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Switcher question - Mac Applications & Software

Hi. I have recently switched from a P4 1.8GHz homebuilt machine to an eMac. My question regards disk utilities. I am assuming that I will need some for the Mac just as I did for Windows. Does MacOS X require something like Norton Disk Doctor, Norton SpeedDisk, etc to keep it running well. Do bad clusters tend to occur with the Mac file system as they do on FAT32 or is it more akin to NTFS? Are defragmenters needed or does the Mac file system take care of that on its own like NTFS? Is there something akin to the ...

  1. #1

    Default Switcher question

    Hi.

    I have recently switched from a P4 1.8GHz homebuilt machine to an
    eMac. My question regards disk utilities. I am assuming that I will
    need some for the Mac just as I did for Windows. Does MacOS X require
    something like Norton Disk Doctor, Norton SpeedDisk, etc to keep it
    running well. Do bad clusters tend to occur with the Mac file system
    as they do on FAT32 or is it more akin to NTFS? Are defragmenters
    needed or does the Mac file system take care of that on its own like
    NTFS? Is there something akin to the registry which needs a program
    like WinDoctor to check for errors?

    I have read a little about DiskWarrior and have seen some information
    on the Norton Systemworks for Mac. Given how few programs are in the
    Mac version of Systemworks, is it worth it? Is such a program
    necessary?

    Also, can someone recommend a backup program akin to Veritas' Backup
    Exec Desktop Version? Is the one that comes with Systemworks any good?
    How about the one that comes with Roxio EZ CD Creator?

    THanks,
    Todd
    Todd Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Switcher question

    On 17 Sep 2003 10:39:23 -0700, Todd Baggarly <net> wrote: 

    I did about the same a year or so ago.
     

    Not really.
     

    No, no, and nope, in that order. The filesystem works entirely
    differently; I can go into a bunch of detail if you'd like?
     

    I do some pretty intense, non-standard things to my mac, and it
    continues to "just work". It does very well at separating system from
    applications, so much of what we're used to from Windows just plain
    isn't a problem.
     

    Haven't found it to be; maybe somoene here can convince both of us
    that they have a valid purpose.

    I've found that if I'm having a hard time getting something done on
    the Mac, it's because I'm trying to make it more complicated than it
    really is. Spent the longest time looking for a way to uninstall an
    application; dragging the app to the trashcan hadn't ocurred to me.
    There are programs like antivirus for the Mac, but if there has been
    a virus for OSX, I've not heard of it. Lots of limitations to
    unlearn, but I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

    Dave Hinz

    Dave Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <bka6tq$qvkks$news.uni-berlin.de>,
    Dave Hinz <net> wrote:
     

    Exactly the same "problem" I have had! It is a great pity that there are
    a few apps that insist on a complicated install and uninstall. The
    standard Macway is definity great.

    Also I directly bought Norton Antivirus for the Mac and must say it is
    pity that I threw away all that money.
    --

    gr,
    Antonio
    AnToNio Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <google.com>,
    net (Todd Baggarly) wrote:
     

    The Mac's default file system, HFS+, is a lot like NTFS except that it
    isn't journaled by default (and it doesn't do automatic defragmentation,
    but various tests show that file system fragmentation has very little
    impact on the performance of Mac OS X).

    In theory you could corrupt an HFS+ disk, but in practice that's
    extremely rare (not impossible, but rare). I don't own any disk utility
    software for my Macs and I haven't needed any such software since I
    started using Mac OS X. If you find yourself in a situation where you
    need something, you can always buy a copy of DiskWarrior on short
    notice. Chances are that it won't be necessary, though.

    -Eric

    --
    Eric Albert edu
    http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~ejalbert/
    Eric Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <google.com>,
    net (Todd Baggarly) wrote:
     

    Unix (Mac OS X too) checks its disks at startup with fsck (man fask in
    case you're curious). It will repair many (not all) things if necessary.

    .... 

    I do not know the programmes you mention.
    It seems Retrospect gets used quite often, if you need incremental
    backups and schedules etc.
    Otherwise CarbonCopyCloner will create a copy of your disk and maintain
    it.

    HTH

    Marc

    --
    Marc Heusser - Zurich, Switzerland
    Coaching - Consulting - Counselling - Psychotherapy
    http://www.heusser.com
    remove the obvious CHEERS and MERCIAL... from the reply address
    to reply via e-mail
    Marc Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Switcher question

    thanks to all who replied. I think I"ll take your advice and save the
    money and not buy any disk utiliites just yet. If I need them later, I
    can always change my mind. And it just occured to me that since I'm
    still running Windows XP on a separate box (CS Major and have to
    develop on that platform) I can use my Backup MyPC program if I just
    map my Mac as a network drive. One final question, though, is there a
    way to schedule the Mac to wake up from sleep. I have my backups
    scheduled for the middle of the night so they won't kick in just when
    I sit down to get some work done.

    Todd
    Todd Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Switcher question

    Hey Todd,

    I tend to push my mac really hard, doing stupid things like filling it to the brim with files. This has caused some directory damage from time to time. As such, I've found that, in addition to fsck, DiskWarrior and Norton Utilities are both very convenient to have. They can deal with overlapped files at which fsck balks.

    Again, if you treat your computer right, fsck should be quite enough. But if you want to completely recreate your directory, DiskWarrior is the way to go.

    Also, Norton Disk Doctor can fix small issues like custom icon flags and bundle bits that are unique to the Mac OS and thus are not handled by fsck.

    Andrew.

    On 2003-09-17 13:39:23 -0400, Todd Baggarly said:
     
    Andrew Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <stanford.edu>,
    Eric Albert <edu> wrote: 

    My Mac, and one of a colleague of mine, both got serious file corruption
    on HFS+ that, in his case needed Disk Warrior to fix, and in my case
    degraded further to such an extent that the machine needed a complete
    reinstallation from scratch.

    My personal view, based on this experience, and the infamous "repairing
    disk permissions" that needs to be done on a regular basis, is that the
    filesystem is the weakest part of OS X. They should have started with a
    robust UNIX filesystem, and added the HFS+ semantics they needed, rather
    than incompletely bolting bits of UNIX semantics onto the OS 9
    filesystem.

    Tim

    Tim Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <google.com>,
    net (Todd Baggarly) wrote:
     

    i would be sure that works. In general, if a backup utility is not Unix
    permissions-saavy, it will not be able to restore a bootable drive. It
    will back up files just fine, which may be enough for you.
     

    I've heard of 3rd party utilities that do this. I backup using
    Retrospect Desktop, which has the ability to wake a machine and run
    backups unattended. Don't recall if Retrospect Express can do that, but
    it looks like it can.

    --
    Chicago, IL
    Remove "GO" to reply.
    Phil Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <google.com>,
    net (Todd Baggarly) wrote:
     

    Congratulations, and welcome!
     

    It needs something OTHER than Norton to run well. I can no longer
    recommend Norton for Macs.

    Most of what you need is already built into the system, but it's
    difficult to get to because it's mostly UNIX-based.

    There's an easy freeware program called OnyX that will do almost
    everything you need to keep your Mac happy and healthy. Just run the
    "Automate" section about once a month.
     

    More like NTFS, but not immune from problems.
     

    We're three years into Mac OS X without a defragmenter so I would say
    it's not needed, but some companies still offer it anyway. I suppose
    it's a good thing to have around and run twice a year.

    Is there something akin to the registry which needs a program 

    The *only* reason I used to recommend SystemWorks is because it included
    a backup program (Mac people are TERRIBLE about backups, because the
    odds are they'll never have a problem that serious). However, since
    Carbon Copy Cloner is so cheap and since the most sensible way to back
    up today's large hard drives is to an external HD, CCC is the way to go.

    So, to summarise, I'd recommend:
    1. Download Onyx, learn how to use it, use it once a month.
    2. Download Carbon Copy Cloner, learn how to use it, run it as often as
    you want. Pay for it please, it's only $10!
    3. Purchase a copy of either Drive 10 (soon to be known as TechTool Pro)
    or DiskWarrior 3. Either one is fine, I personally think DW is better
    but Drive10 has a defragmenter which DW3 lacks.
     

    Not familiar with that one, but if CCC isn't quite all you need, look
    into ChronoSync from my pals at econtechnologies.com. It's only $20 and
    works great.
     

    Yes.
     

    That's a PC program, so I couldn't say. The Mac version of Roxio's stuff
    (Toast 6) doesn't come with a backup program that I know of.
    --
    Cheers,
    _Chas_
    http://www.apple.com/switch
    non-spammers can write to chasm at mac (dot com)
    Charles Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <stanford.edu>,
    Eric Albert <edu> wrote:
     
    >
    > The Mac's default file system, HFS+, is a lot like NTFS except that it
    > isn't journaled by default[/ref]

    I believe (not absolutely positive) that as of Panther, the system WILL
    be journaled by default.
    --
    Cheers,
    _Chas_
    http://www.apple.com/switch
    non-spammers can write to chasm at mac (dot com)
    Charles Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Switcher question

    > > How about the one that comes with Roxio EZ CD Creator? 

    Toast 6 does come with a backup scheduler, and much more.

    http://www.roxio.com/toast

    Does a whole lot more than the built-in stuff in the Mac OS.

    There's a $20 upgrade rebate card in the box that says it's valid for
    all previous Toast customers, Jam customers and Easy CD Creator
    customers. So if you're a switcher (first of all... congratulations
    for making the right move) you can use your PC software as proof to
    get the upgrade rebate.
    fingerman Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <tampabay.rr.com>,
    Charles Martin <org> wrote:
     
    >
    > It needs something OTHER than Norton to run well. I can no longer
    > recommend Norton for Macs.
    >[/ref]
    What is everyones problem with Norton latley? System Works 3 (NUM 8)
    works just fine on on my G4/400 with 10.2.6. What gives Charles?
    Slartibartfast Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Switcher question

    net (Todd Baggarly) wrote in message news:<google.com>... 

    Not really. The only thing you should have to do is let it stay
    on overnight once a week or so. There are some cleanup cron jobs
    that run around 4 AM.
    Eric Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <google.com>,
    org (Eric Pepke) wrote:
     
    >
    > Not really. The only thing you should have to do is let it stay
    > on overnight once a week or so. There are some cleanup cron jobs
    > that run around 4 AM.[/ref]

    And it is too hard to edit crontab to change that because ...?

    --
    Enough <com>
    Enough Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <tampabay.rr.com>,
    Charles Martin <org> wrote:
     

    Once again...

    DiskWarrior and TechTool Pro are NOT equivalent programs. It's not, or
    shouldn't be, an either or choice. DiskWarrior does one thing, and does
    it VERY well indeed, that is to sort out your hard disk directory(s) and
    return them to you in pristine condition. It is able to recover from
    some very serious problems, which to my knowledge no other utility can
    equal. It doesn't touch the rest of your hard disk.

    TechTool Pro can reorganise your directory(s) also, but if there are
    really serious problems with it/them, I don't believe it can fix them,
    at least not the versions up to 4, which has not yet been released.
    (However I prefer the way TTPro reports what it has done to the
    directories better than DW.) TTPro will do a lot of other tasks which
    DiskWarrior makes no attempt to address - defragging your hard disk,
    testing your computer's hardware componants, testing the hard disk
    surface of any hard drives, just to name a paltry few of its many
    capabilities.

    You can go for years with the considerable power that TechTool Pro
    offers, maybe even forever if you're lucky. But it's that one time when
    your hard disk crashes and TechTool Pro says, "Sorry, mate, ya got a
    problem, and I can't help." that you'll be glad you invested in
    DiskWarrior. If you're looking for a general, all around computer
    maintenance application, it's hard to get past TTPro. If you're looking
    for insurance, it's DiskWarrior. I have both.
    Bill Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <swiftel.com.au>,
    Bill Robbins <com> wrote:
     
    >
    > Once again...
    >
    > DiskWarrior and TechTool Pro are NOT equivalent programs. It's not, or
    > shouldn't be, an either or choice. DiskWarrior does one thing, and does
    > it VERY well indeed, that is to sort out your hard disk directory(s) and
    > return them to you in pristine condition. It is able to recover from
    > some very serious problems, which to my knowledge no other utility can
    > equal. It doesn't touch the rest of your hard disk.[/ref]

    This is not, in fact, true. Try launching DW with the option key held
    down and see what happens.
     

    You are absolutely right about TTPro's defragging -- DW does *not* do
    this.

    However, DW *does* test your hard drive, using S.M.A.R.T. monitoring.
    Again, you should probably have a look at the program before criticising
    it.
     

    My comments are NOT intended to disparage TTPro. It's a great product by
    a fine company, and (probably) well worth the money. I've only used it
    at friends' houses, helping them save/maintain their HD, and it seems to
    work as advertised. I certain have no problem recommending that people
    have both if they can afford to.
    --
    Cheers,
    _Chas_
    http://www.apple.com/switch
    non-spammers can write to chasm at mac (dot com)
    Charles Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <giganews.com>,
    Slartibartfast <org> wrote:
     
    > works just fine on on my G4/400 with 10.2.6. What gives Charles?[/ref]

    Glad to hear it.

    My condemnation of Norton Utilities is based on REPEATED bad experiences
    with the two "extension" parts of the product, one part is called
    FileSaver and the other components' name escapes me now.

    They are, and have been for years, ostensibly been created to help
    prevent problems before they start. However I have repeatedly found that
    the exact opposite is true -- the extensions themselves CAUSE conflicts,
    crashes and other problems that are hard to diagnose. And this behaviour
    on the part of these two components has been going on for YEARS.

    When one runs Norton off the bootable CD, one generally does not
    encounter any problems. It is only those two system-installed components
    that seem to play havoc with some peoples' systems.

    That's why I prefer DW and/or TTPro. Neither one has ever caused
    problems like that in my experience.
    --
    Cheers,
    _Chas_
    http://www.apple.com/switch
    non-spammers can write to chasm at mac (dot com)
    Charles Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Switcher question

    In article <giganews.com>,
    Slartibartfast <org> wrote:
     
    > >
    > > It needs something OTHER than Norton to run well. I can no longer
    > > recommend Norton for Macs.
    > >[/ref]
    > What is everyones problem with Norton latley? System Works 3 (NUM 8)
    > works just fine on on my G4/400 with 10.2.6. What gives Charles?[/ref]

    I gave up on NU after Symantec bought and ruined the backup software I
    had been using happily for quite some time. Once your
    regularly-scheduled backup for some reason decides to simply erase your
    data instead of duplicating it to other media it's a little hard to go
    back to trusting it.

    G
    Gregory Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Switcher question

    Charles Martin <org> writes: 

    I have found that this category of utilities is a source of problems
    on many operating systems, not just MacOS.

    I've seen several such programs on Windows that seem to create more
    instability than they prevent (if they prevent anything.) Ditto for
    the Mac platform.

    I've seen the same thing with the "talkback" facility of
    Netscape/Mozilla, which is supposed to intercept crashes and
    automatically report them to the developers.

    IMO, any program that tries to get between an application and the
    operating system is, by definition, playing with fire. And I have
    yet to find a single such program that has been able to pull it off
    without burning the user.
     

    DW also includes a background monitor/repair utility. I refuse to
    install it. To paraphrase Star Trek, I'll wait and see how it
    scrambles everybody else's molecules first.

    -- David
    David Guest

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