Friday, 30 November 2012

Mac Disk Defragmentation Myths & Facts

Defragmentation is the process of keeping scattered data into contiguous memory location in Mac Drive. It helps to improve the processing time and keep your Mac optimized. There are some Myths and facts comes in the mind of Mac users:-

  1. Defragmentation can crash my Mac.
  2. Mac Defragmentation is not possible
  3. Defragmentation is not needed
  4. Defragmentation can slow Down your Mac
  1. Mac needs defragmentation
  2. Defragmentation is an easy process
  3. Defragmentation prevents Mac failures
  4. Mac defrag process helps to increase Mac performance
For more details check this video:- 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Backup of Complete Mac Drive – is it possible?

Backing up your Mac is like flossing teeth or mowing the lawn – something you know you should do but usually don’t. You can never forget when your Mac drive crashed first time and you lost your whole data. Specially those which were irreplaceable. The list may include photos. music videos etc.. From that situation, you would have realized the importance of back up. Keeping backup of entire Mac is an easy process and it brings you out of data loss situations. There are many ways of keeping backup in Mac.

You can keep your data in the form of clone or image. Cloning means exact copy or replica of data which is bootable, the disadvantage is that it's time consuming. Image means keeping data into compressed form which takes less memory space. The backup can be done incrementally, which means whatever you will make changes in your Mac data , it will automatically updated into the backup.

Time Machine is the default option for backup on every Mac running OS X. Plug in a Mac-formatted external drive, and OS X will ask you if you want to set it up to be used with Time Machine. After completing few steps you will be able to backup via Time Machine. It keeps incremental backup.Time Machine is very simple to use however, it is not robust, professional software.  Disk utility is an other Mac inbuilt application which helps you to keep backup of your Mac into an image form. But, it will not work as bootable backup.
You can keep backup of your whole Mac with Stellar Drive Clone. It helps you to keep safe and secure backup either in the form of image or clone. You can copy sector by sector clone either of entire Mac or any particular volume. You can create a bootable backup of your Mac which helps to boot your Mac.

Features of Stellar Drive clone:-

1. You can create an exact, identical replica of your Mac Disk to another Disk/Volume
2. It can make clone drives formatted with MBR (Master Boot Record) partition map scheme
3. Support for SSD and exFAT-drives is included in new version
4. It can keep clone your volume to another volume, folder, or a network drive

When you will run this software, you will get three options:-
Cloning:- You can create clone of startup disk, any particular volume .
Imaging:- It helps to keep your data into an image form.
Restore:- You can restore back your data from image or clone anytime.

Conclusion: Keeping entire backup of Mac is possible. You can use any of above described tool for your Mac and always be relaxed for the data loss.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Delete Universal binary files to speedUp your Mac

A universal binary is an executible binary file that runs natively on either PowerPC or Intel-manufactured IA-32 or Intel 64-based Macintosh computers. This term is used by Apple for "fat" applications which includes executable code for both PPC and Intel processors. Universal Binaries were announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the WWDC 2005, when he announced that Apple would begin a transition from PowerPC to Intel processors. Since Universal Binaries contain twice the code of a single platform application, they can be up to twice the size. 
Advantages of universal binaries:-
If a user has installed a software which is capable to run at both Power PC and Intel platforms , he doesn't need to waste time to download that particular software for each Mac platform.

Disadvantages of universal binaries:-
Universal Binaries contain code twice for PPC and Intel of a single platform application. When you work with one application, it simply consumes the unnecessary hard drive space. I would like to suggest you to delete these files. Lots of universal binaries file in hard drive can slack up your Mac performance.

How to get rid of these files?
Experts recommended some good cleanup software which can make your Mac fast and delete unnecessary files including universal binaries. When these rubbish stuff gets deleted , you regain hard drive space.

SpeedUp Mac utility of Stellar Drive ToolBox helps to clean your Mac and optimize Mac OS X. It deletes all system junks, caches, universal binaries, duplicate files, language files etc from your Mac. You can see gained memory size after finishing cleaning process. You can clean either whole Mac or any selected volume at a time as per your convinence.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Virtualization – “Run Windows on your Mac”

These days Virtualization is a great buzzwords among Mac users to run Windows on Mac. Working with two OS helps you to complete work easily and under estimated time line.

First, of all, what is virtualization?
Virtualization means creating a virtual computer on your physical computer. You can say ,you are running Mac but you’d like to use Windows XP or Vista or some flavour of Linux as well.

Install Windows by using bootcamp:-
Bootcamp is an inbuilt feature of Mac which helps to install Windows on Mac. You repartition your Intel-based Mac's drive and install Windows XP as an alternative operating system. Boot camp creates partition in your hard drive to make space for Windows OS. It can reformat the partitions on your existing hard drive with no loss of data. Once the partitioning is finished, you're ready to install Windows itself.

But whenever you will want to switch between Mac and Windows, you will have to shut down and restart your Mac to select the OS on which you would like to work. Virtualization is the way to get rid of this problem.

VirtualBox is the known virtualization software, it provides the virtual computer. Fire it up and it’ll ask you some questions like OS type, size of hard drive space you want to alott. Once the installation completes , you are ready to run your new OS with old.

Now, it's easy to switch between two OS to share files and folders and applications, this is one of the most important benefit of virtualazition.

Virtualization software allow us to run two operating systems simultaneously, but lot of memory space is consumed in this process. It may be the reason of sluggish performance of Mac. If you have Mac hard drive with large memory then you can use virtualization method to run windows and Mac both , it doesn't give you slow performance to some extent. It will give you exciting experience.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Incremental backup in Mac

What is incremental backup? 
Incremental backup backs up only that data which has been changed since the last backup.”

Incremental backups consume minimum storage space to keep your data. The purpose of an incremental backup is to preserve and protect data by creating copies and it minimizes the amount of time needed to perform the backup. As an example, Monday backup keeps only those files that changed since Sunday.

Types of incremental backup?

When you keep backup in multiple level, a full backup is level 0. A level n backup will keep back up of everything that has changed since the most recent level n-1 backup.

Block level:-
This method backs up only the blocks within the file that changed since last backup. A high level of integration needed between sender and receiver. 

Byte level:-
It keeps backup of bytes that changed at last backup, the byte-based technologies work with the minimum unit, saving space when reflecting a change on a file. 

Another backup Methods:-

It keeps the backup of all changes made since the last full or normal backup. It helps to recover backup quickly. The disadvantage is that for each day elapsed since the last full backup.

Full backup:-
When you set the Backup Type setting to Full, all the files and folders on the drive are backed up every time.

Advantages of incremental backups:
  1. It is the fastest backup type since it only backs-up increments.
  2. It saves storage space compared to other backup types.
Back up tool in Mac:- 

Time Machine - It is an inbuilt utility of Mac which helps to keep incremental backup of Mac data. Time Capsule is used with Time Machine to keep data.

Friday, 16 November 2012

How to Create Mac Bootable Backup

Every Mac user should take backup of startup disk before performing any system updates. Disk Utility is an inbuilt feature of Mac OS X which is used for backing up Mac data. It allows you to keep backup in the form of image but, you cannot make bootable backup via Disk Utility. But, there are number of tools available in market by which you can create bootable backup.

How to check backup is bootable or not?
Bootable backup, means that if the primary hard drive in your Mac fails, you can boot your Mac with the backup copy .To test your bootable backup, go to System Preferences and click on "Startup Disk". Click on the backup drive icon to select it, and then click the Restart button. If all is well, your Mac should boot from the backup.

What You Will Need to create backup via Disk Utility:-
1. Disk Utility, part of OS X and available at /Applications/Utilities/. 
2. An internal or external hard drive that's large enough to store the data on your current startup disk. 
3. A drive that doesn't contain any important data. The method we will use will erase the destination drive during the backup process.

The destination hard drive can be an internal or external drive. It will store your backup in compressed form which consumes less memory, on the other hand bootable backup consumes much memory space.

Create bootable backup with Stellar Drive clone:-
 Stellar Drive Clone helps to clone your Mac hard drive in a secure manner. You can create an exact sector-by-sector image of your Mac hard drive or any specific volume and save this image at any desired location in the system. It supports Mountain Lion.

Options of Stellar Drive clone:-

Clone:- You can create an exact, identical replica of your Mac Disk to another Disk/Volume.
Imaging:- Mac users can create image of Mac volume or drive by this option.
Restore:- You can restore all volume data from a folder or image file.

Above described steps help you to create Mac back up easily and keep your data safe. For more details :-

Thursday, 8 November 2012

How to install Windows 8 on Mac

Windows 8 is the current release of Microsoft. It has several new features and functionalities which can give the opportunity to Mac users to gain much experience and fun. For many Mac users who occasionally need to run Windows applications, they can install easily windows 8 on Mac. There are several ways to accomplish this, e.g—Boot Camp, Parallels, VMware Fusion and VirtualBox. 

Install Windows 8 on your Mac using Boot Camp:- 
Step 1: Create a bootable Windows 8 DVD using the ISO images of Windows 8. These ISO images are available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Step 2: Launch the Boot Camp Assistant available under the Applications – > Utilities folder of your Mac.

Step 3: If you already have Windows running on your Mac through Boot Camp, remove it“. This will remove the existing Windows partition from your Mac and thus all the programs and files on that Windows partitions will also be lost so, keep backup of your important data before proceeding.

Step 4: The next screen will let you create a new partition for your Windows 8. Drag the slider to allocate anywhere between 20 GB – 40 GB space to this new partition.

Step 5: Insert the Windows 8 DVD into your Mac and hit the Install button available inside the Boot Camp Assistant wizard.

Step 6: This will initiate the regular Windows 8 installation routine on your Mac. Pick the disk partition that says “BOOTCAMP” but it may show the following error message:-
Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. Windows must be installed to a partition formatted as NTFS.”

You can solve this problem easily. While the Boot Camp partition is selected, choose advanced Drive options and hit the F key to format that partition to NTFS format. That’s it. Just follow the prompts, insert the serial number and you will get windows 8 soon with Mac. 

How to Switch between Windows 8 and Mac OS X:-

When you do restart your system, it will automatically boot into Windows. However you can press and hold the Option key while the system is booting and it will give you a choice of operating systems that you want to boot into.

I will explain Windows 8 installation with Parallels, VMware Fusion and VirtualBox in my next post.......

How to Solve Mac disk issues with Disk utility

With the passage of time , your computer doesn’t start properly, you face sluggish behavior. Mac OS X includes two utilities for this —Disk Utility and fsck (a command-line utility). You can also use these even when your computer starts just fine but you want to check the disk health for possible file system issues.

In some cases, file system errors may prevent your computer from starting up. This can occur after an improper shut down, forced restart, or power interruption. If your computer shows any of the following symptoms on start up, use a disk repair utility.

If you're using Mac OS X 10.2 or later, you can start up your computer in Safe Mode, which includes an automatic disk check and repair. 

     Disk Utility:- Mac users are familiar with Disk Utility.  It’s used to format hard drives, create RAID arrays, mount volumes, burn disk images (.dmg files), and fix basic disk problems.  The Repair Disk function can be used on any non-startup drive and can fix simple volume or file system errors. Repair Permissions is the other kind of maintenance Disk Utility can do.   
        Open the Disk Utility 
        Click the First Aid Tab 
        Click the OS X Volume
        Click Repair. Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk

Tip: With Mac OS X v10.6 and earlier, you should always start up your computer from an Install or Restore disc when using Disk Utility to verify or repair your start up volume. Otherwise, you might see some disk error messages.

Solve Mac disk problem with Stellar Drive ToolBox:-

This tool is a complete pack of Mac optimization utilities. It helps to check drive health, repair them and fix the issues. It helps Mac users to optimize, repair, manage, protect and clean their hard drives. It has these utilities -  Speed up utility, Wipe, Drive Defrag, Volume Repair, Drive Clone, Partition Manager, Drive Initialize, Surface Scan, Drive Status, Drive Performance etc..
Data Encryptor is a bonus utility to keep your Mac data safe.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Manage your Mac with top Mac cleaner

Sometime ago, I was frustrated with my Mac which was getting slower and slower, I decided, I must do something to change the situation. There was few hidden data and applications inside my Mac that was still hogging the disk space. I was suggested by one of my friend to some regular maintenance tips. I am going to describe here one by one. 
     1.  Keep Less Startup items:-  When you install some applications, they automatically configured at your startup setting such that these applications would be loaded up when you boot up your Mac. Leaving such applications can also draw some valuable resources away from your Mac such that it slows down the system.

Follow these steps - System Preferences > System > Users & Groups > Login Items, and uncheck the application(s) you want off from the startup.

2. Clearing your Desktop:- Your desktop plays a part in how long your Mac takes  to boot the system because it’s the first screen that it has to load up. As much as possible, try to keep it simple by minimizing the number of icons from the dock and clearing up extra files you can see.

       3. Cleaning Up The Hard Drive:-  With the passage of time your Mac hard Drive becomes slow  because of cache, duplicate files, logs, universal binaries, system junks. When you remove all these from your Mac automatically you will get rid of low Mac performance.

Stellar Speed Up Mac is a famous tool to clean your Mac . It removes all rubbish things and increase Mac performance. It acts as a complete performance booster by allowing you to delete duplicate files and uninstall applications that have multiple instances on your system.

4Update software on regular basis:-  Updating your Mac software time to time will help you to keep update Mac.

Another alternative is to get a faster hard drive or use a Solid State Drive (SSD), but they don’t come cheap.

Repair Hard Drives and Disk Permissions using Disk Utility

Disk Utility is an important Mac utility which allows you to solve disk related problems.It is  used not only to erase, format, and partition a Mac drive, but also to repair problems that may crop up from time to time. First Aid feature of this tool provides two unique functions. One can help you to repair a hard drive and other for repairing file and folder permissions. 

Repair Disk:- 
Disk Utility repairs hard drive’s directory structure with great excellency. It solves common disk issues, ranging from corrupt directory entries to files left in unknown states, usually from power outages, forced restarts, etc.. After repairing disk you can get rid of even minor problem however, major issues like crashes, damage of Mac disk, cannot be solved.

Repair Disk Permissions:- 
It is designed to restore file or folder permissions to it's origional state. Each item in the file system has read , write and execute permissions. Files Permissions are initially set when an application or group of files are installed but sometimes it gets changed. The installation of application includes a .bom (Bill of Materials) file which lists all the files that were installed, and what their permissions should be set to. Repair Disk Permissions uses the .bom file to verify and repair permission issues.

How Can I Fix an Application That's Not Starting?

There can be a many reasons of this problem, but the most likely cause is a disk permissions error. Disk permissions are flags set with each item in the file system. If these permissions get out of whack, they can prevent an application from running properly or some part of it fails to work. So, in such situations you have to repair disk permissions with Disk Utility. You don’t need to know what the permissions should be; your Mac keeps a database of the default permissions for most applications that you’ve installed.

How do I verify/ repair disk permissions
1. Launch Disk Utility. A window appear , click First Aid tab, you can check in above added image.
2. Select the volume , click the Verify Disk Permissions button which appear underneath the large white text box in the middle of the Disk Utility window (on the left-hand side of the box). Verify Disk Permissions could take a few minutes.
3. It will show you the list of problems, now you can click on Repair Disk Permissions button to repair all these problems.