AMITIAE - Tuesday 10 February 2015

Disk Warrior Updated to Version 5 and Available on USB drive: (1) Opening the Box

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By Graham K. Rogers


Macs running OS X that are properly maintained tend to be quite stable, although there are a number of ways in which this reliability can be upset, including power interruptions, data corruption from many sources and a number of other reasons. A new release of DiskWarrior on a flash drive keeps owners of the latest Macs well-protected

Like a properly serviced car, users may never experience a problem on a Mac running OS X; but do need to remember that oil needs to be changed and systems need to be checked periodically.

A number of computer users continue blithely on without any apparent problems, sure that their devices have nothing amiss until - like the car whose owner never checks the oil - one day they come grinding to a halt. As weaknesses may appear after the installation of new software, or especially after a new update to the operating system, it is human nature to blame the developer or the update when the cause may be closer to home.

Disk Warrior Early days with OS X were not always blissful and a number of oddities appeared with 10.1 and 10.2 (Jaguar). It was clear that with some problems, the inbuilt utilities were inadequate: Apple has always noted this in Disk Utility. Something stronger is required.

While many users opt for Micromat's TechTool Pro, my choice was for Alsoft's Disk Warrior and I regard this highly. When I first bought this, it came on a CD, although later versions appeared on DVD as the CD medium became rarer. To update, a user needed to download the necessary files, insert the original disk and when instructed replace that with a blank CD.

Disks are liable to scratching, particularly if the disk drive is old; and the climate in this part of the world also brings out any weaknesses. On a couple of occasions, the update process failed, but for a fee Alsoft was able to send me a new disk. The last time this happened, I queried the point that my old MacBook Pro had an optical drive, but the new one did not. As I was likely to dispose of the older machine at some stage (I gave it to a friend), how would I be able to update, I asked.

The answer is in the latest update to Disk Warrior. Version 5 now comes on a USB flash drive. I ordered it at the end of January and it arrived this week (some 18 days later) in a box similar to the ones Alsoft had used for the delivery of disks. Inside however, the plastic container has the far smaller flash drive: black, with the software name on the outside. At the end there is a light which shows red when the drive is inserted into a USB port.

Disk Warrior

The container has the serial number, which needs to be kept safely. The same number also appears on the invoice. Like my randomized passwords, I shall lock these away. Also in the container was a glossy sheet with some instructions. A quick look at the information suggested this might not be plug and play, particularly for those with newer Macs like mine.

Disk Warrior

The update cost me $59.95 as I had already paid for Version 4, while the full price for the new version of DiskWarrior is $119.95. There is a list of over 60 checks and fixes that are carried out by the latest version of DiskWarrior. Many times users have asked me about the need for such software, which I feel is important, but balk when the price is mentioned. My response to them is to ask about the value of the data on their computers: what if the disk failed?

In August 2012, I had this happen: the iMac would not start no matter what I did, until I tried DiskWarrior. This was able to access the hard disk, confirm that there was a terminal problem and assist me to rescue the data it could access, by copying onto an external disk. That was worth twice the price of a copy of Disk Warrior.

It is no use ordering such software after the disk is broken.

In the following three parts I go through the processes of installing Disk Warrior on different media, and of running the utilities using the updated Disk Warrior 5.

Disk Warrior

See Also:

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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