don't panic, kernel
January 28, 2006 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Mac OS X 10.4.4: Disk Warrior or Tech Tool Pro or neither? mac

I've been having lots of kernel panics of late and need, I believe, a diagnostic/repair tool. I've heard good and bad things about both Tech Tool Pro and Disk Warrior.

I'm running 10.4.4 on a G5 2.0GHz and 2.5GB of RAM. I use Final Cut Pro and keep most of my file project files on the same disk as my system.

I'd appreciate any thoughts/experiences or preferences with these tools and which would be better given my setup. Thanks.
posted by captainscared to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
I'd recommend Diskwarrior for fixing disk structure errors and Tech Tool Pro not so much for that purpose. I'd even recommend Norton Utilities / Disk Doctor ahead of TTP.

I would recommend none of those three products for diagnosing Mac hardware issues.

Random kernel panics can result from bad memory. I noticed you had 2.5 GB of RAM.

Have you tried pulling matched pairs of chips to see if the computer runs without kernel panics?

If the kernel panics are not random, is there any application or hardware device that you are running or plugging in when the panic occurs? Any kind of pattern? This can point either to a hardware or operating system damage issue.
posted by Rothko at 1:46 PM on January 28, 2006

Yeah, my guess would be bad RAM. Of course, you need DiskWarrior anyway for fixing up corrupted disks; they should just put it on the hard disk at the factory.
posted by kindall at 1:50 PM on January 28, 2006

Response by poster: The kernel panics are usually in the morning with scheduled wakeups. Even if these tools won't help with the panics I'm curious about which is better for regular checkups.
posted by captainscared at 1:56 PM on January 28, 2006

For disk structure repairs, I'd recommend Diskwarrior. For scheduled, regular checkups, just use Disk Utility in your Utilities folder — it's perfectly competent at finding and fixing smaller problems, and it will tell you if it runs into a problem you need to fix with a commercial tool.
posted by Rothko at 2:00 PM on January 28, 2006

Why the hate towards TechTool Pro? It has many tests that are not covered in the functionality of DiskWarrior or Disk Utility. Does it not do them properly?
posted by nowonmai at 2:06 PM on January 28, 2006

Does it not do them properly?

In my experience, TTP has not caught hardware problems I diagnosed by other means.
posted by Rothko at 2:08 PM on January 28, 2006

Response by poster: Will running Disk Warrior "mess up" files? I've heard rumors of this.
posted by captainscared at 2:17 PM on January 28, 2006

Any disk repair tool that modifies the structure of the data on your disk can cause damage to the structure and result in data loss. No repair tool is a replacement for regular data backups.
posted by Rothko at 2:20 PM on January 28, 2006

TechToolPro is pretty much a joke. It tries to do many things and pretty much fails at all of them. I got it "free" because I buy AppleCare for all my computers, but if I didn't I'd never consider paying for it. It is junk.

DiskWarrior on the other hand is a great piece of software. I've found I've needed it less and less over time (HFS+J really got rid of most disk related problems and DiskUtility is good enough) but the few times I've needed it is has been a life saver.
posted by schwa at 2:42 PM on January 28, 2006

Disk Warrior (which is wonderful) solves directory issues. Not bad ram, not bad permissions. It analyzes and repairs deirectory structure and does a good job at it.

Tech tool pro (the full version) can check your hardware. There's defintely a dearth of good 'utility' software for the macintosh. TTP is okay...but switching over the OSX there've been less and less good utilities. I've not seen anything that it has 'saved' for me or diagnosed.

Now...OSX update? Kernel Panics? Yeah. Bad Ram.
There were reports of this over on MacFixit too.

Pull one gig. Use the machine...see if it panics (longer it's on, the more likely it'll happen)...swap it with the other ram.
posted by filmgeek at 4:17 PM on January 28, 2006

Response by poster: what exactly are directory issues? And how often does one need to check for this? Thanks for everyone's help.
posted by captainscared at 4:21 PM on January 28, 2006

I like DiskWarrior and DataRescue. I'm completely unimpressed with TechToolPro (just use Apple Hardware Test) and DriveGenius.
posted by Wild_Eep at 6:01 PM on January 28, 2006

Pretty good Kernal Panic procedures, as well as general maintenance guides at TheXLab.
posted by Scoo at 7:14 PM on January 28, 2006

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