Friday, September 7, 2012

Mac Does Not Need a Disk Defragmenter - Why?

The ‘Disk Utility’ of Mac can serve various purposes, like managing hard drive partitions of the machine, creating clone or image of the hard drive data, and actively solve various hard drive related issues. This makes the ‘Disk Utility’ a very handy application of Mac aimed to manage hard drives. But, have you ever noticed that this advanced Mac application (Disk Utility) does not have any tool for hard drive defragmentation. Does this make you think why your Mac do not need a defragmenter?

Well, Mac OS X versions later than 10.2 have some inbuilt safeguards that prevent files from being fragmented. This is why they do not need any separate tool for defragmentation. Let's have a look at these built-in safeguards that prevent file fragmentation on Mac:

  • Instead of using recently freed space for saving new files, the HFS+ file system of Mac searches for larger free space available on the hard drive. In this way, the file system of Mac avoids fragmentations at first place.
  • OS X gathers all small files and groups them at one place into the larger areas on the hard disk. In this way the copying of files to new larger locations automatically removes all fragments.
  • Whenever, you access a file, the OS X checks whether this file is fragmented or not. If, it finds this file to be highly fragmented (more than 8 fragments), then OS X automatically defrags this file.
  • Moreover, the OS X has a ‘Hot File Adaptive Clustering’, which keeps an eye on frequently used files that do not get changed. The OS X then moves the files those are often used to this special hot zone of the hard drive. Therefore, in this process of moving these files, the OS X defrags them, and then stores them on the area of the fastest access.

In this way, the hard drive of your Mac OS X is rarely fragmented, however, if ever there occurs file fragments on your Mac hard drive, then any of the following reasons may be accountable:
  • When you have many large files (e.g., large number of digital video files)
  • When your hard drive has less than 10% of free space

In such scenarios, Mac OS X fails to safeguard your hard drive against fragmentation, and you need an efficient third-party tool for Mac Defragmentation. These tools defrag your Mac hard drive, and hence improve the data access speed.

Stellar Drive Defrag is one such professional software that efficiently defrags Mac hard drives and volumes, including the boot volume of your machine. In addition to these, this software uses effective algorithms to organize free space of your hard drive.   

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