either equal to or a little slower than the DiskWarrior on the original CD. When the directory rebuild was complete, I clicked the Graph button. 91 items were still out of order so I re-ran DiskWarrior and checked the Graph again. There were still 91 items out of order. When I boot from the DW's CD, I always get zero items out of order after a directory rebuild.

I then reversed the setup and put the iMac in Target mode. DiskWarrior ran a little faster on my Mac Pro, but I have two quad-core Xeon processors so I expect better performance. After running DW from the Mac Pro, the graph showed 65 items still out of order on the iMac.

I then rebooted the iMac and opened the email app. After reading a couple of emails, I closed the app and ran DiskWarrior's graph on the iMac from my Mac Pro. It showed over 400 items out of order after merely using the email app for a couple of minutes. This is beginning to make me feel that I'm working for perfection for no good reason. I should just run it once in a while and forget it the rest of the time. I will run DW from my MP's Utilities folder to clean up my wife's directory from time to time because it's quick, but I'll only do my Mac Pro from the iMac when I feel like it and my wife is out of the office.

I will get Checkmate because I've experienced disk failures in out of warranty hard drives and I will instantly replace such a drive if Checkmate shows a warning, but here's a question: What if you get an impending failure warning on a drive that is still under warranty that you bought from Apple and you want the drive replaced based only on Checkmate's data? What do you think they'd do?
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#26627 - 09/07/13 02:48 AM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> This is beginning to make me feel that I'm working for perfection for no good reason.

I scratched my head for the same reason on numerous occasions until somebody pointed out that "in order" is merely Alsoft's idea of "in order" and doesn't necessarily have any basis in reality, at which point I quit making myself crazy looking for 100% results.

But, yeah, I've always wondered why the mere act of rebooting after running DW causes items to become "out of order."
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#26628 - 09/07/13 02:51 AM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
jchuzi Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Don't become paranoid about directory fragmentation. It doesn't seem to make much difference (at least none that I can detect) in my computer's performance. Correcting directory corruption, on the other hand, makes a BIG difference.

I run DW about once a month, mostly because I have nothing better to do. I don't even look at the graph anymore. I don't remember the last time that it detected any directory errors.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.5, 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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#26629 - 09/07/13 06:09 AM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: JoBoy]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: JoBoy
I will get Checkmate because I've experienced disk failures in out of warranty hard drives and I will instantly replace such a drive if Checkmate shows a warning, but here's a question: What if you get an impending failure warning on a drive that is still under warranty that you bought from Apple and you want the drive replaced based only on Checkmate's data? What do you think they'd do?

I have not had that particular situation arise, Checkmate is only a few months old, but I would speculate Apple's response would depend on which test failed and maybe the particular Genius at the Genius Desk.

If the failure is a damaged volume structure, they would almost certainly attempt to repair the volume structure using Disk Utility or when that happened to me the Genius Desk attempted to make repairs using Drive Genius (which is why I bought DG). When that failed miserably they replaced the drive.

If the failure is the SMART test, I suspect they would attempt to verify the failure using their own tools before replacing the drive. (Personally I would not take it in until I had verified the SMART results using another tool, probably TechTool Pro due to its more complete information on SMART tests — any test run on an active machine is subject to false positives.

When you run a surface scan any bad data blocks are automatically remapped to spare blocks on the drive so a second surface scan should be clean. The key here is not that there were bad data blocks, almost any drive can and will have a few bad data blocks, it is when additional bad data blocks are detected that you know the drive is failing. If you report that a surface scan failed and they run another surface scan and additional bad blocks are found that is as close to proof positive you can get to knowing the media is flaking off the platter and the drive failing without disassembling the drive and examining it under a microscope. I have heard reports of the Genius Desk refusing to replace a drive that fails a surface scan and other, more recent, reports of replacing it without question. In my case, since it was the third major failure on my iMac — HD replaced after recall, Logic board replaced after CPU failure, and a second HD failure — they gave me a brand new iMac of a later model with a faster CPU and larger HD.
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#26664 - 09/08/13 09:03 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: joemikeb]
JoBoy Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
My wife already had the hard drive in her iMac replaced during a recall earlier this year. My drives are no longer in warranty, but they seem to be doing just fine. However, I'm going to install Checkmate for sure. Thanks yet again to you and the others who participated in this discussion. I consider it very valuable information.
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Mac Pro dual Quad-Core Intel Xeons Early 2008; 16GB RAM; MacOS X 10.11.6, iOS 9.3.5

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#26708 - 09/11/13 04:43 PM Re: DiskWarrior & TechTool [Re: joemikeb]
MicroMatTech3 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
I do not have any experience with having Apple replace a disk drive on the basis of a diagnosis from Checkmate, but when the TechTool Protection feature was unable to back up my disk directory because the disk directory contained one bad block, I brought my MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo to my local Apple Store, along with a screen capture of the results of the Surface Scan in TechTool Pro, and the drive was replaced under warranty.

The Apple genius was impressed with my documenation, and visibly relieved that I had both a backup of all of my data and a G4 Cube that I could use until a replacement drive could be sent and installed. We spent the rest of the appointment trading stories about people who think that backups are for other people. I never mentioned Micromat in any context other than using the software.
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