Unless something dastardly happens to curtail the Mac’s loyalty for serving its earthling masters, we turn it on and it works. Still, a regular checkup is good for humanoids so maybe the same thing would be useful for your Mac. It is and it’s free.
MacCheck is a handy diagnostic tool for your Mac that runs through a variety of tests to ensure your Mac is working as you expect and, if it could talk, as your Mac wants to complete its daily tasks to serve you.
Friday Freebies should be something useful, a Mac app which can stick around; maybe not get used everyday, but used regularly. I setup Calendar to launch MacCheck once a week at a time when I’m working on my Mac so it’s sure to get used. Using MacCheck is as easy as clicking on a Start button.
Once you click the Start button MacCheck walks through a variety of tests; eight in total, and while there are eight, the average Mac user isn’t likely to have a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) setup, but if you do, it gets checked, tool.
I/O Check – this test checks your Mac’s system for what are called input and output (I/O) errors which could indicate a problem with the disk or SSD.
The Self Test – this is the infamous POST test; the Power-On Self-Test that runs through a variety of built-in tests on each Mac when it starts up.
Memory Test – other than fans, sensors, and hard disks, the most trouble I’ve had on my Macs comes from RAM. If there’s a problem in RAM, there’s a problem using your Mac.
Battery Test – obviously only for Mac notebook users, but that represents about 70-percent of all Macs sold these days. You get a look at the battery cycles and a condition rating.
SMART Test – this is the so-called Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology built into most disk drives these days. It’s not a perfect science, but it does find errors.
Partition Map – think of this as the Mac’s map for where it stores data. Errors here cause errors elsewhere.
Volume Structure – likewise, this tells the disk drive where to put data and if those structures are lost or damaged then data can disappear. Other tools are available to fix these issues, including OS X’s own Disk Utility.
Do you need all these little tests? For most of us, the answer is a qualified ‘no.’ But the tests won’t hurt, and if conducted regularly– once a week is good, and Calendar can be setup to launch MacCheck (though a built-in scheduler would be handy) whenever you want– might find a problem that can prevent data loss.
Why is it free? Think of it as the Lite-Mini version of Techtool Pro which is a robust suite of tools that dig deeper and do more, but for a price.