Drive Genius 3.1.1 review

We’ve previously described Drive Genius 3 as a kind of steroid-addled version of Disk Utility. It does everything your Mac’s built-in drives tools do and then a lot more.

The software’s still at version 3 – but there has been a point upgrade and several minor tweaks since we last took a look. The most significant change is the addition of Live Defrag. Fragmentation occurs on computer disk drives when files are split across several separate sectors of a disk. A high level of fragmentation slows down your system as it struggles to find pieces of scattered data.

The Mac lacks a built-in, user-controlled defragmentation tool. In theory, Macs shouldn’t need to be defragmented by the user. Every time you update or install major software, your drive is re-optimised. However, occasional defragmentation might be beneficial, especially if you’re working on large media files.

Though there are several defragmentation options for Macs, most of them require you to boot from another volume – a rescue disk, for example. But Live Defrag reboots from your desktop, defrags your drive and then takes you back to OS X. Very handy indeed.

With an interface that’s close to foolproof, Drive Genius mixes advanced features with ease of use

This welcome addition is among a range of tools offered by the disk management suite. You can also call up Drive Slim, a feature that enables you to search for resource-hogging files on your disk. Then there’s Repair – which does pretty much the same job as Disk Utility, enabling you to verify and fix volumes connected to your Mac.

Delve a little further under the bonnet and you’ll find another tier of tools aimed at disk security and management, including Shred, a feature with several options for erasing files from your drive. In fact, there are a slew of tools here – a veritable grab bag of partitioning, first aid, analysis and optimisation features that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in one package.

OUR VERDICT

The price tag might seem steep for a disk utility – but Drive Genius is, in many ways, the only additional maintenance program you’ll need. In a field packed with poorly designed, one-shoot tools, Drive Genius offers a great looking all-in-one bundle that’s well worth the investment.

Find the best price