Part of having a successful production company is having a happy computer to edit on. Prosoft makes some wonderful tools that can not only help you to keep your computer running smoothly, but can also save you when things go bad.

Let’s start with Drive Genius 3. This is a product that is used by Apple at the Genius Bar as part of the ProCare yearly tuneup. It runs as a 64-bit application, and has a utility called DrivePulse™ that will check for fragmentation, volume errors, and physical issues on your hard drives.

DrivePulse™ will only test your hard drives when the computer is idle, so you don’t have to worry about losing processing power in the middle of an edit.

DrivePulse™ does a thorough job. It performs a Scan on a disk to search for bad blocks on the hard drive, ensuring the physical integrity of the device, performs a Verify on the volume to assess the integrity of the catalog and directory structures, and scans the volume catalog and its files to determine the amount of fragmentation. Now, you can Defragment your OS X drives for optimum performance.?

My last MacPro had a motherboard problem that would intermittently corrupt the data on my main drive. It took a year for Apple to replace it, and as you can imagine, I went a little crazy when suddenly I could not edit the day before a deadline. Verify would tell me what was wrong, and Repair would help me fix the problems that were found.

The Repair feature let me Analyze, Repair, and Rebuild OS X directory information that soon got me up and running again…more

After a hard drive is more that half full, it slows down, so it makes sense to get rid of stuff you don’t need. DriveSlim™ let’s you archive or delete large, duplicate, and unusable files to save drive space.

As a reviewer, I load a lot of software on my computer. Using DriveSlim™, I found that I had tons of files that allowed my programs to work in other languages. Since I didn’t speak these languages, I felt safe getting them off of my drive.

You can make a Bootable DVD-ROM so that you can restart your Mac if it gets sick, or just make a spare boot drive.

Since it is hard to fix your main drive while you are using it, a cool thing to do is to add a small partition, and make a spare boot drive with your OSX and Drive Genius 3 loaded on it. When you have any problems, simply reboot from this spare drive and fix the problems on your main drive.

Normally, I would have to erase and reformat the drive before adding partitions, but the Repartition feature let me easily add and Resize a new partition without erasing the old one?

With my new 12 core MacPro I also used the Scan feature to scan my new drives to test for media faults, the Integrity Check to do long range throughput tests for performance, and the Benchtest for comparing drive performances.?

Another handy utility is the Duplicate feature that allows you to create a high-speed backup clone of your main drive. This will make things a lot easier when your main drive crashes.

If you do any proprietary editing work, the Shred function allows you to Securely erase your data using U.S. DoD specification algorithms. After this, your data is un-recoverable.?

Drive Genius 3 works on all kinds of drives including ATA, SATA, Firewire, SSD, and USB drives, and you don’t have to be a geek to use it.

The User Interface is easy to understand, allowing most operations to be accomplished in a few clicks, but sometimes you need an entirely different product.

ata Rescue 3 is another Prosoft product for when something goes terribly wrong, like when you need to recover files from a crashed external hard drive.

There are two ways to use this product. First, you can install Data Rescue and start up the application. Data Rescue will then scan your problem drive for your files, and you can then save them to a secondary hard drive. There is no risk of writing over your files since you will not be recovering files to the drive you are scanning.

If your main drive has crashed then you can still save yourself using the included Emergency Boot DVD.

In the case of your main boot hard drive crashing, due to a virus or a need to recover deleted files, you can use the included emergency boot DVD.

This allows your computer to boot from the DVD, and then scan your internal hard drive. Once the scan has been completed, you can choose the files you want to recover, and then copy them over to your secondary hard drive.

To boot from the emergency boot DVD, you just insert it into your computer and reboot. Data Rescue will automatically access your drive and then guide you through the data recovery process. You will then select the files you would like to recover, and then copy them over to a secondary internal or external hard drive. It’s not rocket science, but saving the project that you have spent days working on will certainly make you feel smart.

Since data is what we spend days creating, it makes sense to protect that data. The last utility you might want to know about is Data Backup 3, even if you use Time Machine.

Time Machine is a great introduction to backing up for those users that have never backed up their Mac before, and it can save you, but Time Machine doesn’t have the flexibility or the options to back up selected RAID data.

Data Backup 3 is flexible, it can backup to CDs, DVDs, network drives and even non-Mac-OS formatted drives. Data Backup 3 can also schedule, compress, and encrypt your backups. You can’t do any of this with Time Machine.

It’s also Versatile. Want to only backup your home folder? Want to make a bootable backup of your entire drive? Want to make different backup sets based on your needs? Data Backup 3 can do all that for you.

Well, there you have it, three tools that will remove most of the drama from your computing experience. As the trend towards a Tapeless workflow continues, these tools will play a larger role in keeping you sane. The support staff is also awesome. It is really nice to talk to a real person when facing a catastrophic data loss.

 

MSRP: Drive Genius 3 is $99, Data Rescue 3 is $99, and Data Backup 3 is $49

Contact: 1.877.477.6763

My review system consisted of a MacPro 12 core 2.93 GHz with 24 GB of http://www.lifetimememory.com RAM, an Intel SSD drive, mounted in a tray from http://www.maxupgrades.com , an ATTO R380 SAS controller card connected to two, CI Design 8 bay RAID cases, loaded with 16 Seagate 450GB SAS drives, a BlackMagic HD Extreme 3D card with output viewed on a TVLogic 17” HD monitor and a 2s2 24” monitor. An nvidia GeForce120 card connected to a 24” Eizo ColorEdge monitor, mounted on Monitor in Motion stands. A Cubix GPU-Xpander with two nvidia 4000 cards for extra Cuda processing for CS5.5 and the DaVinci Resolve for Mac, the G-SPEED Q for backup and small projects, two Genelec audio monitors, a Mackie mixer, an intuos tablet, and a Tangent Wave panel.

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