Coming from the Windows world, I was used to spending many hours defragging my hard drive, running a scan on my disk and of course, running virus and spyware checks. When I came to the Mac I was happy to leave most of that behind. I don’t associate with Windows machines, so don’t bother with […]
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Mac Maintenance Voodoo?

Mac Maintenance: Pointless or Worthwhile?

Coming from the Windows world, I was used to spending many hours defragging my hard drive, running a scan on my disk and of course, running virus and spyware checks.

When I came to the Mac I was happy to leave most of that behind. I don’t associate with Windows machines, so don’t bother with antivirus software. The Mac OS runs its own defrag and you can always purchase and use an app such as iDefrag if you are a heavy user of a hard drive.

However, there are many people that seem to be proponents of doing monthly routines that may not be strictly necessary.

An interesting article from Aaron Adams put it nicely… 😉

“Every *** munch who thinks he’s some kind of hot Mac jockey has some bull**** voodoo ritual he performs before, during, and after system updates, and the especially obsessive-compulsive ones run through a daily regimen of repairing permissions, deleting caches, updating prebindings, and ten other pointless things that make no difference from a day-to-day usage standpoint. If I were a developer, I’d write a daemon that continuously updated permissions, updated prebindings, and deleted caches every 5 minutes, sell it for $10, and retire next week. If paranoid idiots need to compulsively do these things, I might as well be rich because of it.

“Get over your irrational system tweaking obsession. Just STOP! It’s not necessary. You don’t need to fix permissions constantly, only when you know for a fact that there is a permissions problem. You don’t need to update prebindings at every login. They’re updated when the OS needs to update them without your help. Stop deleting caches unless you know you have a specific problem with cached information [ed: caching is a good thing: it is there to speed things up for the user].

Why do I have to point this out? It should be obvious to any thinking human being. The placebo effect of doing these stupid things is obviously very powerful, but 99.99999% of the time they accomplish nothing!”

One thing that I have done in the past is install Anacron. The Anacron website says:

“This version of Anacron will run on MacOS 10.5 (Leopard) but it is not needed, as the Leopard launchd will run skipped jobs when the machine is next awake”.

However, this does not appear to be correct. I used Onyx v1.9 last week to check my three Macs and none had run the monthly routines since the start of December and my iMac hadn’t run a weekly maintenance script since November! So, I will be using OnyX to run these scripts manually.

Also, I’ have found that by using Disk Warrior on my Macs, the bugs I had encountered with Leopard seem to have gone away. However, is this just the placebo effect Aaron talks about?

So, do you agree with Aaron? Should people stop with all this “maintenance voodoo” and only run the troubleshooting procedures when their Mac appears to be having problems? Or, are you in the camp that feels that running a maintenance routine prevents issues cropping up on your Mac in the first place?

Discuss in the Mactropolis Forums >

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