Saturday, 29 August 2015

How to Reset the MacBook Pro with Factory Settings

There are times when you decide to sell your MacBook Pro to someone else. Wiping your MacBook pro hard drive and returning the system using factory settings gives you a complete new start.

How to reset the MacBook Pro to the original factory settings

Clone your Mac hard drive and securely wipe the original HD

Remove all of your personal data and set up a fresh installation

The above-mentioned questions are the ones which every user ask prior to selling his/her MacBook Pro. It is always beneficial to sell a Mac machine with personal data removed. Also, a cleaning out MacBook Pro looks healthier for the buyers. Below I have mentioned all the steps to reset your MacBook Hard drive:-

Note: - Before doing any of the steps, make sure your system is connected to the Internet, so that you can easily download the latest Mac OS X.

Step 1: Clone Your MacBook HD

When you reset your MacBook Pro to the factory settings, all data gets erased automatically. So, you should transfer the data to a new and reliable hard drive in order to use it for future. The best way to do this automatically is by the help of cloning software such as Stellar Drive Clone. This tool clones both Macintosh HD and Boot Camp partition to another drive. However, the windows partition will be cloned as EXFAT.

Step 2: Deauthorizing iTunes

You should also de-authorize your MacBook Pro from iTunes. To do this, open iTunes and click Store > Deauthorize.

Step 3: Turn off FileVault

FileVault encrypts the files from your HD and it is always better to turn it off before going further. To do this, open the System Preferences and click on the Security & Privacy and FileVault. Check and see whether the FileVault is already Turn off or not. If not, then click on the padlock icon situated in the bottom left. Now, enter our password and click on the Unlock. This way, you can easily turn off your FileVault.

Step 4: Disable iCloud

To disable the iCloud, open System preferences and thereafter click on the iCloud and sign out. To remove all your personal data, click on Delete from Mac.

Step 5: Restart MacBook in Safe Mode

Before performing the step 5, make sure you are connected to the Internet. This is because; you need an internet connection to install Mac OS X. Now, restart your Mac by clicking on the Apple>Restart and hold down the Command and R keys.

Step 6: Select reinstall Mac OS X

Now, click on the reinstall Mac OS X button and continue. This will automatically download and install a black copy of latest Mac OS X on your MacBook Pro.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Stellar Speedup Mac Detailed Review

Reviewing free version of Stellar Speedup Mac utility for slow & sluggish Macs. In this review, I will cover up the detailed insights of this software and its available functionalities to clean up your Mac hard drive.

  1. Rocket Screen:

Earlier versions of Stellar Speedup Mac used to have 3 buttons namely - Speedup Mac, Clean up Mac and Uninstaller. Speed up Mac Version 3.0 has one single button having Rocket mounted on it that indicates to speed up slow Macs.

Little but helpful documentation is given on this screen so that user can get an exact idea of the purpose of this tool. Click on the Rocket button once through with the welcome window.

     2. Speedup Mac software Menu: 

On the second window user needs to choose an action. The action includes either of the following:
  • Refresh Drive (helpful when an external media is connected)
  • Login Item (Add/Removes apps from Login-Item tray)
  • Uninstaller (Removes apps & other installed items from Mac)

     3. Select a Drive for cleaning:

No hard work is required here since your Macintosh HDD (startup drive) is selected by default under Recommended Scan option. All other mounted volumes are blurred and you can't select them for cleaning under Recommended Scan.
  • To switch from Startup drive to any other Partition, simply make the bullet selection on Custom Scan that is just below Recommended Scan. This will enable all non- startup partitions and ready for cleaning. Though you will be able to select a single partition at a time.
4. Scan launches on Select hard drive:

Stellar Speedup Mac software launches an intensive scan to pull out junk files from every corner of the selected hard disk drives. Stellar Speedup Mac considers below files as junks:
  • Caches & Log files
  • System Junks, Trashes & Leftovers
  • Extensions
  • Universal Binaries
  • Language & Duplicate Files
  • Large Files
The Speedup Mac tool can take few minutes to scan your few hundreds gigabyte of the hard disk drive depending upon the presence of junk files. More number of junks or the large drive size will take scan time accordingly.

     5. Preview & Removal of Junk Files:

When scanning completes, the software lists summary of its scan in form of junks it can remove in free & registered versions. It will also let you know what kind of junks could be removed in free & paid versions.

Free vs Paid Junk Removal

Click Show Results to preview all the files that Speedup Mac software considered as junks. Preview helps user to give a human touch to this automated cleaning since few files are useful still listed under junk. So, carefully preview all the files before a free Mac drive cleanup.

Upon clicking on the third button in the above screenshot that says “Free 11.05 GB Space Now”, it will give you below pop-up. If you need to clean more junk files from Mac OS X then you can register the software through buy now page.

    6. Free clean up Mac

By clicking on the second button, which says “Free 5.32 GB Space”, user is entitled for free cleaning up of its Mac.

Result: Speedup Mac software just cleaning 5GB of junk files from Mac OS X startup drive.

Monday, 27 July 2015

How to Improve the Efficiency of Mac OS X by Finding and Removing the Useless Apps

If you are a passionate user of Mac like me and want your system to always be fast, then you should look through your hard drives regularly and remove all the useless files. Today, majority of Mac devices provide up to 800 GB+ hard drives but as we have lots of data to store, it also fills very rapidly. So, instead of increasing your Hard Drive space, it is better to get some spaces by deleting these unwanted files. Now the question is how to check these useless files and folders from your Mac OS X. 

First, find the used space according to applications such as iMovie’s, iPhoto etc. To do so, go to the 'Apple Menu' and select 'About This Mac' option and select 'More Info' button, which is followed by the 'Storage' tab. You can try some manual approaches, which might be helpful for you in removing these unwanted apps.

1. Delete all the Duplicate Files: -
Delete useless files is the first priority as these files took so much spaces without any use. To identify these duplicate files you can use professional tool like Stellar Speedup Mac, which analyze your Mac system and provide all the necessary information about your duplicate apps. These duplicate file finder software’s are very fast and affordable, which not only identify your duplicate applications but also remove them safely without any changes in the original file system. 

2. Empty the Mac OS X Trash Folder: -
Emptying trash is the second most important step, which you can use to initiate in order to remove unwanted apps in Mac hard drive. There are applications having their own Trash so it is better to remove all the trash application from your Mac OS.        
3. Clean up Mac OS: -
If you have an advanced version of Mac like Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) then there must be many new ways to free more drive space. Clean Web browser and application caches, which grows with time and take valuable disk space. Usually caches and browser history increase the speed and saves re-downloading content time for frequently visited websites, however if the information become outdated it is better to remove it for new entries. Cleaning up cache can contribute few more free GBs for sure. And when you visit new websites then it will automatically generate new optimized cache files.

4. Remove Unwanted Files Daily/Weekly:-
There must be many files in your Mac that are of no use but still have occupied spaces so it’s better to find out all those files and remove them as per your suitability. Junks files are also included in unwanted files so it is better to clear your old junk or unused file regularly. Additionally remove application’s leftovers as well, which can be available on your HDD or SSD even after you had uninstalled those files. It will not only make space for new applications but also improve the efficiency of your Mac OS. 

5. Move Old Files into a new Storage Device:-
There are many photos, videos and movies which we do not want to remove and always wanted to keep with on our system. So, it is highly advisable that you must store these files and folders into a new storage device so that you can keep them safer for later use. This process will free up more space on your Mac OS and you do not have to upgrade your hard drive to get more space and also your mac will remain fast as it was, when you purchased it.

Final Conclusion:-
If despite implementing all the above mentioned the efficiency of your Mac OS doesn’t improve, then I suggest you to give a try to some software like Stellar Speedup Mac. This software will definitely do its task and you will see a great improvement in your Mac.  

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Clean up OS X Yosemite & Mavericks hard disk drives

Basic clean up Mac tips for OS X 10.9 and 10.10

There exist over dozens of basic and free tips that can help clean and speed up slow Yosemite and Mavericks OS X hard drives.

1) Target few icons on the desktop: Remove unnecessary icons from the Mac desktop. The number of icons collectively eats some amount of drive spaces. This little tip is just the beginning and won’t make any huge performance differences.

2) Keep Trash Empty: Remember you are the house keeping staff for Mac and it’s your responsibility to empty the trash every then and now. A Mac’s trash can hold up to 15 GB of deleted data.

3) Restart Mac: Just like everyone, your Mac will love to start afresh.

4) Login items: Cut down the list of login items using System Preferences. Some apps cause sluggishness during OS X startup.

5) Tidy up Dock: Cut down the icons on the Dock, keeping minimum but required icons only.

Note: Accidental deletion is one of the most common and regretting way of loosing important data. If you have done something like this and want to restore files then do take a look at the article - How can I recover data from Empty Trash?

Intermediate Mac Cleaning tips for OS X10.9 and 10.10

6) Re-launch Finder: Yes, you heard it right. Whenever Mac goes into deadlock, the best way to come out of it is to use Force Quit<<Finder<<Relaunch. It definitely clean up the cluttered for a moment and help OS X gather resources for fresh start.

7) Disk Utility<<FirstAid: Make full use of available options in First Aid tab of Disk Utility. You can fix light wear & tear on disks. Options to be used are: Verify & Repair Disk Permissions and Verify & Repair Disks.

8) Turn Off least operated items: Among them includes Universal Access, Bluetooth, Speech Recognition and Internet Speech.

9) Stop Animation: Use Dock>>System Preference to stop Animation of Opening Applications.

10) Uninstall: You can immediately save plenty of valuable disk spaces by removing unused applications, widgets, plugins and software.

Advance tips for cleaning Mac OS X10.10 and 10.9

11) Reindex Spotlight
  • Go to System Preferences<<Search Spotlight in search bar
  • Spotlight tab opens. Click Privacy
  • Add or Remove a folder or drive using + and –
  • Upon confirmation Click OK
  • Close Spotlight

12) Clear Junks
  • Click Finder<<Go<<Go to folder<</Library/caches and delete all caches
  • Click Finder<<Go<<Go to folder<</Library/Logs and delete all logs

13) Remove Duplicates: Launch iTunes<<View<<Show Duplicate items and delete all Xerox files. To get rid of other duplicate files from Mac Hard Disk Drives use a smart duplicate finder for Mac OS X.

Free Mac cleaning software for Yosemite and Maverick

14) Stellar Speedup Mac – helpful for free cleaning of Mac startup drive
15) Disk Inventory – helpful in managing files on Mac disk
16) Appcleaner – helpful in removing unwanted apps from Mac HDD

Additionally, if you agree to spend up to few hundreds dollars on improving Mac performance then immediately get a compatible Solid State Drive and 8 – 16 GB of Random Access Memory for your slow Mac computer. The two-hardware update might involve some expenses but it will be worth in long term. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

How to Manage Hard Disk Partitions in Linux?

A logical disk/partition is a logical division on the hard disk. The partition table stores the info about various partitions on the disk. In Linux system, one partition is required as a root file system and the second partition as swap partition. In case of large disk sizes, often you can find a partition that stores the kernel image, data needed by BIOS at BIOS and some other auxiliary files. This partition is mounted on location /boot and carries the information required at boot time. 

About Fdisk: While Fdisk prints a partition table it matches the physical and logical start and end points. After verifying that those parameters are equal, the partition list is printed.

Fdisk is a text based utility to manage Linux partitions. It is also known as Partition table manipulator for Linux. Using the tool, you can perform various operations such as: viewing existing partitions, new partition creation, add a partition, partition deletion or modification. The utility let you create primary and logical partitions on the disk. The maximum allowed number of primary partitions is four; the number of logical partitions may vary according to disk size.

First create a disk partition, after that you can install your operating system. After you create a hard disk partition you should now use the format tool for formatting them. 

To make Linux partitions, you can use the Linux fdisk or Linux cfdisk program. Using the Fdisk utility, you can create four primary partitions. Open command prompt, run fdisk command. To make changes to the partition table, first you need to issue the write (w) command. The Fdisk option ‘w’ let you to write the new partition table and exit. If you want to quit without saving changes then use the fdisk command with q option.

For a hard disk larger than 512 megabytes (MB), you have two format options. You can choose either FAT16 or FAT32 file systems. Using the ‘File Allocation Table’ file system, data can be stored/accepted/retrieved in the hard disk. In case of FAT 16, the maximum allowed space for a drive letter is 2 GB. In case of FAT 32, the maximum size of drives can be up to 2 terabytes and minimum 512GB.

Below given are some options with the fdisk command:

1 View partition:

# fdisk -l: This command will let you view all partitions on all the hard disks connected to your system.
 The partition list will be displayed along with the device name.

If you want to view partitions on a specific device only then you can do by mentioning the device name along with fdisk -l command. 

e.g. # fdisk -l /dev/sda
Here /dev/sda is the harddisk name

The Fdisk option ‘p’ lets you print the partition table.

Run the Fdisk command:
# fdisk /dev/hdb

Command (m for help): p 
The above command will print the partition table.

2 Delete partition:

First delete all exiting partition using the command:
# fdisk -d

Now run the below command to create new partitions
# fdisk -n/dev/sda
Create a new partition: fdisk n 

3 fdisk –s: 

Let you view the size of partition
# fdisk -s /dev/sda7

-s partition let you print the partition size (in blocks) on the standard output. 

4 fdisk Expert Command f:

You can enable or disable the boot flag for a partition. 

While you delete partitions and create new ones. The partition order of the new partitions may get un ordered. You can ‘Fix the Partition Table Order’.

5 -b sectorsize: This option let you specify the sector size of the disk. 

6 -h: This option let you print help and then exit. 

7 -c: This option let you switch off DOS-compatible mode. 

8 -C cyls:  This option let you specify the number of cylinders of the disk. 

9 -H heads: This option let you specify the number of heads of the disk. (Not the physical number, of course, but the number used for partition tables.) Reasonable values are 255 and 16. 

10 -S sects:  This option let you specify the number of sectors per track of the disk. 

11 -u: This option let you view sizes in sectors instead of cylinders while listing partition table. 

12 –v: This option let you Print version number of fdisk program and exit.

Note: While using fdisk command, perform the actions carefully and prejudicially. Because once you format or delete a Linux partition using the command there is no direct way to get the data back. Whether its accidental or intentional deletion, if you want to get you lost Linux data back you will have to run some Linux recovery software that let you scan your drive for the lost partition data and save the recoverable items at your desired location.