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defragmenting utilitiy for OS10.3.9

Discussion in 'Mac - General discussion' started by zegg404, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. zegg404

    zegg404 Guest

    I am trying to find the best hard drive optimizer/defragmenting utility program. I have OS 10.3.9 and have found techtool version 4 or Disk Warrior. Does any on have any expirience or preference with these or any other similiar programs?
  2. cheezoli

    cheezoli Member

    Jan 26, 2008
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    Defragmenting isn't that necessary on modern hardware with modern operating systems. I don't use defragmenters. They usually cause more harm than good.

    Since Mac OS X 10.3, files under 20 MB are automatically defragmented when accessed. It's called "Hot-File-Adaptive-Clustering."

    If you're doing multimedia work and need large chunks of space that are not fragmented then use an external FireWire drive.
  3. Gneiss1

    Gneiss1 Regular member

    Oct 28, 2007
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    I've used iDefrag for some years without any problems. The reference to adaptive hot file clustering seems a bit inapropos. This process moves those small files being read the most to a region adjacent to their metadata (stuff in the info menu), and defragments them in the process.

    MacOSX 10.3 is superior to 10.4 in that the files are stored fragmented. (No, this isn't a misprint.) Tiger doesn't need to defragment small files that are frequently used, because all small files are stored defragmented. This creates a great problem: free space is sought out to write files, and thereby eaten. It leaves small fragments in its wake, so continues to eat your large free spaces.

    This is a problem for two reasons: fragmenting free space will eventually itself result in 10.4 switching from paging to swapping processes. The latter requires continguous free space, and you may find yourself with 10 GB 'free', but not even 5 MB of free space to run a small application. This switch to swapping can also be set off by eating space when converting a 4 GB folder into a 4 GB disk image (4+4=8), to burn.

    The shareware iDefrag is very professional. It will compact free space relatively quickly, which is what you want. It will take much of a day to defragment all the files (not just the small ones) and optimize their placement. I use ice packs under the computer.

    A potential catch 22 is that you must install & run iDefrag on a boot volume, then mount the volume you want to optimize. This means copying iDefrag from your Mac to a bootable CD (which they make easy) to optimize your Mac. This, as you might guess, is not optimal: you may have to optimize your Mac in steps. However, if you have a second Mac, you can mount it as a firewire drive and optimize it easily. My iDefrag is on my iBook, and I regularly compact my PowerBook (defragment free space); very occasionally optimize it.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008

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