Product Watch: Another Important Weapon In Your Disk Repair Arsenal
Alsoft's DiskWarrior is a utility designed to prevent and eliminate directory damage to your Mac's hard disk. Its DiskShield component checks the integrity of any data being written to or from the directory to prevent errant programs from destroying the directory and to alert you to any existing directory damage. Directories are continuously kept up-to-date so that if you experience a crash or loss of power, potential loss of data is eliminated, according to Alsoft.
DiskWarrior takes a different approach to maintaining disk integrity. Instead of patching the original directory it builds a new replacement directory using data recovered from the original directory. Alsoft says that this procedure leads to better data recovery and is a similar procedure to rebuilding the desktop files.
The program does not attempt to repair all the possible problems that can occur with a disk, but is specifically directory orientated. Directory errors are the most common problems that bedevil Mac disks. This includes fixing problems with the master directory blocks and alternate master directory blocks (HFS), volume headers and alternate volume headers (HFS +), volume bit maps, catalog trees, and extents trees.
Alsoft feels that their product is superior to the competition because it looks at the whole directory rather than approaching it piecemeal. Other disk repair utilities try to repair the directory one step at a time, while DiskWarrior tries to replicate it completely. At the end of the process the directory is not only rejuvenated but optimized as well. Alsoft says such directory optimization results in a 50% - 60% decrease in the amount of time it takes a program to scan the directory and a 10% - 20% decrease in boot time.
What is directory damage
The directory is the portion of your disk set aside to record the names and locations of your files and folders. When your directory is either incorrectly updated or not updated at all, your directory is damaged.
An errant program can damage your directory by inadvertently writing its own data to the portion of the disk that is reserved for the directories. If your Mac crashes or loses power, updated directory information that the Mac OS caches in memory for faster access never gets written to your disk, resulting in potential directory damage. The presence of directory damage may be very minor or it could make some or all of your files inaccessible.
DiskWarrior comes on a CD-ROM and will boot any Mac from a 68020 up to the recent G4 Macs. The CD has three system folders on it; OS 7.6, OS 8.1 and OS 9. It will automatically use the correct OS for your Mac.
A recent MacUser UK review gave DiskWarrior 2.0, 4 1/2 mice out of a possible 5 and said this:
"In the space of a year, Alsoft's DiskWarrior has transformed itself from an upstart challenger to Norton Utilities and TechTool Pro into a vital weapon for Mac systems administrators and home users alike."
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