Third-Party Disk and Virus Tools
Although Tiger provides a number of tools for recovering from system trouble, there are certain issues that the supplied tools cannot deal with. If you've been using a Mac for a few years and have ever run the Apple Disk Repair tools, you've almost certainly run across an instance of the repair process stating Disk Repair cannot fix this problem. The usual reaction (immediately following the "Oh, poop!") is, "Well, what can solve the problem?"
Likewise, when it comes to viruses, Tiger provides virtually no protection. Only members of .Mac get virus protection with their systems. The rest of us either take our chances or are forced to install additional software to get any level of protection.
Let's take a look at some of the disk and virus tools you might want to consider purchasing for your system.
Choosing Disk Repair Tools
Several commercial utilities are available that can aid you in keeping your system running smoothly and error free, and can repair problems should they occur. Even if you never experience a disk error, it's a good idea to keep one or two of these packages around:
Drive 10 by Micromat Inc. (http://www.micromat.com/) Offers extensive disk diagnostic utilities ranging from power supply tests and buffer validation to disk optimization. Unfortunately, it is lacking several of the more generalized system diagnostics of its big brother, TechTool Pro.
TechTool Pro by Micromat Inc. (http://www.micromat.com/) The undisputed king of diagnostics. It can locate problems with almost any hardware component, from memory to CPU failures. It also includes extensive drive repair and optimization facilities. A version of TechTool Pro is included as part of Apple's AppleCare package.
DiskWarrior by Alsoft (http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/index.html) An award-winning piece of software that takes a different approach to repairing disk problems. Rather than fixing damaged drive information, it rebuilds the data from scratch, often offering superior results to traditional utilities such as Norton Utilities.
Virtual Lab by Binary Biz (http://www.binarybiz.com/vlab/mac.php) The software you need if you've lost files from disk problems or carelessness. It is fast, thorough, and intuitive. You can even download a free trial capable of retrieving 1MB of data directly from its website. Its purpose is to retrieve data, not fix your drive, so make sure that this is what you need before you buy.
Data Rescue X by Prosoft Engineering (http://www.prosoftengineering.com/products/data_rescue.php) Another tool, like Virtual Lab, that provides data recovery features for damaged drives. Unlike Virtual Lab, Data Rescue's focus is on recovering from failing disks, not undeleting files. For that, the company has a separate product.
Data Recycler by Prosoft Engineering (http://www.prosoftengineering.com/products/data_recycler.php) Although not the only product capable of undeleting files on Mac OS X, it is currently the only one capable of doing it well. Data Recycler maintains separate storage for holding deleted files and offering safe recovery if you find yourself in an "oops" situation. Undeletes are virtually instantaneous and do not require scanning your drive.
Norton Utilities by Symantec, Inc., (http://www.symantec.com/product/index_macintosh.html) The oldest and best-known Macintosh repair software available. Norton Utilities focuses entirely on drive repair, optimization, and data loss prevention.
Protecting Against Viruses
If you're a sensible web surfer and download code from reputable sources (that is, NOT BitTorrent or shady Hotline/Carracho sites), there is currently little risk of getting a Macintosh virus. Of course, the Macintosh isn't impervious to viruses and eventually we will be hit hard. As such, it is important to have the tools on hand to detect and remove infected files if they are found. Because Tiger offers superb integration with Windows networks, you'll also want virus protection to help protect your Windows brethren from the latest and greatest Microsoft Office viruses. The Macintosh version of Office is quite capable of infecting files, which can subsequently cause harm if opened on the Windows platform.
Consider keeping a virus protection package installed and up-to-date on your system:
Virex by McAfee by way of Apple (http://www.mac.com/) As part of the .Mac membership, Apple offers an enhanced version of McAfee/NAI's Virex utility. Virex 7.5 provides virus protection for your Macintosh as well as any Windows files stored on it. Because Tiger offers superb integration with Windows networks, any user who shares files in a cross-platform environment will find this a valuable preventative tool. Virex provides command-line virus scanning capabilities in /usr/local/vscanx.
Norton AntiVirus by Symantec, Inc., (http://www.symantec.com/nav/nav_mac/index.html ) Norton AntiVirus is an easy-to-use alternative to Virex that offers the same basic features in a cost-effective and user-friendly package. If you're accustomed to the Norton Utilities package, this might be the right virus solution for your system.
clamXav, (http://www.markallan.co.uk/clamXav/) In Chapter 26, "Creating a Mail Server," we discussed installing the open source ClamAV package for virus scanning. Mark Allan has taken this same software and wrapped it in an attractive GUI (pictured in Figure 29.14) that you can use to scan files and folders on your machine. clamXav is currently available free of charge, but a donation is appreciated.
Figure 29.14. clamXav wraps the powerful free ClamAV package in an attractive (and free!) GUI.