Monday, 17 October 2016

How to Check the Health of your Mac Hard Drive

For proper working of a Mac system, it is necessary to ensure that the hard drive is up to date and free from all type of errors and malfunctioning. In general sense, Mac hard drives are very reliable and most likely you won’t face any physical problems until the drive has been dropped or broken through other means. In such case, the motion sensor existing on the Mac OS X will park the drive read/write heads to minimise the chance of damage.

But, nevertheless, it is always helpful to regularly check the drive status and run few benchmark tests, along with defragging the drive at regular interval of time. It will make sure that the file and folder structure of the drive remains well-optimized. It will help in improving the boot time and also removing the bad blocks from the HD.

Check your Mac Hard Drive Health

The very first thing which you need to do is check the hard drive’s health status. This can be done by a process known as disk verification and quite easy to do: -

  1. Open Disk Utility which can be found in the /Application/Utility folder of your Mac.
  2. Here, you need to select your hard drive from the left-hand side of menu and then need to click on the ‘First Aid’ tab.
  3. Click on the ‘Verify Disk’ from the lower hand side and let it run for some period.

Note: The above process is applicable up to the Disk Utility running on OS X 10.10 and below versions. On OS X 10.11 and later, Disk Utility possess only the “First Aid” button which verifies and repair Mac hard disk drives.

After a period, you will look a Windows populating with a message about your Mac hard drive health report that gives you a complete description of all the things. Those things which appear in red will give you a message there is something wrong with your Disk Utility.
You will see the below screenshots

If you see a red message prompting an error, “Error: This disk needs to repair”, you can easily choose to click on the ‘Repair Disk’ button to start the disc fixing process. It works for both internal as well as an external drive.

If the drive in question is your boot drive, then you will find the ‘Repair Disk’ button inaccessible. It doesn’t imply that you can’t fix your boot drive, but it requires an additional step which we discuss in some next article.

Repair a Boot Drive using the help of Disk Utility: - In such scenario, you need to reboot into the Recovery Partition and then need to repair disk.

Note: - Before starting, make sure you have Mac backup available with your Time Machine. Now, let’s start with the procedure step by step: -

  1. Reboot your OS X and hold down the Command+R button from your keyboard.
  2. Now, choose the ‘Recovery HD’ from your boot menu bar.
  3. Here, you need to select the ‘Disk Utility’ from the OS X Utility screen.
  4. In the final step, click on the HD that report the drive error and then click on the ‘First Aid’ tab and finally click on the ‘Repair Disk’ button to solve the issue.

Once the Repair Disk has run successfully, you can easily boot your Mac OS X as usual, and all the drive issues can be resolved quickly.

Final Note from Author

If despite implementing the above methods, you don’t see any difference in your Mac hard drive performance or fails to repair the file system, then, you need to take the help of a 3rd party commercial applications like Stellar Volume Optimizer Software. This software is helpful in repairing corrupt Mac hard drive and rebuilding the disk directory structure. In addition to this, it also fixes certain other Mac drive errors and acts as the best volume repair tool.

Meanwhile, if you face any problems, then please let us know it via the comment section.

Friday, 26 August 2016

How to Recover Data from Mac that won't Startup

A Mac not booting up is one of the most infuriating problems, which is often faced by users. So, if you are one of those users who is facing this issue and want to get rid of this problem, then this is the best blog post for that.

While Macs are considered to be one of the finest reliable operating systems, nevertheless they are a machine and similar to any other device, they are continuously susceptible to a large number of errors that stop and prevent them from booting up in a correct manner.
The wrong side of a non-booting Mac is that it's hard to figure out the cause of the problem? There are things which can go wrong without users knowledge and hence cause a Mac to such kind of problem.

Apple suggests users to:
  • First, check the connection to power
  • Then, try a different power cord
  • Disconnect all the accessories
  • If you have recently installed a new memory, then make sure it fit correctly
If none of the steps mentioned above resolve this issue, then the only solution is to reset the SMC.

Fix a Mac with Disk Utility in Recovery Mode

If your Mac don’t turn on and display works correctly, but it won’t boot, then there could be certain issues. But, the one which we would like to figure out is repair, if possible. The easiest solution to solve this issue is by running Disk Utility. On all Mac versions running Mountain Lion, one can easily run Disk Utility by booting in Mac into recovery mode.

But, before that make sure that your Mac system is off.  Finally, you will end up on a screen headline Mac OS utilities. Once, you look the screen you will release the keys which you were holding down. Then, click on Disk Utility and click on your Mac inbuilt hard drive in left-column.

Create Installation USB for Mac:

With Mac OS X versions like Yosemite, El Capitan, you can create a USB flash drive or any other removable media which can be used as a startup disk.

Use the 'createinstallmedia' command in your Mac Terminal:
  1. In 1st step, you need to download the Mac OS X by going to Mac app store. Quit the installer if it opens automatically after downloading.  Within few minutes, the installer will be in your Applications folder.
  2. In 2nd step, mount your USB flash drive or any other volume. You can also use a secondary internal partition.
  3. Open the Terminal app, which is in the Utility folder of your Applications folder.
  4. Now, in final step use the createinstallmedia command in your Mac Terminal to create the bootable installer. For complete instructions, try to make sure that the appropriate Install Mac app is in your Applications folder, then enter the below paths in your Terminal:

Path for El Capitan:

/Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ El\

Final note: If during the fixing of your Mac OS X problem, you face any data loss, then there is a possibility to recover that data either by the Time Machine or a cloned external hard drive. You may also use an advanced data recovery software with bootable media i.e. Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery Software to recover your lost OS X data. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

How to Recover Data from Severely Corrupted Mac OS X HD

Macs are considered as the computers of innovative excellence. In fact, the design, advanced and useful features have collectively worked in making a brigade of loyal fan following for Mac OS X. But, at the end of every piece of appreciation and praise it is just another computer that is designed and developed to perform certain tasks.

There are many things on which the smooth functioning of your Mac depends and one among them is the file-system. File system keeps the data and their storage information in an organized way.

While booting, the Mac OS fetches this information’s from the file system and is able to load the asked data. If the file system encounters any problem, all the data in corresponding Mac volumes becomes inaccessible and you need to take the help of any Mac recovery utility.

In the course of using your Mac, there are many situations of trouble, which never can be avoided. Most of the time, corruption of the file system is system driven and not knowingly caused by the users.

Though some external works of users lead to file system corruption in Mac, the instances are so accidental that users have hardly any role to play in them. Some of the key reasons behind file system corruption can be unexpected/improper system shut down, virus/malware infection, contradiction with newly installed hardware/software, operating system corruption etc.

Following corruption of the file system, you may come across various error messages, while trying to access the corresponding Mac volumes. One such error message that you may have encountered is written below:

“-123 wrgVolTypErr Not an HFS volume [wrong volume type error or (obsolete) operation not supported for MFS]”

The above error message indicates that the file system of your Mac has been damaged, which result in the inaccessibility of precious data in the volume. For such situations, Apple has provided one helpful inbuilt utility, 'Disk Utility'.
Disk Utility is able to repair the corrupt file system and recover inaccessible data from the troubled volumes.

In case, Disk Utility fails to resolve the problem, you can use another utility, 'fsck'. The 'fsck' utility is also a powerful application that verifies the integrity of the file system and repairs the same, if it finds any problem.

But, if there has been severe damage to the file system, both Disk Utility and 'fsck' fail to resolve the problems. Under such circumstances, you need to take the help of any advanced Mac data recovery utility to recover your lost or inaccessible data back.

This Mac software is developed with highly innovative algorithms, which can recover any data that has been lost/inaccessible due to deletion, formatting or corruption. Moreover, all such software’s are completely reliable and pretty easy to use, without even any technical assistance.

StellarPhoenix Mac Data Recovery is one such utility that can easily recover the data from a severely corrupted Mac hard drive using its in-built powerful algorithms. Do give a chance to this software if you need to extract data from a damaged media.

Monday, 28 March 2016

How to Backup and Repair a Failing Mac Hard Drive

Hard-drives failures in any OS are never fun but they are a fact of today fast growing technology life whether you use a PC or Mac. Users often face problem when their hard-drive create problem after using many years, and sometimes they wind up with a HD, which goes kaput after using few months (say 6-7 months).

So, if you are a Mac users and facing problems related to your hard-drive, then here we are going to discuss with you a very simple and effective method of recovering all the deleted files and folder from a failing Mac hard-drive.

In the simple term, you are simply implementing a file transfer between 2 different drives. But, at the same time it is important to pick the best secondary data storage mediums, which backup your data easily without any issue. Thankfully, data backup redundancy is very easy to do using Time Machine and it only requires 2 external drives to be connected with the Mac OS. The below mentioned method work perfectly for a boot-drive as well, but for getting the good results you need to boot the Mac from a separate USB boot-drive.

 Check a Hard-Drive Failure Problem

A hard-drive failure can be checked in a number of different ways. In the worst case, you will hear abnormal sounds from your failing hard-drive. A failing drive may eject itself and OS X can also provide some signals when a HD will not function properly. Sometimes, when you try to connect a drive, it will forcibly mount in the ‘Read only’ mode.

Sometimes, Disk Utility won’t be able to repair the hard-drive and you will be asked to take data backup and then reformat the drive. Whether, you format the drive or not, it is going to matter a lot in the long run. For example, a ‘logical failure’ is the result of the file system corruption and ‘mechanical failure’ implies physical components of the hard-drive got damaged.

1. Power off the failing hard-drive and eject it

Simply keep the drive power off and eject it from your Mac OS X. Also, try to avoid it to reconnect until you are ready to perform all the major file transfer tasks. You don’t need to put the extra pressure on the failing drive by using it more. At the same time, you should also need to look from a data recovery mindset, it is best to leave the hard-drive powered off until, all the files come to new HD.

2. Get a new Mac drive and format or partition it

First buy a brand new drive as soon as possible. You can easily buy huge data storage drive at great prices. After buying the drive, do the following task:
  • Format the drive to make it Mac compatible
  • If the previous drive was partitioned, then also partition the new drive
3. Connect your Failing Hard-Drive and Start Data Transfer

Once the new drive is ready to use, connect it to your Mac OS. Now, for powering up the failing drive, simply connect it to your Mac system and then start copying your drive from failing drive to new HD. To do this, simply open a Finder window with both old and new drive, select all the data from old drive and then drag-drop to new drive for file transfer.

This data transfer process data time to complete, so be prepared to wait for it. You can also do some other tasks, while the data transfer process completes. Since waiting for hours is less useful as compared to do some other important tasks. You didn’t surprise if it takes more than 12 hours for each of the 1 TB of data transfer.

Imp.: If the data backup in your Time-Machine is on, then simply turn off it in order to prevent further data writing on the failing drive.

Final Conclusion: 

If during the data transfer process, copy of data is failing at any point or the drive continues to unmount itself randomly, you can use 3rd party software like Stellar Volume Optimizer. This software will cost only $49 and helps you to recover the data from a failing HD where the standard data transfer method fails. If all the options fail, then go with some professional data recovery software, which provides data recovery option. Such services are never cheap, but they will retrieve your deleted data within few hours.

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.