Thursday, 30 October 2014

Should I defrag my Mac HDD?

First thing first

You may not need to defrag a Mac OS X if you use your computer for normal day-to-day usage. Normal usage includes web surfing, working on documents, watching audio-video files, working on minor software etc. To be precise, Macs can handle file fragmentation of files whose sizes vary up to 20MB. For a file size of that, fragmentation is an automated process, thanks to HFS file unique structure.

Then Why to defrag Mac?

Apart from your normal usage of OS X, if you run heavy applications or play HD games on OS X and do lots of professional video editing, then need of defragmenting a Mac disk may arise. Other than this user may consider defragging a drive if it’s an old drive that had went under millions of read/write operations.

Many re-purchased Macs whose hard drives have been formatted also undergo defragging to optimize free & used spaces. Doing this gives significant boost to the overage drive in terms of speed and performances.

Users to install Windows OS through Boot Camp also choose to optimize hard drive spaces through defragging the Mac disk. Also, to re-brush slow start ups, a Mac user chooses to create a bootable DVD and defrag the boot drive.

Defrag Mac HDD or other drive which is HFS formatted

Since Disk Utility doesn’t encompasses a defrag drive utility, user had few options left to go for defragging Mac disks. However, you may try below tips:
  • Get a blank external hard drive of equal or more size of your Mac HDD. Clone it using software to make the external hard drive an exact replica of the OS X drive.
  • Once clone is secured, erase the original HDD.  Erasing the drive will recreate fresh sectors on the drive thus removing fragmented blocks on the device.

  • Once OS X HDD is erased restore entire content from the cloned hard drive. Copying back all data to this newly formatted drives will reallocate contiguous memory locations thus killing fragments.
Third party defrag Mac tool

Software such as Stellar Drive Defrag and iPartition facilitates defragging Mac disk drives as well as any external drive formatted with HFS partition. User can also remove slack spaces with the help of a Mac defrag tool. To defrag a Mac disk follow below mentioned instructions.
  1. Download & Install defrag Mac app
  2. Select disk to be defragmented
  3. Choose software built-in algorithms to defrag selected Mac drive or volume.
  4. Let the app take its time to eliminate file fragments from the drive
  5. Quit the app once process is finished.
Once the application ends up defragging, give your Mac a restart and start your work as usual. Keep note of speed & performances. User having iMacs & MBP can run test disk to check performance after optimization.