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Drive Genius 5 Support

Frequently Asked Questions

The biggest new feature added by Drive Genius 5 is the ability to perform near real-time and manual malware scans on storage devices connected to your computer. Our existing DrivePulse utility that automatically monitors the health of your hard drives now also monitors downloaded files for potential malware threats. In addition, a scan can be manually run to check all files on a particular hard drive.
Drive Genius will disable utility icons that are not applicable to the currently selected drive, file or folder. If you hover your mouse cursor over a disabled icon, a tooltip will appear to explain why the utility is disabled.
If Drive Pulse alerts you about permissions on a drive then you can use Drive Genius to Fix Permissions on that drive. The Fix Permissions utility is located in the ‘Protect’ section, or the third section of features in the main software findow. Please note that fixing permissions in the latest version of Drive Genius is only supported on machines running Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite.

For those running 10.11 El Capitan, 10.12 Sierra, or any future releases, your operating system now automatically repairs file permissions during software installations, updates, or changes. The Fix Permissions button utility will not be displayed if you are on a version of mac OS that does not require manual permission repairs.
Drive Genius is compatible with most Virus Protection, however we have seen issues with Drive Genius and Virus Protection software trying to gain access to the same drive.

Drive Genius now includes its own malware tool, and DrivePulse will monitor most downloaded files in real time, reducing the need for additional software.

Based on past customer experience, and testing we have seen conflicts with Virus Protection software. However there is no requirement to Uninstall and the warning can be permanently disabled by checking "Do not show this message again" and then clicking the Continue button.

A simple workaround would be to disable the antivirus during the time in which you’re using the software, or to set up an exception.

We cannot guarantee compatibility with any other third party antivirus utility, and suggest evaluating the full-feature demo version of Drive Genius with your current setup if you have concerns about compatibility.
If you purchased the software directly from Prosoft Engineering on our website, your serial number will be emailed to you (please check your spam filter). If you do not receive your serial, or have lost the email record, please contact our support team.

If you purchased from a third party reseller, your serial number will be included in the packaging, on a sticker on the bottom of the inside cover of the printed insert.

If you have a copy of the software installed and activated, you can find your serial number and registration information in the Drive Genius -> About Drive Genius dropdown menu option.
The Drive Genius BootWell drive is used to maintain and manage your primary internal hard drive on your Mac.

Most Drive Genius utilities work on your primary internal hard drive “live” with no need for a secondary startup drive. However certain utilities require starting your computer from a secondary drive so they can have exclusive access to your primary drive, this is where the BootWell comes in.

The utilities that require BootWell are:

The advanced Physical Check options. Repair. Rebuild. Defragment. Repartition. The whole-drive Secure Erase option.

Drive Genius utilities will automatically prompt you to restart using a BootWell drive as needed. The BootWell drive purchased with Drive Genius is a Hi-Speed USB 3.0 flash drive. It will run at a higher speed on older USB 2.0 Macs and even faster on a newer Mac with USB 3.0 ports. We have tested the read and write speed on this flash drive on the different macOS versions that Drive Genius supports.

The current supported macOS operating systems are resource intensive and therefore will require a Hi-Speed flash drive to create a Drive Genius BootWell.

This BootWell drive has been chosen after rigorous testing and found this to have the best read and write speeds. Our BootWell drive is a good solution and is available from our website for a nominal price.

Alternatively, you can create your own, however we cannot guarantee compatibility with all device manufacturers. Any device you attempt to use must be hi-speed USB 3.0 and 16GB or larger.
BootWell drives perform at their optimal level when the USB used has certain specifications. The average USB is typically purchased for simple data transfer and storage. These types of flash drives will have problems if they are used to create a BootWell drive generally because of the difference in speed and the chipset used.

Drive Genius requires a USB drive that is 16GB or larger, and hi-speed USB 3.0. Even drives that meet these requirements may still experience issues as described below, so you may need to try another manufacturer’s device.

Prior to selecting our USB drive supplier we tested several drives extensively to find the drive that performed the most efficiently with Drive Genius.

One of the big differences in the type of memory and, to a lesser degree, the type of I/O controllers used by USB drives can make a drive perform two or three times faster and last 10 times longer than other drives.
With the release of OS X Mavericks or any Mac made after March 2011, Apple made a change in their operating systems going forward, which no longer allows 3rd party software to unmount the main internal boot drive while you are booted into it. This prevents the use of certain utilities while you are booted into the drive.

Creating and using a BootWell allows our users to boot into a strictly Drive Genius environment without the need to create a full secondary startup disk.

Using a BootWell allows the user to run utilities such as defrag, repair, repartition, or rebuild with minimal effort. A BootWell drive can be used to maintain, repair, or recover your primary startup drive in the event of a primary drive error.

For maintenance purposes, most Drive Genius utilities work on the primary startup drive "live" with no need for a secondary startup drive. However all repair and recovery utilities, and anything that requires writing data to the internal drive, requires starting your computer from a secondary drive so Drive Genius can have exclusive access to your primary drive.
DrivePulse tests and provides a pass/fail status for the drive.

DrivePulse will only run if the system is idle. If you want immediate DrivePulse test results, instant DrivePulse can be used.

Instant DrivePulse will perform a physical check for bad blocks, a fragmentation test of the drive, and a consistency check for any corruption on the drive.
Using Drive Genius to defragment your internal drive can speed up your boot times and improve application and file access overall.

Adding and deleting files to and from your hard drive will cause the drive to become fragmented, as the OS will split files across multiple empty parts of the hard drive to fill free space. When the OS writes files to the drive, it will look for empty space on the hard drive to write data to. However, this will cause the drive to slow down, as it will need to scan multiple parts of the hard drive to locate and read the file.

Drive Genius Defrag Utility puts all these broken up pieces together into one continuous block with all of the empty space at the end. This allows your hard drive to access the data much faster leading to a faster running computer.
Most modern drives will automatically reallocate any bad data areas they encounter to another area on the drive. Each drive has a reserved amount of space to handle these reallocations.

If Drive Genius or DrivePulse informs you it has found bad areas, or you suspect there are bad areas on a drive you can enable Revive damaged areas. This will allow Drive Genius to instruct the hard drive to reallocate any bad data areas that are found during the Physical Check.

When Drive Genius 4 finds a bad area, it will attempt to read the information from the bad area and write it back to the same area. This will kick-in the drives reallocation mechanism and move the data area contents to a new area.

**Please note that bad data area reallocation will likely result in data loss, as the contents of bad areas may not be retrievable. Therefore, Drive Genius defaults to erasing and formatting the drive if data areas are reallocated. If you want to attempt to recover data from the drive - even though it may be corrupt - you can disable the erase option.

**Please also note that reviving damaged areas is a temporary fix. If your drive has more than 5-10 bad blocks we highly recommend looking into replacing your drive, as it will be highly prone to drive failure and data loss in the near future.
The Speed Test within Drive Genius will determine how long it takes to read data from a given block on the drive. The read speed determines how fast the drive will be able to retrieve and use the data stored within the drive. The faster the read speed the faster you can access and use data from that drive.
Yes, the software will copy over the recovery volume to the clone. (This will be an exact copy of the recovery volume, so it will be bootable)
Rebuild is a utility in Drive Genius that will try to rebuild your folder structure on the drive. If this is on your internal boot drive then you will have to start up your mac from the Drive Genius BootWell drive. In some cases you might have to run Rebuild more than once to fix the folder structure on the drive.
Due to the changes Apple made with the release Mavericks 10.9 the live defrag option is not available in newer operating systems or any Mac made after March 2011. You need to boot from the Drive Genius BootWell.

The BootWell allows you to have a secondary startup drive to perform the Utilities such as Defrag.
The extended check option will verify the read and write ability of every data area on the drive. Unlike the Revive option, which only attempts writes for bad areas, the Extended check option will read and write the contents of every single data area on the drive; possibly multiple times.

This process goes through great pains to bypass all operating system layers and directly interact with the drives data; therefore enabling Extended scan will greatly increase the time needed to complete the scan. If you have the time to let the Extended check complete, it will find faults with the drive even when other tests, other utilities or vendors themselves declare the drive to be in good condition.

**Due to the stress placed on a drive with the Extended check option enabled, it is not recommended for SSD drives.

**Please note that stressing an already failing drive with bad blocks can cause more damage and more bad blocks on the drive. We do not recommend using this option with failing drives.
Active Files utility is only available on drive you are not booted into like an external drive or if you are started up from a BootWell the internal drive.
Yes, when a file turns red within the software, the file has been removed/erased from your system.
If Drive pulse alerts you that you have errors on your drive and drive needs to be repaired. This is a software corruption and therefore using Drive Genius Repair utility you can fix this corruption.

If this is your internal drive then you will have start up your mac from the Drive Genius BootWell drive to run the Repair. The internal drive needs to be unmounted to run Repair.
A Consistency Check is when Drive Genius checks a HFS+ drive for corruption on the drive. All HFS+ drives attached directly to a Mac are frequently checked by Drive Genius for corruption on the drives which could lead to the drive becoming not bootable or corruption spreading to the Mac OS files.

If Drive Genius finds corruption on the files on a drive it will prompt you to Repair the drive, and if it cannot be repaired the drive may need to be backed up and re-formatted, or replaced in severe cases.
No, when 1 pass is done, numbers are written on every possible part of the drive and its most likely that no recovery software can recover it.
Apple made a change with their OS releases 10.9-10.10 starting with that prevents 3rd party applications from unmounting the boot drive while you are booted into it. Defrag, repair, and rebuild all require unmounting the drive to run on current and future operating systems that are supported. There are currently only two solutions to this problem. You can create a secondary startup disk, which requires downloading and installing a full operating system or using Drive Genius to create a BootWell drive.
You should only delete files you are familiar with and are not using (files you know can be safely deleted). If you see unfamiliar files, the best course of action is to assume those files are related to macOS or applications and leave those files alone. The utilities will show all files on your drive according to the options you have selected; they make a best effort to filter files that should not be deleted. However, it is ultimately your responsibility to determine which files to delete.
Yes. Hardware based RAID, Apple software RAID and SoftRAID are supported.
No. Drobos are proprietary devices and due to the way they store and manipulate data on multiple physical drives, Drive Genius cannot safely manipulate that same data. It is the decision of Data Robotics, Inc to not share the technical information necessary to safely support Drobo devices.
No. Drive Genius prevents the system from automatically sleeping while a utility is running. Although the display may turn off during a long process, the system will not sleep while a utility is running. If the display goes to sleep, simply move the mouse or tap the keyboard to wake up the display.
No. Since Drive Genius uses a bit-by-bit copy, every problem will be copied over without regard for the corruption on the drive. This will result in a direct copy of the source drive. If the source drive is failing to attach or startup, the destination drive will also have the same issues. This is ideal for creating a copy of a bad drive for the purpose of troubleshooting, such as using Prosoft’s Data Rescue to scan for data from the duplicated device.
It must be at least the same size, but it does not have to be larger.