Michael Klein
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Smile Score: +7
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Applicability reviewed on 13 Feb 2010
Today I finally managed to restrain my puke reflex when looking at screenshots of this app, and downloaded it. The buttons look horrid, true, but the rest is pretty decent. I certainly didn't have any of the issues mentioned below about auto-downloading and whatnot. Yes, it hijacks all of my downloads, but that's what I wanted it to do, and it's easy enough to turn off by right-clicking anywhere in the browser and clicking "Disable Folx Plugin". Plus If you want more precise control over each of your downloads and you use Firefox, you can disable the Folx plugin and instead use the FlashGot extension, which lets you choose when to use Folx.

The only thing I don't like other than the hideous buttons is the graphical bars-display that represent download speed--I find it annoying and would like to be able to disable it entirely. Also, the option to turn off the Status Window should be more obvious--it took me five minutes of hunting to find it! (It turns out it's in the Window menu rather than the View menu like everything else).

On the other hand, Folx deserves credit for being much faster, better able to resume downloads, better integrated with Firefox, and more feature-rich than Leech. In regards to resuming downloads, though, for some reason it resumed with just 1 of the original 2 threads, and nothing I could do changed that. Definitely a bug that needs fixing in the final version.

On the whole, I was still happy enough that I pre-ordered the Pro version, since at $10 it's half price until the final version is released. The main reason was that I wanted to be able to download with more than 2 threads at once. It seems to me judging by the progress since the comments below, that the developer is actually fixing a lot of the problems at a rapid rate, so I have high hopes that my investment will pay off.
[Version 0.9.443.400]

1 Reply


Applicability replied on 13 Feb 2010
By the way, the version I was using was 0.9.546.425, not 9.443.400 as listed above.

Applicability reviewed on 24 Oct 2009
I've had mixed experiences with Drive Genius. A while ago I got it as part of a MacUpdate promo and had a disastrous experience trying to use the "DriveSlim" option--and that with only the last three options checked (no checks for large/duplicate files, just unused optimizations, non-Intel binaries, and cache/temp files). It basically froze/became unresponsive (although the purty *cough gimmicky* animations kept on going), while driving CPU usage through the roof. I had used a similar tool, Xslimmer, to remove PPC binaries/localizations in the past, and the interface was much more user-friendly, responsive, and a whole lot faster. To this day I will never again trust Drive Genius to accomplish this task, update or no. The DriveSlim function may well be fixed by now, but I will never find out.

In fact, I was just about ready to never touch Drive Genius 2 again, when yesterday I decided it was time for a defrag. The first time around I tried TechTool Pro 5, only to discover that, when it comes to defrag (what it calls "Volume Optimization"), it might as well be called "Torture Tool" for what it does to the system. 5 hours in, the CPUs and consequently the system fans were screaming, and it seemed to have barely made any progress. After researching online I discovered that multiple-day defrag sessions with this thing are common--what a joke. So I looked for an alternative. iDefrag seemed like the most-recommended way to go, but I didn't want to pony up more cash if I could just use a tool I already owned. Although I was aware of the defrag issues users had had with Drive Genius 2, they had supposedly been fixed with version 2.1.1, and as I was using version 2.2.1 (on my Snow Leopard machine) I decided to give it a shot. What a difference in comparison to TechTool Pro! The thing was done in 3 hours, with absolutely no fan noise. It freed up around 2.5 GB. Not bad.

In conclusion, Drive Genius 2 is definitely a mixed bag, if for no other reason than that its reputation has already been ruined, between the DriveSlimmer issue I experienced and the defrag, partition, and repair problems I have read about on the web. On top of that, they charged users for an upgrade that for the first time fixed the horrendous problems that should never have made it in in the first place--not exactly what one would call a show of good will from the developers.

I will say, however, that version 2.2.1 was able to defrag my Snow Leopard machine no problemo. So props for that. If they keep making solid releases maybe they can slowly--very slowly--win back some reputation. But it will be a long and painful journey after the dogfood they served us in the
[Version 2.2.1]

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