Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How to Defrag Free space in Mac

When a file is saved in Mac hard disk, we suppose that it is saved in continuous memory block on the Mac disk. But, it doesn't always happen and not all the files on the drive are stored in continuous block. Many files on the disk splitted into several chunks and scattered. When we open those files , processor takes long time to pick up each fragments and show it. So, Mac users can easily get rid of these problems by following some Mac maintenance activities.

Scattered data

This is a popular myth among Mac users that “Macs don't need defrag process do they?”
If the Mac disk is large and there is lot of free space available then you will hardly notice slow performance. Mac OS X performs a certain amount of defragmentation called adaptive hot file clustering by itself. It tracks file usage and those files that are accessed the most (called hot files) are moved to a special area of the disk. Files in this area can be accessed faster as compare to those files which are accessed rarely.

But, this techniques do not work properly in case of large files. So, you need to use any third party tool for this work. Stellar Drive Defrag tool helps Mac user to defrag data and keep it in separate contiguous memory and free space separately.

Features of this tool:-
1. It has the ability to defrag Mac disk completely and increase it's performance.
2. It optimizes free spaces.
3. You can defrag any selected files also.
4. You can defrag Mac boot volume by making bootable volume.
5. Full support to Mountain Lion

Options in Stellar Drive Defrag:-
1. Full Defragmentation:- By this option you can do full defragmentation of your Mac including everything like files, meta data, free space etc..
2. Quick Defragmentation :- You can defrag files within limited span of time.
3. Optimize Free space:- It helps to keep all free spaces in contiguous memory and make it easily available for new data comes saved in Mac drive.
4. Metadata defragmentation:- Using this option, you can smoothly defrag all metadata files in your Mac like catalog, allocation, extent overflow, and attribute files etc..

Benefits of Freespace Defragmentation:-
You will notice improvement in Mac performance and it will also prevent new files from being fragmented in future to some extent.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Easy steps to Encrypt Mac data

What is Encryption?
Encryption means converting data or information into unreadable form. People use this method to keep their data safe or prevent unauthorized access. Mac OS X has an inbuilt option known as Disk Utility, which allows Mac users to keep their data in image form.

Importance of Encryption:-
Day by day, people are becoming aware of the importance of data encryption, the technology used to protect data from prying eyes. Apple has provided a way by which you can encrypt your drive in Mac OS X. But, in this process you may face loss of data if you lose your password, as encrypted data cannot be recovered.

Encrypt your data using Disk Utility:-
Disk Utility is made very easy to use, You can easily create a secure disk image of your important data and keep it into external device or at any other location in your Mac. Go > Utilities > Disk Utility and select the destination of disk image from the list . Select New Image button and name disk image, set the Image Format to read/write. Finally select encryption type and click OK button.

Keep your Mac data secure
Encryption with Filevault:-
You can use FileVault to protect the files on your disk. Without login and password you can not read encrypted data with FileVault. Once you encrypt your Mac's drive with FileVault , anyone who doesn't have the password or recovery key will not be able to log in and access encrypted files.

When you create image of Mac disk , it takes less space (compressed form) while filevault encrypt Mac data into unreadable format without any changes in size of data.

Mac Data Encryption by using Stellar Drive ToolBox:-
Data Encryption utility of Stellar Drive ToolBox helps Mac user to keep their precious data into unreadable format and prevent from data hacking. It provides option to hide encrypted file. It encrypts to such a level, no decryption utility can encrypt it.

Above described way of Mac data encryption helps Mac users to keep their data protected.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

How to Resize Mac partition With Disk utility

All operating systems come with some means of creating partitions and formatting disks. Windows user has options as Disk Management that Microsoft provides. Mac OS X has default tool for volume management is Disk Management. Creation, deletion, resize, format of Mac drive can be possible via this free utility. We do partitions because it keeps your data in a order and helps to easily access these data in less time. Many users have queries about possibility of resizing Mac partition without any problem?

Disk Utility
When you keep storing your favorite music, video files in a particular partition and it gets full after some time. In such cases, if you don't want to store video and music to another volume in spite of the fact that it has lots of free space available. Putting music and video files into official data may become complicated for users. So, Resizing is the best way to add more space to specific volume.

You can easily resize any disk partition in Mac OS X using Disk Utility. Even you can expand and shrink HFS Mac OS partitions on the fly.

Steps to resize Mac partition:-

1.Open Disk Utility and select the hard drive with partitions you wish to resize

2.Select the "Partition" tab and then click the partition to resize, then drag.
3.Resize the partition as per your requirement, then click "Apply" for the changes to take place.

This is possible in Mac OS X Leopard and onwards. Here, I want to mention one thing that it is a good idea to keep back up before resizing any particular volume. There are some limitations of Disk Utility , you cannot hide/reveal partitions. If you don't mind to spend some bucks then Stellar Partition Manager is one of the best Partitioning tool with some advance features.

This software is meant to manage your Mac partitions and thus will optimize your hard drive performance. It helps you to create, format, delete, hide & reveal, shift or resize Mac partitions/volumes on your Mac hard drive. The software offers safety and privacy of user data by the options Hide & Reveal. The new version of this software some awesome features, you can resize boot volume by using bootable DVD. In this way Mac user can easily
resize Mac partition to make their work fast and simple.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Mac Backup Tips | Image Mac Disk

Few years ago I have experienced disastrous data loss in my Mac which cost me loss of about 10000 dollars. I had no backup due to which it was just impossible to get my lost data back but, Mac users have several options to keep back up of important data and prevent the data loss situations. In general cases, power failure, fire, hard disk failure etc. are the main causes of data loss , here, I will explore best backup methods.

Mac backup
Best backup options for Mac user:-

Time Machine:- It is an inbuilt application of Mac OS X. Time Machine uses Time Capsule as a backup drive, it’s an Airport Extreme Base Station coupled with a server grade hard drive, which is used as backup device. Time Machine has great feature i.e it keeps incremental backup, I love this feature. I like to schedule my backup with time Machine because I am too lazy to do it frequently .

Online Backup :- Unfortunately, keeping faith on one/single backup is not the best backup plan. So, you can use online backup method to prevent this situation. The two cloud computing services Backblaze and Dropbox, it is a popular online application, which allows you to store your data at remote server via internet.

Apple is also providing icloud service, where you can keep your data and get back anytime.

With the help of Third Party Tool:- There are many third party tools available which helps you to keep backup as bootable clone or in the form of image. Stellar Drive clone is one of them through which Mac users can create clone or image of their data. You can not make bootable backup via time machine ,

Features of Stellar Drive Clone:-
1.It creates an exact, identical replica of your Mac Disk to another Disk/Volume.
2. SSD and exFAT formatted disk can also be copied.
3. It helps to clone your volume to another volume, folder, or a network drive .
4. It clones Mac drives formatted with MBR (Master Boot Record) partition map scheme

Every Mac user should keep backup of their precious data so that you make yourself ready to face any data loss situation.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

How to setup Time Machine to work on NAS

Although everyone knows that he should back up his data but it is indispensable that you will forget to backup your data. You may go years without ever losing a file or data but one bad software updates may cause you to reinstall your Mac OS. In such cases, you may lose your precious data. Apple has an inbuilt utility called Time Machine which can keep backup of Mac data and you can avoid data loss. A network attached storage is used to keep backup via Time Machine.

Set up Time Machine on a NAS(Network Attached Storage):-
First, on the NAS:-
1. Login to your NAS and setup a new shared folder, I called mine TMBACKUP.
2. Setup a new user called the same as the shared folder. I called mine TMBACKUP as well.
3. Assign RW privileges to the user to the TMBACKUP folder
4. Create a sparsebundle image on your local system. You can accomplish this using hdiutil command.
hdiutil create -library SPUD -size $SIZESPEC -fs Journaled HFS+ -type SPARSEBUNDLE -volname $MACHINENAME_$MAC_ADDRESS.sparsebundle

Where $SIZESPEC is the size of the backup volume, and $MACHINENAME_$MAC_ADRESS is your Mac's name followed by an underscore and then your Mac's MAC Address. The -size parameter can probably be as large as you want.

5. Create and set permissions on your network share. Just make sure you have read/write permissions set.
6. Copy the sparsebundle to the network share root. Mount your network share and copy it over. I used this Terminal command after the MyBackup share was mounted: - cp -r mymachine_0017f2c8426b.sparsebundle /Volumes/MyBackup/.

6. Make sure you have read/write permissions on the network share, and that you've run the infamous defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1. Now just change your Time Machine disk to that network share.

Conclusion:- In less than 10 minutes, you can set up Time Machine, and secure your data to give you peace of mind. You can access and restore individual files and folders from backup area. Time Machine is both a time and cost effective method of backing up your Mac, and once you set it up, you do not to worry about your data.

Friday, 12 October 2012

How to use disk utility to erase Mac drive | Complete wipe with disk utility

If you are facing problem to startup your Mac normally, you may need to use a disk repair utility to fix the issue. In some situations, file system errors may create problem to boot the system or small problems in disk creates critical issue for Mac users. This can occur after an improper shutdown, forced restart, or power interruption. If your computer shows any of the following symptoms on startup, then you must be alert and find the solution as soon as possible. There are two methods to resolve this problem —Disk Utility and command-line utility. The Mac Disk Utility is a versatile tool that helps Mac users to format hard drives, erase or copy CDs and DVDs and create virtual images of physical discs.

Formatting a hard drive is conceptually the same as erasing it. By default, Disk Utility erases only the information which is used to access the files, not the data in the files. Therefore, the erased files can be recovered by any data recovery software. If you need to erase a disk so that the files cannot be recovered by anyone, you can select security options within the utility i.e., write zeros over the disk space. Disk utility runs OS X 10.3.x or above Mac version. Before wiping data please keep backup.

How to Use Disk Utility to Erase a Macintosh Hard Drive

  • Open Disk Utility window, click the drive you want to erase.
  • In the right pane of the Disk Utility window, click the Erase tab.
  • From the Volume Format drop-down menu, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  • You will see the following are the available security options:
Don't Erase Data—This option only rewrites the headers on the disk. Files can be recovered by forensics, disk utilities, and other advanced recovery software.
Zero Out Data—There are forensics utilities that, albeit expensive and time consuming, can retrieve zeroed-out data.
7-Pass Erase—This is considered sufficient by government standards to erase data from a disk. It writes random data over the disk seven times. It may take several hours or more to complete this process.
35-Pass Erase—This makes it absolutely impossible to regain any data off the drive. This option takes an extremely long time, possibly more than one day.
  • Click the radio button in front of 7-Pass Erase or Zero Out Data(For wiping).
  • Click OK.
  • Click Erase.
  • Confirm you want to erase and done.
These are the simple steps by which you can format Mac hard drive easily.

Backup Mac Files | Clone Mac Drive

The simplest way to stave off data loss situation from Mac is to keep backup regularly. Although you can consider your Macintosh is a smart OS based on advanced technology and program.

But, you shouldn't be totally dependent upon your Mac for data safety because catastrophic situations like hard disk crash, fire, virus etc;, can occur any time. and you might lose data. To overcome this situation , you must have backup of your important data. 
Back up Mac data

How do I backup my data:-

You can keep complete backup of Mac files via CD if you have lots of photos, pdf document etc. but if you are editing daily in your files and want to keep backup of such type of data then Time Machine is the best option. It is an inbuilt utility of Mac and keeps incremental backup. An external device attached to network is used to keep backup data and you can retrieve from it anytime.

There is no point in creating a backup if the files are not safe from harm or theft. Also remember that you should always have virus protection program running on your Mac for added protection.

There are limitations of Time Machine:-
1. It is not a bootable backup.
2. If data in TM gets deleted accidentally deleted from your Mac then it cant be recovered.
3. It fails to compress backup data like image form.
5. It fails to encrypt Mac backup data, anyone can read all your data by physical access of Time Capsule.
6. It does not have facility to exclude any file from backup process.
7. It is not compatible with File Vault.

You can pull off the above limitations with backup by using Third Party tool. Stellar Drive Clone has great reputation among Mac backup software. It helps you to create either clone of data which is bootable or keep it in the form of image (compressed form). Highly reliable mechanisms has been used by this tool to ensure that your data remains secure and protected. Even you can schedule backup process as per your convince.

Features of Stellar Drive Clone:-
1. It helps to create an exact, identical replica of your Mac Disk to another Disk/Volume.
2. This tool has the ability to support SSD and exFAT drives.
3. Clones your volume to another volume, folder, or a network drive.
4. It supports Mountain Lion.

When you are ready, use the tools mentioned above to backup Mac files and you won’t be sorry. You don’t want to be the person cursing out your computer because you lost everything you cared about.These are simple way through which you can avoid data loss situaltion and keep your precious data secure and safe from unauthorized accessing.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Be a doctor to cure your Mac

With the passage of time, your Mac starts performing slower and slower. It becomes a hard nut to crack to open and work with Mac applications. Sometimes, you do not notice such sluggish behavior because it happens gradually. Don't bother about it, you can get rid of this situation easily. There might be lots of reasons for slow Mac performance Following are some tips which can definitely help you to get rid of slow Mac.

Reasons of sluggish behavior with solutions:-

Not Enough RAM:- When you open any application and it takes much time to process further , it means there might be less amount of RAM. In such condition you should increase amount of RAM.

Tips to speed up Mac
Disable windows & App Store:- Window Restore feature in Mac helps you to restore applications which had been run at last login. But, the bad effect of this process is, it consumes unnecessary memory and makes your Mac slow.

Upgrade the hard disk to SSD:- Upgrading HDD to SSD will definitely help to enhance Mac performance. It helps to minimize boot time and boost the speed of your system.

System junks, caches etc.:- With the passage of time , duplicate files, caches, system junks, language files, system binaries are automatically save in your system which remains out of your knowledge. When you delete all of these rubbish things, you get huge amount of memory space.
A lot of memory is consumed by these unnecessary files. You can remove all these files either by manual process or with the help of third party tool.

Stellar SpeedUp Mac is one of the known Mac cleaning tool, which helps to remove all garbage from your Mac in a single click.

Features of SpeedUp Mac:-

1. It helps to remove unwanted Caches, files, Logs, System junks, etc..
2. It has Quick Look' button to preview image, audio, and video files.
3. It has Scheduler to automatically run Mac cleanup tasks at a later time.
4. It cleans up boot volume as well as secondary Mac volumes.

Options inside SpeedUp Mac:-

SpeedUp Now – This feature allows you to remove all unwanted caches, system junks, duplicate files etc. from your Mac's boot volume.
Clean my Mac:- You can clean selected portion of your Mac.
Uninstaller:- You can uninstall unused applications, unnecessary widgets, and plugins from your Mac.

So, be a doctor for your Mac and keep it fit with tips mentioned above.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Features of Disk utility in detail

Mac systems are based on advanced technology with many excellent utilities, one of them is Disk utility. Disk utility in Mac OS X is used for various purposes like verifying disk, repairing file system, checking S.M.A.R.T status, checking read/write permissions, erasing free space, and many other tasks. Sometimes data loss situations occur in your Mac due to accidental/intentional deletion, virus attack, file system corruption etc. Disk utility helps to recover and protect data in this catastrophic situation. There are lots of options in this utility. Here , we are discussing disk utility in details.

Options in Disk utility- a closer look

First Aid:- Disk Utility's First Aid feature has two unique functions. One can help you to repair a hard drive and other helps to repair file/folder permissions. If your Mac is crashing frequently, displaying error messages, you can use First Aid option as a first step to check for reasons and fix the issue. Click First Aid tab, you can select multiple volumes at a time by holding down the command key.

Click Verify disk and if found any problem, repair it. You can stop the scanning process any time by clicking on Stop Verify and Stop Repair option. Sometimes you will get error message :- " Scan complete. Problems were found, but disk First Aid cannot repair them"

It means, there might be a serious problem in your disk and you may have to reformat it.

Erase:- This option helps to erase data from disk. You can select any volume and specify format and name of the drive and erase data. When we connect any external drive ,you have to decide what file system to put on it.

Types of format of file system:-

1.Mac OS X Extended(journaled):- It is a default file system format for Mac OS X drives. The "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" option will have the highest degree of support for Mac OS X features, and there's no limit to the size of files you can put on the drive.

Disadvantages:- Windows-running PCs can read files from drives formatted this way, but they can't write to them. If you're transferring files from Macs to PCs, this won't be an issue; however, transferring files from PCs to Macs won't be possible if your drive is formatted in "Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

2.Mac OS X Extended(journaled, Encrypted):- Require a password to access external drive drive with encrypted partition.

3.Mac OS X Extended(case sensitive journaled) called HFSX:- HFSX is an extension to HFS Plus and allows volumes to have case-sensitive file and directory names. It means two objects whose names differ only by the case of the letters in the same directory at the same time. So, you can select this format of file system of Mac drive if you want to make it case sensitive.

4.Mac OS X Extended(case sensitive journaled, Encrypted):- Case sensitive drive format with password protection.

5.MS-Dos(FAT):- for under 4GB files and to work with consoles, devices that need firmware etc.

5.ExFAT :- for over 4GB sized files (Mac's pre OS X 10.6.5 won't have exFAT).

Restore:- This option helps to copy or restore disk image to a volume. You have to specify source and destination of image in the Pop up window.

In this way Mac users can use each option of Disk utility.