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.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

How to Recover Data in Mac from External Hard Drive?

In today fast growing world, hard drive is the most important part of any OS, whether it is Mac, Windows or any other. Main reason for the importance of hard drive is their ability of storing huge amount of data within quick period of time.

Do you know a hard drive rotates at the speed of 4000 to 8000 revolutions per second for providing quick access of the data stored into it? But, at the same time there are certain disadvantages which might prove costly for a Mac user. One of the most common one is the data loss from the hard drive.
Main reasons for data loss:

  • Mac shut down abruptly
  • Corruption of hard drives
  • Files emptied from trash
  • Accidental drive erasing
  • Unmounted Mac drive

But, today majority of the people prefer to use external hard drives as a supplementary data storage device for Mac OS. It is always beneficial for a Mac user to keep all their important data so that he/she can bring all the photo, video etc. from one place to another easily. Problem comes when you accidentally delete some data from your external hard drive. It might be possible that your data is lost from your external hard drive or it may become corrupted in the external hard drive?

When a Mac user faces such data loss problems, then he/she ask: Is there any Mac related software which can perform Mac external hard drive recovery? In such cases, Stellar Phoenix Mac data recovery software comes handy.

Stellar Phoenix Mac data recovery helps the Mac user in regaining the lost files, deleted and corrupted data from external hard drive. Below are the various system file formats which this software supports:

  • HFS, HFS+ (Apple file system)
  • FAT, ExFAT (Common format for any external hard drive)
  • NTFS (Window based file system)

How to use Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery to Recover Lost Data from External Hard Drive:

  1. The very first thing which you need to do is downloading and installs the software.
  2. Now, connect your external hard drive to the Mac OS X.
  3. When you double-click on the Stellar Phoenix Mac Data recover icon, a GUI will appear in front of you.
  4. In step 4, click on the blue button to proceed further.
  5. Here, you need to select the right option for external hard drive recovery for Mac OS. If your data is deleted from your hard drive, then select “Deleted Recovery” otherwise, select “Formatted Media”. 
  6. After selecting the right recovery option, you need to select your hard drive for scanning. 
  7. Once you complete the step 6, software scans the complete hard drive and gives a preview of your images, video, files etc. 
  8. If you are a registered user of this software, then it can also provide you an option through which you can recover all your deleted files at any desired location.

Final conclusion: Once you perform all the above mentioned step, your lost data from the external hard drive will be regain within few minutes.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

How to Recover Lost iPod Data after an iPod Reset or Restore?

IPod devices are widely used as a pocket computers and portable media players. You can use them as external data storage devices to carry files. Using the Apple's iTunes, you can transfer data to and from the iPod device using Apple Macintosh and Windows operating systems.

Using the iTunes restore option, you can erase all data structure on the iPod drive. If you have those deleted files in your iTunes then you can re-synchronize your device to iTunes and restore your files back.

But in case, you don’t have backup and wants to restore files that accidentally deleted even from the iTunes backup folder, then there is no direct way to restore back the deleted files. In such situation, you would require data recovery software for iPod.

Note:  If you have lost your iPod data, stop performing any action with it. As it may overwrite the deleted data and thus reduces the chances of recovery. Don’t even connect it with iTunes or any other app.

How to restore iPod to factory settings using iTunes?

You can restore your iPod to factory settings using the iTunes restore option. It let you erase all data (songs, videos, photos, calendar and contacts etc.) from the device and setup the device as new. If you want to restore some deleted data, you can so it by synchronizing g your device with ITunes data library.

If you want to restore your device using the iTunes Restore option keep in mind the following things.
You must have the latest version of iTunes on your device. Backup your device data using the iTunes backup or copy the device data to another device/computer.

Now follow the given steps to restore your device:
  • Connect the iPod to the computer system
  • From the list of available devices, select your iPod.
  • Then click Restore from the Summary panel
  • In the prompt windows, click restore to confirm. It will remove all data from you device and restore it to factory settings.
  • After completion of the restore procedure, restart your device.
  • After restart, the welcome screen will come up. From there you can setup the device as new or restore it from a previous backup. 
Suppose you have erased all your IPod data using the factory reset and you don’t have any backup. Then how would you get it back. In such case you have to recover the lost IPod data using Stellar Phoenix iPod Data Recovery software.

Features of iPod recovery software:
  • Let you recover the lost data, documents, songs, video files, podcasts, e-books, and graphic files from your iPod on Windows system.
  • It performs iPod recovery in cases of file loss due to accidental /intentional deletion, iPod formatting, virus attack etc. 
  • Supports data recovery from iPod classic and iPod Shuffle on Windows based OS (Windows 7, Vista, XP, and 2000)
  • Let you create image of the IPod so that you can perform recovery later, if required.
  • The original format of the data is kept intact preserved after recovery.
  • The software offers three options: 'Quick Recovery', 'Deleted File Recovery' and 'Advance Recovery'
  • The data not available under the 'Quick Recovery' option could be scanned using the 'Advance Recovery' option.
  • It let you preview the list of recoverable items.From the scan results, you can search the desired data item using the 'Find' option. The File Mask and File Filter options let you search better from the scan results.
  • Using the tool, you can perform selective iPod recovery using the filters scan results according to file types and set criteria. The supported file types are MIDI, AIFF, M4A, OGG, RPS, M4P, AU, AVI, MOV, ASF, WMV, MP4, WMA, MP3, MPG, MPEG, GIF, WAV.
  • From the scan results, you can select the desired items and save them at your desired location.
  • Using the Create Image feature, you can create a .dat image of the iPod data and then perform recovery from the image.
  • It let you save the scan results so that you can resume the recovery process at later times. 

How to perform recovery using Stellar Phoenix iPod Recovery – Windows

  • Download and install the software. Connect the IPod to your system.
  • Open the software. Click on the "Recovery" icon then click on 'Play' button.
  • Select your iPod from the dropdown list
  • Click on 'Quick Recovery' then click 'Play'. You can also choose the 'Deleted File Recovery' and 'Advance Recovery' options according to needs. 

  • This will begin the scan process.
From the scan result, select the folder that you want to recover and then click ‘Play’. Select the files to be recovered and save them at desired location.

Monday, 27 April 2015

How to Clean Up Mac without Spending a Penny?

Many times your Mac system might slow down when you put some extra data on the hard drive. It is always beneficial for you to clean up your Mac at regular interval of time in order to run multiple processes smoothly.

Today, in this article I will share with you some of the cool tips and tricks through which you can easily cleanup your Mac system without spending any money. So, take a cup of coffee and read the below mentioned tips of cleaning up Mac OS.

1. Clean the Mac Desktop:
This is the very first and most important step in order to improve the efficiency of a Mac OS X. Desktop is the first screen, which the system has to load for completing the booting process. So, if lesser number of icons will be present on your screen, your system will boot fast and save your valuable time. I suggest you to either delete them or put them in a separate folder so that OS of Mac doesn't start them at booting time. This will ensure that your system will improve and load at a faster speed.

2. Manage your startup items:
When you install any software on your Mac, they automatically change your system startup settings and they will load when your system will boot. Depending upon the setting, it may either become helpful for you or even slow down your system. And, if you left such small applications default, then they consume a lot of your system resources and become the main reason for slowness of the system. If you are a Mac OS X 10.10 user, then you can do this by going to System Preferences > System > Users & Groups > Login items and then uncheck those applications which you don’t want to run at the boot time.

3. Clean your hard drive:
Mac uses the free space of your hard drive as a “virtual memory” which plays a crucial role in the overall system performance. An over filled hard drive can't perform quickly or execute multiple application smoothly. To get through this, one of the best ways is to free up your hard drive in order to make room for the “virtual memory”.
For cleaning up your hard drive, you can empty your system log files, empty trash and other unnecessary applications that are useless for you.

4. Check Activity Monitor:
There are times when you don’t know which process is taking more memory and CPU usage, then Apple Activity Monitor comes handy. With the help of Activity Monitor, you can easily check which process is taking max CPU or RAM usage.

5. Embrace Mac cleaning utility tools:
This is the simplest way of optimizing and speeding up the Mac system. Here you can take the help of a utility tool such as OnyX. This software regularly maintains of your system and helps it in running smoothly.  

6. Upgrade your hardware:
If your system doesn't speed up despite applying all the above-mentioned tricks, then the last option is to upgrade your system hardware. You can look out for SSD, RAM and even large capacity hard drives.

That’s all from my side. I hope the above written tips will be helpful for you in speeding up your Mac OSX. 

How to recover data from RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 configurations?

The traditional data storage configuration system has been replaced by RAID in majority. The RAID configuration let you store large amount of data with enhanced features such as: data protection, reliability, availability, performance. Sometimes you may lose access to your RAID data due to various reasons such as: Hardware failure, drive corruption, array failure etc.

You can find here information about various RAID configurations and later on, we will discuss how to recover data once the RAID architecture fails or become inaccessible.

About RAID configurations:

The term RAID refers to redundant array of independent disks.
The configuration is based on the concept of storage virtualization. Virtualization means dividing the system resources among different applications. A storage system is basically a storage array or disk array or a filer. Storage virtualization uses virtualization to enable better functionality, data redundancy, performance improvement and more advanced features in computer data storage systems. RAID uses the concept of storage virtualization for combining multiple disk drive components into a logical unit.
Using this kind of methods, the computing and data processing gets faster. Along with these, it also provides better data protection, reliability, availability, performance, and capacity features.
Based on architectures, RAID is divided into different levels: RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 2, RAID 3, RAID 4, RAID 5, RAID 6 and RAID 10 etc.
Different RAID levels are explained below:

RAID 0: It is also known as a stripe set or striped volume. Data is distributed evenly between two or more striped disks that act as a single large logical disk. No redundancy, mirroring, parity is used. As there is no redundancy, if one drive fails the whole RAID volume fails.

RAID 1: The data of the drives are copied/ mirrored exactly on two or more disks. If one drive fails the RAID still keeps working as the same data is present on the other mirrored copy of the disk from where it can be accessed. No parity or striping is used.

RAID 2:  Bit-level striping is done rather than block level. The disks work in synchronization such that each sequential bit is on a different drive. Hamming code is used for error correction.

RAID 3: In this case, Byte level striping is done. The disks work in synchronization such that each sequential byte is on a different drive. For each corresponding byte parity is calculated and stored on a dedicated parity drive

RAID 4: It is based on block-level striping with dedicated parity

RAID 5: It is based on block-level striping with distributed parity among the drives. Minimum of 3 disks is required to create RAID 5. If a single drive fails, still it will be functioning.

RAID 6: It is based on block-level striping with double distributed parity thus provides fault tolerance up to two failed drives

Note: Data striping is a practice of saving consecutive segments of logical sequential data on different physical storage devices. disk mirroring is the replication of logical disk volumes onto separate physical hard disks in real time to ensure continuous availability A parity bit, or check bit is a bit added to the end of a string of binary code that indicates whether the number of bits in the string with the value one is even or odd. Parity bits are used as the simplest form of error detecting code.
Among the above RAID implementations, RAID 5 is the popular one.

Which one to choose?

In RAID 5 the data blocks and parity is striped among all disks. Though it offers good data protection, it has few drawbacks too.

  • 20% of the disk space is allocated for parity.
  • If the data blocks are large, the read performance will be slower.
  • When a RAID 5 is to be rebuilt, a lot of complex parity calculations needs to be done for every block. Building the disk from scratch is quite sophisticated and time consuming. If a single sector on the RAID 5 array demise, the whole array needs to be rebuilt. As the size of disk will be more, the time taken for rebuilt will also increase accordingly. Comparatively RAID 6 is treated as a better choice in comparison to RAID 5. 
If even a single disk fails, the whole RAID 5 array becomes erroneous. The problem disk hasn’t been repaired, Meanwhile a second disk demises. In such case, you may lose your important data. In such case the faulty drive needs to be rebuilt while it’s online and in production. If RAID has stopped working properly due to any logical issues, you can have a quick and easy RAID recovery by using the Stellar Phoenix RAID Recovery software. The software can recover raid data from various RAID configurations of RAID 0, 5, 6 and 10 servers.
Using the software, you can recover deleted documents, files, folder, multimedia files and emails from Windows drives, external media, and RAID 0, RAID 5, and RAID 6 arrays. It lets you recover lost/missing RAID logical volumes, FAT, exFAT, and NTFS partitions of size 2 TB or more. You can preview the list of recoverable items before actual recovery.

The software offers 'Remote Recovery' feature to perform recovery over a network or remote location. To build the probable RAID construction, the software automatically matches patterns and parameters of the RAID configuration. If you don’t remember these details, simply select the 'Don't know' option and parameter values (Strip Size, Parity Order, Parity Delay etc.).

If the software fails to build RAID construction then you can perform RAW recovery using virtual RAID construction. Using the tool, you can create image of your problematic hard drive volume or external media and perform recovery from the drive image. Signature based recovery comes handy if the quick recovery fails to recover the lost data. The software let you recover corrupt or incorrectly burnt CD DVD burnt on Windows, Mac, UNIX or Linux. You can benefit the S.M.A.R.T features using the 'Drive Status' option of the tool. This feature let you gather the hard disk information about serial number, model number, size, status, temperature and firmware revision etc.

How to Install WhatsApp on Mac in 5 minutes?

If you are a Mac user and want to chat with your relatives or friends, then there is good news for you. Now, you can easily share photos or send message using WhatsApp. Today, in this article we will tell you how you can easily install WhatsApp in 5 minutes on Mac OSX and can take the full benefit from this new technology.

Currently, WhatsApp is the most popular and globally used online messaging application that anyone can use with just an internet connection. You can also have the option of using this message application on mobile based operating systems like Android, iPhone, Blackberry etc. 

If you want to chat with your close friends or relatives, no matter where they are located, you can use WhatsApp messenger for that.

Many people don’t know the fact that they can use WhatsApp on their Mac too. But, using the below mentioned steps, you can install WhatsApp on your Mac OSX very easily.

Step 1Visit on, and download its latest version as per your Mac OSX.

Step 2Once download completed, install this software.

Step 3After installation of Bluestacks, you will need to select some option of your choice.

Step 4Now, launch any of the major social networking site (either Facebook or Twitter or both) and login into it.

Step 5Now, launch Mac default browser (i.e. Safari) or any other browser and visit

Step 6:In this step, visit on Bluestacks and go to either Facebook or Twitter

Step 7:Click on the link which is discussed in step 5 and download, install the WhatsApp on your system.

Step 8Now, follow the setup process after clicking on the next button.

Step 9: In the final step, you will get a verification code which completes the installation processes.

Major features of WhatsApp for Mac OSX:

Some of the major and helpful features of WhatsApp for Mac are given below:-
  1. It is less expensive or you can use it free of charge in the 1st year. It makes the chatting easy with any of your friend or relatives.
  2. Second major benefit of WhatsApp on Mac is that you don’t need to login every time when you want to use it. This is because all of your data are automatically saved at the first time.
  3. Here, you also have the option of making groups of like-minded people for better online communication.
  4. You can also send multimedia message i.e. both images and text message. This is the one of the major reason for high popularity of WhatsApp over other chatting messenger like Viber.
We hope up to here you got clear idea of how to install WhatsApp in Mac OSX and take the maximum advantage of this free messaging platform.