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Apple Data Migration Assistant Makes Upgrading to a New Mac or New Drive Painless

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 | Author:

We all know the physical and emotional pain of trying to assemble a new item. Maybe it’s your new kitchen table and your significant other has been yelling at you for weeks to finish it (did we say yelling? We mean, “providing help and guidance”). Maybe you’ve considered duct tape as a viable option to replace a few screws. Maybe you’ve been rushed to assemble a new toy for your child on Christmas morning just to find out you have literally every kind of battery but the one it takes. Whatever it is, here at OWC we understand and try to accommodate you so you can get back to business.

We do our best at OWC to make sure that all of our videos make the process of replacing a drive easy. Our DIY kits for laptops and Mac minis make sure you have everything you need. And most importantly, we realize that the most vital part of an upgrade—and this applies to a new Mac as well as to a drive upgrade—is getting back to using that system without skipping a beat.

The good news is that Apple makes this incredibly painless, and there are just three simple steps we recommend for the best results. Article Continues…

Category: Tech Tips

Consider Keeping a Backup of Your Data Off-Site

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 | Author:

Several months ago, I had a catastrophic drive failure with my main music computer which wiped out my audio drive & motherboard!  I decided then and there that I would never let myself be vulnerable for data loss again.

I recently purchased the new Mercury Elite-Al Pro mini, and I love it! The purchase was made specifically for storing my precious music, financial records, and picture data off-site. That way, if anything were to physically happen to my computer, I would not lose any of my data.

Initially, I was going to ask my brother-in-law to hold onto the backup drive at his house for my off-site storage, but he’s approximately 40 miles from where I live.  But then I remembered my safe deposit box at the bank. Why not put the drive in there along with my paper based documents?

The beauty of this drive, as well as the Mercury On-The-Go-Pro, is that it fits easily in my safe deposit box.  So with very little expense, I now have off-site storage within 2 miles from where my studio is for protecting all my precious data.

I will be purchasing a second Mercury Elite-Al Pro mini so I can reduce the trips to my bank to every two weeks with new data saved. I’ve found that this is an excellent product, and now I finally have an inexpensive off-site storage solution!

1.4 million files can’t be wrong… or can they?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 | Author:

heavy-driveRecently, while doing a little “housekeeping” on my work Mac, I noticed that I had less than 10% of my drive available. While I do have a lot of large project files I work on from day to day, I was sure that my files shouldn’t have taken up anywhere near that much space.

So, in an effort to find out where the excess fat on my drive was, I turned to Grand Perspective, a free little utility that maps out your hard drive and gives you an overview of what is where and how much space it’s taking up.

Fortunately, I caught my problem early on into the process. In my case, the culprit was unusual but not unheard of.

On the root level of your drive, there is a hidden folder called Volumes (you can get there by hitting Command-Shift-G in the finder, then typing in “/Volumes” in the window or sheet that pops up). In this folder are aliases that point to the actual volumes mounted on your Mac.

Sometimes, when a drive is unmounted in an unusual manner (such as unplugging it without ejecting, then reattaching immediately), the alias to the drive is duplicated, showing up with a number after it. While you don’t see this on the desktop, it is still there. When you properly unmount the drive, the last alias created disappears, but that “original” alias remains. In and of itself, this isn’t much of a problem, a minor annoyance at best.

The problem is that the drive that was experiencing this “dual identity” was the drive I clone to. In my Volumes folder, I had four aliases of this drive. Unfortunately, when a drive isn’t available, a program will sometimes create a file or folder out of this alias and start to write to it as if it were its own volume.

That’s what happened to me. At least one—probably two—of the aliases had my backup written to it. As the Volumes folder is usually skipped by a clone, there weren’t any recursive backups, but it was enough to fill up my hard drive.

Fortunately, the solution was incredibly simple. All I had to do was unmount my clone drive, drag all the remaining aliases of that drive out of the Volumes folder and into the trash, and then empty the trash.

That got rid of over 1.4 million “extra” files – over 60% of my drive. That’s a lot of garbage.

The moral of this story is to keep an eye out on how much room is available on your drive. If it starts filling up faster than it should, you may want to check things out and make sure you don’t have a “hidden drive” on your computer.

Category: Tech Tips

Putting It All Together: Tips for better SSD Usage.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 | Author:

puzzle-piecesIf you upgrade a Mac to an SSD drive – having good management of your files is important where you use an additional drive or drives to have capacity for your photo, music, video libraries, etc.  With the relatively small sizes of SSD drives, they can fill up with data fast; but the performance benefits of SSD are undeniable.

If you’ve been following our blog since the beginning, we’ve given several tips on relocating these types of files off your internal storage on onto external storage solutions. Today’s modern operating systems make this pretty easy.

For those audiophiles out there, an iTunes library can quickly become an overwhelming size.  Back in March, we showed you how to move your iTunes library to an external hard drive such as the Mercury On-the-Go Pro.

Photography enthusiasts will also find their pictures taking up more and more hard drive space.  You can also move your iPhoto library to an external drive to keep your primary drive lean and operating at top speeds.

My basic rule of thumb to follow is to keep the Operating System and your applications themselves on the main, internal hard drive while storing the files, documents, pictures, movies, music, etc. on the separate drive.  By doing so, you can even use a 64GB SSD for boot and application performance benefits WHILE maintaining access to extensive file libraries that can’t all fit onto an SSD.

Check out OWC’s full selection of SSD Drives and External Hard Drive Solutions to find the fit that’s right for you.