Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Mac backup options | Backup plan

Is it necessary to keep Mac backup regularly?

Backups are very important, no doubt it helps to save your precious data in case of any disaster like system crashes, fire, power failure, hard disk failure. Many people do not regularly back up their data. While some believe it’s a complicated process, and others because of their blind faith in the robustness of Mac hard drives. But it is not hard process that Apple’s made to keep backup easy to do with the Time Machine technology that's built into Leopard and greater version.

Methods of backup:-
  1. Online backup
  2. Offline backup
  3. Third party tool
Online backup is the method of keeping data on remote server. Drop Box, Black blaze are the famous online data backup solution for Mac users. With the help of Drop Box you can store your data at remote server via internet. You can store data up to 2 GB absolutely free but, after that you'll have to pay as per the plan. The users can access and modify the remotely stored data from anywhere and at any time.

When you keep backup in external hard drive it is called an offline backup solution. Time Machine also comes in offline backup. You store your data via Time Machine in Time capsule which is connected over local network. It is a good backup method and keeps incremental backup. But you can not create bootable backup via this tool.

There are several third party backup tools available but , Stellar Drive Clone is the famous among all them. It has lots of advance applications like ability to create clone, image, bootable backup etc. You can create either clone of entire Mac or particular volume which is useful to recover data in future. Imaging is also one of the good methods of keeping backup because data remains in compressed form which occupies less hard drive space. Mac user can resize target volume at the time of cloning. It allows you to create a Boot DVD of the software to clone the Boot volume of your Mac.

The Drive Clone utility automatically excludes all the bad or unreadable sectors from the drive and you do not need to do anything in this regard. For more details :- http://www.stellarclonedrive.com/

What to backup – Plan to backup
 Keeping backup is thinking about what you backup. You will, for example, wish to make multiple backups of personal and immovable data and keep an off-site (like CD, DVD) backup. The rest can be backed up to the Time Machine drive attached to your Mac. Now that you have to decide, which data is the most precious to you .

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Improve Mac Performance | How to Increase Mac speed

How can I improve my Mac performance. Tips to speed up Mac running slow – are some very common searched queries after the release of Mountain Lion. Actually its a common problem which gets started after a long usage of Mac machine. It doesn't matter how much you care about it, eventually it lays down and starts performing sluggishly. Here we are discussing the facts and causes behind this slow behavior. To overcome the issue, you must know the remedial steps required to fix it and learn how to maintain Mac performance once it is running properly.


What is the reason of Slow Mac?

What is the reason behind slowing down your Mac and why does it run more slowly than it did the day you purchased it? Everything you save (files, photos, videos, music, and applications) on your drive is read, searched, opened, play, edited, and run by your OS. If you have anything unnecessary, that's junk, and its accumulation may cause your computer to have to work overtime to perform even simple tasks.
There may be a possibility that there are some junk items in your Mac that you're not aware of. You may have some old installation files, programs which you don't use any longer, too many fonts that look the same. Another cause which cannot be completely neglected is disk fragmentation. So, its good to state that it's time to upgrade those old applications.
Here we are discussing very effective steps which can enhance performance considerably.


1. Throw Away unnecessary Data You don't Need and Defragment Your Mac Drive

Creating free space on hard drive by deleting unnecessary files and programs, folders, fonts, and applications is always a good idea.Your hard drive stores data on circular disk starting with the first free space and inward. When data is edited and saved repeatedly on drive , it creates little pockets of free space all over the hard disk. Thus, its clear to understand that when a large video file, cannot be saved in the first pocket of space it is divided into fragments and saved into various open areas on the hard drive. When the OS tries to read the file, it has to go to two, three, or more areas of the drive and piece the file together. This state of drive is called fragmentation. In this stage the OS to to make an extra effort to pull out fragments of a file.
So, it suggested to use a Mac defragmenting tool after deleting unnecessary items from your Mac drive. The tool like Stellar drive defrag, locates all the fragmented files on your hard disk and bring the related pieces together and thus enhancing performance. Mac defragmentation is suggested to be performed two to four times a year.


2. Remove Mac Applications which are causing problems

You need to recheck the list of application installed on your Mac and look for programs which you don't use any more. It may be a program that you installed with printers or programs for an old scanner or digital camera which you don't use now.
The users should also check for programs that have expired, beta programs installed for testing and programs you tried but didn't buy. For example, if you've installed the latest version of Photoshop, you might not need Photoshop Elements or similar programs.
Also, when you buy a new Mac machine it comes comes preinstalled with things you might not need. The list of such applications include iMovie, iTunes, iDVD, iPhoto, iCal etc..


3. Get Organized

It is always recommended to keep your things organized at your machine. This cab done in many ways. One of the best way is to create folders under Home folders and move existing files into a folder that details its contents. You should make a plan while deciding what folders to create, what to name, and where to store them. The idea is to consider what you use your Mac for and create folders that represent who you are and what you do.


4. Clean Up your Mac Desktop, Dock, and Finder Windows

Many of us overlook the task of tuning up Mac for greater productivity. It is necessary to mention here that keeping desktop clean would save useful resources for OS to run applications faster. Check if you have too many icons on the Dock? Reduce the number and keep only those which are important. If you use the same programs every day then its better to add them to the Dock or the Finder toolbar.
The above steps are tested and verified in various conditions and with various versions of Mac OS X.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Fix slow Mac by defragmentation

Usually after a few months of usages, a Mac loses its performance. You may face problems while opening, copying, moving or deleting files or installed applications. This uncommon behavior of Mac has been encountered by almost every Mac users and they get worried about their slow Mac. Fragmentation is one of the most prominent reasons for this. But, this problem can be fixed with the help of following tips:-

Defragmentation of a Mac or PC hard disk drive is the process that reduces file fragmentation by organizing the disks files into contiguous regions of memory. Mac hard disk performs faster read/write operations. The process of deletion makes a free space in between occupied memory chunks. Once the free space in the hard drive gets scattered, it becomes tough for the operating system to allocate the required size of memory to new files. And, this results in the breaking up of new files into multiple logical fragments before saving operations.

New File system of Mac i.e HFS+ has the ability to minimize fragmentation up to 20 MB file size. But when you work on heavy files, it scattered into several pieces and stored Mac hard drive. You can use any defragmentation tool to keep your Mac performance fast.
Stellar Drive Defrag is one of the best tool recommended by expert, which helps you to minimize fragmentation. It has several features which is not available in other tool:-
  • It helps to defragment Mac hard drives and volumes
  • It has advanced algorithms for Quick drive defragmentation
  • Defragments individual files as well as metadata.
  • Optimizes free hard disk space
  • You can create Bootable DVD for defragmenting Mac boot volume

With the help of this Mac defragmenting software, you can either perform full defragmentation of your drive or defrag individual files and metadata. One thing about defragging a disk– it can take hours and the disk drive can get warm. When the temperature reaches a certain level, this tool let you know about temperature by scale. When temp. will go more than 50 degree it will show red color on scale. After all that disk churning and file rearrangement, your Mac run faster.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

How to Backup before installing mountain Lion

Everybody is eager to install and use new version of Mac OS X, Mountain Lion, by Apple. Suppose, you are installing new Mac version and suddenly power goes off or the system crashes and you lose all your important data. How will you handle this situation? Every user should keep backup before doing any changes in his Mac because this drastic situation can happen anytime and anywhere.Without a backup, your data might be gone forever. Before you install Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store and begin the process of upgrading, make sure you back up your Mac.

Backup means “keeping another copy of data for future use”. Mac users can create backup by following methods:-
1.Time Machine
2.Using Third party tool

1.Time Machine – It is an Apple's inbuilt utility introduced with Leopard (OS X 10.5) in 2007. When you plug-in a Mac-formatted external drive to your Mac, it will ask you - if you want to use it as a backup with Time Machine. Time Machine creates incremental backups which is very useful to find deleted files.

By default, Time Machine save backups hourly but you can change it as per requirements on weekly or monthly. Rest space of Time Machine backup device can be used to save another data files. But, the problem is, Time machine can not make bootable backup or clone. And Time Machine doesn't enable you to back up over the internet , you can use it with local network.

2. Third Party tool – Stellar Drive Clone, Super Duper, CCC etc. are famous third party tool among Mac users. Bootable DVD can be made easily by using cloning tool of Stellar. It helps you to create either clone or image of Mac data. It is based on highly reliable techniques which ensures you for your data safty. You can create either clone of entire Mac or a particular volume. You can easily restore data in its original form using this clone.

These are the secure methods of keeping backup. Disk Utility also allows you to keep backup. But, backup with disk utility is not bootable ,it keep in the form of image. It is in compressed form and takes less space in drive. Following steps will help you to create backup via Disk Utility:-

1.Open Disk Utility (in Applications>Utilities).
2.Click the 'Restore' tab
3.Drag your main hard drive into the 'Source' white field.
4.Drag your external FireWire drive into the 'Destination' white field (make sure any other data on your FireWire drive is not the same name as anything on your main OSX drive)
5. Click 'Restore' and it will copy all data across to your FireWire drive
Keeping backup is a good option to reduce the chances of data loss. Every Mac user should keep Backup. You can enjoy every features or experiment on Mountain Lion , if you have kept backup already.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Basic Maintenance tips for Mac

Whenever you browse Mac forums ,you get a common issue or hot topic discussed by Mac users i.e with the passage of time their Mac starts acting flaky ,crashing ,unstable, freezing or generally misbehaving. Mac computers are based on advanced technology which makes it the most popular OS among all computer using communities.

If your Mac is running slow or things don’t seem to be working as they should, it means your Mac needs little bit of Maintenance work. Maintenance means - “The process of keeping something in good condition or the state of being maintained”. Here we discuss some tips - how to keep Mac in tip top shape?

1. Use Disk Utility regularly - Apple's Disk Utility can do the basic maintenance for you. It helps to repair permissions, and more importantly, verifying and repairing the hard drive.
It can be used to resolve disk related issues, checking S.M.A.R.T. status, repairing disk permissions, resizing disk space, add, delete, format Mac volumes etc.. If the structure of the disk’s file system is changed in some way, then your Mac might start ,misbehaving in such case disk utility can verify or repair disk permissions.
You can find it here /Applications/Utilities in your Mac.

2. Keep updated version of Mac software - You should periodically check the Mac App Store for updates of your apps and software because updated version has more advance features. It helps to general bug fixes, feature enhancements, and security fixes.

3. Clean off desktop and less startup item :- If you have lots of files on the desktop will actually slow down a Mac because each file and its icon preview consumes RAM and resources, and if you have less RAM , you’ll get sluggish Mac. Always keep less startup items to save RAM memory space.

4. Use any Cleaning utility:- When Mac drive becomes partially full, it starts slowing down. To remove unused data ,caches, logs, widgets, binaries, system junks, language files from your Mac, you need to use any third party tool e.g- Stellar SpeedUp Mac, CleanGenius, product of Mackeeper and more.

5. Keep Mac backup on regular basis:- Keeping your files backed up is just good practice, it helps you to recover your important data from any disaster.

Care and maintenance is very important for all things, especially for your Mac . It helps not only to improve your Mac performance but also for it's long life. A regular maintenance reduces chances drive failures and saves you from expensive repairs.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Create partitions to install Mountain Lion

New release of Mac OS X i.e Mountain Lion can be installed directly from Apple Store. If you have updated version of snow leopard or Lion , either you can update it into Mountain Lion or clean installation is also possible. A "clean" install means that you start fresh, by erasing all of the data on the target drive. Since, 8 GB of free hard drive space is needed for the new OS installation, in such case it needs to resize existing partition or format. Apple has provided an inbuilt tool for this task called Disk Utility which helps you to perform disk related tasks or resolve issues of Mac disk.

You can squeeze Mountain Lion onto a smaller drive, but there won't be much space left for user data and applications. I recommend a minimum volume size of at least 60 GB, which will provide sufficient space for the OS, user data, apps, and some free space. I have installed Mountain Lion on a 320 GB volume, which is about right for the type of work I do. Resizing of Mac volume with Disk Utility is little bit tough so, experts recommend third party partitioning tool for this purpose.

In case of Mountain Lion installation, this partition management tool helps you to easily increase or decrease boot volume as per requirements. And for clean installation then existing disk can be formated and free space optimized automatically by this tool. But, it is suggested to keep backup data before formatting Mac disk.

Features of Stellar Partition Manager:-
  • Creates new partitions on your Mac hard drive
  • Formats and Resizes Mac drive
  • Hides and Reveals any Mac partition
  • Deletes Mac volumes, even in case of severe corruption
  • Creates Bootable DVD to manage the boot volume
  • Adds multiple operations in Task-to-do list and performs them as a single step
When partitions are created , you can download Mountain Lion from Mac store and run it on your system.

Monday, 13 August 2012

How to resize Mac partition

It is a good practice for computer users to keep data in well organized way in different Mac partitions. Sometimes partition management in Mac drive becomes crucial and inflexible. Disk utility helps us to create, delete, format disk partitions in Mac OS. You can add, delete, and format Mac partitions. But, modification/resizing of partitions via disk utility is not easy. Free space of one partition can't be merged into another so, it is recommended to use third party tool for this purpose.

What tasks can be done by using Mac disk utility?
  1. Creation and conversion of disk images into Mac readable format.
  2. Mounting and unmounting of disks (both hard disks and removable disks)
  3. Checking the S.M.A.R.T status of Mac drive.
  4. Disk formatting, creating ,deleting partitions.
But, Disk utility has some limitations:-
1.You can not hide/reveal Mac partition
2. Automatic shifting of all the free spaces at one location is not possible.
There is no need to worry if you have a Mac and want to perform some advanced modifications in your partitions, you can do it with Stellar Partition Manager. User can resize Mac partition by following below steps.
  1. Select the Volume/Partition to be resized from the and drag to increase or decrease the size. You can see it in below added image:-

  2. Once the operation is completed, the resized partition gets mounted on the desktop.
If you want to resize Boot volume then you will have to create bootable DVD because running OS doesn't allow to resize it. You can create bootable DVD by using above described partitioning tool. One can easily create, add, delete, format Mac partition. Hide/reveal options provide facility to prevent unauthorized access. When we delete a Mac partition with Stellar partition manager, free space is created which gets optimized automatically. This feature is not available in Apple disk utility.
For more details of features visit: http://www.stellarpartitionmanager.com/

Friday, 10 August 2012

Prepare your Mac to install Mountain Lion

Apple has released it's new Mac OS version called Mountain Lion. Mac lovers are excited to install and update latest version of OS X. Before installation you need to prepare your Mac for full coordination with new version. Some people say, it is necessary to clean and maintain your Mac to keep it healthy and secured. Whereas some Mac users believe that Mac has the ability to optimize itself. With the passage of time, every system starts slowing down. Third party tool are really good option for this purpose. It helps to optimize your Mac, cleaning, partitioning, defragging, cloning and many more.

There are lots of Mac maintenance tools available in the market, each has its own sets of advantage or issues. Choosing best utility for you Mac is one of the difficult tasks. There is one demanding and famous software “Stellar Drive Toolbox” that offers you a wide range of new approach towards system Maintenance. It is a complete pack of 12 utilities and it provides complete care and security to its users. It helps to clean Mac, add, delete, resize volumes, and helps to solve drive related issue.

This Mac cleaning utility programs offers:-

Surface scan:- This utility helps to detect bad memory blocks and thoroughly scans any Mac drive. You can get information about each block. It provides every information about your Mac drive. After getting this, you can decide if there is a need for volume repair or not.

Drive Initialize:- With the helps of this software you can format your Mac drive and assign new file system like HFS+ or FAT 32. It supports three partition map.

Drive Performance:- You can evaluate Mac drive performance by this program. It calculates data transfer rate during various input/output operation. You can see it as graphical representation.

Volume Repair:- You can easily verify, repair, and rebuild any Mac hard drive volume. You can find incorrect permissions on system files.

SpeedUp Mac:- It helps to remove all rubbish thing of Mac like unwanted files, logs, caches, binaries, language files , widgets etc. to create more free space in drive and speed up your Mac performance.

Drive Status:- You can check full description, SMART status of Mac hard drive.

Drive Defrag:- It heps to keep fragmented data in contiguous memory location to Make your Mac fast.

Partition Manager:- Add, delete, format, resize Mac volume. You can hide/ reveal your Mac volume.

Shield:- Helps to keep images of hard drive at scheduled time.

Drive clone:- You can keep Mac backup either in the form of image or clone.

Row data editor:- It helps ti repair minor corruption in file system. Only advance Mac user can use it.

Wipe:- You can remove data from Mac drive beyond recovery.

Data Encryptor tool:- You can keep your data safe by using this utility. It helps to change data into unreadable form.

You can take advantage of all of these applications as an ultimate Mac optimization tool and install Mountain Lion.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

How to create partitions to install mountain lion

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion has been released by Apple and it is available for download from the Mac App Store. You can install it either Lion or new version of snow leopard. Before installing ,you need to create partitions in your Mac Drive.

There are so many advantages of creating partitions:-

1. To keep users data separate from OS files.
2. The other partitions uaffected even if one gets corrupted.
3. If you want to create a clone of your Mac OS , you can do it separately without copying users file.
4. You can create multi-boot setups so as to install different operating systems on different partitions.

How to create partitions :-

You can do that either Disk utility or via third party tool. Disk utility is an inbuilt utility of Mac but, if you want to use some advance features then use Stellar Partition Manager. It is one of the best tool for partitioning.

Step1. Run Stellar partition manager. You can see image given below.
Step2. Click “Add” button from toolbar, mention the size of partition and start the process by clicking “start” button.
Step3. Task is done. You can resize the partition size by simply dragging the corner of that partition.
Step4. Install Mountain Lion in one of the selected partitions.
The important point to note here is – One cannot apply this partition manager to modify partitions on current drive. For this, one needs to create a bootable DVD which can be created by this software itself.

Here is list of tasks which can be performed with Stellar partition manager.
1.Create new partitions
2 .Delete partitions
3.Format Mac partitions
4.Hide/Reveal partitions in Mac disk
5.Resize partitions as per the requirement

One of the best advantage of this tool is when you will delete a Mac partition with Stellar partition manager, the free space created and gets optimized automatically. This feature is not available in Apple disk utility. And, it has easy to understand GUI with plain language approach, provides it an extra edge over disk utility.