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Feature Review: DiskWarrior the Mac Disk Utility

If there is one utility tool that every Mac user should have, it’s DiskWarrior by Alsoft. This is an amazing maintenance Mac tool that assists in repairing disk directories, repairs invalid file permissions & corruptions, repairs boot blocks which prevent your Mac from booting up, and just general unknown issues that Mac’s Disk Utility fails to resolve. DiskWarrior eliminates the risk of losing data, but always make sure to backup your data as well on a regular basis.

01 - Why Use It?

Have you ever had times where your Mac fails to boot up? Or wouldn’t you love to get a warning before your hard drive fails? These are two common problems, which DiskWarrior can help with quite easy. And these are just two out of many DiskWarrior’s many features. 

02 - If Your Mac Doesn’t Boot Up

Often times when you Mac won’t boot up, it is due to the drive directory getting damaged. Sure there are other disk utility tools out there which help, but DiskWarrior handles this in a different and less harmful way. Disk Warrior searches your directory data for invalid data or corruptions, then it attempts to rebuild the directory structure to resolve this issue, allowing you to boot up once again when the directory has been repaired and replaced. This process is fast and will have your Mac up and running again in a few minutes. 

My Mac would not boot into the operating system so I ran DiskWarrior and in 20 minutes, my Mac was back up and running again. Without DiskWarrior I would have had to reinstall my whole operating system again, costing me both time and frustration. So, let’s run through some of the features of DiskWarrior.

03 - How To Use It

You can use Disk Warrior in two ways. You can boot up from the DiskWarrior boot up disk by holding down Option (Alt) during startup which will allow you to choose from the boot up options. Alternatively you can run it from another Mac. From the one Mac, run the DiskWarrior application and then run the Mac you wish to repair from Target mode (when you startup the Mac hold down T to boot into Target mode). Connect a Firewire between the two Macs, and the hard drive of the Mac you wish to repair will mount on the Mac that is running the DiskWarrior application.

Once DiskWarrior is running, it allows you to choose the disk/volume you wish to repair.

Under the Directory Tab you can scan the chosen disk for directory issues, and repair the old/damaged directory with the new directory.

With the directory build you can first scan your disk to see the percentage of the disk directory that is not running at its optimum.

Here is a scan of my Data disk before I ran the DiskWarrior rebuild. You can see that the graph is not continuous in color.

Then I run the DiskWarrior Rebuilding Directory Utility.

Here is what the disk looks like on the graph after the rebuild. You can see now that the graph depicts a continuous color spectrum representing a better directory structure of the disk.

Before DiskWarrior runs the directory rebuild, it shows you a report of what will be replaced. You can also save the report after the rebuild for reference later if needed.

On the File Tab you can choose to scan the files and folders of the chosen disk to check for any damage or potential compatibility problems.

04 - Let DiskWarrior Warn You On Your Disk Status

DiskWarrior can also, on a continual basis, scan your disks and warn you if a disk is about to fail. On the Hardware Tab under the Automatic Diagnostics section you can ask DiskWarrior to send you an email if it detects any hardware problems or potential failures on a disk. You can also run a manual check on a disk if wished in this section.

05 - Conclusion

DiskWarrior is a great troubleshooting Mac utility. It has saved me so many times, I don’t know what I would have done without it. I probably would have pulled all my hair out. Try it out for yourself. 

You can check out the macProVideo.com tutorials on other features within the Mac OS:



And please make sure to backup your system software and data on a regular basis in case DiskWarrior cannot repair a too badly damaged disk. You can use Time Machine which is explained in depth in Tobias Escher’s article here: 


Or you can use other backups applications like Carbon Copy Cloner (free) to make a cloned copy of your system disk.

Gary Hiebner

Gary Hiebner | Articles by this author

Gary Hiebner is an enthusiastic South African Sound Designer and Apple Tech Head! Gary has been involved in the South African music industry for the decade, and in this time has also been involved in the sound design and music production for many advertising agencies and media houses. Gary is a devoted Logic and Ableton user, but he also dabbles in Cubase, FL Studio, Studio One and esoteric sound design tools, such as Max/MSP and CSound.


May 31, 2011
Any (noticeable) performance benefits to using Disk Warrior?
Jun 01, 2011
Thanks for the very informative review of DiskWarrior. I have been using Drive Genius 3 and have found it useful. Are there any advantages that Diskwarrior has over Drive Genius 3? Thanks.
Jun 14, 2011
Gary Hiebner
I definitely notice a huge difference in performance on my Macs once I have run DiskWarrior. They run much more smoother.
Jun 14, 2011
Gary Hiebner
DiskWarrior works in a different way to Drive Genius. You could even run both applications to get the most out of your Mac. I have found that DiskWarrior repairs invalid node structures a bit more better than Drive Genius. But both applications are good for preventative measures. But I have had more luck with DiskWarrior when a Mac no longer boots into the OS correctly. And repairs with Disk Warrior are very fast as opposed to other repair utilities.
Jul 30, 2011
Hey everybody!

Ok, multi-part question, fasten your seatbelts...lol

Part 1: Running OS 10.6.8 on a 3.2Ghz dual quad core. I installed a new 1Tb drive and I have a 1Tb external for time machine....all works great

Part 2: I have noticed my system running a bit slower than usual. I checked my serial-ata info and it says that I only have 25 gigs left on my first drive. All my projects are on the 1 Tb drive (drive 2) and its fine. I dumped all my trash, deleted all the old emails that were piling up, reviewed itunes and got rid of the garbage there as well. I don't really have that many apps on this machine since its mostly for studio stuff. What is hogging up all the space on this drive? How do I find out?

Part 3: I read on mac forum that I should get appzapper and remove any un-needed apps (don't really have any). However, I do have a final cut studio on my machine and I am thinking about getting it off this machine since I haven't used it ever and I am going to switch to FC X eventually. If I "zap" Final Cut, will it remove soundtrack pro as well since it is part of both FC studio and Logic Studio?

Any advice is much appreciated my friends!!

Jul 31, 2011
Gary Hiebner
You can uninstall FCP Studio with AppCleaner (http://appcleaner.en.softonic.com/mac). This will remove all the FCP applications and its associated components. Then after it has removed all the FCP Studio components, you can do a custom install of FCP and install only Soundtrack Pro and the Audio Loops if you wish.
Jul 31, 2011
Gary Hiebner
None of your Logic will be uninstalled if you use AppCleaner and the FCP applications. How it works is you drag the FCP applications from the Applications folder to the AppCleaner icon and this will remove the application and its associated components. If you want to remove the Aucio Content as well you will need to search your machine for the Audio Loops folders and delete these as well.

/Library/Audio/Apple Loops

Logic is a separate application to FCP Studio so it shouldn't remove Logic as well.

But Least you have a Time Machine backup in case it removes some items you need, but I doubt it will.
Jul 31, 2011
Cool, I was just worried about Soundtrack Pro since it is a part of both suites. Thanks for the quick reply and have a great weekend....I'll be playing music so I know it will be great!!!
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