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Tip #3: Get Some Disk Tools

Disk Tools and Terminal may be all the disk maintenance and repair software you ever need, but there are some tasks they can't accomplish. They won't defragment the hard drive (see Tip #4), recover lost files, or check for computer viruses. For these sorts of advanced tasks, third party software has to be used instead. There are certainly lots of options, ranging from free and open source software to heavy duty packages sold by major software companies.

But do you need them? At the very least, anyone working in an environment where they share files with others should invest in anti-virus software. Even when the virus doesn't have any impact on your Mac, it can still hitch a lift on files from one of your suppliers or clients to another, and if those folks have a Windows-based PC, don't expect to be thanked for infecting their computer.

On the other hand, defragmenting and optimizing hard drives is something that sounds more impressive than it actually is, and for most Mac users, investing in tools to perform this function will deliver precious little benefit. Similarly, recovering lost files is only significant if you don't have backup software, and if your budget is tight, spending money on backup software is simply a much more sensible investment.

Figure 3

Figure 3 While Macs aren't often troubled by viruses, it's worth getting and using anti-virus software, especially if you share files with Windows-based colleagues.

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