When using your Mac, maintaining a small amount of free drive space is required to keep your system running optimally. While nothing stops you from adding files to your drive until it can hold no more, once you start encroaching on the last ~10GB-20GB of space, the system will not be able to manage its virtual memory footprint as easily, resulting in slower performance. Additionally, even though OS X manages file fragmentation for conventional hard drives well by keeping 20MB chunks of data in contiguous blocks, this feature requires free space to work, and may suffer if you are limited … Read more
If you purchase an external drive for your Mac, you might be doing so to free up space on your boot drive, or to provide a central and unrestricted area for all user accounts to access. While this is a common and often recommended practice, if you simply purchase an external drive, plug it in, and start using it, you might be overlooking a detail that could result in slower performance or even data loss.
When you purchase an external hard drive to use with your Mac, it is likely going to be formatted with a FAT32 file system. Since … Read more
The next-gen Xbox One and PlayStation 4 game consoles are both coming in November. In the meantime, current-generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles are more affordable than ever -- both available for the very reasonable sum of $199. But are these entry-level models so stripped-down that they're a bad investment? Or are they a budget gamer's dream?
The dilemma It's hard to imagine that anyone interested in buying an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 doesn't already own one (it's been a half-dozen years, people). That said, there's still a lot of fun to … Read more
Are your iMac's fans blaring at full speed after having upgraded or replaced its hard drive? If so then you may have overlooked a simple detail or two upon reassembling your system.
In order to replace an iMac's hard drive, you have to open the front of the system by using special tools to lift off the glass, then get underneath a number of components to reveal the hard drive bays. While not a trivial task, it is definitely doable with the proper know-how, such as following some of the guides available at iFixIt and other sources. However, … Read more
The included Recovery partition in OS X Lion and Mountain Lion provides tools for repairing a damaged hard drive, restoring from backup, and reinstalling OS X if needed, among other options. If your system needs any of these tasks performed, then you can usually load the Recovery partition by holding Command-R at startup. However, there may be times when this will not work, and instead of loading the recovery tools the system boots to the standard OS X installation.
If you find you cannot load the OS X Recovery partition, then there are several things you can look into as … Read more
To partition and format a disk in OS X, you generally open Disk Utility, select the disk in the tool's sidebar, and click use the Partition tab to select and apply a partition scheme; however, there may be times when this will not work, and Disk Utility will give you an error such as the disk cannot be unmounted, or that the resource is busy.
Sometimes when errors like this occur, it suggests the drive may be failing; however, this is not always the case. At other times, the drive may simply be experiencing some partition table troubles or … Read more
Following up on the SSD 840 series that came out in November 2012, Samsung today announced its new entry-level solid-state drive, the 840 Evo.
The main difference between the two is the fact that the 840 Evo offers up to 1TB of storage space, double that of the 840 series, and significantly faster performance.
Like the previous drive, the 840 Evo comes in the 7mm-thick, 2.5-inch design and supports the SATA 3 (6Gbps) I/O standard.
Samsung says the 840 Evo uses its compact 10-nanometer class 128GB NAND flash memory, which the company started mass-producing in April, and is … Read more
Disk Utility's format- and partition-checking routines can be run from various locations in OS X, such as within the main boot drive, from the recovery partition, or when using an alternative boot drive. You can also load your system into Safe Mode (holding Shift at startup), where similar routines will be run automatically.
These approaches to verifying the drive and partition tables should all show the same results, but this may not always be the case. In some cases, one routine such as using Disk Utility on the boot drive will show the drive as being perfectly fine, but … Read more
I don't know what's going on with hard-drive prices lately, except that they're getting more awesome by the day.
To wit: While supplies last (and I'm concerned they won't last long), Newegg has the Seagate Expansion STBV3000100 3TB USB 3.0 hard drive for $99.99 shipped. Surprisingly, there's no coupon code needed to get this deal, which would run you about $20 more elsewhere.
The aptly named Expansion is a fairly boring-looking black slab stocked with a 3TB drive. Seagate doesn't specify the rotational speed, but I'll wager my weight in … Read more
When you boot OS X or attach a hard drive, the system will automatically try to mount any available volumes so you can access or format them for use. However, there may be times when you don't wish this to happen.
For example, if you have a dual-boot setup such as OS X 10.7 on one partition and OS X 10.8 on another, then you may wish to prevent one boot volume from being easily modified and perhaps corrupted when you are in the other operating system.
To do this, you will need to make use of … Read more