A cure for crashes - Defrag.

Mac Technical Support

My Mac client was crashing after between 5 to 10 minutes. All other fixes failed. I defragged the drive. Problem solved.


I'm using an i7 MBP with Mac OS 10.6.8. WoW is installed in a partition on the MBPs hard drive.

Since 5.0.5, my Mac client would crash or lock up and require a force quit, repeatedly. When this type of thing has happened before, I was able to solve it using the procedures advised in this forum, but not this time.

Specifically, the application would hang sometimes while a toon was just standing still in a capital city, in a quiet area with no other toons in it, or it would lock up while moving, or it would lock up while riding a taxi (often when crossing a zone boundary). It would hang more quickly when moving than when standing still. I never tested it in combat, either PvE or PvP, because I don't take toons into situations like that when my client is unreliable.

Good troubleshooting policy says that only one change should be made at a time, so you can identify *which* change fixed the problem (and if a change makes things worse, you know which one to undo…), so I did each of these individually:

  • The most common fix for me is to delete Config.wtf. This had no effect, besides causing me to re-enter all my settings (including the manually edited two fps settings of "60"), and re-sign the ToS agreements.
  • Next I deleted "World of Warcraft/Cache. This has also worked before. No effect.
  • Then I deleted "World of Warcraft/Data/Cache. I've never had to do this before. No effect.
  • At this point I turned off all of my addons on one toon. (I know this is often a first step, but for me, no addon has ever caused a crash or lock up. Performance issues, log in stalls, and weird UI behavior, yes, crashes, no.) After shutting them off, the toon seemed to work for a while, so I began turning them on one at a time. Relatively quickly lock ups began happening (with Auctioneer, but right after log in, *not* when at the AH) so I updated to the apparently offending addon's alpha release, and the lock ups continued. I shut off all addons again, yet the lock ups continued. So it wasn't Auctioneer or any other add-on, or at least not *solely* an addon.
  • Nearing the nuclear option, reinstall, I decided to make sure the drive itself was ok. (For general drive maintenance, I use Drive Genius, for directory maintenance and repair, Drive Warrior.) The drive was fine, but when I checked fragmentation, it was around 50 percent. Since the only files that get "finagled" in that partition are WoW files, most likely all the non-contiguous files were WoW files. I backed up all the valuable stuff on that partition, and then ran the defragger utility in Drive Genius.

Problem solved by Defrag!

Since the Defrag I have not had a single crash or hang. I did a bunch of administrative stuff on several toons, never logging out, and then I continued leveling this toon, over the weekend, without a hitch.

So, a step to resolve crashes and hangs with your Mac client, before you reinstall:


I'll be using this as a maintenance step in the future, after a few patches have gone by. Had I done this after upgrading to MoP, this problem probably wouldn't have happened.
strange. hard to imagine a defrag of files was the solution but rathor the apps probably rebuilding and reoptimizing of catalog b-tree which may have been in shambles too (also often done by defrag utilities).
apps probably rebuilding and reoptimizing of catalog b-tree

As I stated, I use Disk Warrior to handle directory issues. This maintenance had been done previously, and the app had no problem.

This was not a directory problem, it was a fragmentation problem.
11/26/2012 01:19 PMPosted by Plutarch
This was not a directory problem, it was a fragmentation problem.

oh i understood what you said. But fragmentation can exist in more than one location. not just files but in the directory structure itself. I said it was likely that the defrag utility fixed a fragmentation problem IN the directory structure (ie catalog b tree) that the actual disk utility doesn't actually check for. possibly a damaged hotzone which is something OS X started doing i think in 10.6? If a bad 3rd party utility a whlie back damaged the hotzone, it could have been a mess until you ran a DEFRAG utility that rebuilt it properly such as iDefrag. If that makes sense?
I'll send this feedback to the team for review. Thanks!
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This did not work for me. Still having the same issue and cannot play.
I just realized that I discussed the two drive utilities that I use on my Macs in a rather confusing way in the post above.

To be clear Disk Warrior is basically a directory tool. It does a few other things, but it is a superior utility for recovering from a corrupted directory or partition table on a hard drive. It does not include a defragger.

Drive Genius is a full featured, flashy drive utility. It does a bunch of things, including defragging.

Critical Note: ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR DRIVE before you defrag. Always.

Note: I have no affiliation with either of the companies that make these two utilities. There are other utilities that have these functions. These happen to be the two that I've used.

For a more elaborate explanation of this, review this post in another thread:

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