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Scannerz for Mac OS X

What is Scannerz for Mac OS X?
Scannerz for Mac OS X is a set of tools designed to help you identify and solve hardware and software problems on your system. The package consists of Scannerz, Performance Probe, FSE or FSE-Lite, and Phoenix. We also have a basic package named Scannerz Lite which is a simplified version of Scannerz and will be described later. Quick overview of Scannerz itself>>

Scannerz Icon

Scannerz itself was designed from the ground up to find problems with hard drives, SSDs, logic boards, and supporting components that other software testing tools on the market can't even detect. Many people think Scannerz is just another hard drive testing tool, but it's much more. Read on to learn more about its features.

Test hard drives and SSDs.
Scannerz is capable of detecting a host of problems on hard drives and SSDs that other products aren't capable of detecting.  Not only can it find bad blocks and sectors, it can also find weak sectors on hard drives that can be every bit as problematic as bad sectors. Scannerz is the only tool commercially available on the market with this feature.

Tests the system while performing drive and SSD tests.
During a normal drive test, Scannerz will monitor other activity on the system and flag potential problems for further testing if it finds problems. These can be evaluated using Scannerz Diagnostics Mode described below. This type of testing can also help identify problems that are thermal in nature because the system will be reasonably thermally loaded during these tests. This process helps identify not only drive problems but cable problems, connector problems, and logic board problems.

Use Diagnostics Mode to test harder to isolate problems.

Scannerz has an easy to use, user configurable Diagnostics Mode that can be used to help identify the source of problems that are difficult to identify. A user can test the logic board, system bus, RAM, interface paths between the logic board and any internal or external drives, as well as confirm the existence of bad and weak sectors or blocks on  hard drives and SSDs. This mode can even detect system and drive timeouts that often indicate   problems that are difficult to isolate.

Use historical analysis to identify developing problems.
Drives and SSDs tested using Scannerz will record historical data and at the end of the tests compare the results with initial test results. Significant deviations, which are often indicators of developing problems will be flagged and identified.

Start, stop, and resume tests when you want to.
If you've ever run a scan on a hard drive, you know how time consuming it can be. Other tools on the market require you to complete a scan in one sitting. For very large drives, such as backup drives, the time required may be horrendous. With Scannerz you can break up your test session and test the drive when you want to. Scannerz will save existing test data prior to  being stopped and then restart it right where it left off at another time. No need to lock your system up for hours on end any more.

Troubleshoot your system with Cursory Mode.

Scannerz has a Cursory Mode that will allow you to configure specific tests. This can be great for testing an old drive to see if it even works, test a drive  over a specific region to see it has problems, and run it during actual system troubleshooting.

Shut down or put your system to sleep at the end of a long test.
Some of our users have large drives that they wanted to test over night and then shut down the system afterwards. We thought this was a good idea, so we implemented it. If you have a large drive you want to test overnight, Scannerz can now be configured to either shut the system to sleep or shut it down when the test ends, so you don't need to worry about it being on all night long.

Phoenix IconPhoenix is a tool for performing volume cloning, creating emergency boot volumes from an existing system, re-installing an operating system without the need for media or a network connection, and optionally attempting to recover damaged files from a failing drive. The following sections highlight some of its features.

Do basic, non binary cloning.
If you've ever used Disk Utility to clone a drive you might have run into problems if the target drive isn't as big or bigger than the original drive or the drive has bad sectors. In both cases, Disk Utility won't work. Phoenix does a file system level clone of a drive, which means it copies the files one by one, and if a bad file is encountered you can either try to recover it or just skip over it. Failed files will be logged in a log file so you'll know which files couldn't be copied. Additionally, a file system clone will create a completely defragmented volume on the newly cloned volume if it's been freshly formatted before cloning.

Attempt to recover bad files from a failing hard drive.

Phoenix can optionally attempt to recover bad files from a failed or failing hard drive. This option is user configurable and can be used either during the creation of a Phoenix Boot Volume (emergency drive) or during the cloning operation. Bad files are both logged and displayed on the user interface to the user during this process, so you'll know exactly what files have problems.

Create an emergency boot volume called a Phoenix Boot Volume.
Phoenix can extract the core operating system from your existing drive and use it to create an emergency boot volume, called a Phoenix Boot Volume. The boot volume may be put on a USB stick or another drive or volume. This can be used to host testing tools such as Scannerz or boot your system from it in the event there's been some type of emergency.

Re-install the OS using a Phoenix Boot Volume
A Phoenix Boot Volume created using Phoenix can be used to create a fresh install of the operating system using its own image. There is no need to go through lengthy downloads or re-installs, especially if your current boot drive isn't working right.

If you would like to learn a bit more about Phoenix, visit our Phoenix web page. Learn more>>

Performance Probe IconNot all problems that act like drive or system problems are caused by hardware. For this reason, we've included  Performance Probe in the Scannerz package. Performance Probe is similar to Activity Monitor but it's much lighter in weight, less obtrusive, and makes it easy to find out what applications are bottle necking your system.

Performance Probe uses a small, unobtrusive interface.
The basic user interface for Performance Probe is small, and uses active icons to display system activity. The basic interface uses a pie chart for memory and disk space, as well as performance monitor bars to indicate CPU loading, I/O loading, and memory loading. This makes it easy to find out when your system is being "hit" by an overactive or over resource-intensive application.

Return of the pie chart!
If you remember the good 'ol days of Activity Monitor, it was pretty easy to tell how much memory and disk space was used because pie charts told the story. Newer versions of Activity Monitor can confuse users because they refer to memory pressure graphs and require you to go through tables of Activity Monitor data to help isolate memory hogs. With Performance Probe, the pie chart is back! For example, if you're using Safari and the pie chart suddenly goes all red (all memory in use), you'll probably have a pretty good idea who the culprit is. If Safari is to blame, terminate it and the pie chart will drop down to a more reasonable level.

Get more details with the heads up display.
Performance Probe uses a heads up display (semi translucent pop up window) that can display instantaneous CPU use, memory use, enable process load averaging, graph overall disk I/O, and graph overall network I/O. The heads up display can be brought up and easily hidden, and made to re-appear by simply clicking on the much smaller Performance Probe interface.

Find that CPU hog with load averaging
Activity Monitor doesn't use load averaging, which makes it difficult to track which application is hogging the CPU because so many smaller processes "burst" to the top. The heads up display used by  Performance Probe has an option to perform CPU based load averaging which helps stabilize the list of CPU intensive applications with the worst offender rising to the top. No more guess work!

If you would like to learn more about Performance Probe, visit our Performance Probe web page. Learn more>>

FSE IconFSE or FSE-Lite is included in the Scannerz package to help identify a host of problems that are often very, very obscure to isolate. Is a specific process making too many modifications to the file system? Is it malware or adware? Is it an intruder or hacker? FSE and FSE-Lite can help identify these problems.

Find what applications are excessively modifying the file system.
An application that makes excessive modifications to the file system can bring your system to a crawl. Notable examples can be a backup going on that you're not aware of, heavy writes from the Spotlight/Time machine indexing process named "mds,", or Icon Services Agent creating/updating icon files. Other applications, such as databases or even some web sites can cause this type of problem. FSE and FSE-Lite can help isolate them.

Track adware/malware installation.
Some software, especially some free demos, will install adware or malware on your system. The trick used is to often disguise the files using an "official" looking name buried somewhere in the filesystem. When the processes responsible for starting it decide to activate it, suddenly that "official" looking file gets unzipped and unarchived, and voila, you have an active adware or malware session alive on your system. If FSE or FSE-Lite are activated with logging on, you can often identify these culprits being installed or even activated on your system. The log file will tell the story!

Catch intruders
Is an intruder on your system? Is he modifying your system? Is he changing/modifying password or security files, perhaps to make himself the "king" of your system. File system writes and modifications will tell the story, and FSE and FSE-Lite can help catch him.

FSE and FSE-Lite should be considered advanced level applications. See the FSE page on our website and download the product profile for the application.  Learn more>>

Ready to learn more?

Click HERE to see a tutorial on Scannerz basic operation.   Click HERE to learn more about Scannerz advanced testing capabilities. To see some screenshots of Scannerz in use, click on the camera icon below.

Link to
              Scannerz Screenshots page

Scannerz Lite
We also offer a less expensive version of Scannerz for Mac OS X named Scannerz Lite for Mac OS X. Scannerz Lite does not have any of the supplemental tools previously identified and is intended to be used by people that simply want to find out if there's something wrong with their system and turn it over to a professional for evaluation if problems exist. Scannerz Lite will evaluate a system and give a simple PASS/FAIL status on the system at the end of tests.

The following table illustrates the differences between Scannerz and Scannerz Lite, as well as how they compare to other products on the market. A brief write up underneath the table spells out the differences.

Scannerz vs.
          Scannerz Lite

Both Scannerz and Scannerz Lite can detect not only errors, but timing irregularities. Irregularities often occur when a drive or a subsystem component is in the process of developing problems. Scannerz and Scannerz Lite are the only commercially available tools on the market with this type of detection capability.
The fully featured release of Scannerz performs drive profiling, which can help the user clearly identify and head off problems related to a drive before they become serious by monitoring the historical performance of the drive and generating reports at the end of each test to indicate the current status of the drive. It also has three test modes named  Normal Mode, Diagnostics Mode, and Cursory Mode. Typically, you click on a few buttons to set up a test in Normal Mode, and if Scannerz finds problems or possible developing problems, it quickly evaluates them using Diagnostics Mode. A Diagnostics Mode test is fully configurable allowing the user automatically re-evaluate and thoroughly analyze problems. Both Diagnostics and Cursory mode tests can be manually configured by the user to run customized tests and perform advanced troubleshooting if needed.
Scannerz Lite, on the other hand, is a fairly simple and straightforward tool. It does a test over an entire drive or volume, and when complete it simply informs the user what the status is. There is no option to perform diagnostics or limited scans over suspected problematic regions, there is no logging window, and there is none of the drive profiling and analysis available with the fully featured version of Scannerz. Scannerz Lite provides a quick, easy, and low cost solution for someone that simply wants to ensure their system and drive are operating properly.

System Requirements Mac Universal Binary
            Icon Scannerz and Scannerz-Lite can be run on normally configured systems using Mac OS X versions 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), and 10.10 (Yosemite) using supported Intel or PowerPC processors using drives with SATA, IDE, FireWire, most Thunderbolt, and USB 2.0 (or greater) drive interfaces.  Both Scannerz and Scannerz-Lite are fully capable of handling Core Storage components, including  full volume encryption using File Vault 2 under Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks, and Yosemite, multi-drive/volume virtual volumes using Core Storage, support for Apple RAID, support for most implementations of hardware RAID, and limited support for third party software RAID implementations.
Scannerz and Scannerz-Lite will not support any of the following types of devices:

  1. USB 1.0 or 1.1 devices, because the devices are so slow.
  2. Network drives, because they're too susceptible to network and connection problems
  3. Drives connected via Xsan or SAN, because so few of them are in use on normal systems.
  4. Optical drives of any type, because optical media itself tends to be the problem, not the drive.
  5. Very old hard drives using MFM and many SCSI interfaces, because they're rarely used anymore.

None of these devices should stop Scannerz or Scannerz Lite from operating properly, we've simply decided not to support them.

Purchasing Scannerz
To purchase one of the  Scannerz packages, click on the Buy Scannerz Now button below.

   $21.95 For Scannerz Lite

   $39.95 For Scannerz with FSE-Lite, Performance Probe, and Phoenix

   $49.95 For a Scannerz with FSE, Performance Probe,  and Phoenix

Buy Scannerz Now

Mac Universal Binary Icon

Scannerz, Scannerz Lite, FSE, FSE-Lite, Performance Probe 2, Phoenix, SpotOff, and Spot-O-Meter are Mac OS X universal binaries and support both Intel and PowerPC G4 and G5 based systems using Mac OS X versions 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), and 10.10 (Yosemite). PowerPC based systems must use Mac OS X 10.5

Supported Intel based systems include all variants of the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac Mini. Supported PowerPC based systems must be running MacOS 10.5 (Leopard) and include the iBook, Power Mac, eMac, iMac, Mac Mini, and PowerBook G4 Series.