AMITIAE - Tuesday 10 February 2015

Disk Warrior Updated to Version 5 and Available on USB drive: (3) Making a Rescue Disk and Running the Repair

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By Graham K. Rogers


DiskWarrior, now updated to version 5 comes on a USB flash drive. Installing the software on the Mac is straightforward as is putting it on an external disk with OS X installed. There are options for installing on other media and the original flash drive cannot run on the latest Macs. Updating needs to be done. While putting Diskwarrior onto a Mac is quite easy, the other installation options require a little more work.

DiskWarrior Recovery Drive Install

Disk Warrior Recovery Maker I began with the creation of a recovery system on a flash drive. The DiskWarrior information in the Recovery Maker folder on the DW flash drive indicates that a drive of at least 2 GB is needed.

The one I had in my pocket was 16 GB so would do. However, I copied some of the data temporarily onto the hard drive as the process would delete everything, in a similar way to installation of OS X onto external media.

I copied the Disk Warrior Recovery Maker to the Applications folder and when this was run, the panel shows three buttons: the destination drive (all data will be deleted); the OS X source (a recovery drive which in my case showed 10.10.1); and the Disk Warrior Source (flash drive).

Disk Warrior

When I had made sure I had the right destination and source disks, I clicked on the Create button and a panel asking if I was sure appeared. This also warned that this might take 20 minutes, so I checked that the power supply was connected. I was asked for the Admin password (I was working as usual in a standard user account). The actual time to create this disk was less than 3 minutes. It appeared on the desktop with the blue Disk Warrior Recovery icon: there was still some 14 GB of space.

To use this, I would need to start the computer with the Option key held down, then select the correct disk from those offered. It did not appear in the list of disks in System Preferences > Startup Disk.

Disk Warrior

DiskWarrior Run from a Recovery Drive

When I selected the recovery disk from the options available startup was unsurprisingly slow. This is common when running OS X from drives that connect via USB 2. When the startup process was complete, I thought I had done it wrong: I was faced with the Rescue partition screen. However, instead of the usual four items (Restore from Time Machine, Reinstall OS X, Online Help, Disk Utility) there was a fifth item at the top of the list: Alsoft Disk Warrior.

Disk Warrior

When the application started, the panel was the same as when I had run this earlier and the analysis of my hard disk again showed a yellow bar, with an index of 8: the directory is not efficient. I needed to rebuild to improve efficiency and repair any damage.

The Disk Warrior disk was also shown on the selector button, but of course was not available for repair as this was the startup disk. I clicked on Rebuild for the Macintosh HD. The process was identical to the earlier test run on the external hard disk. Either the processing is much faster with Version 5, the SSD drive speeds things up, or there was not much wrong (or all three) as it was all over in around 5 minutes, including something over 33 million comparison tests. I was presented with the report and the offer to Rebuild:

1 file had a directory entry with an incorrect text encoding value
40 folders had a directory entry with an incorrect custom icon flag

These had been repaired.

Disk Warrior

The directory was replaced and the bar was changed to green, showing an index of 10: very efficient.

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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