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B. Troubleshooting > Fixing the Disk

Fixing the Disk

The beauty of Mac OS X’s design is that the operating system itself is frozen in its perfect, pristine state, impervious to conflicting system extensions, clueless Mac users, and other sources of disaster.

That’s the theory, anyway. But what happens if something goes wrong with the complex software that operates the hard drive itself?

Fortunately, Mac OS X comes with its own disk-repair program. In the familiar Mac universe of icons and menus, it takes the form of a program in Applications→Utilities called Disk Utility. In the barren world of Terminal and the command line interface, there’s a utility that works just as well but bears a different name: fsck (for file system check).

Power Users’ Clinic: Journaling vs. fsck

Mac OS X 10.4 comes with journaling turned on. As noted in Note, journaling means that the Mac keeps a diary about every tiny bit of hard drive activity. In event of a crash or freeze, the Mac knows precisely what was going on at the time, and precisely which files might have been damaged.


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