If you have an Intel Mac, want to optimize your hard drive (or something else), don’t reach for one of those CDs in your “utility belt.” Instead, make yourself a Mac OS X bootable USB Flash drive with your favorite utilities loaded on it!
Note: DasBoot is not yet OS X Leopard Compatible. Sigh. Works great on Tiger, though!
Booting off an OS X CD isn’t fun. You have to remember to push the “C” key down upon startup of your Mac, then wait what seems forever. What if you could skip those troubles on your new Intel Macbook? You can, of course, if you use Subrosasoft’s Das Boot. It allows you to…
…take any third party boot CD (such as those shipped by
SubRosaSoft.com Inc, Prosoft Engineering Inc, Alsoft Inc, or Micromat
Inc) and quickly create a bootable diagnostic device that contains any
of your own utilities you may wish to install. You can use your device
to boot and repair Mac OS X computers* as needed without erasing it and
taking away your ability to use it for other purposes such as playing
music, or watching videos. With the help of DasBoot™ you get to carry
all the tools you’ll need with you. But unlike expensive third party
alternatives, you’ll have plenty of space left over in case you need to
Source: Das Boot
Using Alsoft’s DiskWarrior as a starting point, I was able to make a bootable OS X USB Flash drive with DiskWarrior, as well as a few other utilities. But the best part about it was that the process to create a bootable USB Flash drive didn’t take that long…and booting up from the USB Flash drive was MUCH faster than off one of those CDs.
I’m sure that some folks may already knew about this, but this is a major time-saver for anyone with an Intel Mac(book) and buying a 1 gig USB flash drive just for this purpose is worth it.
As to what utilities to put on your Mac, there are a few you should look at. The disk optimization ones aren’t free, but worth the investment. Again, the neat thing is being able to put more than one utility on a Flash Drive, giving you more functionality than if you just had a
bootable CD from one vendor. Here are a few…what would you add?
As a veteran computer user, I
grew up using Norton’s Disk Utilities on my computers throughout the
years. Although operating systems have gotten to be a lot
tougher–especially GNU/Linux for which there is no need to run hard
drive optimizing tools–both Mac and Windows require a bit of help. To
that end, one of the first things I do when investing in Mac and Windows
computers is to purchase a hard drive optimization tool.
When our collection of Macbooks arrived at work, I immediately ordered DiskWarrior
as a general purpose tool. I had experience with DiskWarrior. However,
one of our resident Mac gurus (ex-Systems Engineer for Apple) Larry
Stegall pointed out a new tool, Drive Genius. Another tool is
Micromat’s TechTools Pro.
These tools help clean up the bloat, fix file permissions, fix
corruption on OS X volume structures, improve application performance
and verify system integrity (whatever that means). In short, they fix
problems when they are small rather than overwhelming you when they get
bigger and meaner. If I had to point to any one software tool as a
must-have, buy it now from this article, I would have to point you to
one of the three options below. Yes, it is that critical you have one of
these, especially if you are deploying lots of Macs or just have one at
home or work.
Another program you might want to throw on your bootable USB Flash drive
is TechTool Deluxe. I have it because I purchased the Apple Care
Protection Plan. It’s described in this way:
TechTool Deluxe is part of the AppleCare Protection Plan for Macintosh
computers. It is based on Micromat’s powerful TechTool Pro diagnostic
and repair utility. TechTool Deluxe checks the major computer components
covered under the AppleCare Protection Plan. It is available only by
purchasing an AppleCare Protection Plan for a Macintosh…TechTool
Deluxe can also repair many of the problems it finds.
Of course, on reading the web site, it appears I didn’t get the best of
the two TechTools available (Deluxe and Pro). The TechTools Pro version
apparently can do more than the Deluxe version (sheesh!). Oh well. If I
need that functionality, I may have to spring for Drive Genius
which seems to beat out DiskWarrior
and TechTools Pro. Anyone use Drive Genius in more than the
Option 1: Drive Genius – http://tinyurl.com/7m7bn
; Cost: $99.00
Option 2: Disk Warrior – http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/
; Cost: $99.95
Option 3: TechTools Pro – http://tinyurl.com/psqzc
; Cost: $98.00
MISCELLANEOUS UTILITIES (No-Cost)
Now that you have one of the
big ones out of the way, you might want to consider one or all of these
utilities for inclusion on your bootable USB Flash Drive.
If you want file management a la Xtree Gold (if
you know what this is, then you’re an old time DOS user!), in addition
to FTP capability, then you must take a look at the muCommander.
MuCommander is available for Macintosh, Windows and Linux and gives you
control over moving, copying files around on your computer or via file
transfer to a remote server or computer. You never know, you may need to
back data off. Download muCommander at http://www.mucommander.com/
Carbon Copy Cloner
Although I haven’t used Carbon
Copy Cloner, I know others have. It describes itself in this way,
Have you ever wanted a simple, complete, bootable backup of your hard
drive? Have you ever wanted to upgrade to a larger hard drive with
minimal hassle and without reinstalling your OS and all of your
applications? Have you ever wanted to move your entire Mac OS X
installation to a new computer? Then CCC is the tool for you!
Download Carbon Copy Cloner from Bombich Software (free) at http://www.bombich.com/software/ccc.html
What else would you add?
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure