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Warning: Do not run DiskWarrior or similar utilities on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

Wait until official word from developers is released after Leopard's shipment.

DiskWarrior and other tools that modify or rebuild the directory of volumes should not be run after installing Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) until further notice or updates from the developers of these tools.

As part of our special report on preparing for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) published yesterday we noted that previous major Mac OS X releases have made significant disk directory changes that can react adversely to the processes used by these applications.

Alsoft, the developer of DiskWarrior, has now released a statement on compatibility that is somewhat confusing. It reads:

"[...] until we have a copy of the final build of Leopard, we cannot completely comment on Leopard compatibility.

"We will absolutely support Mac OS X 10.5. While we have the early builds of Mac OS X 10.5 to test with, Apple does not tell us ahead of time what changes or enhancements they plan to make until they provide us with the software and documentation. Apple engineering may make changes right up to the last few days before the release and we wouldn't know about them until after the fact.

"As for your current version of DiskWarrior, you can run the application knowing no harm will come to the hard drive or to your data. If a newer version of DiskWarrior is required, DiskWarrior will simply not allow the replacement of the old directory.

"When DiskWarrior 3 was released 3 1/2 years ago, Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), was the current version of the operating system. When Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) was released we updated DiskWarrior for compatibility at no charge. The same is true for when Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) was released - no charge. Each of these updates was available through the process of downloading an updater which helps you burn an updated DiskWarrior CD. More information will be posted on the Alsoft website, once Leopard is released.

Essentially it looks like Alsoft is claiming:

  1. They can't guarantee compatibility of the current DiskWarrior iteration with Leopard
  2. The current version of DiskWarrior won't cause damage to Leopard disks because it will simply refuse to perform the process for which it is designed.
  3. The update for DiskWarrior that makes it compatible with Leopard will be free of charge.

Despite point #2, we highly recommend not running DiskWarrior at all after installing Mac OS X 10.5 until further information is available. All current indications are that the program will run, and rebuild directories on bootable Leopard volumes and could result in serious consequences, including an inability to startup from the drive.

Feedback? Late-breakers@macfixit.com.

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