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DiskWarrior is the essential Mac disk utility.

Everything just disappeared after your Mac went haywire. All your work documents. The music you most enjoy. The movie of your kid's first steps. It's your life and it's gone. Don't panic! DiskWarrior will find your documents, photos, music and any other files when disaster strikes and things go missing.

Perhaps you've tried to open a document and all that happens is a color wheel that spins and spins and spins? Or when your Mac starts up, all you get is a blinking question mark? Or you were in the middle of editing a movie and now your external hard disk isn't on the more...

What's New

Version 4.4:
  • This release features ongoing internal enhancements for speed and improved repair.

Requirements

Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later

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DiskWarrior User Discussion

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Most Helpful Reviews...

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Diskwarrior has been a cornerstone of my utilities since version ONE, however the latest version 4.4 running under 10.8 regularly hangs "Scanning for disks.." and for the first time ever has damaged some file systems.

I am now more...

3 people found this review helpful
Version 4.4
MacUpdate most helpful reviews user icon
from Gryphonent

I'd say DiskWarrior has become DiskRetiree… because it's not been updated for two years and hasn't seen much support even before then. On my latest MacBook Air the app constantly produces gibberish results and often hangs when more...

4 people found this review helpful
Version 4.4
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Brooklyn_Al Member IconReview+178
Brooklyn_Al
+2

I am pretty careful and savvy about maintaining the OS X operating system but after running Disk Warrior on a rotational drive, a fusion and and SSD it clearly improved the performance. I would not have believed this program is necessary but I have changed my opinion based upon the clear and undeniable results. I ran it on SL, Lion, ML and Mavericks....effective on all.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.4
GeoProf Member IconComment+881
GeoProf
+7

Charless, as you suggested below, I ran both TechTool Pro 7.0.4 and DiskWarrior 4.4 and logged all the running processes while they each rebuilt and replaced the directory. Here are the results:

TechTool Pro runs the OS X process “fsck_hfs" ONLY during the ‘Prechecking Structures’ and ‘Rechecking Directory Structures’ phases of its Volume Rebuild routine. It does NOT use fsck_hfs to do the real work of rebuilding the directory — for that it uses its own proprietary processes called “TechTool Pro 7” and “DirectoryMaintenanceTool.”

For its Directory Rebuild routine, DiskWarrior also uses its own proprietary processes called “DiskWarrior” and “DiskWarriorRebuildServer.” It also briefly uses “diskarbitrationd,” which is a daemon that governs the use of disks by the system.

In addition to others, both apps also use the Spotlight process “mdworker” — the metadata server worker that keeps track of file system changes — and “kernel_task” — the OS X framework processes that manages most system resources. But, commercial software doesn’t operate in a vacuum, it must use the operating system’s own processes to get many things done in the right way. So it’s perfectly normal for TTP and DW to use OS X processes to do some of their work. However, it’s their proprietary processes that distinguish these apps from one another. To see some indication that they produce different results from one another, try running DW completely, and then run TTP just up to the point that it shows you the system statistics; then let TTP finish rebuilding the directory, then run it again just until it shows the new system statistics — you’ll see that each app produces slightly different results, and DW isn’t as thorough by TTP’s standards. You can do it the other way around too: Run TTP completely, then run DW’s Graph function to see how many things are “out of place,” then run DW completely, then run its Graph function again — you’ll see that TTP isn’t as thorough as DW by DW’s standards.

However, there are some commercial disk utilities that ONLY use OS X’s disk repair routines but make it look like they're using their own proprietary processes. In my opinion, these are utterly halfassed, scum-sucking, ulcerous developers, like Drive Genius.

Reply6 replies
Version 4.4
Charless
+2

On my machine, the entirety of the "Volume Structures" test uses fsck, as you can see in this video:

http://charlessoft.com/extraneous_stuff/TTP_fsck.mp4

The individual tests run on the drive in TTP's UI are exactly the same tests that show up in fsck's logs, which is why I got curious enough to check the process log while doing this. Since TTP is just using fsck to scan the disk, it is unlikely that it could find *any* hard disk problems that fsck wouldn't already be able to detect out of the box, which really makes TTP of questionable utility in my estimation.

GeoProf
+3

Umm, that’s because you’re only using TTP's ‘Volume Structures’ TEST, which does not rebuild or even repair the directory — it only tests it for problems, just like Disk Utility’s ‘Verify Disk’ function (a.k.a. fsck_hfs) because that’s exactly what ‘Volume Structures’ uses to test the directory. If this test reports any problems, the first thing to do is open Disk Utility and run ‘Repair Disk,’ then you can move on to the real disk repair features in TTP and DW, explained below.

In order to REBUILD and REPLACE your directory (sometimes known as “optimization”) you must first select TTP's ‘Tools’ section in the ‘Tests/Tools/Reports’ mode selector in the upper-left corner, then choose ‘Volume Rebuild’ from the ‘Tool Selection’ section in the lower-left corner, then select the disk you want to rebuild and click “Run Volume Rebuild.” Once it finishes and presents you with a comparison of the current directory and the new rebuilt directory, click ‘Replace’ to replace the old directory with the rebuilt one. This is the most powerful feature of both TechTool Pro and DiskWarrior because the vast majority of non-hardware disk problems in OS X are the result of unbalanced data structures or corruption in the directory. If you’ve never run this feature before, your Mac will probably run much better afterwards. BTW, in both DW and TTP, directory rebuilding/optimizing cannot be performed on the startup disk, so you’ll have to startup from either the TTP/DW disk or from a different OS X volume that’s either on a different partition of your Mac’s HDD or on an external drive.

Charless
+1

But if it has to pass fsck_hfs first, what's the point? The whole purpose for DiskWarrior was to fix a drive that was hosed badly enough that fsck / Disk Utility couldn't fix it. If I wanted to use fsck_hfs to scan / repair the drive, I might as well just use Disk Utility to do it, or use fsck_hfs directly on the command line. If you want to rebuild the catalog and extents files (although I don't see the point in doing that if it's working properly), fsck_hfs actually has that ability, too, with the -R flag.

Why are we talking about TTP, anyway? This is the review page for DiskWarrior.

GeoProf
+5

You DON’T have to run fsck at all in TTP (I never have), it’s just one of the many OS X tools that TTP’s developers threw in to make it a more comprehensive disk utility product (most commercial disk utilities do this; even DiskWarrior has a built-in permissions fixer that just uses Disk Utility’s process). I was just telling you what to do in case you did run it in TTP (since that's what you were doing in your video) and it reported a problem.

My point was that, according to the video you posted, you were only futzing with TTP’s more or less useless TESTS, not its TOOLS, which is where the real action is. Its major feature is its directory rebuilder called ‘Volume Rebuild’ (plus defragging).

Charless
+7

Point taken about the tests (although that's a bit of bad UI; the actual functionality to verify/repair a disk shouldn't be hidden as it is here). What I was asking that time is what happens when it fails the fsck verification during the "Precheck" phase. I don't have any corrupted hard disks to test with at the moment; in previous versions of TechTool Pro I've used, the "rebuild" tool has usually ended up bailing when the drive was messed up enough that I wouldn't just fix it with fsck in the first place, so I've never been able to use it successfully on an actually malfunctioning disk. It worked fine, of course, on a disk whose directory is working fine, but I've never seen any point in doing that (in general, the "regular maintenance" craze in the Mac community is largely based on unnecessary voodoo). So, I'm going to take you at your word that this is fixed in TTP7.

However: since it's using fsck to detect errors in the first step, presumably to look for errors to fix during the rebuild process, TTP is unlikely to be able to fix any errors that fsck can't detect. Sure, it can copy information from the old B-tree into the new one, and end up with a B-tree that has a few fewer used nodes in it (which again, I don't think is going to affect anything in any measurable way, especially since anyone who knows how B-trees work knows that it's just going to fill itself back out again as new files are written to the disk), but if fsck thinks the drive is OK, it's unlikely that TTP is going to find anything to fix in the first place. I dunno, I could be wrong, but that's how it's looking to me at the moment.

What was so great about DiskWarrior was that it was written by guys who knew the file system extremely well, and whose job involved doing nothing but writing code to verify and repair file systems, not a whole bunch of other useless junk with pretty animations to make you think the app did a lot more than it actually did. That kind of laser focus allowed it to both detect and repair problems that fsck either didn't detect or couldn't fix. I do have to admit, however, that Apple's file system drivers and fsck_hfs have improved a lot in recent years — it's become quite rare to get the kind of major directory errors that used to be fairly common in the OS 9 and early OS X days, so maybe none of this matters. I'm still hoping for a new file system, though.

Anyway, I'd like to continue this conversation further, as it's kind of interesting, but it looks like someone's systematically downvoting all of my comments, so I think I'll just leave it here. Thanks for your input.

Gary30
+0

"utterly halfassed, scum-sucking, ulcerous" I MUST remember that one.

Gregm Member IconComment+213
Gregm
+0

Heads up: Due to some weird behavior, I went to the support area for DW.
More than two years later (Oct 2013) -- DW has yet another updater called 4.4 (yup, same name/number as 2011 update). Can't quite figure out what is going on -- other than my *guess* that it has something to do with Mavericks.

And the new updater still requires an original disk and burner to complete the install.
Don't these guys pay *any* attention to the hardware that is currently available?

Reply1 reply
Version 4.4
Gregm
+0

According to DW Marc -- there have been no changes.

Apparently just confirming declarations of "it still works!" -----
as the OS upgrades create challenges for some others

GeoProf Member IconReview+881
GeoProf
+1

I’ve had a high opinion of DiskWarrior since I bought it many years ago, and I felt that TechTool Pro’s directory optimization was inferior. However, I’ve recently become convinced that TTP’s directory optimization has improved to the point of being very nearly on par with DW’s.

This used to happen to me, my staff, and our allied universities' labs all the time (literally monthly): A problem with either the operating system (OS 10.5-to-10.8) or a software application that could not be fixed by TechTool Pro’s ‘Volume Rebuild’ tool was handily fixed by DiskWarrior’s ‘Rebuild’ routine. And to Micromat’s shame, I’ve never encountered the reverse scenario and have heard of it secondhand only twice. But since the introduction of TTP 7.0, DW’s superiority became less pronounced, and with the release of v. 7.0.1 and 7.0.2 it almost disappeared.

Since the introduction of TTP 7.0.2, I have not encountered or heard reports of ANY directory problems that could only be corrected by DW after TTP failed to do the job. This is in a very large Geographic Information Systems lab that I manage, in my own large cluster, and in the several state, county and city GIS organizations with which I have a close relationship. We haven’t gone so far as to replace DW with TTP as our directory utility of choice, but that’s not far off because TTP comes with a large set of additional capabilities that is absent in DW even though they are nearly identical in price.

So in my world, DiskWarrior’s dominance over TechTool Pro has ended. Were TTP’s directory rebuild function to improve over v. 7.0.2 in any way, it could claim parity in that category and become the de facto leader due to its extensive other capacities.

Reply4 replies
Version 4.4
Sd_robert
+1

Hey, you should also compare catalog rebuilding of DW and TTP with Cleverfiles Disk Drill, it’s interesting to know who wins and if you will find it on par with the old players in this market.

GeoProf
+0

Disk Drill’s main features are fundamentally different from the directory optimization functions of DiskWarrior and TechTool Pro because it focuses more on data protection and recovery than directory maintenance and repair. I know that TTP can do data recovery too, but for that, Data Rescue has always worked so well for me that I’ve never had to use TTP’s recovery function, even though I use its Directory Backup feature.

Our labs are primarily for Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the main applications of which input and output huge amounts of spatially referenced data. In addition, a GIS does very computationally intense multivariate statistical analysis. So, both the scale and frequency of DIRECTORY CHANGE in our non-RAID machines is enormous — probably a lot more than the machines in most of our other university labs. As a result, I have to focus more on keeping their directories healthy than most lead scientists or lab managers do. Let’s face it, most OS X problems are the result of directory corruption. Bizarrely, the vast majority of commercial OS X disk utilities currently available focus on drive health, but that’s a BS phenomenon driven by money and the lack of engineering talent (plus erroneous perceptions carried over from the PC world). When it comes right down to it, the only really good, much more commonly EFFECTIVE OS X disk utilities (and right now that’s only DW and TTP) focus on or at least include a directory optimization feature, which, of course, is the hardest one to get right. But they sell the best because they work the best.

I tried Disk Drill for about 8 months on my own work desktop, but it had too much overhead. I felt that its constantly running daemon and the substantial drive space it sequesters for the Recovery Vault are too proactively prophylactic in nature. I prefer to avoid the system-slowing effects (no matter how trivial) of proactive prophylaxis (in the form of constantly running background processes, like Disk Drill’s). So instead, I rely on the following regime of nominally passive prophylaxis and rigid backup for our non-RAID machines: 1) Fix problems before they occur by keeping the directory in good shape with at least a weekly directory rebuild/replace using primarily DiskWarrior, but more recently TTP as well (this extreme frequency is the result of our constant, massive data I/O — normally used Macs can probably get away with monthly or less); 2) Use of an intermittent, short duration directory snapshotter like TTPs Directory Backup (a less invasive/pervasive prophylactic that’s rarely — if ever — called upon); 3) BACKING UP RELIGIOUSLY AND FREQUENTLY (bit-for-bit cloning, really); and 4) Having effective after-the-fact maintenance and recovery utilities on hand if things ever go afoul despite 1, 2 and 3. I have not evaluated Disk Drill’s directory optimization feature because the app’s overhead made it a moot point for me.

Please note my purposeful avoidance of the pun potential in my prophylaxis theme.

Charless
+1

Run TTP's directory repair feature sometime while you have either Activity Monitor or the 'top' program running, and watch the process list. You'll see that TTP spawns the fsck_hfs tool to do its directory scanning, the same tool that the built-in Disk Utility uses under the hood. Given that, TTP seems quite pointless as a drive repair tool, since you can just use the built-in tools and probably get the same repair functionality.

Of course, DiskWarrior is problematic as well, since it's a 32-bit app and needs to load the entirety of the directory structures, which can sometimes take up over 4 GiB, into RAM. The solution that would be the most helpful at this point would be a ZFS-like file system that no longer required tools such as these. Cross your fingers this WWDC — I will be.

GeoProf
+0

Charless, as you suggested, I ran both TechTool Pro 7.0.4 and DiskWarrior 4.4 and logged all the running processes while they each rebuilt and replaced the directory. I posted the results above as a separate comment so it might last a little longer on this page.

Amcarter3 Member IconReview+93
Amcarter3
+0

DiskWarrior is a fantastic disk repair utility app. It does one thing better than any other fixit utility -- it fixes deep disk directory issues that no other app can fix, including TechTool Pro and Drive Genius. It works with all Mac Operating Systems, including Mavericks. It saves my bacon at 3-4 times/year.

Other disk repair apps offer an array of hardware diagnostic tools and "fixit" tricks. But, none of them can match what DiskWarrior does. I've relied on it more for over 25 years and highly recommend it.

Reply1 reply
Version 4.4
Amcarter3
+0

I will add... The developer points out that Apple has made virtually no changes to volume formatting in recent years. Plus, it doesn't matter whether you have a hard drive, a Fusion drive or an SSD—the rules are the same. However, because Apple has not released hardware configuration data for some years, you must start it after booting up on an external drive.

Nova-Bossa-Nova Member IconReview+35
Nova-Bossa-Nova
+0

I use it constantly and it does its job very well!

Reply0 replies
Version 4.4
Fizgig Member IconReview+7
Fizgig
+0

This utility works best with the machine booted off a diff't volume than the one you're looking to repair. That said, there are two things DW excels at, from a tech's 25+ yrs. of experience, repairing directories and permissions. This is mainly what I use it for on my own and clients' machines because most utilities will not allow permission repair on a volume the machine isn't running off of, DW does and does it extremely well. Would I pay almost $100 for those two features.... Absolutely NOT. As you can use the better TechTool to replace the directory (plus it has a protection feature which backs up that directory periodically) and TechTool or Drive Genius can deal with permissions while the machine is running off the volume being checked. As a tech., I do have DW in my tool box, but it certainly isn't the only tool in there nor is it the best.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.4
Geoff Bell Member IconReview+1
Geoff Bell
+1

This software does not appear to work at all. Stupidly, I chose to inore these reviews and bought DW 4.4 in an attempt to fix a problem with a drive. DW would not even scan the drive. Totally useless. (Data Rescue on the other hand, scanned the drive and allowed me to recover it.) I asked DW for my money back. And received a very rude response for my trouble. My advice - don't buy it. It is a scam.

Reply2 replies
Version 4.4
TeRRyZx
+2

Then problem is that APPLE just refuses to give them the needed update that are now needed. For this reason you have to startup from a different Mac using target mode or have it on a separate partition in order for it to work. DW still works just fine and the complaints ought to be jammed down APPLE's throat.

Fizgig
+1

As a tech., I'd recommend TechTool instead for data recovery and data loss prevention. Data Rescue is also very good for recovery purposes -- but this you know ;) DiskWarrior has always worked best when the Mac it's fixing is running off a diff't volume or connected to another Mac in target disk mode. This utility, along with other in the "best of" category isn't effective when running on a volume it is attempting to repair.

Negritude Member IconComment+1082
Negritude
+8

(In my best LibertyForAll1776 voice):

Is this thing 64-bit, yet?

Seriously, this is an example of where going 64-bit would be an incredibly important feature, because it would allow the program to address much larger amounts of memory, which is necessary to process drives that have huge directories with an innumerable number of files, such as Time Machine backups.

Frankly, while this program is legendary in the Mac community, it's also, unfortunately, a legacy cash cow for the developers, who do as little as possible just to keep it working, while they continue to rake in the bucks.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.4
F451 Member IconComment+393
F451
+0

From Alsoft's website:

Support News

10/22/2013 - DiskWarrior 4 version 4.4 Compatible with OS X 10.9 Mavericks

The previously released DiskWarrior 4 version 4.4 is required to run an installed copy of DiskWarrior while started from 10.9 Mavericks. If you haven't already done so, you can use the free updater for existing owners of DiskWarrior 4 versions 4.0-4.3.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.4
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Version 4.4
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Ratings

Overall
(175)
Current Version (4.x)
(119)

Details

Downloads 298,922
Version Downloads 155,670
License Updater
Date 10 Oct 2011
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price $99.95