Do you need to defrag a Mac Hard Drive


This might be a crazy question....I'm new to Macs.

Do you need to defrag a Mac HD?

In Windows Machines it was necessary. I can't find any defrag tool included in the operating system (OS X) Should I download one?

Also, does anyone know of any antivirus tools for OS X as of yet?



Back to Mac Baby!
Hello, and welcome.

First, yes mac's do need defraging. As often? Not really... I used to defrag once a month, and that was far to frequent.

Second, yes there is a utility to defrag the drive that is built into OS X... That tool is fsck. In case you don't know about man pages, here's a quick one two... Open a terminal window, and type at the prompt: man fsck

Use spacebar to go down, and use pg up to go up (or the scrollbar.) An xterm window is nice like that...

I don't know the full details of fsck, so definately read that man page, and ask folks in the UNIX newbie section of the boards.

Antivirus software: No clue from me... I haven't seen a Mac virus personally since '91. (Did I already say welcome to Mac ;) )
But, if you want go to and search for antivirus under the Mac OS X section. Don't forget to bookmark that site either...

Hope this helps! Welcome to the Mac community!


Hello and welcome to the Mac !

Yes, defragging the Mac is useful at times. The fsck utility alluded to above is NOT for defragmenting but does a FileSystem ChecK. It can, however, be very useful. The best way is to start up in Single User Mode (fire up your Mac and while starting, press Command+S). At the prompt, type "fsck -y" (without the quotes) and hit "enter". Repeat the procedure as long as you get a report that the filesystem was changed. If it says all seems okay, type "reboot" and hit "enter". There's no defrag utility in MacOS X (but there may be one in the UNix underpinnings). There are however a number of third-party utilities out there for defragmentation. You can e.g. use Norton Utilities. That brings me to Antivirus software. While viri are certainly far less of a problem on the Mac, it still not unwise to look into antivirus sw.
and check out Norton Antivirus and Virex to name just two.




wouldn't there now be a threat from unix virii nad not just mac ones? are there many unix virii out there?


Yes there is a antivirus for mac osx both mcafee and norton have released native apps for 10. Mcafee is virex 7.0 and i am not sure what nortons version is. Norton system works i am not sure if there is a 10 version yet but it has a defrag program.


Notorious Olive Counter
There isn't really much of a threat of virii in Unix (yet). Couple of reasons:

a) To do any real damage, the virus needs to have lots of permissions, and in Unix, it would only be running as the user who is logged in. Unless you check your e-mail as root, you shouldn't be able to do much real harm to your system. Of course, losing your own files is plenty annoying.

b) Unix is so varied - a virus compiled for Linux on x86 would be useless in NetBSD on Mac68K, or Solaris on Sparc, or Irix on MIPS, or, or, or... To spread much, a worm type virus needs to have a pretty good expectation that most of the computers it sends itself to will have the same OS running on them. As long as Macs are used by less than 10% of people, e-mail viruses & such aren't going to be a big problem.

c) Most virii exploit M$ security holes so dreadful, you'd think Windows was designed as a virus runtime environment. Unix systems are by no means flawless, but at least they try. Virus writers aren't usually tremendously skilled programmers, and as long as there is an easier target in Windows, we will be spared most of their attentions.