Troubleshooting utility news and updates

Our utilities update report is a column on updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. This week there were updates to file recovery software, some drive monitoring utilities, and duplicate file management tools.

Our utilities update report is a column on updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though a utility can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is on bringing you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there were updates to file recovery software, some drive monitoring utilities, and duplicate file management tools.

Files and filesystem
Sometimes locating duplicate files (especially groups of them after migrating files) can be useful for clearing up hard-drive space. GrupaDupa, one of a number of duplicate file locators in OS X, was recently updated. The program's developers claim this program will quickly locate duplicates that you can then manage on your own via the GrupaDupa interface or the Finder. The program is $0.99 for a full license, and the latest version fixes a few minor bugs.

If you are in need of a file recovery tool, a robust and popular one is Disk Drill, which only recently left its beta development phase. The tool offers ways to not only recover lost files, but make it easier to recover files in the future, including commonly lost metadata like file names. The licenses for the program range from free for the basic program's features to $299 for a full enterprise version for use on multiple systems. The latest version updates the Deep Scan routine to allow for reconstructing new formats and handling of lost HFS journals. In addition it improves some user interface elements and fixes a few minor bugs and some crash situations.

The last filesystem utility updated this week is Paragon NTFS, which is an NTFS driver for OS X that allows you to both read and format NTFS drives in OS X. A license for the driver is $19.95 after the 10-day free trial, and the latest update adds support for the latest developer releases of OS X 10.7 Lion in addition to improving data management.

Hardware
The only hardware-related utility this week is SMARTReporter, which is one of several popular tools for monitoring the S.M.A.R.T. status of hard drives in OS X. SMARTReporter is a free utility, and runs as a background process with a menu that allows you to quickly check the drive. While S.M.A.R.T. statistics many times do not capture when a drive is about to fail, regularly checking the S.M.A.R.T. status for potential errors may help. The latest update for SMARTReporter fixes a program crash when sending e-mail notifications and addresses a problem with the program not opening log files.



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About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.

     

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