MacInTouch Reader Reports

Hard Drives: Utilities

Dec. 9, 2014
Dec. 10, 2014
Dec. 12, 2014
Dec. 13, 2014
Dec. 16, 2014
Dec. 17, 2014
Dec. 20, 2014
Dec. 22, 2014
Dec. 23, 2014
Dec. 24, 2014

Newer entries...
Dec. 9, 2014

item.202446

Steven Gold

ALsoft has released the long needed DiskWarrior 5 repair utility, rewritten to be a 64-bit application. Ships on a bootable flash drive. Long list of other improvements on their website,

http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/index.html

Upgrade pricing is available.

(Disclaimer: I have no connection with ALsoft, just DiskWarrior has saved my butt on multiple occasions over the years)

item.202459

Colleen Thompson

At last!

DiskWarrior 5 Upgrade

What's new in DiskWarrior?
--64-Bit
--Ships on a bootable flash drive to repair your startup disk
--Includes the new DiskWarrior Recovery Maker
--Runs from OS X Recovery (Recovery HD)
--Repairs partition table damage
--New architecture
Updated to use the newest OS X technologies while still supporting older PowerPC and Intel Macs that can no longer run the latest OS X.
--Significantly faster
--Recovers more data from drives with hardware malfunctions
--Detects and repairs more disk problems than ever
--New Directory Optimization Index
--Repairs Time Machine backup disks.
Dec. 10, 2014

item.202563

Stephen Hart

MacInTouch Reader wrote:

"I just ordered the upgrade [DiskWarrior 5]; I love that it's still available on bootable external media. I wish Mavericks and its successors would continue to be configurable as such."

It's not exactly the same as getting the flash drive in the mail, but you could take a laptop to a fast-internet location (including an Apple Store) and download, then create a flash drive installer.

Since Apple does suggest upgrading in a store, I think it would be a minor step to include a single line during installation: "Save installer or delete now?" And Apple could also easily add an option to create a flash drive installer.

My guess is that the decision to leave all that to third parties or user instructions is because of support. Right now, they support only one installation method.

item.202602

Colleen Thompson

Stephen Hart wrote

My experience for a few years now is that DiskWarrior never found anything but custom icon flags not set. Maybe I was just lucky. Or maybe OS X has matured beyond what we need DW for -- except in real emergencies (well worth $60, I think).

I'd say that you are just lucky :)

To throw my two cents into the upgrade pricing discussion, I think a purchase three months ago is not unreasonable to be excluded from an extra discount. It's happened to me enough times; sure, you feel bummed, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Now if the previous version had been bought a week ago, that would be different. As others have pointed out, you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere, and no matter where that is, someone will be disappointed.

item.202462

Tracy Valleau

Hell freezes over!

Alsoft has updated DiskWarrior to version 5, and it's finally 64-bit!

http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/upgrade.html

(Not downloadable.)

item.202469

Colleen Thompson

More on ordering DiskWarrior 5.

I ordered the $60 upgrade, which is only available on a flash drive. The order page says

"If You Are Purchasing a DiskWarrior Upgrade--The upgrade is not available for download. All orders will be shipped a DiskWarrior flash drive via US Mail. Please allow two to four weeks for delivery of your flash drive."

If instead of an upgrade you spend $120 for a new copy, you get both a download and a flash drive, and it says

"All online orders will be shipped on a DiskWarrior flash drive via US Mail. Orders will ship within 1 to 2 business days."

I'm willing to wait for my upgrade, but I'm kind of curious why the upgrade flash drives take 2 to 4 weeks where the new flash drives are only one or two days. Maybe because they have to bind it to an existing serial number? Or maybe they mean you will get an email for your download within 1 to 2 days...

item.202476

Jim Steckel

ALsoft has released the long needed DiskWarrior 5 repair utility, rewritten to be a 64-bit application. Ships on a bootable flash drive. Long list of other improvements on their website,

http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/index.html

Upgrade pricing is available.

(Disclaimer: I have no connection with ALsoft, just DiskWarrior has saved my butt on multiple occasions over the years)

So I checked, and even though I just purchased v4.4 in September for $93, they now expect me to spend another $60 more plus $9 shipping. Doesn't seem fair to me.

item.202490

MacInTouch Reader

Re: Disk Warrior 5

Interesting distribution system. It can't exactly be described as taking care of existing customers. Then again, I have never found Alsoft to be a user-friendly company.

item.202494

Stephen Hart

Colleen Thompson wrote:

"More on ordering DiskWarrior 5.
I ordered the $60 upgrade, which is only available on a flash drive."

Alsoft also says the OS on the flash drive is upgradeable.

item.202497

Stephen Magladry

Re. Colleen Thompson's note:

The arrives in 2-4 weeks. The full products ships in 1-2 days. Who knows how long it will take to arrive. Just a guess.

item.202510

Matt McCaffrey

Jim Steckl said:

So I checked, and even though I just purchased v4.4 in September for $93, they now expect me to spend another $60 more plus $9 shipping. Doesn't seem fair to me.

On the other hand, I purchased v. 2 (I think?) in 2004, and they expect me to pay $60 plus $9 shipping. Seems like a bargain to me!

Seriously, upgrade policies are tough, because strictly speaking a company may not owe you any consideration for a subsequent version of their product. (I say "may" because it depends on how you understand software ownership -- whether it's a purchase, or a license, or some gray area.)

But without considering whether someone just dropped $120 on licensing their product, and is now expected to throw them another $60 when they may not even have used it yet, a company risks creating a lot of ill will for itself.

The one mitigating factor in ALSoft's case would be the requirement that the software ship on a flash drive. This raises their material cost well above the few cents' worth of bandwidth involved with a download. (And as I recall they have always needed their product to be on physical media, because it needs to be bootable in order to recover a drive.)

If I were Jim, though, I'd contact their support department and just ask for a recent purchaser's discount. I think "free" would be unreasonable, but they might be willing to do something that accounts for the physical device and shipping if you are polite and reasonable.

item.202524

MacInTouch Reader

I agree that civility more often reaps customer rewards than behaving otherwise. I have used DiskWarrior since OS 8 or 9, and over the years it has saved my bacon more times than I can begin to count. On the rare occasions I have actually had to contact Alsoft for support, they have been very helpful and resolved my problem.

I have three Macs running Tiger (PowerPC), Snow Leopard, & Mavericks.

I just ordered the upgrade; I love that it's still available on bootable external media. I wish Mavericks and its successors would continue to be configurable as such. Many of us live in circumstances where a 100% online installation procedure is infeasible, either due to the speed or reliability of the Internet connection.

DW5 being available on bootable external media is a huge plus, and the upgrade pricing I find completely reasonable.

It's a great product, long overdue for an update, and they have to keep the lights on. Unless DW5 fails to perform as its predecessors, this new version is an unalloyed positive development.

item.202526

MacInTouch Reader

Matt McCaffrey writes,

"The one mitigating factor in ALSoft's case would be the requirement that the software ship on a flash drive. This raises their material cost well above the few cents' worth of bandwidth involved with a download. (And as I recall they have always needed their product to be on physical media, because it needs to be bootable in order to recover a drive.)"

It doesn't need to be bootable. It just needs to be on a different volume than the one you're recovering. That can be a second hard drive, a second partition, or even a bootable USB stick the user created. Shipping a DVD is useful for those who don't have any of those but these days, that would be very few people.

"If I were Jim, though, I'd contact their support department and just ask for a recent purchaser's discount. I think 'free' would be unreasonable, but they might be willing to do something that accounts for the physical device and shipping if you are polite and reasonable."

They might, but he bought it in September, which is over 3 months ago. There will always be a line in the sand behind which someone has to pay full price.

[Actually, Jim only needs to pay the update price for the new version, not full price (which he paid for the earlier version in September). -Ric Ford]

item.202529

MacInTouch Reader

DiskWarrior 5 is finally 64-bit but it doesn't seem any faster. I can't really provide a full report on it, though, because the program has hung (no CPU usage) before finishing every time I've run it, even on small test partitions. Force quit has been necessary every time. Alsoft's update policy is ridiculous, too. You're welcome, Alsoft.

item.202533

MacInTouch Reader

Well, over the past years I ran several times into problems with Macs and Diskwarrior was the only program to get all files back to work.

Alsoft gave fast and excellent help. I do not understand, why people might call them "not user-friendly". It is a rather small company and Diskwarrior is somehow outstanding in repair strategy and how it has to be used.

I am glad, they made it to 64 bit, finally. This is simply required today....

item.202537

Stephen Hart

Matt McCaffrey wrote:

"On the other hand, I purchased v. 2 (I think?) in 2004, and they expect me to pay $60 plus $9 shipping. Seems like a bargain to me!"

My version 4 is several years old -- old enough that DiskWarrior really worked -- and I'm also happy to pay for an upgrade*.

The problem any software producer has with free upgrades for recent purchases is that someone is going to be unhappy. Make it within 1 month and there's someone who's insulted by that particular, arbitrary cutoff.

* If the new version really works on Time Machine drives.

My experience for a few years now is that DW never found anything but custom icon flags not set. Maybe I was just lucky. Or maybe OS X has matured beyond what we need DW for -- except in real emergencies (well worth $60, I think).

OTOH, the DW 5 notes indicate that it's smarter about SMART, and if that replaces SMART Utility, that'd be a very good thing.

And its touted ability to recover your failing drive to an attached drive in one step sounds pretty useful.

item.202538

George Thomas

I've never had any extensive damage so have not had to ask for major one-on-one help, but DiskWarrior is one app I would not give up. I have nothing but good feelings for the company and its employees. They are very small but do an outstanding job at customer relations.

item.202547

Steven Gold

I bought version 1.0 of DiskWarrior, and it had a serial number printed on the floppy. Every major-version upgrade I've purchased aways shipped on distribution (floppies, then CD, then DVD) media serialized with the same serial number printed on it (not printed on a card, etc.), so, yes, Aloft seems to serialize each upgrade order to the original purchaser.
Perhaps they explains the added delay in shipping upgrade orders.

item.202548

Robert Rosenberg

"If I were Jim, though, I'd contact their support department and just ask for a recent purchaser's discount. I think 'free' would be unreasonable, but they might be willing to do something that accounts for the physical device and shipping if you are polite and reasonable."

They might, but he bought it in September, which is over 3 months ago. There will always be a line in the sand behind which someone has to pay full price.

[Actually, Jim only needs to pay the update price for the new version, not full price (which he paid for the earlier version in September). -Ric Ford]

Ric -

He is being asked to pay the full upgrade price on his 3 month old purchase. The question being raised is how new the purchase must be before you should be given a "recent purchase" discount.

With some products they pre-announce a newer version and say "Buy the current version now and you will get the new (just announced) version for free upon release".

With others, there is an announcement of the new version out of the blue (as in this case) and they often state "if you bought the prior (ie: current) version after date-x" you will get a recent purchase discount. The problem in this case is they do/did not say the latter and just offer an upgrade price that applies to any prior version (including the prior current version) no matter how recent the purchase of that version was. There needs to be some announced purchase after-date where you get a "recent purchase" discount.

Lets go with an extreme example and pretend that not knowing that V5 was going to be announced, you bought V4 the day before the announcement. To now be told that you must pay the full "I own a pre-V5 version" upgrade price is IMO an insult. The question is how recent the V4 purchase should before it is treated as a generic "Any Older Version" and is given a discount off of the upgrade price.

Dec. 12, 2014

item.202637

Rob Wyatt

For those wondering about Disk Warrior upgrades, I ordered mine two days ago and received an email that it shipped today. This is an upgrade, not a new purchase. So whatever the website says about upgrades shipping in several weeks, that doesn't seem to be accurate.

Dec. 13, 2014

item.202650

Ed Sikorski

Just ordered my upgrade. Folks, find your CD/DVD and that RP#... as one colleague of mine lost his CD (he had made a bootable HDD from 4.1 and updated since, since CD/DVD media is slow and unreliable).

item.202652

Rob Wyatt

There's no reason you can't create a bootable Yosemite flash drive. Just download the installer from the Purchased tab in the App Store and you'll find an "Install OS X Yosemite" app in your Applications folder. Save it for later use if desired. Insert flash drive, format, run the installer and select the flash drive as the destination. Make sure the drive has enough room. I use 32GB drives when making bootable flash drives. I keep a 911 flash drive with the current OS plus DiskWarrior, Drive Genius, Data Rescue and Carbon Copy Cloner.

item.202699

Philip Noguchi

My experience is similar. Ordered three days ago and got a shipment email today.

item.202715

Alan Forkosh

I think Alsoft may just being conservative about the ship date. Apple can do the same thing. For example, last year, I ordered a custom (almost every hardware option upgraded) iMac via the Apple Store on October 22. The email receipt told me it would be ready for pickup at my local Apple retail store on October 31. On October 25, I received a notice that it was waiting for me at the store.

If you're going to miss your estimate, let it be because you do better rather than do worse.

Dec. 16, 2014

item.202874

Stephen Hart

Colleen Thompson wrote: "At last! DiskWarrior 5 Upgrade"

Mine arrived in the mail today (ordered Dec. 9).

I got my Flash drive with DW 5 today, and tried it out. It works great on everything I had to throw at it--three Macs and a Time Machine drive, yielding nothing but a few fixed icon flags and text encodings.

It's noticeably faster, and the interface, though familiar, is improved.

DW 5 does optimize the directory independent of any important repairs. (Or so it says.)

The thumb drive can start up older Macs, or be used when started up from the recovery volume on newer Macs (with a little safe typing in Terminal).

It also comes with an application to automatically build a startup flash drive (2GB minimum) for your Mac, with DiskWarrior on it. I haven't done this, so I can only report that the instructions say not to add files to the drive. If you want to build a startup flash drive with a whole toolbox on it, there are instructions on the web.

I'm relieved to have DW back, a feeling based on many years of experience with DW.

item.202886

Matt Neuburg

My copy of the new DiskWarrior arrived, so I tried it out on both my current computers. Fantastic. The idea of bundling it onto a flash drive is brilliant. Everything happens very fast.

Dec. 17, 2014

item.202965

Jim Steckel

[Previously posted]

ALsoft has released the long needed DiskWarrior 5 repair utility, rewritten to be a 64-bit application. Ships on a bootable flash drive. Long list of other improvements on their website,

http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/index.html

Upgrade pricing is available.

(Disclaimer: I have no connection with ALsoft, just DiskWarrior has saved my butt on multiple occasions over the years)

So I checked, and even though I just purchased v4.4 in September for $93, they now expect me to spend another $60 more plus $9 shipping. Doesn't seem fair to me.

I am happy to report that Alsoft has a special upgrade offer available for anyone who purchased DiskWarrior 4.x during the 30-60 days prior to the release of DiskWarrior 5.

This is from their sales:

Thank you for contacting Alsoft and for your recent purchase of DiskWarrior. For customers who ordered within the last 30 - 60 days, we are offering to just bill them the difference plus s&h. The DiskWarrior 5 retails for $119.95 plus s&h. The DiskWarrior 4 retailed for $99.95 USD. You could order an update for $20.00 plus s&h.

I have ordered my $20 DiskWarrior 5 upgrade. I cannot find this offer online, so just write an email to their sales at Sales.Info at Alsoft.com, and they will send you instructions on how to proceed.

Dec. 20, 2014

item.203159

MacInTouch Reader

The new DiskWarrior upgrade arrived today and I am not impressed with the lazy way it was assembled and packaged.

Before I deliver my negative comments, I would like to say that DiskWarrior is a great product. It may be a one-trick pony, but it is very very good at that one trick: repairing corrupted disk drives. (Yes, it optimizes the directory, too.) DiskWarrior 5 has several improvements over the previous version that make it worth the cost. Despite my criticisms below, I recommend DiskWarrior. Every Mac owner should buy a copy now, so that it is available when they truly need it.

Clearly Alsoft spent no effort in designing the packaging. I received a transparent plastic clamshell DVD case in a cardboard DVD shipping box. The invoice sheet was folded and stuck in the "fall through" outer sleeve that normally holds a wrap-around DVD title.

Inside the DVD case is a special slot to hold the USB flash drive and lid. Below the flash drive is a sticker with the DiskWarrior Serial Number. The serial number is written to the DiskWarrior application on the flash drive when you first run it, so it should be available when you need it in the future in case you have lost the package.

On the other side of the clamshell is a single sheet with instructions for booting the flash drive directly, and for booting the Recovery partition on your Mac to run DiskWarrior from the command line by launching Terminal from the Utilities menu.

If you want to boot the flash drive directly, your Mac must be able to boot Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Otherwise, you must boot the Recovery partition on your Mac, and then use the Terminal (under the Utilities menu) to type a command that launches DiskWarrior.

My 2011 iMac came with Snow Leopard (10.6), so I am lucky enough that the flash drive started up without resorting to booting the Recovery partition and using Terminal commands.

... Except that after booting the DiskWarrior flash drive and launching DiskWarrior, it didn't work. The dropdown menu that showed available drives displayed "Incompatible Format" instead of my Mac's drive name. There was no other error message.

Naturally, I went to the DiskWarrior Help menu. The only option there is to view the user manual. The manual is sixty-six pages long, and the viewer does not have a search capability - only zoom, page forward, page back, and Go to Page. The words "Incompatible Format" or simply "Incompatible" do not appear anywhere in the manual.

Next I booted from the Recovery partition and launched DiskWarrior from the command line in the Terminal. My Mac's drive name showed up in the dropdown menu, but the Rebuild button was grayed out, and there was no error message explaining why. What is shown as the "Mount/Unmount" button in the user manual was labeled "Unlock", so I used it to unlock the drive on my Mac, which was encrypted with FileVault2.

At that point, I ran DiskWarrior. The user interface has changed but should be familiar enough to anyone who has used previous versions. The application runs marginally faster. I would not buy or upgrade DiskWarrior just for the speed enhancement.

One of the new features of DiskWarrior 5 is that you can configure it to boot on new Macs without having to buy an upgraded disk from Alsoft. It isn't obvious how you do it from any of the packaging, but if you explore the files on the flash drive, you will find instructions how to do it. Alsoft includes a tool called DiskWarrior Recovery Maker, which lets you create a separate bootable flash drive (with DiskWarrior, of course) for your new Mac. You use a Mac with the version of OS X that you want to boot, plus the original DiskWarrior flash drive, and you must also supply a 2 Gbyte or larger flash drive, which will become the new DiskWarrior bootable drive for your new Mac. All previous data on the flash drive will be deleted in the process.

As time goes on, you will need a few flash drives available to create several DiskWarrior recovery drives for your Macs that cannot boot the same version of OS X. For now, you may be able to get by with only one or two DiskWarrior recovery drives, but as time marches on, Apple may release new versions of OS X that are incompatible with your older Macs.

It isn't clear how you update the DiskWarrior application when updates are released. Alsoft knows how they plan to do it, but unfortunately the link in the DiskWarrior Recovery Maker Manual points to a non-existant web page.

In summary, DiskWarrior has shown significant improvements in several areas:

* 64-bit application fixes bug where DiskWarrior failed on very large directories.
* Repairs Time Machine backups.
* Several feature improvements mean that you are more likely to recover your data from a corrupted drive.
* Bootable flash drive for convenience - except that you have to provide your own flash drive to boot on most modern Macs.
* Faster. Is it significantly faster? Perhaps.

Viewed as a whole, DiskWarrior 5 includes many significant improvements in features, ease of use, and long term usability. After pouring their heart and soul into the DiskWarrior application and the other tools, it feels as if they rushed it out the door without these two important final touches:

* Packaging that matches a $60 or $120 product, or at least a label on the box. A simple DVD wrap-around product label sheet would be good enough, so that when the user puts the product on their bookshelf, they can find it again when they need it most.

* Sufficient printed instructions so that novice Mac users can recover their hard drive without many false starts. Those instructions should include recovering FileVault2-encrypted drives.

Hopefully the non-upgrade version of DiskWarrior includes better instructions for inexperienced users desperate to recover a Mac that will not boot. Fortunately, if the Recovery partition does not boot, Apple has anticipated the situation by supporting an Internet Recovery boot. Having an experienced friend helps, too.

item.203171

MacInTouch Reader

Re: DiskWarrior packaging, etc. ... I see nothing wrong with the packaging of Disk Warrior. The flash drive is attractive, and the rest of the packaging, while not fancy, is more than adequate. There is no need to design fancy packaging which would increase the cost to the developer, which means it would increase the cost to the consumer.

Using DiskWarrior CDs as startup disks has always been difficult, due to conflicts [compatibility/update/licensing issues -MacInTouch] with Apple. I think Alsoft has done the best they can to provide ease of use to the user.

What I have done is purchase a fast USB 3.0 flash drive (I'm using a SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0) and install a full, bootable OS, Yosemite, on it. Add DiskWarrior and you are all set. You can add other utilities if you desire.

Boot from this new drive and you can use DiskWarrior as you see fit.

item.203173

Stephen Hart

A MacInTouch reader wrote:

The new DiskWarrior upgrade arrived today and I am not impressed with the lazy way it was assembled and packaged.
Before I deliver my negative comments, I would like to say that DiskWarrior is a great product. It may be a one-trick pony, but it is very very good at that one trick: repairing corrupted disk drives. (Yes, it optimizes the directory, too.)

I am puzzled by the negative comments, except one, that the instructions don't say anything specific about FileVault. I don't use FileVault, so I can't comment on that.

The packaging is probably generic shelf packaging for USB drives. The vast majority of small products these days are sold in large plastic packages, so they're difficult to pocket. At least DiskWarrior's packaging can be opened without a utility knife. While I do appreciate Apple's slick packaging, and similar packaging from the likes of Harmon Kardon, I found the DiskWarrior packaging just fine.

The paper inserts, though in rather small print, contain all the instructions needed to use DiskWarrior 5 out of the box (with the possible exception of addressing FileVault). I think even a novice could manage. Alsoft made the Terminal command /Volumes/DW/go short and easy to type in the recovery volume.

I used the instructions and app for creating a DiskWarrior Recovery volume on a flash drive. It worked as described. You can put the recovery volume on one partition of a partitioned flash drive, so it'd be easy to build a toolbox flash drive (as long as it's of sufficient capacity). I did have to plug in the original flash drive to supply the serialized copy of DiskWarrior. The Recovery Maker would not use the copy on my hard drive. Of course, I don't know what Alsoft's plans are for future updates.

You don't need new flash drives for updates. The instructions clearly say that DiskWarrior Recovery Maker will add new versions of DiskWarrior to the recovery volume and will update the OS X recovery volume. And, of course, you can just erase the volume and start over with new versions.

And one other note: Alsoft has always insisted that DiskWarrior does not repair a directory. It replaces the directory with a new, optimized one. This is supposedly a safer method that avoids potential escalation of directory corruption.

Dec. 22, 2014

item.203181

Raja Hornstein

I'm very much interested in whether DiskWarrior 5 handles FileVault 2. I found Disk Warrior 4 useless for repairing FileVault-protected disks. How do you do it with DW5?

item.203184

Michael Fussell

Since bus-powered portable hard disks are so inexpensive, why not just make a bootable hard disk on your own and install all of your recovery tools like DiskWarrior on this hard disk? Or buy a flash drive or sd card and do the same thing?

I have done this for years, and it works well. I also install Carbon Copy Cloner on it, just in case you want to clone a machine that does not boot on its own hard disk. I also have Disk Genius installed.

A long time ago Apple gave out a 5-gig, bus powered FireWire 400 hard disk in a little padded pouch when you bought a new computer. Since the hard disk was a plain 1.5-inch PATA hard disk, I replaced it a couple of years ago with a Toshiba 40-gig 1.5-inch hard disk running at 4500 RPM. It makes a very good troubleshooting hard disk, faster than a USB2 flash drive and smaller than an old iPod physically. It is easy to update and boots from nearly every machine.

I run the basic operating system with no email, no music - just basic programs. All of this takes only about 15 gigs. So, you do not need a large portable hard disk. I suspect that you could do the same thing with a USB powered enclosure supporting a 1.5-inch SATA hard disk used in the really small netbooks.

item.203186

MacInTouch Reader

Re: If you want to boot the flash drive directly, your Mac must be able to boot Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Otherwise, you must boot the Recovery partition on your Mac, and then use the Terminal (under the Utilities menu) to type a command that launches DiskWarrior.

If that's true, then DiskWarrior is no longer any good if you have newer systems (that can't boot 10.6) and use Apple's RAID software (Disk Utility) to create mirrored volumes that you boot from.

Since the price of storage became so inexpensive (over 5 years ago), all our disks (including boot drives) are mirrored. Since doing that, we've never lost information due to drive failure (and, yes, we also have multiple forms of regular on-site/off-site backups to recover from the other ways one loses files).

item.203193

Matt Neuburg

Re:

Clearly Alsoft spent no effort in designing the packaging.

Like others, I found this remark to be just the opposite of [my experience]. The product ships in a dedicated flash drive shipping/storage container; I for one had never seen one of these before.

item.203194

Ed Graf

How much space does Alsoft recommend for a Yosemite bootable flash drive plus the utility?

item.203202

MacInTouch Reader

Raja Hornstein writes,

"I'm very much interested in whether DiskWarrior 5 handles FileVault 2. I found Disk Warrior 4 useless for repairing FileVault-protected disks. How do you do it with DW5?"

DisWarrior 4 can repair disks with FileVault. You simply need to unlock it first.

item.203213

David Charlap

An anonymous MacInTouch Reader wrote:

"If that's true, then DiskWarrior is no longer any good if you have newer systems (that can't boot 10.6) and use Apple's RAID software (Disk Utility) to create mirrored volumes that you boot from."

Macs with mirrored volumes don't have recovery partitions?

And these are not your only options. Based on other comments, you can make a new bootable flash drive that contains the OS you are running and the DW tool. If you can't boot the flash drive they provided, you should be able to make one that you can boot from.

If DW5 is similar to DW4, you should also be able to copy/install it to any other volume. So if you have some emergency boot volume (DVD, flash drive, hard drive, etc.) you can (and probably should) install it there.

If you install it to your boot volume, then I would expect any bootable clones to be able to run it as well (boot the clone, then rebuild the internal volume's directory.)

item.203222

MacInTouch Reader

Ed Graf asks,

"How much space does Alsoft recommend for a Yosemite bootable flash drive plus the utility?"

Answer: 2 Gbytes.

I am looking for inexpensive, but reasonably fast 4 to 8 Gbyte drives. Hopefully the larger capacity drives will allow for unexpected future OS growth. I will put one in each kid's laptop case, plus one in my desk for an iMac and the family Mac mini server.

Does anyone have recommendations on where to find reasonably fast low-cost flash drives? eBay? Somewhere else?

item.203225

Kathryn Jenkins

Since bus-powered portable hard disks are so inexpensive, why not just make a bootable hard disk on your own and install all of your recovery tools like DiskWarrior on this hard disk? Or buy a flash drive or sd card and do the same thing?

This seems like a good strategy to me. Last spring I acquired an old Mac Pro that came with a 500GB hard drive. It turned out to be a 2.5" drive in an adapter. I already had four drives that I wanted to move into this system, so I removed the 2.5" drive and reformatted it with 4 partitions, then installed Snow Leopard through Mavericks, each with several rescue utilities (Disk Warrior, CCC, Data Rescue, etc.), as well as a few critical system updates. I installed it in one of those nice little OWC translucent enclosures that come with a handy little protective carrying case.

item.203237

Tracy Valleau

2 GB isn't enough to do a full OS X install and still have room for a few utilities. (I'm also not sure where you'd buy one that small...)

That said, I have several of these: [ADATA Elite UE700]

item.203240

Prdro Gelabert

Raja Hornstein wrote:

I'm very much interested in whether DiskWarrior 5 handles FileVault 2. I found Disk Warrior 4 useless for repairing FileVault-protected disks. How do you do it with DW5?

I repair my FileVault 2 encrypted drive with DiskWarrior. It is transparent. When you mount an encrypted drive, the OS will ask you to unlock it by promoting for its password. If you do not know the password, then type in the recovery key provided when you encrypted the drive

item.203249

MacInTouch Reader

Re:

Macs with mirrored volumes don't have recovery partitions?

Yes, mirrored boot volumes don't have a recovery partition (makes me think of that ol' song "yes we got no bananas"). Sorry, I didn't exactly complete the thought with my post.

It'd be nice to know whether you can create a bootable DiskWarrior USB drive from an OS booted on a drive that does not have a recovery partition. The DiskWarrior developers have always been pretty clever, so, if there's a way to do it, I'd bet they included it.

I'd be nice to hear from someone who's actually done this.

item.203252

Stephen Hart

A MacInTouch reader wrote:

If you want to boot the flash drive directly, your Mac must be able to boot Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Otherwise, you must boot the Recovery partition on your Mac, and then use the Terminal (under the Utilities menu) to type a command that launches DiskWarrior.

True. Booting into the recover volume and running DiskWarrior works fine. I've done that several times now on four different Macs.

I don't use RAIDs, so I don't know why that would change anything, unless you somehow avoided building a Recovery volume when installing Yosemite (and Mavericks). And I believe I've read that there's a way to restore the Recovery volume.

"If that's true, then DiskWarrior is no longer any good if you have newer systems (that can't boot 10.6) and use Apple's RAID software (Disk Utility) to create mirrored volumes that you boot from."

I don't understand your concern. All the restrictions are saying is that the Flash drive DiskWarrior ships on can only boot 10.4 - 10.6. To boot into newer (or older, presumably) OS versions, you need to make your own bootable Flash (or other) drive. That can contain DiskWarrior as well as any other diagnostic or repair apps you want. There are instructions on the web.

item.203253

Stephen Hart

Ed Graf wrote:

"How much space does Alsoft recommend for a Yosemite bootable flash drive plus the utility?"

They don't, at least not in the packaging and instructions that come with DiskWarrior 5. The Flash drive includes an app for creating a duplicate of the shipping flash drive on another flash drive or a partition. That takes a 2GB drive minimum, and does not contain Yosemite.

If you want to build a Yosemite boot drive, there are many instructions on the web. All start with downloading the Yosemite installer, if you didn't save it. You'll need a larger drive for that.

item.203254

Toby Earp

A MacInTouch reader asks:

Does anyone have recommendations on where to find reasonably fast low-cost flash drives?

I have had no problems at all making backup and installer boot drives for systems from 10.6.8 to 10.10.1 using a thumb drive Ric Ford recommended a while back: the ADATA S102 Pro USB 3.0.

Just recently I've found one that is a fair amount faster than the ADATA S102: the Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0. Although its case is not as robust, I have adopted it as my repair/restore system carrier because of its speed.

These drives are reasonably priced on eBay and, for MacInTouch users especially, Amazon. I use 16GB and 32GB versions. From experience, 16GB is overlarge for an installer drive, and slightly too small for a repair/restore drive loaded with utility software.

item.203255

DiskWarrior ProjMgr

Yes, DiskWarrior 5 works with CoreStorage/FileVault2.

item.203256

DiskWarrior ProjMgr

Re:

"Alsoft includes a tool called DiskWarrior Recovery Maker, which lets you create a separate bootable flash drive (with DiskWarrior, of course) for your new Mac. You use a Mac with the version of OS X that you want to boot, plus the original DiskWarrior flash drive, and you must also supply a 2 Gbyte or larger flash drive"

DiskWarrior Recovery Maker does let you create a bootable flash drive that you can supply. However, that is not necessary. The DiskWarrior 5 flash drive has 2 partitions. DiskWarrior and DiskWarrior Recovery Maker are on one partition, and there are 10.6 startup files on the other partition for customers with older Macs. If you have a newer Mac, you simply run DiskWarrior Recovery Maker and select the startup partition, "DiskWarrior Recovery", from the flash drive you purchased from Alsoft. You update the startup files there. You are not required to purchase or supply a separate flash drive. That's why DiskWarrior ships on a large flash drive with 2 partitions.

item.203257

DiskWarrior ProjMgr

Re:

"How much space does Alsoft recommend for a Yosemite bootable flash drive plus the utility?"

2 GB flash drive, though a larger one can be used is you have one laying around you'd like to use.

Dec. 23, 2014

item.203262

Stephen Hart

Ed Graf wrote:

"How much space does Alsoft recommend for a Yosemite bootable flash drive plus the utility?"

I botched an earlier answer to Ed somewhat. Here's a better answer:

DiskWarrior Recovery Maker.app does not make a duplicate of the original shipping flash drive, nor does it make a full Yosemite boot drive.

To use the shipping drive, you start up a Mac into the recovery partition on the internal hard drive (command R between the chime and apple logo).
Then you need to start Terminal and use a Terminal command to mount the DiskWarrior partition on the shipping flash drive. That autostarts DiskWarrior.

Here's what the DiskWarrior Recovery Maker.app manual says:

"This utility application will create a DiskWarrior Recovery Disk by copying the contents of an OS X Recovery disk and a serialized DiskWarrior application to a suitable flash drive. Once completed, you will be able to start up the computer from the DiskWarrior Recovery disk and run DiskWarrior."

The target flash drive volume must be at least 2 GB, and it can be a volume on a partitioned flash drive.

What the utility builds is a bootable flash drive with the recovery partition on it. To use it, you choose the new flash drive as a startup volume (option on startup, or in System Preferences > Startup Disk).

In the list of options presented in the recovery volume will be an icon for DiskWarrior. So no Terminal is needed.

Other features of the recovery volume appear to be unchanged, including the ability to install or reinstall Yosemite.

item.203264

David Charlap

An anonymous MacInTouch Reader wrote: "I am looking for inexpensive, but reasonably fast 4 to 8 Gbyte drives. ... Does anyone have recommendations on where to find reasonably fast low-cost flash drives? eBay? Somewhere else? "

Have you looked recently? Drives at that size are dirt cheap. These days, drives at 32GB and smaller are sold for throwaway prices and 64GB drives are also pretty inexpensive. It's only at the 128GB and larger sizes where the prices get high enough that you may want to think twice.

Here are some Amazon prices for Kingston Data Travelers (which I use, due to the metal cases, so they don't get cracked in my pockets): 8GB for $5, 16GB for $7.50, 32GB for $13 and 64GB for $25.

I have also had very good luck (aside from the plastic cracking in my pockets) with SanDisk Cruzers:

8GB for $5, 16GB for $9, 32GB for $15, 64GB for $28.

I also frequently get Micro Center's house brand because they're very low cost and have not failed on me:

USB 2.0 drives: 8GB for $5, 16GB for $7, 32GB for 10, 64GB for $20
USB 3.0 drives: 8GB for $6, 16GB for $8, 32GB for $13, 64GB for $23, 128GB for $50

I've had good luck with all of the above brands (although not all the models, of course).

My only caution would be to avoid PNY brand. They sell product at very low prices, but my personal experience is that they are the worst quality. Every PNY product I've purchased has been either DOA or has failed catastrophically within a week or two. And I'm not the only one with this experience.

item.203271

Colleen Thompson

...4 partitions, then installed Snow Leopard through Mavericks, each with several rescue utilities (Disk Warrior, CCC, Data Rescue, etc.), as well as a few critical system updates. I installed it in one of those nice little OWC translucent enclosures that come with a handy little protective carrying case.

That's pretty much exactly what I do, except I have a lot of other utilities on each partition (Leopard through Mav), plus a separate partition dedicated to updaters. And it's in the same enclosure, an OWC On-The-Go, which supports external SMART.

item.203273

Colleen Thompson

If DW5 is similar to DW4, you should also be able to copy/install it to any other volume.

You can, and I did. Yesterday I used it to repair a 500GB full Time Machine drive, which took about an hour and a half, or maybe longer, but it did get the job done.

item.203275

Colleen Thompson

It'd be nice to know whether you can create a bootable DiskWarrior USB drive from an OS booted on a drive that does not have a recovery partition. The DiskWarrior developers have always been pretty clever, so, if there's a way to do it, I'd bet they included it. I'd be nice to hear from someone who's actually done this.

Why not just install a copy of the relevant operating system on the USB drive? The only reason DiskWarrior uses the recovery partition is because you can't repair your boot drive. All that's required is booting to a different drive or partition.

item.203276

MacInTouch Reader

Some time back Alsoft told me not to use a copy of DiskWarrior that had been cloned. They said to install a fresh copy or do a Finder copy. They did not state a reason.

item.203287

Tracy Valleau

DiskWarrior ProjMgr

Re:

"How much space does Alsoft recommend for a Yosemite bootable flash drive plus the utility?"

2 GB flash drive, though a larger one can be used is you have one laying around you'd like to use.

... not to put too fine a point on it, but neat trick if you can do it.

I just installed Yosemite on a USB flash drive, and did a get-info on only the system folder itself:

"6,163,104,024 bytes (6.79 GB on disk) for 131,608 items"

Toss in the Library and a user folder, not to mention at least the DiskWarrior app, and I'd be interested in seeing how all of that fits on a 2GB drive...

Perhaps their on-board utility strips out everything except for what is necessary to boot and run DW, but then any other utility you try to squeeze on the drive would very likely not run at all.

Over the years, (and literally dozens of 'emergency repair' drives) I've been there and done that...

To my way of thinking, if you've just spent over $100 for a repair utility, you ought to be able to afford the extra $15 for a flash drive big enough to hold a whole OS, and any other utilities you'd like to have along.

That way, you can be assured it will run, and run properly. If you can only afford the $5 2GB drive, then the Alsoft solution is likely your only one.

item.203294

Ed Graf

"The target flash drive volume must be at least 2 GB, and it can be a volume on a partitioned flash drive."

Thank you so much. Happy Holidays.

item.203295

Michael Fryd

A MacInTouch reader asked about fast USB thumb drives.

I have had good luck with the 64GB SanDisk Extreme USB 3 Flash Drives. They offer read speeds up to 245MB/s and write speeds up to 190MB/s. My experience with the 64GB version is that they actually do perform as advertised. Don't confuse these with slower speed SandDisk drives that sell for less.

Prices seem to vary quite a bit from day to day. A few minutes ago, the 64GB version was $35 on Amazon. It is also available in 16GB and 32 GB versions, but those have slower write speeds.

item.203301

Robert Rosenberg

David Charlap said

"Have you looked recently? Drives at that size are dirt cheap. These days, drives at 32GB and smaller are sold for throwaway prices and 64GB drives are also pretty inexpensive. It's only at the 128GB and larger sizes where the prices get high enough that you may want to think twice."

While the prices for the 128GB drives are high, they are in line with the smaller ones in terms of a $ per GB cost. If you look at the listed Micro Center USB3 prices, you will see that you only pay a $2 premium for the 128GB drive vs two 64GB ones. Also note that due to directory formatting/etc., you actually get more usable space on the 128GB one vs the space on two 64GBs, so the $2 is worth it.

item.203303

Michael Fussell

A bootable flash drive should be at least 16 gig, preferably 32 gig. This assumes using Apple installer. Also buy the fastest flash drive that is reasonable. 10x is good.

item.203305

MacInTouch Reader

"Since the price of storage became so inexpensive"

FWIW, my small data-dependent business can now afford Oracle's old slogan, "SAME": stripe and mirror everything.

item.203306

Rick Stevens

Re:

'My only caution would be to avoid PNY brand.'

Ditto - bought 2 and both ended up DOA within 2 years. Complained to PNY (hard even to find contact info) and never heard back from them.

PNY products are essentially junk.

item.203308

Stephen Hart

A MacInTouch reader wrote:

"Some time back Alsoft told me not to use a copy of DiskWarrior that had been cloned. They said to install a fresh copy or do a Finder copy. They did not state a reason."

I've used DiskWarrior for years on a variety of external drives, most clones of my Mac's drive. Never had a problem. (Except with version 4's failures with Time Machine drives.)

And in fact, Alsoft's own DiskWarrior Recovery Maker just makes a copy of the app on a flash drive (with a bootable OS X recovery system).

item.203309

Stephen Hart

A MacInTouch reader wrote:

"It'd be nice to know whether you can create a bootable DiskWarrior USB drive from an OS booted on a drive that does not have a recovery partition."

That's exactly what DiskWarrior Recovery Maker does.
The resulting flash drive (or partition) contains a bootable OS X recovery system and the Diskwarrior 5 app.

item.203316

MacInTouch Reader

Another MacInTouch reader writes,

"Some time back Alsoft told me not to use a copy of DiskWarrior that had been cloned. They said to install a fresh copy or do a Finder copy. They did not state a reason."

Odd. I've been using DiskWarrior from a cloned drive to check and repair the main drive since I started using OS X over a decade ago and never had any problem.

item.203319

DiskWarrior ProjMgr

Re:

"I just installed Yosemite on a USB flash drive, and did a get-info on only the system folder itself:
"6,163,104,024 bytes (6.79 GB on disk) for 131,608 items"

Toss in the Library and a user folder, not to mention at least the DiskWarrior app, and I'd be interested in seeing how all of that fits on a 2GB drive..."

DiskWarrior Recovery Maker uses the startup files from your OS X Recovery disk, Recovery HD. There is no Finder. No Users folder, etc. (OS X Recovery versions 10.7 through 10.10 take up less than 2 GB.) It's limited environment whereas when needed, or desired, a user can startup from the DiskWarrior Recovery disk, made with DiskWarrior Recovery Maker, and run DiskWarrior on any Macintosh drive. This is most useful for customers that only have their internal hard drive and nothing else. But anyone can use the DiskWarrior Recovery disk to startup in this clean environment for maintenance, repair or recovery. Plus, if you buy a new Mac that now requires a later system, you may simply run DiskWarrior Recovery Maker and recreate a new DiskWarrior Recovery disk with the later version of the OS X startup files when you need it and at no additional cost.

Dec. 24, 2014

item.203328

Joe Gurman

Fast USB 3 flash drives: I like the Patriot Supersonic Rage drives; the 32 Gbyte model is available for $20.49 from Amazon. The hard vinyl shell is extremely durable.

item.203334

MacInTouch Reader

I'm using a 32GB SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 on an iMac with USB 3 and, despite being slower than the 64 GB, it's pretty fast. I've installed a bootable Yosemite OS on it and have all my utilities on it as well, including Disk Warrior. I've used almost 26GB of space.

item.203341

David Charlap

Robert Rosenberg wrote:

"While the prices for the 128GB drives are high, they are in line with the smaller ones in terms of a $ per GB cost. If you look at the listed Micro Center USB3 prices, you will see that you only pay a $2 premium for the 128GB drive vs two 64GB ones. Also note that due to directory formatting/etc., you actually get more usable space on the 128GB one vs the space on two 64GBs, so the $2 is worth it."

If you need to store more than 64GB of data, yes. If not, then not really. I would barely think about adding a $5 item to an order, but I would only buy a $50 item if I really needed it.

For me, I use flash drives for three things. The first is to transport files in my pocket - a small drive is sufficient for this. I carry a 16G drive mostly because they don't cost much more than a tiny drive and I might need the space someday. The second is Mac OS X installers - I use 8G drives for this, because that's all I need and extra space would be wasted. The third is to back up my PS3 - I currently use a 64G drive, which is enough to hold two full backups (current backup size is about 30GB, with the entire hard drive being 80GB.)

If I find myself needing a 128G drive, I would not hesitate to get one, but that hasn't happened yet.

item.203347

Jonathan D

Well, I haven't got my DiskWarrior 5 yet. So I cannot comment on its packaging, however I can comment on the customs and handling charge that I have to pay on it. £15.65, or $24.33 before it is released from the postal service for delivery.

That's on top of the $71.90 the upgrade cost in the first place.

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