Every time you use your Mac, write to disk, it will alter the state of your hard drive. If it is solid state or a normal magnetic hard drive the magnetic domains or cells will degrade and change. This will slow your Mac down. Every time it encounters a block that has an error, it has to re-write the byte in another place. If you have many bad blocks it will degrade your Mac’s performance. In order to bring it back up to speed we need to repair the disk. We can also repair the disk permissions.
Repairing Your Hard Drive
There are two steps to speeding up your hard drive. The first is to repair the hard drive of any faults. This will scan the disk and various sections of your hard drive, find by blocks and black list them. This means one should not appear during a normal write.
To repair your disk open Disk Utility in Applications > Utilities. Select the drive you want to scan. In the bottom right corner, under the text box there will be a button labelled Verify Disk. Press this button to scan your disk. It will take a couple of minutes to scan your disk, Disk Utility may become unresponsive, this is normal.
When the verify disk sequence is finished the report will tell you what exits on the drive. If there are problems you can hit the Repair Disk button that the problems will be fixed.
You should see a small speed improvement, especially if there are bad blocks or errors on the disk. Note that if you run this program frequently and find a number of bad blocks every time it might be indicative of a failing hard drive. A good back up and a replacement may be needed.
Repairing Disk Permissions
Repairing disk permissions is a good may to ensure your Mac is in tip top shape. Repairing disk permissions will not cause your Mac to suddenly speed up, it will however solve and prevent future problems where you Mac hits a small speed bump.
Like the previous tip select the drive you wish to scan and hit the Verify Disk Permissions button. This will scan the system files and ensure they have the correct permissions. Incorrect permissions may cause your Mac to slow down or stop, this is due to the user not being allow access to the file.
When the script has run the text box will display all of the disk permission problems. If there are any present you can press the Repair Disk Permissions. This will alter the permission and correct them back to the factory settings.
Repairing your disk is a task you should complete every couple of months. It doesn’t take long. If you have a couple of errors, fixing these can help speed up your Mac. I have a disk that was full of errors that would always slow down. Fixing the disk allowed it to speed back up again.