Jun 21, 2010

Alsoft Disk Warrior for OS X: Must-Have utility for EVERY Mac user


Do these situations remind you of a "oh god, not now!" scenario you've lived through before? :

-  You've been doing tons of work on your system and now it's painfully slow to do normal tasks like starting up or even saving files.
-  Opening a once stable application now causes the system to hang or crash.
-  Saving a file even a small text file makes the Finder hang or freeze.
-  Icons in the dock or Finder don't display properly anymore.
-  Your preferences don't act the way they should.
-  You get the Mac "bong" during startup but then you get the "?" symbol.

When the directory becomes overwhelmed with too many corrupt files (which absolutely can happen in OS X) or too many directory files become out-of-order then OS X becomes very unstable often becoming completely unusable and even un-bootable.  And when situations like the ones above and others occur then it's past-time to diagnose and repair the OS X directory and that's when it's time to call in the directory specialist, DiskWarrior.

DiskWarrior can either be loaded into your applications/Utilities folder to look any Mac volume that you're not booted from or, you can boot from the DiskWarrior DVD and diagnose and repair your boot disk as well.

The process is deceptively simple and to the uninitiated seems as if the application really doesn't do much, but what it's doing is well underneath the surface and is in fact deep surgery to core files that the user never sees (unless you've purposely un-hidden system files, a process I never suggest even for tweak-happy users).  Once loaded you DiskWarrior will provide you with a graphic view of your selected drive which looks like a simple version of a defragmentation screen showing file fragments all over the place.

The report will tell you how many files - in percent - is "out of order" meaning, how much of the data is incorrectly stored on the drive.  Once you command DiskWarrior to "rebuild" the drive directory a subsequent re-graphing of the same drive will show a "0" percent out of order report along with a very cleaned-up graphic of your now fixed directory.

Typically when a system's directory report has a percentage greater than 25% percent out-of-order then it's time to run DiskWarrior and get things back in order.  Percentages that run closer to 50% will usually be associated with very slow running machines with buggy behavior and anything beyond a 50% directory out-of-order and you're running the risk of having serious data corruption or worse.  Often systems with reports of higher than 65% out of order won't even boot even though the disk itself is physically running fine.

DiskWarrior has fixed many a directory for both myself and my consultation clients, and I've seen it fix drives that won't boot and don't appear in Disk Utility too.  Trust me, being able to repair what would otherwise be an unusable hard-drive and not losing any data is a life-saver and something that makes owning DiskWarrior a mission-critical tool.


If you're the type who likes flying by the seat of your pants or never wears a seatbelt in a car for example, then having a preventive maintenance or worst-case repair tool like DiskWarrior won't appeal to you.  But if you're one of the tens of thousands of people who depend on their Mac to work reliably day in and day out then DiskWarrior is a must-have.  In fact just as with Onyx I recommend DiskWarrior to ALL Mac users regardless if your computer use is personal or business oriented.

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