Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Cloning Mac drive - The best way to preserve data

Hard drive failure is a very common problem among computer users whether they are using Mac or Windows. This failure can cause issues like a permanent loss of data in your drive. In hard disk , physical crash or logical failures are uncertain and inevitable. There could be many reasons behind this. If a user doesn't have any backup of data, then the problem becomes really serious. In order to avoid such problems and to restore your precious data back , keeping backup is the best way to preserve data. Here we will discuss , significance of backup and the methods to create it.

How to keep backup?

“Backup is the process of making copies of data which may be used to restore the original one after losing it.”
You can create backup either in the form of image or clone. The major difference between these is , clone is bootable whereas image is a compressed form of data.

You can keep backup either by using disk utility or third party tool. Disk utility is an inbuilt feature of Mac which helps to take exact snapshot of your present hard drive. You can not create clone with the help of Disk utility. Here are the steps to create image of Mac drive with this utility.

1. Go to Applications, then Utilities and double-click on Disk Utility

2. Close any other open applications, and then select your Mac’s internal hard drive from the left-hand pane of Disk Utility.

3. Click on File in the toolbar, then select New then Disk Image from [your hard drive].

4. Name your Mac backup and then select your external drive as the destination from drop-down menu.

5. You can change the settings of image and make it read only, compressed, read/write or encryption settings also.
But, for general use we would recommend leaving them as the default setting of “compressed” image format and no encryption.

6. Click Save to start the process of creating the disk image on your external hard drive. This process will take some time, Disk Utility will notify you when the process is finished.

You can save disk image by keeping data in the form of 'Image'. Another useful aspect of disk images is that you can password-protect them and encrypt them to prevent an unauthorized authentication.

Cloning & imaging Mac drive with third party tool:-

Cloning is also a good method to create backup. You can easily reboot and restore your Mac system from clone created with Stellar Drive Clone. The coming version of this software is 2.0.

Features of this software:-

1. Create exact replica of your Mac Disk to another drive
2. Mac user can resize volumes at destination drive at the time of cloning.
3. An easy tool to create clone of selected volume to another volume, folder, or a network drive.
4. Supports cloning recovery HD at Mac OS X Lion
5. New version is now capable to support MBR partition.
6. It supports NTFS file system and Ex- FAT.

Below added image show the options of this software:-

Add caption

You can restore data from cloned or image file back. Cloning is considered as the reliable and affordable option to backup Mac OS and data and stay unaffected in data loss situation.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Preparations before using Time Machine

Time Machine is a popular and interesting data backup utility. It was introduced with Mac version OS X 10.5. The software allows you to restore entire backup or selected volumes as in the form of incremental backup.

Time Capsule is an advanced backup device which works wirelessly with Time Machine in OS X. Before doing this need to focus on some points related to partition of backup disk because one of my friends bought an external drive, reformatted it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and started with Time Machine. But, after couple of weeks he found an error message “failed backup attempts” even sometimes it was horrible to find backup disk. We both started looking for reason of this phenomenon and found something interesting :-

Time Machine does not work well with the Master Boot Record partition map scheme that Windows-formatted disks use. It can work properly either GUID Partition Table or Apple Partition Map.

MBR is supported by all non Mac OS. GUID used by Apple currently in their Intel Macs. Mac version 10.4 or above can read a GPT(GUID) disk. Apple Partition Map is used by Apple before switching to Intel Mac.Intel Macs can boot from and read APM disks.

To change the partition map scheme you need to erase the disk and there might be a chance of data loss . So, before starting this process, you need to keep backup to some another place. You can keep your backup with the help of one of the best third party tool i.e Stellar Drive Clone. It can keep your backup either in the form of clone or image.

Take care of these steps before using a disk with Time Machine:-

1. Click Application-utilities
2. Open disk utility
3. Select new hard disk
4. Click to Partition Tab
5. Choose the number of volumes (normally one) from the Volume Scheme drop down
6. Click on the Options button
7. Choose GUID Partition Table or Apple Partition Map based on whether your Mac is Intel-based or Power PC-based.
8. Click Apply

Now, your preparation completed , Time Machine will fully support this drive as a backup device.
When you buy a new hard drive that will use the unsupported MBR but, Time Machine didn't tell you that can't fully support to new disk. So, it is one of the major limitation of Time Machine.

Monday, 23 July 2012

How to erase Mac hard drive | Steps to Wipe Mac Drive

Mac OS X is a multi-user operating system, which allows you to create different account for different users. You can store all your private and personal data to this account, which is not accessible by other users. Sometimes when users format/erase their important data from Hard Drive for safety and they think no one can recover it. But, it is not true, all data is still present in Mac hard drive and can be recovered by any data recovery software. So, It is important to erase data from Mac drive to insure security of your data. There are two methods to erase data from Mac beyond recovery.
  1. By using Disk Utility
  2. Third Party tool
Steps to wipe Mac hard drive with the help of Disk Utility:-

It is an inbuilt feature of Mac. If you want to keep some of your files, copy it to another place before formatting.

1. Click on Open disk utility option.

2. Select drive which you want to wipe from Disk Utility window.

3. From right side of disk utility windows, click on Erase tab.

4. Select Mac OS Extended from Volume formated drop-down menu.

5. Give name to the drive which represent drive after wiping, in the Name field.

Now you will see these 4 security options:-

  1. Don't Erase Data- This will only erase information of files which is used to access files. Data can be recovered in this option.
  2. Zero Out Data- This will overwrite data with Zero. Tough to recover data from here. It may be time consuming. process.
  3. 7-Pass Erase- This process used in government organizations to wipe data. In this process hard drive data is overwrite seven times with garbage values. It is a time consuming process may takes hours to complete.
  4. 35-Pass Erase- Use this option when your data is very confidential. It is impossible to recover data after data get wiped. It is very lengthy process may take more then a day.
6. Choose any option which you want. By default, option is Zero Out Data.
7. Click to erase.
You can erase data from your Mac drive easily by Disk utility.

Wipe data by using third party tool:-

Mac wipe

Mac wipe utility of Stellar drive toolbox helps to erase data from Mac hard drive beyond recovery. Features of this software allows you to wipe files, folders, Internet activity, system traces, instant messaging, recent file histories etc.
Key Features:-
1.Wipes any particular file from the Mac drive
2. You can schedule wiping task.
3. Allows to wipe unused spce to increase efficiency.
4. Options to either File wipe of Drive wipe.
This software can wipe data beyond recovery. It helps to unauthorised access of your precious data.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Methods of cloning in Mac OS X

Backups are used to protect your data files in the event of system crash, hard drive failure, software malfunction etc. in Mac. Mac users can keep backup in the form of image or clone of entire Mac drive or any single volume. “Cloning means creating identical copy of a hard drive”. An exact replica of your boot drive containing both OS and other applications. In backup image data is stored in compressed form and it is not bootable.

Methods of cloning:- There are two methods of cloning , file-level cloning and block-level cloning

File-level cloning - In file level cloning data are moved on a file-by-file basis, regardless of where the data for the file is physically located on the drive. This means a new drive's data structure is build by reading the logical filesystem on the source drive. In destination drive cloned data remains with exact attributes (permissions, ownership, and so on) as the source ones.

Mac OS X Lion

Block-level cloning:- Block-level cloning copies data by ignoring an interpretation of the logical file system structure and copying the drive's internal block-level organization. As long as the blocks are copied in the same order and with the same data, then the cloned drive should be identified as having the same partition scheme, format, and data as the original one.

Difference between these two methods:-

File level cloning is useful because it keeps data with synchronize way with the original one. If you want to update your clone you can do so without copying all the files in new drive again.

File level cloning is used as defragmented drive because it keeps logically related files together in contiguous group of blocks.

Block-level clones are also beneficial because they copy not only recognized files, but also deleted, corrupted, or otherwise lost from the file system. So, you can restore deleted files from clone.

In terms of speed block level process is fast cloning process in compression to file level. This is because file access requires to read the file system directory, process the location of the file, access the file, and then read it.

Third-party backup programs:- Stellar Drive Clone is one of the best backup utility among all available backup tools. It has three options, Cloning, Imaging and Restore. It supports both file level and block level cloning.

Restore backup in Stellar Drive Clone

1.You can create exact copy of your boot drive or any selected volume.
2.It has advanced option to resize volume of destination drive.
3.Provides a facility to clone your volume to another volume, folder or network drive.
4.It helps to create backup image of any selected volume of entire Mac hard drive.
5. It helps to restore any particular file or folder present in cloned volume.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Tips to get rid of slow Mac

A common problem with Mac is that over a period of time, it begins to take a long time to boot up. It's a vicious cycle. You buy a new Mac and use it until it gets too slow to use, then you go out and buy a new one. In below post, you will know why your Mac is running slow and what you can do to rectify the situation. Let’s start by looking at the usual reasons why a Mac may become sluggish over time.

There are many reasons of sluggish performance of Mac e.g hardware incompatibility, network problems and more , read below:-
1. Hardware incompatibility - When Mac OS does not fully support hardware in system, it becomes the reason of slow Mac performance.
2. Unused application - You should check how many unused applications installed in your hard drive. Running too many applications simultaneously will cause slow Mac performance because there isn't enough available RAM for it.

3. System Preferences - Tools like Bluetooth, Universal Access, Internet Sharing, and Speech Recognition are very seldom used, but they usually run all the time and eat up valuable RAM in the process.

4. Outdated Software - Your Mac could also be running slow because of outdated software. These applications usually take up too much space and need to be regularly upgraded in order to maintain your Mac speed.

5. Unused Languages and duplicate files – There might be lot of caches, duplicate files, widgets ,binaries, language files present in your Mac and become main cause of slowing down Mac.

Now, you have to think , why your Mac is getting slower with the passage of time. But, you can improve the performance of your Mac by following some tips.
Stellar SpeedUp Mac is one of the best Mac optimization tool. It has a quick scan feature that locates all unused files and applications, binaries, language packs, and caches. 

Stellar SpeedUp Mac

After completing a thorough scan, you can remove all these computer junks from your Mac by simply clicking on a single button. Your Mac will be up and running at full speed once again. This software has lot of exciting Mac cleanup features -

SpeedUp Now -You can remove all unwanted Caches, System Junks, Universal Binaries, Trashes, Leftovers, Duplicate Files, Language Files, Logs, etc. from your Mac easily.

Clean My Mac – You can clean any selected Mac volume by using this option.

Uninstaller – You can uninstall all unused applications, widgets, plugins from your Mac.

Millions of perfectly good computers are replaced every year just because slow performance of Mac. Mac users can keep Mac performance in tip top shape by following above discussed processes.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Optimizing Mac to Boost Mac Speed

Is your Mac slow at startup? Or at shutdown?

Apart from security and flexibility for users , another important issue to consider in Mac is it's speed. Every Mac user whether he is a home user or a professional, praises the features of Mac OS X. The Mac users, who work on graphics or multimedia files need a faster system. With the passage of time , like any other OS , Mac also starts slugging down. There could be many reasons of this issue but lack of space on drive , too many startup items , low memory etc. Are the important ones.
To get rid of above situation from Mac, you need Mac optimization tool to increase the performance of the Mac.
Steps to enhance your Mac performance:-
  1. Remove unnecessary startup items:- Some applications automatically set themselves as a "startup item", which causes slow Mac performance. Less startup item helps system to boot fastly.
  2. You should clear binary clutter, unused languages, old log files, duplicate files.
  3. Defrag your Mac - Over a period of time, the data on your hard drive becomes scattered and unorganized. Unwanted spaces are created So, due to this process data on your hard drive is divided into chunks called fragments. It affects your system performance. Defragmentation is the process of keeping data together in contigous memory location and it helps to boost your Mac performance.
    New Mac file system i.e HFS+ has an ability to minimize fragmentation of up to 20 MB file size. To defrag more than 20 MB file size you can use third party tool. Stellar Defrag Drive is nice tool for defragmentation of your Mac. The software provides a number of options (Defrag Metadata, Quick Defrag, Full Defrag and Optimize) to defrag Mac drives.
Features of this defragmentation tools:-
Quick Defrag:- You can defragment everything present on the Mac drive within short period of time. 
Full Defrag:- This feature performs full defragmentation of your Mac hard drive. 
Optimizes Free Space:- The utility searches for all scattered portions of free space on your Mac hard drive and then effectively organize them.
Metadata Defragmentation:- You can smoothly defrag all metadata files in your system like catalog, allocation, attribute files. 
Bootable DVD:- You can easily defragment the boot volume of your system by creating bootable DVD.

5. Speedup Your Mac – To get free space in Mac , it is necessary to clean unwanted applications, Caches, Logs, System junks, etc. Either you can remove these files manually or by using a third party software. Stellar SpeedUp Mac is a cleanup software which helps to remove duplicate files ,junks files ,caches log files to optimize system performance.
Features of this cleanup software -

SpeedUp Now:- You can remove all rubbish things from your Mac by this option. 
Clean My Mac:- This option provides facility to clean particular or selected volume. 
Uninstaller:- Unused applications, unnecessary widgets, and plugins can be uninstalled by this option.

Above mention tips are very usful to improve and boost your Mac performance. Follow it and get result soon.