Drive Genius 5: Guardian of Your Disks

Drive Genius alerts you before the problem becomes crippling.

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #231

As I mentioned last week, Drive Genius’s DrivePulse real-time monitoring is its best feature (at least in my not-necessarily-humble opinion).

As you may recall, Drive Genius’s DrivePulse monitors the health of all connected drives and detects potential data corruption. Then, it can alert me of physical or logical issues with any of my drives before things go to hell in a hand-basket.

According to Prosoft, Drive Genius 5 can even predict drive failure before it occurs. I don’t know that I’ve seen this yet, but I believe it.

Anyway, since I wrote last week’s column, Drive Genius 5 alerted me to yet another disk-related issue I was having but didn’t know it, and then helped me resolve it before it caused problems.

Drive Genius Alerts

The other day I received two alerts that one of my backup drives (named “4TB of backups”) was low on free space.

Here’s the email:

This is the DrivePulse email alert I received...
This is the DrivePulse email alert I received…

The onscreen alert a few minutes later was worded a bit more strongly:

This more strongly worded alert appeared on my screen shortly after the email above.
This more strongly worded DrivePulse alert appeared on my screen a few minutes after the email alert.

I then used Drive Genius’s Find Duplicates and Find Large Files utilities to find and remove nearly 1TB of duplicate and large files. The scan took hours but it ran in the background, so it didn’t interfere with other work on my Mac.

Drive Genius Utilities

But, Drive Genius does much more than just monitor your drives for issues before they become problems. It also includes utilities for cloning, securely erasing, repartitioning, and initializing hard or solid-state drives. There’s also a malware scanner, as well as both physical and consistency checks for your disks.

If you have a rotational (i.e. hard) disk, there is a defragmenting utility that can improve overall performance, boot time, application launch times, and how quickly large files open.

Drive Genius also monitors your startup disk for system changes during login and notifies you if a change occurs (this is a common vector for malware).

Finally, Drive Genius can almost always repair or rebuild a damaged disk after it alerts you of the issue.

I’ve used Drive Genius for over a decade, and I trust it more than any other disk utility except (perhaps) DiskWarrior. But while DiskWarrior may (or may not) be a better choice for rebuilding damaged disk directories (the jury’s still out), rebuilding damaged directories is pretty much all DiskWarrior can do.

Drive Genius also fixes directory damage. It might or might not do it better than DiskWarrior, but in my experience over the years they both do a great job, but Drive Genius also does much more:

These are the Drive Genius utilities (on the right) along with the list of (some of) my drives (on the left).
Drive Genius’s utilities (right), and its list of drives (left).

Since both are priced at $99, you’re probably going to only buy one, and Drive Genius delivers more bang for your buck.

The Bottom Line

Drive Genius has proven its value time and again by alerting me to potential problems I’d otherwise be oblivious to, and then letting me repair the damage and get back to work as quickly as possible.

It’s one of the first apps I install on a new Mac because the thought of DrivePulse NOT monitoring my attached disks 24/7 scares me spit-less.

…and that’s all he wrote…


Drive Genius 5. $99. Prosoft Engineering.

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