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I want to keep my Mac (latest OS) operating at peak efficiency.

I want to keep my Mac (latest OS, 10.6.4) operating at peak efficiency.

I run Disk Warrior and Disk Utility once a week but I have no idea what's being accomplished.

Meantime, I see various products for sale that claim to ''clean'' Macs by removing unnecessary files. The latest one to catch my eye is called MacKeeper (at Mackeeper.com).

Do I need something like that and, if so, which product do you recommend? Or, is running Disk Warrior/Disk Utility all I need to do.

Thanks, Jim

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If you have DiskWarrior 4, you should use it instead of Disk Utility. Don't run both. DiskWarrior 4 is much more sophisticated.

I recommend that you:
1. **Back up** your precious files, pictures, documents, etc. before running any disk utility. There's a small risk of data corruption. You need to back up regularly anyway because all hard drives do fail sooner or later.
2. Run the "check files and folders" function of DiskWarrior 4 about every 4 weeks. This will check every single file and folder for errors and fix them if necessary.
3. Run the "rebuild directory" every few months. The disk "directory" on Mac formatted drives is like a map to the contents of the hard drive. As files are created and deleted, the directory gets fragmented. Rarely, errors can creep in. DiskWarrior completely rebuilds and defragments the directory, improving performance (It doesn't defrag the whole drive though.)
3. Turn on the function that notifies you if the disk is about to fail (if your disk supports S.M.A.R.T.). I have it set up to email me.

I don't personally believe the "cleaner" programs are necessary. If you want to get rid of an application, if it has an uninstaller, be sure to use it. If not, drag the app to the trash. Usually, it will leave behind only small files. Leaving those files on the hard drive is not a problem.

If you want to get one anyway, Macworld just reviewed three or four of them. It looks like the best performer was CleanApp, from Synium ($15) at www.synium.de

Good luck and please let us know if this information was helpful. Please rate me if this answered your question adequately. If not, please post again with more questions and we'll be glad to offer further guidance.

Posted on Jul 18, 2010

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