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OS X installations and Hard Disk Speed Tools Install
I have two IDE drives on my PowerMac G4 that I have formatted with Intech-USA's Hard Disk Speed Tools 3.4. On a couple of occasions, I have run into serious problems when I have had to reinstall Mac OS 10.1, due to the fact that the OS X installer apparently installs Apple's drivers without allowing the user to choose whether or not to update the drivers (you could do this in previous OS releases).

As a result, when I reboot the computer in OS 9, I am greeted with the alarming news that all of the partitions contained on the drive on which my OS X partition resides cannot be recognized, and I am offered the usual choice between re-initializing and ignoring the message. Obviously, I choose to ignore the message in order to rescue my data.

Read the rest of the article for details on how to safely make the drives usable again...

One of the characteristics of Hard Disk Speed Tools, and the one which prompts me to choose it over Apple's Drive Setup, is the ease with which one may delete and create partitions. Of course, the utility for this <i>par excellence</i> would be FWB's Hard Disk Toolkit--except for the annoying fact that FWB always seems to be several months behind in developing drivers compatible with new Macintosh operating systems. Another very nice characteristic of Hard Disk Speed Tools is its ability to "take over" a drive that has been formatted with another disk formatting utility.

When I receive an alarming message such as the one I have just described, I do the following: I restart from a bootable CD, open a copy of Hard Disk Speed Tools that I have either on my boot disk or on another volume that can be recognized when I boot from the CD, and select "Update drivers". When I perform this operation upon the drive that contains the OS X partition, I am informed that the update cannot be made because the drive was formatted by another utility, and that the only course open to me is to "take over" the drive. Usually, a drive takeover can take anywhere from half an hour to a couple of hours. However, in this case, when I specify a takeover, I am immediately greeted with the message that the takeover operation is complete. I then, just to be safe, choose "Update drivers", and then restart in OS X. Once I have done this, I have no further problems--that is until and unless I have to install OS X again!

(Needless to say, I'm sending a copy of this note to Apple's OS X feedback site.)
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Temporary Fix Only
Authored by: 128K Mac on Feb 06, '02 06:22:20PM

I've also run into problems with Intech's HDST in connection with OS X, various versions, and HDST various versions. Current is 3.4 as noted.

But I've had the same problems with FWB HDTK 4.5.1-4.5.2, SilverLining 6.3.1-6.4.4, and CharisMac Anubis 3.07-3.21.

Intech recommends the same process suggested by jbmelby and has other comments at:

http://www.IntechUSA.com/XNews.html

They do not, however, claim full support for OS X. My experience has been that the "take over" method works better (read: longer) than merely updating the driver.

But the basic problem remains. Apple's format utility has never been able to install a driver to replace one from a third party. That's an especial problem with OS X because none of the third party software vendors claim full support for OS X (with the possible exception of an $$ upgrade from CharisMac for Anubis).

The comments on this link clearly indicate the "take over" process is the solution. But they do not continue to state it is fully compatible and will not have to be done again at some future date. It's merely "better" than updating the driver with the third party util.

The main problem that arises from this is the possibility of directory damage occuring at the same time, or cumulative as often happens in small increments which are especially problematical. The only real solution is to baby such third party formatted drives by using Disk Warrior 2.1 on a regular basis to make certain there are no directory problems.

I've only seen two drives where the "take over" procedure eventually failed (and all were with ver. 3.4), one with 10.0.4 and the other with 10.1.0. I've seen several dozen that had driver updated but eventually failed and required that driver be updated once again.

The most common symptom in OS X is for a drive to simply fail to mount. Booting into OS 9 and launching HDST 3.4 and updating the driver using has it performing properly again......for a while.

With the FWB, LaCie and other products there is no decent solution in my experience. Normally the driver can be updated (and the latest version must always be used) and if maintenance has prevented directory problems there's using no problem. But not always.

Sometimes the Intech product (HDST 3.4) can be used to reformat a drive formatted by another third party. This works best in my experience if the driver format is older, say Silver Lining 6.2.1 or FWB HDTK 3.02 or 4.0. Your mileage will definitely vary.

Many Mac users who have not yet upgraded to OS X may experience some serious problems which Apple can address if their utility will overwrite the third party driver and install its own. Graphics and design users have typically used third party utils. A designer running System 8.6 with all SCSI drives formatted with FWB HDTK 3.02 is going to have a definite problem. Updating to 4.52, which is costly, still won't provide the better compatibility of the Apple util.

jbmelby is entirely correct. Apple needs to address this issue and soon.



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Temporary Fix Only
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Feb 06, '02 09:22:49PM

I used to use all those utilities and for the most part had nothing but problems with them, with the exception of Anubis.

The one problem is they make extra partitions for their drivers, especially when doing a "take over." At one time you needed third party drivers for use on non-Apple hard drives. And they used to be a bit faster. Since 8.6 the Apple drivers have been just as fast, if not faster in tests I have done using HDT and Norton.

But for a while now you have been able to initialize a non Apple hard drive with DriveSetup. It's true that you can't re-partition a drive without erasing it using DriveSetup, but this is the only safe way. Even when I get a new Mac, that's the first thing I do.

The other problem is you have to keep buying updates to the third party utilities every time Apple updates the OS!

My advice is always, if you get a third party drive that is formatted using something other than Apple drivers, just format the drive before you use it using the Apple DiskUtility.



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Temporary Fix Only
Authored by: Auricchio on Feb 07, '02 12:03:14PM
So this problem is an OS X installer problem, where it overwrites a preinstalled disk driver. You install a third-party driver, install OS X, then must reinstall the third-party driver for later use under OS 9.x.

OS X never uses the driver from the device's driver partition, nor does it care what's there.

As far as why that third-party driver becomes corrupted or inoperable, my first guess is to blame that driver. OS X never rewrites or modifies the partition map or the driver partition(s) in normal operation. It's possible that the third-party driver is checking something in the HFS partition on the drive. This is bad form, because it's making an assumption about something in file-system data. A driver has no business doing anything with filesystems; it should read and write blocks, period. Perhaps the driver is stashing some data item in an "unused" field in the HFS meta-data. Drivers have done this before under MacOS, stashing passwords, encryption keys, etc.

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Temporary Fix Only
Authored by: 128K Mac on Feb 07, '02 10:10:55PM

I think you've used Silverlining or HDTK once or twice over the years when it comes to caching a little data here and there. ;)

I thought for some time that Intech's HDST wasn't doing that. I'm beginning to wonder. One of my four own personal SCSI drives is a Seagate LVD 160 18GB that starts bobbing and dipping, mounting then unmounting then....., about once a month with OSX. I never observed such behavior with OS9.

Reboot into OS9/Classic (HDST won't run in Classic) and update it's driver and the thing's good for another month. It's soul mate started life with some Apple driver and format, has remained such, and never been a problem.

I have had off/on again luck with CharisMac Anubis from time to time and really should check the new "OS X compatible version" I vaguely recall reading about. Anyone had any experience with v. 3.21 or later, especially with ATA in addition to SCSI? FireWire?

My main use for FWB HDTK 4.52 (thereabouts) is formatting a drive that's been burned with LaCie Silverlining (or APS Power Tools, same thing). HDTK seems to be about the only thing that can rid a drive of the abominable caching/monitoring/whatever garbage that SL installs.

I ramble. And rant ends. Good comments. /methinks too many 3rd party format util vendors are playing little games instead of doing the work to make something right. Am especially anxious right now to get hands on the OS X version of SoftRAID, due this summer I believe.



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