I hesitate to put the tag “Genius” on anyone — or anything for that matter. But Prosoft Engineering’s Drive Genius 4 has many of the qualities that we attribute to genius: knowing what to do when we don’t, how to do it when we don’t and knowing that there’s something going on to begin with that we don’t have a clue about.
Drive Genius 4 combines a number of functions in a single interface — such as searching for duplicate files, erasing a drive, a speed test and an ongoing monitor of how the drive is doing — most of which are easily understandable and safe to use (by “safe,” I mean you can’t muck up your drive by doing a fast “click” without any research and then hitting “cancel”). Just realize that you need patience — the program runs at a good speed (partly depending on your hardware), but accessing a hard drive means slowdowns now and then — just be patient while using it is all I’m saying.
With that in mind, the Defrag tool — which reorganizes files so that they’re not broken up and all over the place (to simplify) can be highly useful, especially since the new “Bootwell” system creates a secondary drive to use for this purpose. But I will admit that I did my usual dual backups before trying it out (fear factor and all). The results were fine, no damage. Good.
Also I found the “Clone” feature a good one for duplicating a OS-driven drive and keeping it “bootable.” If you don’t have a backup program/regiment in place, using this makes sense and it’s good that it’s been included. But personally I don’t care that the program includes the means to customize drive and folder icons — guess I’m not “artsy” enough.
The program comes on a USB drive which lets it boot up directly should you wish — allowing the program to work on the main drive which has the OS on it. Since most maintenance/repair programs can’t do a thing to a drive running an OS, this is a nice convenience. Or a real life-saver, should you never work on such a drive because it’s too much of a hassle.
Also, I’m no fan of pop-ups, but one appeared a few days back saying that there had been changes made to the Login items at the start-up of my Mac. So I gave it a click and discovered that I had two copies of a small background program running — I wouldn’t have noticed it on my own. Considering how complicated OS’ are these days, the littlest thing can set them off. So right there Drive Genius 4’s $99 cost paid off for its presence on my hard drive.