Two steps forward, one step back. Often in computing it’s a way of life.
There are a lot of new features in El Capitan and its related hardware. If you want to learn about them you can find hordes of information in them Interwebz. But if you are thinking something might be amiss, you’ll have difficulty slogging through the praises to locate the deficiencies.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple and Macs. Well, I dislike them only as much as I dislike all computers and operating systems. Same thing. It’s just that Mac fans, greater than any other group of technology adherents, have the awesomest rose-colored glasses.
If you gander at this article on the latest version of Disk Utility, you will find much praise.
It made sense that repairing permissions on files for which OS X knew precisely what settings should be in place could fix random faults…. Even so, from all reports, permissions repairs had little real effect for years—it just made us feel better.
So here at work we support more than 200 Macs. I can assure you that at least some of the time Repair Permissions does actually fix permissions and thus fix issues facing real users. Yes, that gives me all the feels; but it does that by actually fixing problems. It is not praiseworthy to remove such functionality.
Have the new security measures introduced in El Capitan removed the need for future permissions repairs? This remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it was doing good work. Whether that work is now unnecessary is yet an open question.
What about Disk Repair?
Select a drive or a partition and click First Aid, and a seemingly much-changed repair operation proceeds.
It doesn’t just seem different. It works differently and in at least one scenario fails utterly to repair the disk (presumably the partition table).
I used dd to copy a drive from an ssd to a thumb-drive of smaller capacity. After dd finished it’s copy operation I checked the drive in GParted which reported no partitions. This was likely due to the partition table including a partition-end beyond the end of the drive. This is expected. Just need to repair the partition table. The drive booted as expected; all the data was good.
I attached that drive to an El Capitan machine and discovered the new Disk Utility. Being that all the usual repair options were missing I ran First Aid. That completed successfully. Nothing was changed: GParted still reported no partitions.
I then attached the drive to a Yosemite machine and ran the old Disk Repair. This also completed successfully. The difference of course is that when I checked again using GParted the partitions were listed correctly.
In short, the Disk Utility on Yosemite was able to make the necessary repairs while the new Disk Utility on El Capitan was not.
I don’t know that the new Disk Utility will be of any use to IT professionals. I recommend you keep a bootable Yosemite around in case you have need for these useful tools.