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Diskwarrior 4 User reports
Reports last Updated: Oct. 29, 2008



This page is a catch-all for reader reports on the new version of Alsoft's DiskWarrior - version 4. (The first version that's universal binary and bootable from CD with Intel-based Macs.)

Alsoft releases DiskWarrior 4.1.1 CD updater (10/27/2008) From Diskwarrior support/updates page

"DiskWarrior 4 version 4.1.1 is now available for complete compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5.5 (Leopard). Version 4.1.1 restores the ability to use DiskWarrior to repair permissions while started from Mac OS X 10.5.5."

There's a free CD updater for DW 4.0/4.1 owners (form w/SN required) and they also note that DiskWarrior 4 is now shipping on DVD instead of CD.

DW4 User Feedback:

(added 10/29/2008)
"Re: DiskWarrior 4.1.1
I had a strange problem with the (new v4.1.1) update process. I have an old G4 running 10.5.5 with two CD burners - Pioneer DVR-112D and a HP 840x (lightscribe, but doesn't work, the burner I mean). After launching the updater and selecting the Pioneer DVR from the little drop down menu, all proceeded fine until it got to the burn stage. When it asked for a new CD, it opened the door to the HP 840x. I went ahead and put a CD in the Pioneer one (as I said the HP will not recognize a CD anymore), but the updater would not acknowledge the fact that I put a blank CD in the Pioneer. And it has just read the original DW using it. Finally, I had to force quit the updater, turn my machine off, unplug the 840x and re-start. Then everything worked fine and I have a new 4.1.1 DiskWarrior Disk.
(Was the HP drive the master? (Apple system profiler drive ID=0, or end of cable drive with CS settings like MDD tower uses))
No, the Pioneer is the master. I really like it and I can buy media that is certified by Pioneer. The HP was only for doing lightscribe work with Disclabel.
But also the updater allows you to select which drive to use. I just wanted to pass along to you and your readers the solution (abet a tough one) I had to use.
-Bill"

Sounds like a bug in their selector when dual drives are present.


(NOTE: Reports below were before DW v4.1.1 was released.)


(added 10/27/2008)
"Just purchased version 4.1 since I lost two disks due to memory failure. (Powermac G4 with upgraded CPU running OS X 10.4.11.) I was able to restore my disks and recover my recent work. It's great in that you are able to preview the disk and remove (backup?) any items that are important before applying the new directory information.
I used an external drive to do the repair. (running DW 4.1 app from external FW boot drive.) I had DW version 3 before and it was quite effective as well. Did not use Techtool Pro 4 since the version I had is out of date (I'm waiting for TTPro version 5). It's good to have more than one disk repair utility. (That's my opinion.)
-Carlo"


(added 10/24/2008 - reply to recent posts from iMac G5 owner)
"Just to say that I have seen the same behaviour that 'Diane' is experiencing on three different iMac G5s (iSight model). As far as I can ascertain, the problem relates to the version of Mac OS X 10.4 on the DiskWarrior disc and not the computer itself. The main reason for this assumption is the fact that the same behaviour is exhibited when one tries to boot these specific iMacs with Prosoft's older disk tool CDs which use the same OS as DiskWarrior 4.

The good news is that Prosoft's latest Mac OS X 10.5 boot CDs work fine with iSight iMac G5s, so I think its just a matter of waiting until Alsoft release an updated DiskWarrior 4 boot CD which utilises 10.5 instead of 10.4.
Hope this helps, and thanks for a wonderful site...
-Oliver S."

Thanks - I suspected the boot disc (or drive) originally - as the app runs OK from her hard drive (and ext. FW drive) - I asked she try to make her own bootable disc w/DW app on it. However one iMac G5 owner (see report below) said he had the same issue originally and a PMU reset helped.


(added 10/21/2008 - reply to earlier report below)
"I used a DW4.1 boot CD on a 20" iMac G5 and experienced the kernal panic issue described. I resolved it by resetting the PMU immediately prior to booting from the CD.

PMU is reset by shutting iMac down, disconnecting power cord, holding startup button down for 5 seconds, releasing startup button, reconnecting power cable.
Hope this helps =0)
-Laurie H."

I think Diane may have tried that (from Alsoft troubleshooting help), but wrote to confirm that (and try it if not).


(added 10/21/2008 - see later updates below on running App from HD OK)
Hi! I would like to add my comments to this thread on DiskWarrior 4. Since DiskWarrior 3 (rev.39) always worked fine for me, I figured I would upgrade to DW 4 because I would eventually move on to Mac OS X 10.5.x Leopard: besides Alsoft's claim in the app's boost in speed was enticing enough for me to buy the upgrade.

I would like to point out that to me, DW is part of a small bunch of apps that I label as "must-have" and I cannot see myself without them. DW, in its many incarnations, has brought back my Macs over the years, since my Mac OS 8 days in fact, when I thought I would lose everything I had on my internal hard drive. (I don't own DW 4, but DW v2.x and 3.x have 'saved my bacon' a couple times over the years.)

So it is a bit of a shock for me to see what this app now does to my 20" iMac G5 2.1GHz (RAM upgraded to 2.5 GB): instant kernel panics upon startup with DW inserted in the optical drive and set as startup system (pressing the C key).

When I bought DW 4 (rev. 41), it was in the fall of 2007. I had just gotten the new Alu keyboard and a wireless Mighty Mouse around the same time, so not the setup my iMac G5 came with. I was still using Mac OS X Tiger, its latest version at the time, I was in school full-time and just didn't have time to deal with it. I got the DW CD via snailmail and left it there on my desk for a few weeks.

At Chrismas break I had time to test it and was completely taken by surprise when I saw booting from the DW CD result in a kernel panic. I tried again a few times and got the same results. I then tried it on a G4 iBook 1GHz running on the same Tiger version and the iBook wouldn't even see the CD in the mounted volumes and therefore would not boot from it (I would need to check, maybe it's out of DW's range of supported CPUs).

I emailed Alsoft Support and the staff there walked me through the usual procedures i.e. clean the CD, try it. If it doesn't work, burn it on another blank CD and try the new one. If it still doesn't work, perform basic troubleshooting procedures, resetting PRAM, starting up in Open Firmware, etc. (I asked if she'd reset the PMU also.) No matter what I did, I still got kernel panics. I emailed Alsoft Support again and in the meantime DW 4 (rev. 42) had been released so they sent me the newer version.

With school, I did not have the time to check out the newer version. Besides I was pretty confident this was the end of my DW troubles, because I felt the previous version was probably just a fluke or the original CD was flawed somehow and, with my good experience with their product, the thought never even occurred to me that the problem could still be there.

I finally found the time to retry my newer version this past spring: my iMac, still running Tiger 10.4.11, was acting a bit weird so I thought I'd get DW to check it out and repair whatever it found. I was totally thrown to see another kernel panic! At this point, I thought the newer hardware might have created an incompatibility of sorts so I thought I'd test it out with the original keyboard and Mighty Mouse that came with my iMac: I got sidetracked with life once again and last week I bought Leopard and installed it, using the "Erase and Install" option and I thought the time was right to see if DW would finally work as advertised on a virgin 10.5.5 install, with no "Login Items" set up yet in my account, no third-party apps installed yet either.

Kernel panics again! I tried it with the original keyboard and mouse, tried it with the newer Alu wired keyboard and the wireless Mighty Mouse, still the same: kernel panics upon startup. The only thing I haven't tried is pulling the extra RAM I put in the iMac but seriously, could this really be the cause of the kernel panics when I try to boot from DW 4? Why wouldn't it make the system go into kernel panics too, then?

So now I have a DW 4 (rev. 42) that could be used as a coaster for all its usefulness to me. Alsoft Support staff, when I first contacted them after Chrismas, sounded surprised I was experiencing problems and before I saw this thread, I thought I was the only one having these issues. Right now, I have no idea what I can do. I do need and want a working copy of DiskWarrior. While I was still running Tiger, I could always use DW 3 (rev. 39) but now that I have upgraded the OS, I cannot use DW 3 because it is incompatible and can only use DW 4... which is unusable!

My Leopard OS version is up to date (10.5.5) with all the latest version installs and my Mac specs are: 20" iMac G5 2.1 GHz, 2.5 GB RAM. So a Security Update cannot fix my problem, it's already installed.

I also noticed someone posting that clearing out all Startup iTems fixed the incompatibility for him (which I find odd because if the DW CD volume is the startup system, I can't see what the Login Items in a user account on the Mac can bring in terms of issues, they are not loaded... unless I am missing something?) (His comments were on using the DW app copied to the Hard Drive (to repair other drives) - login items are not loaded booted from Disc.) but this solution does not apply to me, since I tried it out on a virgin install, with no tweaking/customizing of my Admin account at all.

If anyone can help me out I would really appreciate it. As it now stands, I'd be reticent to recommend DiskWarrior to a new user because of my personal experience. Not to mention that it's quite expensive at $100 a pop if the new user ends up with the same results as I do, kernel panics. Thank you for reading.
Regards, Diane B."

I'm not sure what's causing this - you've done all the things that come to mind (trying the DW disc in another Mac, checking for disc damage, trying another/replacement DW disc, resetting pram/nvram, etc.)
BTW - if you copy the DW app to the boot drive will the DW app run? (Just to see if it KP's run from the HD, although you can't use it to repair the boot drive that way.)
I never bought DW4, but have DW3 and DW2 CDs - I once had a similar problem with my DW v2.x disc after years of use - booting from a BW G3 would crash the system every time. (The only difference since it had been working before was the BW G3 I used it on had a swapped (used/spare) DVD drive.)
Update: I asked her if she'd tried running DW app from the hard drive (to see if it KP'd from the HD - or if it was a boot disc issue.) You can't repair the boot drive if DW is run from it but at least this would see if the KP issue was just boot disc related. Here's her reply:

" Ok so it runs from the HD: can't repair directories because DW resides on the startup volume but your suggestion gives me an idea.

I have a LaCie FW 500GB that I use for my SuperDuper! backups (it has my last Tiger 10.4.11 backup on it but I think it'll boot my iMac anyway with the Option key pressed upon startup). What I'm going to try to do is install DW4 on that external hd and since my SuperDuper! backups are bootable I might try to run DW4 from there and make it check and repair the directories from there instead of from the CD, to see if that changes anything.

I would have tried a USB key had I had an Intel-based iMac but since this baby is a PowerPC G5, it needs FW to boot from.
-Diane"

I know you said you tried a cloned disc, but you could try creating your own boot disc w/DW app on it. (I'd use name brand/quality media and burn at a low speed with verification. Personally I've had the best luck over the years with Verbatim DVDs). If you don't have a FW drive to use the app with and still good to try and get a working boot disc, if resetting PMU doesn't help.
Another iMac G5 owner wrote he's used DW 4.1 disc OK and suspected bad ram, etc. but from Diane's comments there were no normal use issues (only booting from the DW Disc) - and she said that the same disc was tried on another Mac with the same problem. And although AHT doesn't catch every problem (even flaky ram) - I asked if she had her original AHT disc to run the "extended" test and see if any errors were reported. Update: She replied AHT found no errors on her system, but she now has it working from a FW hard drive.

" Ok reporting back on what I tried so far. As we both thought, the AHT (apple hardware test) does not see any problem with the iMac.

I installed DW4 on the LaCie external, booted from it and ran it from there: SUCCESS!
I decided to repair the internal HD because after not even a week's use, the Lepard install on my iMac already reported a fragmentation of 29%! In all my time with Tiger, I had never seen more than 8% so I thought I might as well get it fixed while I was checking out if it would work or not from the external.

And about the PMU, I will give it a spin (might as well check for all possibilities here while I'm at it). I will also try burning another copy as you suggested, using a slower speed (w/verify and good brand of media) and I'll see what this gives.

But I have to admit that for now I am so relieved to see that I can use the external HD in case booting from the CD does not work. *Phew*. Thank you once again for your perseverance in this matter and all your suggestions!
Cheers, Diane"


(added 3/18/2008 - updated 3/19 - see updated notes)
"A bug in Disk Warrior 4.1?
I downloaded the 4.1 updater and created a new startup disk. I then dragged the DW application from the new CD onto my internal hard drive from which I was booted into 10.5.2. I then ran DW on my backup external firewire drive containing 10.5.1. It ran perfectly.

I moved the Disk Warrior application to the firewire drive and booted from it. I then ran DW 4.1 on my internal drive. Upon reaching the Verify Directory stage I had a kernel panic. I restarted and ran it again with the same result.

To make sure it was not a problem with my OS on the firewire drive I cloned my internal to the FW drive and tried again. Same result, a kernel panic when trying to run DW on the internal drive when booted from the firewire drive.

Booting from a Tiger partition on the external FW drive and running DW 4.1 on the internal drive works fine.
(he later wrote)
Re: Disk Warrior and Kernel Panic:
I spoke with Alsoft tech support. One of their suggestions was that it might be caused by Login Items. I booted from the external firewire drive and deleted all Login Items. I then rebooted. I then added back the Login Items one at a time, each time rebooting and running Disk Warrior from the firewire drive to repair the internal drive. No kernel panic occurred on any of the tests. Safe Boot did not solve the problem.
(and a later mail saying yesterday's Security Update seems to have helped)
More on DW 4.1 to be added to my report.
This morning I tried to replicate the problem so as to get the crash logs. I could not. The only change was that I had installed the latest Security Update 2008-002. The update seems to have had the side benefit of fixing my problem.
Thanks to Alsoft for their help in resolving this. Good support.
-Ken"


(added 3/18/2008)
"Sounds like David C (earlier report below) has some burner or other software problems. I too burned the updated CD without any difficulties at all. The CD boots both my PPC and Intel machines, and successfully analyzed and replaced directories on both of them. One would think that a faulty updater from Alsoft would affect everyone, or at least a significant percentage of people, and his is the first such complaint I've heard.
I'd suggest he try a different machine to make the burn, and/or verify that his download was not corrupt.
hth, Tracy"

I asked if he'd try another mac or burner and I've had some media brands that failed verify in Toast at their rated speed but reducing burn rates helped. (The DW update script does its own burning so no way to change rates though.) Rebooting clean and trying again with nothing else running is worth trying also. (Update - he later wrote he finally had a successful burn...)


(added 3/18/2008)
"MacBook Pro 2.0 Ghz
Last night I tried to use the Diskwarrior 4.1 patch to burn a new start up CD. After three successive burns gave me a "Dismount any DiskWarrior image as there was an error during the write process...." error I gave up. (Another reader earlier said he saw the same error) This coupled with the fact that it took Alsoft weeks to provide this update to prior users has me very frustrated with what used to be an excellent product.
-Sam W."


(added 3/18/2008 from 3/17 mail - updated 3/18 with note he finally had an OK burn...)
"Have you tried to update your copy of v4.0 DiskWarrior to v4.1 with the new updater that is out?
(I don't own DW v4. I have v3 and v2, but hadn't bought v4 yet.)
I've now tried 3X and failed each time, each with a different error:

1.) CD Failed To Verify, even though v4.1 was on the CD when finished...bottom line? (Did you try reducing burn rate/speed? to say 4x? (I later found out that the updater does the burn so not sure how you'd lower rates - but maybe try a different mac/different burner or different brand of media.)) In spite of verification failure, I attempted to boot my Dual Core 2.3GHz G5 with the CD and it hung for more than 40 minutes before I gave up and hard killed the Mac by holding down the power button for 15 seconds or so, then rebooted holding down the mouse so that the CD ejected upon booting—it wasn't a coaster, but may as well have been!

2) Updater filed to finish the Burn sequence, hanging up at the "Finishing burn" stage right at the end of the process, result was a coaster of a CD that hung up in my DVR-110 (internal drive), would not eject, would not force eject...had to physically open up the G5, remove the optical drive, and use the "paper clip in the hole tactic" to manually eject the CD. How about that!

3) My last effort just failed at the stage where it writes the new version, saying "Dismount any DiskWarrior image as there was an error during the write process...."et al.

DAMN!
There's something very much wrong with the updater IMHO with these three different scenario's happening. I just don't have any more time to devote to trouble-shooting the problem(s), or I would. I've got a call into Alsoft Support, left them a detailed message about the problems I encountered, and hopefully will hear back from them tomorrow sometime.
WHAT a WASTE of TIME!!
Regards, David C."

I'd try another computer/burner (if not available try a different media brand perhaps - if not do a clean reboot and have no other tasks/apps running...)
Update: At 7PM Tuesday David wrote he finally had an OK burn - using same mac/media:

" I finished the LA job in just a few minutes, so got a chance just now to try the update again on the G5 one more time before I gave up on it, and guess what, it worked fine!! Go figure!...
(log report omitted to save space)
I am going to try and start up one of my other Mac with the updater CD right now, and I'll email you the results in a few minutes...can't interrupt the G5 right now, as it's rendering a DVD from my work today, just a short 2GB DVD, so that won't take more than an hour and then I can try booting the G5 also with the new DiskWarrior v4.1 CD ROM.
FYI I used the same media again, same DVR-110 optical drive, of course the same G5.
The media has always been good, in spite of its “no brand name” source, it's called “Peri 56X Multi 700MB CD-R” media, and I've never had a problem with it before, used it for dozens of CD ROM's for my various vehicles CD players, making MP3 CD's for my Mercedes Benz's player, my Mazda CX-7's player, and the wife's Honda player with 100% success over the past couple of years. I got the media on special at SuperMediaStore.com back in 2005 as I recall, bought 4 x 100-packs for something like $30 including shipping.
I honestly have no ideas about what went wrong yesterday!! Mo clue, nada. But today it worked, so it's all good as of this moment.
-David C. "

I suspect with your no-name media you got a 'better' sample disc (or just had better random luck with them, the processes running at the time or whatever - did you reboot the machine since the previous attempts?). I get bulk Verbatim DVD discs for very cheap and well worth it IMHO (never had an issue with them - but have had verify problems with other brands, even name brands at rated/default speeds)


(added 1/22/2007)
"I have used DiskWarrior 4 on a MacBook Pro 17" with 2GB of RAM. I normally partition my drive with an Emergency 10GB section. I placed DsikWarrior there with a minimal OS X. I boot from that and repaired my other partitions. Everything went well and just found a couple of minor error and fixed them.

I also used it on my old PowerBook G4 through Firewire disk mode and it worked fine.
I did not try booting from the CD.
-Pedro G."


(added 1/19/2007)
"I am using DW 4.0 on a 2.0GHz 15" MacBook Pro with 2GB RAM.
I had been using Apple's Disk Utility about once a month on this computer, correcting minor problems, and, finally, DW 4.0 arrived (I pre-ordered).
Now, I can sleep better knowing that my favorite and most essential Mac utility is here.

When I first ran it, it did take about 5 minutes to boot, but then ran quite a bit faster than DW 3.0.3. (DW 3.x wasn't universal binary)
It found critical errors in the volume information, which it corrected by replacing the directory. After rebooting, it seemed that the computer ran faster.
So far, no problems. As AlSoft suggests, I run it about once a month to keep the directory in good shape.
Glad to see it has finally appeared!
All the Best, William M. "

DW has repaired several drives here in the past (well worth the money spent) but I'd also want to have a backup of important files as sooner or later hard drives fail (hardware failures, not just drive/directory corruption). I use a portable FW drive the last few years, one of the most used/useful drives I've ever owned.


(added 1/18/2007)
"I received my DW 4 disc yesterday and ran it on my 24" iMac (Core 2 Duo) perfectly. No problems with how DW 4 worked. I also ran the separate scan for repairing permissions and finding corrupted preferences and it found a couple that were indeed corrupted (old screen saver modules that got sucked over when I migrated in Firewire target mode from my old dual G4 tower to my Intel Mac).

It takes almost 5 minutes to boot up from the DW CD on this Mac, but that likely has more to do with OS X as well as the slow internal DVDRW drive Apple stuck in this model (Panasonic/Matsushita UJ-85J).
-Joseph S."

It takes a long time to boot from CD here even on a G5 tower.


(added 1/17/2007)
"About a month ago, the hard drive in my iBook G4 went south. Based on various user recommendations, I bought DiskWarrior 4. It didn't seem to be doing anything, but their tech support assured me that it was, indeed, working. After seven days of this, I finally found a suggestion to check the Console and discovered that DiskWarrior had lost contact with the drive within the first three hours and I'd been running both my Power Mac G5 and my iBook G4 (the latter in Target Disk Mode) 24/7, for nothing.

At Alsoft tech support's prompting, I tried again, but after several days, it hadn't recovered a single block - every single one returned an error.

To be fair, I also tried Apple's Disk Utility, Carbon Copy Cloner, Data Rescue II, FileSalvage 5.1, PhotoRecovery 3, TechTool Pro 4, Boomerang, and even (in desperation) Norton Utilities, none of which fared much better than DiskWarrior. What finally worked was to hook the iBook (in TDM, natch) (Firewire Target Disk Mode) up to an old B&W G3 (booted into 9) and back up the whole drive using the freeware SilverKeeper 1.1.4, from LaCie. I wasted four weeks and hundreds of dollars on these high-end recovery tools and in the end, the freeware app was the only one that could help.
Go figure.-Jeff"

I don't own DiskWarrior 4 but several times I have had DW 3.0x and DW2.x repair drives that would not boot/mount, had volume wrapper, directory damage, etc. I've also had DW (v3 and v2) fix drives that would mount but any attempts to copy files off it failed. (If possible I like to copy important files off a drive before any utility tries to repair it - avoiding any writes to the damaged drive of course.) Odd that utils like Data Rescue didn't work if the files could simply be copied ok via FW Target Disk Mode. Have you verified that all the files are OK? (no corruption, all files copied ok, etc.) although I realize with tens (or hundreds) of thousands of files it's almost impossible to verify every file has no corruption/is totally intact. (I've never used SilverKeeper personally - maybe it has file verification/comparison but I'd still want to check important files to verify they were complete/OK.) Using OS 9 to copy files would ignore any file permissions (unlike OS X) however.
My copy of DiskWarrior has paid for itself more than once, but an important lesson often never learned until a disaster happens is to have a backup of important files. (For many years I have used a portable FW cased drive for this, although I accidently dropped it last fall - head crash into the platter... Another lesson learned the hard way.)


(added 12/27/2006)
"Some more feedback for you - I have a 2.16 GHz 17" MacBook Pro (original Core Duo model). At some point it started getting an "invalid node structure" error in the filesystem (HFS+, Journaled).

I was lucky in that it didn't prevent me from booting the OS (as these types of errors so often can), but "fsck"/Disk Utility could not fix the error. (I even wasted $99 on Drive Genius only to find that it immediately returned an error when I asked it to repair the disk.) I had installed Windows XP in Boot Camp so, not wanting to risk further damage, I started using it as a Windows machine only (I have an old PowerBook G4 17" still around as a backup) until I could decide what to do. I had half a mind to wipe it out and start from scratch (I'd made a full backup) but for some reason just never got around to it, and then Disk Warrior 4 came along like manna from heaven. I booted from the CD and did a replace directory and it worked with no problem, and I am back in business again (I am typing this on the MacBook Pro running in 10.4.8 now).

It appalls me that Apple has not incorporated the ability to replace the Volume directory in Disk Utility. One should not have to depend on 3rd party manufacturers to address deep-seated (not to mention long-standing) issues such as these with "unfixable" errors in the vendor's repair utility program. In the meantime, thank goodness for Alsoft having come out with this new version - I will think twice in the future about moving to a new architecture before a version of Disk Warrior is available for it. It's simply too critical a lifesaver.
Best regards, Greg E. "


(added 12/27/2006)
"Recently ran the new DW4 on two of my very different Macs. (Booted from CD on both) I now notice that my screensaver prefs are now ignored. Screensavers now come on in 15 minutes even if set to "never" come on. (???) Tried trashing some prefs with no luck.

Macbook 13in 2.0Ghz Core Duo Intel (1st gen)
2GB ram
10.4.8 fully up to date via SW Update

Apple G5 Dual 2.3Ghz PCI-X
4GB ram (Crucial)
10.4.8 fully up to date via SW Update
Thanks, Robb "

Doesn't makes sense that the screensaver app would ignore the setting. (Standard OS X screensaver or 3rd party one?) When you ran DW did it say it found any corrupted prefs or damaged files?


(added 12/27/2006)
"fyi - received and ran diskwarrior 4 on a dual G5. Ran from a second hard drive cloned with carbon copy cloner. Ran fast, found a few things and fixed it. Rebooted normally.
Ditto on a 24" imac. no problems thus far.
-dkchun "


(added 12/26/2006)
"I just received my DW4 update. I ran it (i.e. directory replacement - see below) on a Macbook and it made the computer unbootable. I had to restore from a previous backup using SuperDuper. I have never had a bad experience with DW before. I am a little mystified about what happened.
(I asked him what for more info on what was done with DW (i.e. just a directory replacement?)
Just a directory replacement. The drive was in good shape prior ... meaning no errors using other utilities.
I thought after I did the SuperDuper restore that possibly running the OSX install disks again or repairing booting off the install might have worked. But the SD backup was only 3 weeks old and I had .Mac backups of my document folder so I went for a sure thing.
I wonder if I just got a bad Disk Warrior DVD or something? I will write to them after the holidays and see what is up.
Obviously, I won't be using DW4 again until I know.

I *should* have backed up my drive before I used the DW4 utility but I have used their utility for so long without problems I was assumptive.
-Steve"

I know the feeling. I've not bought DW4 yet, but I trust DW 3.0x more than any other 3rd party disk utility I have.


(added 12/26/2006)
Ran it on a G4 PB, 1.5GHz (OS is 10.4.8). I can't say I am overwhelmed. I expect it ran the repairs faster, but the startup took so long (I made a cheese sandwich while waiting) that whatever gains should have been realized, were colored. Why in the world didn't they use a DVD, (I guess they figured a CD was more widely compatible (for those w/o a DVD drive) and didn't need the extra space of a DVD disc) and have a Finder (I think Apple has restricted this, to be fair), also?

Two anecdotes. It did run faster. I think 2/3 the time. Also, I ran DW 3.0.3 prior to using v4, and v4 found errors. Is this significant? (what kind of errors?)

I have no use for Permission Repair, what soever. Can someone please tell me where this "plist repair" function is, or into what is it built? (it's checking preferences for corruption. Corrupted prefs can cause problems) When checking the hardware, only the internal hard drive showed. My external was not in the list. It was an enclosure, so maybe that was the issue.
I have to say that my initial reaction for those with PPC machines, "Save your money" (if you have DW 3.0x already). For Intel Macs though, this is a must have.
Later, SCB "


(added 12/20/2006)
"I haven't yet recieved my CD, but I have used an installed version of DW4 on a number of disks, and I must say that speed indeed has gone up running on a MacBook, but I haven't noticed any improvements on my G3 iMac. Opening Activity Monitor you can see that two apps (Diskwarrior itself and the app doing either file or directory repair) actually are running side by side distributing the load fine between the two cores. I don't know If DW3 ran better on MPs, but DW4 surely flies.

As an owner of DW3 I was quite disappointed that a downloadable upgrade isn't an option, so I was kind of forced to buy the full version as I had a big problem with a disk that DW3 wouldn't fix :-(

My solution to fixing that disk might actually be of interest to people here:

The disk was heavily damaged with bad blocks, and any tool I tried would just lock up when I connected the drive (external firewire/usb 2.5" 60GB) via firewire to the iMac or MacBook. Running out of good ideas I bought DW4 and connected via usb to the Macbook, and suddenly the drive actually mounted. I am sorry to tell that after hours of doing all kind of tricks I can't remember if it mounted after running DW4 or just by connecting via usb, which in itself sounds strange - but maybe I should check the log files for clues.
This gave me the possibility to pick a few files and actually copy them from the drive in Finder, but of course with lots of lock-ups due to bad blocks.

Running DW for hours and hours just saying "speed reduced by disk malfunction 1" (to 57) - each number refers to 15 or 16 bad blocks - I had to take the laptop with me and aborted also thinking that this might take days.... Every time you would run DW on the drive it would start all over again!

So I tried to fire up CopyCatX 4.0 because the developers claim that this app has excellent capabilities of getting data off a drive with bad blocks and also being able to resume if the drive overheats. It only took 8 hours to fulfill the recover task reporting that 280MB of the drive was damaged by bad blocks - wow! But the result was questionable because files I had before been able to see in the Finder were gone on the destination .dmg file. So I got the idea of running DW4 on the .dmg - and voila! DW4 found all the files that had been visible in the Finder and I was able to copy them to another drive in the preview mode of DW4. Of course some files were missing, but with such heavy damage the end result was very very positive.

So the short of the long is: Use CopyCatX to recover a heavily bad- block-damaged drive to a .dmg and thereafter run DW4 on the .dmg! DW4 would "never" get the job done and CopyCat won't save all recoverable files...

For your information DW4 has now been running on the drive for about 24 hours and still hasn't finished the bad block pass! (Now at 562 and counting)
(he later wrote:)
I have now run DW4 undisturbed for 36 hours counting up to about 700 malfunctions. But now DW4 has returned to the initial "Graph, Rebuild window" saying "Directory cannot be rebuilt due to disk hardware failure (-36 2257)"

This went a "bit" off topic, but I hope someone can use my experiences and save themselves a lot of time.
Regards, Asger
PS: Kudos to the DW staff for their prompt, precise and very useful feedback. "


(added 12/20/2006)
"I intalled Disk Warrior 4 about 2 weeks ago, (D/L upgrade version I assume?) and it's been great. I have a MacBook Core Duo, 2 Ghtz, 2gb RAM.
One of my external hard drives was hosed, and neither Apple's Disk Utility or the latest Tech Tool Pro 4.0.2 could find or mount the thing. Disk Warior found it, mounted it and fixed it. Need I say more?
-Jeff"


(added 12/20/2006)
"Got it last week. It works in my Quicksilver w/G4 Dual 1.8GHZ CPU upgrade, 1.5GB RAM. I have 4 internal hard drives, only one of which is data only.

Installed DW 4 on the 3 drives with Tiger. It is significantly faster in doing the Directory rebuild; probably on the order of 30% faster - my educated guess.

The new/added function of files and preference testing also works. DW 4 found 3 third party apps with problems. I removed all traces of these apps and re-installed them, even though they had not exhibited any misbehavior. I did not then re-run DW to test for the same problems but will do so next month during my regularly scheduled maintenance.
Regards, Ed W."


(added 12/20/2006)
"I also received my DW4 yesterday. On my old G4 dual 1.25Ghz MDD I find it much, much faster than version 3. But the load time is inordinately long. Alsoft confirms that it can be between 5 and 10 minutes (they say it is because they are loading 10.4 files into memory).

I too had it find files that DW4 said were problems that Preferential Treatment didn't. (BUT he later wrote) I need to amend my previous message. After downloading the latest version of Preferential Treatment (v1.1.7), PT did in-fact find the same files as DW4. Maybe the first poster was using an older version.

I had to add DW4 to the Master Exclusion list of APE so it would run from the desktop.

When I ran the Permissions repair from the CD, multiple Permissions were repaired. I did not run Disk Utility upon restart so I don't know if there were differences.
Keep the Faith, Bill T. "


(added 12/19/2006)
" My Disk Warrior 4 order came Saturday Dec 16th and after several days use, here's a few observations from using it on an iBook G4/1GHz (1GB RAM), a PowerBook Pismo G3/400 (768MB RAM) and a TiBook G4/1.67GHz.
First some notes Alsoft's site and the installer readme:

"What's new in DiskWarrior?
DiskWarrior 4 is now the one utility program that solves all of the common problems you'll likely encounter on your Mac. Just look at these new features:

  • Universal binary: DiskWarrior 4 works on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.
  • Significantly faster: For many disks, directory rebuilding is twice as fast as the previous version.
  • Repairs invalid file permissions: No need to run more than one utility. Repairing permissions and repairing directory errors are the two most common disk maintenance procedures.
  • Includes an additional suite of file and folder tests: Finds problems before they cause you trouble.
  • Identifies corrupted preference (.plist) files: A bad preference file can wreak havoc. Now you don't need to reset all your preferences because a single preference file is bad.
  • Recovers more data from drives with hardware malfunctions: Recover your important files from most failing drives, possibly saving you thousands of dollars in professional recovery costs.
  • Detects and repairs more disk problems than ever: The best is even better.
  • Repairs and rebuilds FileVaults: FileVaults suffer from directory damage too. DiskWarrior is your only choice if you need the data security of a FileVault.
  • Repairs and rebuilds disk images: Get back the files you thought you had safely tucked away in a disk image.
  • Fully supports case-sensitive file names: If you use case-sensitive disks then DiskWarrior is your best choice.
  • Repairs and rebuilds Attribute B-trees: First introduced in Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), Attribute B-trees are a new addition to the disk directory. DiskWarrior rebuilds them as easily as it rebuilds the original catalog and extents B-trees.
  • Repairs Access Control Lists (ACLs): ACLs are a new permissions model first supported in Mac OS X 10.4. DiskWarrior repairs them too.

    (from the Installation Read Me)
    "Please note that to install DiskWarrior 4, your Mac must start up in Mac OS X 10.3.9 through 10.4.x. This is a change from DiskWarrior 3 which supported older versions of Mac OS X. Attempting to launch DiskWarrior 4 under older versions of Mac OS X will have different results depending upon the version of Mac OS X your Mac is running. You will either see an error message or, possibly, DiskWarrior 4 will momentarily appear in the dock and then disappear with no message displayed. Please read the system requirements for DiskWarrior 4. DiskWarrior 4 is now shipping on DiskWarrior CD revision 40. This CD is a universal startup CD that can start up both PowerPC and Intel Macs. All Mac models introduced as of 11/28/2006 and meeting the system requirements for DiskWarrior can be started from the CD."


    My observations so far:

    The time from boot (from CD) to useable is still quite long. The opening splash screen is black and the old was blue
    While some indicated a much faster running of routines in DW4, I sure don't see it here on a couple of machines (iBook G4/1GHz, Pismo G3/400). It's about the same to me (as DW 3.0x).

    The new tab option of Check all Files and Folders is a nice addition, but this is where it starts to get into a spitting contest. DW4 found several bad preference files in it's opinion, even though the app runs excellent and Preferential Treatment fails to find the same issue. (Note: A reader above mentioned the same thing, before he updated Preferential Treatment to v1.1.7.)

    DW4 also now does one of my favorite things, Repair Permissions ;-) But, upon running Disk Utility on rebooting, and then comparing the reports of both, Apple repaired almost all the DW4 repairs and then some. Go figure. I stayed with Apple's results and have seen no problems.

    There is a tech note already that "If you're running an installed version of DiskWarrior and it freezes when "starting services" is displayed, to see their site". The problem here is installed haxies. (and Application Enhancer, required for some unsanity haxies)

    Overall, I'm not overwhelmed, but I am glad all Mac users now have access to undeniably the best Apple specific disk utility app ever.

    (also from the readme - a note about paths/special characters)

      "The actual location of the DiskWarrior application is important. Because DiskWarrior is a sophisticated disk utility, it runs into a current limitation of a portion of the Mac OS needed by DiskWarrior but not by most applications. Due to this limitation, the path (the names of the enclosing folders all the way to the top level of the disk) cannot contain certain characters.
      The actual list of allowable and non-allowable characters is too large to list so it's best if the path contains only the letters A-Z, the digits 0-9, and spaces."

    OK so far. But this:

      "For example, /Applications/Utilities/DiskWarrior is a good path while /Applications/Utilities/DiskWarrior ƒ/DiskWarrior is a bad path because of the "ƒ" character.

    Since when is this f a factor? Or is it a Special Character they are specifically showing? (yes, it's a special character - Option+F. This has -sometimes- been an issue IIRC in the past sometimes (for instance with Netscape not finding a Reunion 6 manual in a folder named with Option-F) but I rarely use that naming since the pre-OS X era.)
    I've done it for years? Is that why my machine runs so good??? I've also seen many installs over the years use the special character also. Several right now at root and user levels. DiskWarrior 3.0.3 here was always in a folder with the ƒ character name with tons of other folders with an ƒ and no problems, as well as running DW4 with tons of other folders with an ƒ and no problems. Just the original location of the DW4 install?
    -Matthew C."




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