Drive Genius 3

13 September, 2010 by Dave Bullard
AAA

Drive Genius 3

Prosoft Engineering, www.prosoftengineering.com

Pros 

Fast; efficient; nice interface; works with Bootcamp

Cons 

Many utilities overlap with Disk Utility (included with OS X)

US$99 (about $107); boot DVD download US$5 (about $5.50)

Reviews

There are three main schools of thought when it comes to tweaking a Mac. One group prefers to leave well enough alone, the second is like the first but sees the release of an operating system upgrade as an opportunity to do a ‘clean install’ of the new OS and all their applications, while the third contains the perpetual tweakers; those who like to perform routine maintenance.

Mac users definitely don’t see eye-to-eye over the need to perform tasks like defragmentation, volume space recovery and the like, but if you’re in the third group then Drive Genius 3 was made for you.

Like its top-selling predecessors, DG3 can defragment your hard drive’s contents, repartition drives ‘on the fly’, repair and rebuild, securely erase data, clone your drive, perform benchmarks and more.

This version now runs in 64-bit mode and offers support for RAID drives. The Defrag feature has also been improved, giving more information and combining all the fragmented data into one block. Along with some of the other utilities, it even works on Bootcamp partitions.

The Repartition utility now lets you add, hide, expand or shrink OS X partitions; Scan gives you real-time block scanning and read/write stress tests; and there are now email notifications of task completion.

But one of the most important new features for tweakers is DrivePulse, which continually monitors the health of your drive and alerts you to issues which may become a problem.

Most of these utilities can only be run on a disk you haven’t booted from; if you want to work on your primary drive you’ll need to boot from a Drive Genius 3 DVD.

Australian Macworld’s buying advice

Drive Genius 3 works efficiently and fast (considering the amount of data we all accumulate these days), and my fairly new MacBook Pro was feeling the benefits after just a few hours. Even a simple DriveSlim check for unnecessary Universal Binaries detected and erased 1.29GB of PowerPC binaries within 20 minutes. The interface is great as well. C

This review originally appeared in the August issue of Australian Macworld magazine.

3 Comments

3 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Chris Oaten says:

    I’m a tweaker, and I’m proud of it, so DG has been in my toolbox for years. I feel pretty confident in saying that if you don’t have a utility like DG, there will very likely come a day when you wish you did.

  2. cgmasson says:

    Defrag 3 cannot defragment your main partition – or couldn’t (late 2009 iMac 27) when I paid a few months ago. I was very disappoitned, as it wasn’t called out in the up front discolsures (i.e. I need a second Mac to fully utilise the software) – and purchased iDefrag which booted to a live disc type environment.($19)

    Worse still, I sent an email noting my displeasure (whilst praising other features & generla great UI) and recieved not even an automated ackknowedgement.

  3. DPC says:

    I bought Drive Genius 3 to resize my main OS X partition, so I could then increase the size of my Bootcamp partition (Windows 7).

    I made a backup DMG image before doing anything.

    Drive Genius did resize my OS X partition*, but would not touch bootcamp as it was formatted in NTFS.

    Rebooting, and holding down the OPTION key, Bootcamp is no longer available.

    Logging in to OS X, the boot camp partition is still there and the data appears intact.

    But when resizing the partition, the change was instantaneous. PC products like Partition Magic show progress screens and checking and moving data. Drive Genius simply *blap* and shrinks the partition size. Unless I was lucky and had over 100GB free space at the end of OS X’s partition, in which case there’s nothing to worry about.

    But boot camp is going from the OPTION startup menu. Nor could I use DG3 to modify its size. DG3 is not fully bootcamp compatible, and doing a web search, people with DG1 and DG2 have reported problems.

    Given the cost of a Mac, one would think it would be sufficiently well-designed to resize boot camp partitions on its own. It should “just work”.

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