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TOPIC: Unknown status of optimization

Unknown status of optimization 01 Oct 2012 02:48 #3064

I'm optimizing the internal hard drive of a MacBook Pro (late 2009) with Protogo (updated to the latest TTP 6.06) after having successfully completed a volume scan. The contents of the drive take up about 360 GB out of a total 500 GB.

The optimization has been running for well over 24 hours, with the past 12+ hours consisting solely of movement of large unused spaces, that is, 1.74 GB chunks are being moved, one after another. What's disturbing me is that during this entire 12+ hours, the progress gauge has been unchanged -- indicating that the process is 33% complete -- and the graphical depiction of the drive's blocks does not seem to change significantly, with the last optimized block about the 55% mark.

It's almost as if the same chunk is being moved over and over again. How can I confirm that the optimization is really progressing properly? I'm afraid to stop the process out of fear of leaving the drive in an unknown state.
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 01 Oct 2012 03:16 #3065

If you stop the disk optimizer using the X stop button, it should finish the one file or free space fragment it is moving, update the disk directory, and remount the volume. If you force quit the optimizer or it crashes, the consequences can range from nothing (it may have been just about to move something) to loss of a file, loss of a folder, or loss of the entire volume (in the unlikely event that a piece of the disk directory itself was being moved).

It is possible that the same operation is being performed repeatedly on the same blocks. The only way to know for sure, assuming that the data in the optimization window shows no progress, would be to use the Sample Process button in Activity Monitor, or the equivalent Sample command in Terminal. A programmer would have to provide the correct flags for the Sample command, and a programmer would have to look at the output of the Sample Process feature. If you cannot stop the optimization with the X stop button, please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , including a link to this thread. You will receive a reply by email on Monday. I would be very interested to see whether I could learn to determine whether an optimization is making any progress, by either of these methods. Thank you.

If you do successfully stop the optimization with the X stop button, I suggest you run the Surface Scan to check the drive for unremapped bad blocks.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
Last Edit: 12 Oct 2012 06:54 by micromattech3.
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 12 Oct 2012 16:53 #3082

A bit of the same issue over here, concerning Volume Optimization. Around 4700 fragmented files are being moved to 33.46 GB in chunks of 335.54 MB each, and this is going on for the past 12 hours. Contiguous free space count on 620, sometimes 621. Highest block of the 1 TB drive is at 158.566.656 and current block at 55.664.508. The large meter shows the needle almost at the 100% marker.
File optimization was done prior to this, with no errors.
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 12 Oct 2012 17:21 #3083

You can either stop the optimization using the X stop button, or if that does not work, please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , including a link to this thread, as suggested above. I would like to see if the Sample Process button can shed some light on what is happening. Thank you.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 12 Oct 2012 22:16 #3084

The difference with user Scott Steinman is that in my case the process gauge went up to almost 100% and stayed there for many hours, now almost 20 hours. And, TT Pro 6.06 is still doing something, the process is active however it can only be sampled by 'sudo', in other words by typing in the Terminal, and I would need some guidance to do that. The process (#1136) has 7 threads and takes up 40% of the CPU. I can see in the graphic display of the disk that something has changed. I don't believe this is some kind of error, it's only a surprise to me that it takes such a long time to complete.
However I will try to stop the optimization and run the surface scan just to be sure all is well.
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 12 Oct 2012 22:57 #3085

Thanks for the additional details.

The guidance needed to use the Sample command would have to be provided by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , who in term would ask the programmer for the parameters needed to get a useful sample. It is interesting to me that you have reported that you would need to use Terminal, rather than the Sample Process button in Activity Monitor.

In addition to running the Surface Scan, it would be a good idea to check the disk directory with the Volume Structures test or Disk Utility.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 13 Oct 2012 01:11 #3086

I was able to halt the optimization process and right now the Surface Scan is running. As per your advice I will follow-up with Volume Structures until everything is clear.
While still optimizing, In the Activity Monitor, when I demanded to sample the TT Pro6 process, I got a text message in return, to use 'sudo'.
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 13 Oct 2012 02:10 #3087

Thanks again for reporting these details about the volume optimization and the Sample Process button in Activity Monitor. I suspect that the sudo command in Terminal would be needed because the volume optimization process requires low-level access to the disk.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 13 Oct 2012 02:50 #3088

One of my colleagues tried the Sample Process button in Activity Monitor while running a volume optimization, and did not get the "sudo" prompt. There must be something that distinguishes these cases, but I do not know what it is.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 13 Oct 2012 14:22 #3089

Volume Structures reported an error with the Extended Attributes file. I then proceeded with a Volume Rebuild of that particular drive which happens to be a boot disk. A difference in size of that drive was noticeable: about 23 GB more on the favorable side (displayed in green). This difference could be hinting at a file that TT Pro6 was trying to move during optimization but somehow got confronted with a problem.

Earlier on, right at the start of the Test Suite there had been an error reported with the 'allocation bitmap' on that particular drive. It had dissolved by doing a favorable Volume Rebuild. This all happened before I took on with Volume Optimization.
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Re: Unknown status of optimization 13 Oct 2012 21:34 #3090

This is the first case I have seen in which someone has reported such a problem with the Extended Attributes file. That file, which was added to the disk directory with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, was intended to allow applications to store data in any number of new file forks, beyond the usual data and resources forks. There is a brief treatment of this subject in Wikipedia:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fork_(file_system)

For quite some time, it appeared that no developers were using the new file forks, because deleting the Extended Attributes file caused no loss of any file data. You must have an application that is storing a lot of data in the new file forks. When the Extended Attributes file was introduced, speculation was that high-end audio and video programs would make use of it to store separate tracks of a recording in their own file fork.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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