AMITIAE - Tuesday 10 February 2015
Disk Warrior Updated to Version 5 and Available on USB drive: (1) Opening the Box
By Graham K. Rogers
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.
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.
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.
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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