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How to Defrag a Macbook Pro

written by: Michael Dougherty•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 4/18/2010

When files are frequently created, saved and deleted they can become fragmented, resulting in a general slowdown of your computer. If your MacBook Pro is running slowly and you suspect it's due to a fragmented disk drive you may want to defragment your drive using one of the methods in this article.

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    Defrag Your MacBook Pro

    The latest Mac operating system has an optimized technique for utilizing hard disk capacity. The operating systems use Hierarchical File System Plus (HFS+) which defragments the disk on the fly. Small fragmentations remain but generally these do not affect the overall performance of your disk. Depending on how frequently we open files, the order in which files are stored on the disk and the nature of work we are doing can all affect the file system performance.

    Generally performance slowdown due to fragmentation can not be noticed, but if you frequently create new files, edit and delete files, the hard disk can become a little fragmented resulting in a slight performance degradation of your machine.

    Defragmenting a MacBook Pro is usually required when OS X has slowed down enough to become noticeable or your MacBook shows other symptoms of needing it. Apple does not provide the necessary software for defragmenting the hard disk but the problem can be solved with third-party software. There are several companies that offer defragmentation software for OS X, one example being iDefrag . iDefrag is downloadable from the Internet and costs around US$ 35. This easy-to-use software lets you scan the hard disk and see whether defragmentation is necessary or not and then continue to the defragmentation process.idefrag 

    After installing iDefrag on your Mac, you will need to create a boot disk using the iDefrag CD then you will boot from that disk and run iDefrag. After running iDefrag, you can scan your disk and run the defragmention process. You may like to choose the Compact algorithm from the application window before starting the process. This will move your files to the start of the drive improving file access time.

    Once the defragmention finishes, restart your MacBook Pro and with luck you will notice a small performance increase. Open a few applications and notice that these applications run slightly faster than before.

    iDefrag is great software and very useful. I recommend it to all Mac OS users. So, enjoy defragmenting your hard disk with iDefrag and optimize your Mac Book Pro performance.

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    The Other Ways to Defrag Your Disk

    If you are experiencing performance slowdown of your MacBook Pro but do not want to buy software to defragment your disk, here are a couple of ways to defrag your hard disk without spending money.

    Method 1:

    Back up your data then re-install OS X. After the new install, all files on your disk will be defragmented.

    Note: This is not a recommended way of defragmenting a drive because it is a lengthy process and not its intended purpose.

    Method 2:

    A. Copy all the contents of your hard disk to an external storage like Flash drive, USB hard disk or a Zip drive.

    B. Make sure all the files are successfully copied then trash the files that on your MacBook Pro disk drive.

    C. Copy all the files from your external drive back to your Mac drive.

    All files will come back to your MacBook Pro hard disk defragmented!