Category Archives: Backup

How to Configure Time Machine on Your Macintosh

Time Machine is one of the most important items that comes with every Macintosh computer. This is the software–not hardware–that automatically backs your critical and important data up in case of total loss. You will have to purchase an external hard drive (purchase here) before you can use Time Machine.

What exactly is Time Machine?

To make sure your data is completely backed up on your Macintosh, you should use the built-in backup software, which is called Time Machine. This software is on every Macintosh that is running OS X 10.5 or later. The Time Machine icon is in your menubar, and looks like this:

Time Machine Icon

Once you locate this Time Machine icon, click on it and choose “Open Time Machine Preferences…” from the pop-down menu. This will bring you here, to the main Time Machine preferences window:

Time Machine preferences

From here, you want to make sure you have actually selected your external hard drive as the hard drive Time Machine will start to use. Simply hit the “Select Disk…” button and you will see the window to choose your external hard drive:

Time Machine Disk Choice

At this point, simply select your external hard drive from the list (there may only be one choice, depending on how many external hard drives you have plugged in!) and then hit the “Use for Backup” button. A message asking to reformat, or erase, this hard drive may appear. If you have no critical data stored on this hard drive (it should be empty since you just bought it) then proceed with the erase. This will initiate the hard drive and get it ready for backup!

Make sure you have the large ON and OFF switch turned to the ON position.

Close this window and Time Machine will begin the backup process, which could take hours. When it’s complete, you will see something like this in the Time Machine menubar icon, which states when the last backup successfully occurred–keep in mind, Time Machine backs up every hour while the hard drive is plugged in:

Time Machine Done

Feel free to contact Capital Mac with any questions about backing up your important data with Time Machine.

Mac Solid State Hard Drive (SSD) Upgrades: 5 Things You Need to Know

SSD Macintosh Upgrades

Speed up your slow Macintosh with a FAST SSD drive!

One of the best inventions over the last few years has definitely been the solid state hard drive, or SSD for short. Hard drive technology has taken a radical turn with the advent of the SSD drive, bringing many benefits to your aging Macintosh computer. Why is my mac computer slow? In this post, Capital Mac Service will explain 5 things you need to know before upgrading to this exciting new technology, which is now in reach to any Macintosh user and finally at affordable rates.

Speed is king in a Solid State Hard Drive.

Hard Drive vs. SSD Speed on a Mac

Witness the performance increase on a Mac from a solid state hard drive, seen in this speed chart–longer bars are faster!

  • Why is my mac computer running slow? Today’s solid state drive (SSD) upgrades will bring a new level of speed to your aging Macintosh computer. Most of our client interactions begin the same way: “My computer is so slow! It wasn’t like that when I bought it.” There’s good reason for this–old fashioned hard drives begin to slow down as they age, eventually failing completely. This translates into day to day speed degrading on your beloved Macintosh. An SSD will not only return you to early day speeds, but, it will sometimes eclipse the speed of your original hard drive by multiples. See some of the Capital Mac Service before and after SSD conversion videos here and prepare to be amazed–these are real client computers!

No moving parts.

Hard Drive vs. Solid State Drive internally

On the left is an old-fashioned hard drive with moving parts. On the right, an SSD with no moving parts to slow it down.

The reason most old-fashioned hard drives fail is because they are built with moving parts–many moving and delicate parts. These hard drives spin like an old record player at about 5,400 RPM–that means they spin almost 6,000 every minute while in use. The arm that reads the data on this spinning disk is delicate and will usually be the failure point of these hard drives–you may even hear it “clicking” when it dies. Solid State hard drives on the other hand, have no moving parts whatsoever. This translates into longer life and much faster response time.

SSD Drives are affordable, now more than ever.

SSD Pricing declining year over year

The price of an average Solid State Hard Drive is dropping dramatically as seen in this graph from a few years back

The prices of solid state hard drives have fallen dramatically over the last few years. This means that Capital Mac Service can now offer very competitive pricing on these exciting SSD upgrades. If your computer is in good working order, we can usually even transfer all of your current data from the old hard drive to the new SSD drive. We offer a variety of sizes on the SSD upgrade, from 128GB, all the way to 1TB if needed. Contact Capital Mac Service today for this amazing upgrade opportunity before you look at a new Macintosh.

Some Quiet, please.

Another benefit of the SSD upgrade on your Macintosh is the noise factor–SSD hard drives are silent since they have no moving parts. This means that you will virtually never hear anything coming from your hard drive bay, since there is no spinning disk anymore!

Hard Drive Vs. SSD Power Consumption Rates

This graph shows the power consumption of a standard hard drive vs. a Solid State hard drive…lower bars are better!

Better battery life with an SSD.

Because there are no moving parts or motors to drive, your Mac’s battery will thank you for upgrading to a new SSD drive. Power requirements are much less with an SSD, which translates to longer battery life on your portable Macintosh.

Scratched Hard Drive Platter

Here we can see a scratch on a hard drive platter after being dropped. Chances of data recovery are almost 0% in this case. Solid State Hard Drives don’t have this issue!

Reliability and less accidental failures.

If you have ever dropped your Macintosh laptop, the first thing that will usually become damaged is the internal hard drive. It’s similar to dropping an old-fashioned record player onto the floor while playing a record. Bad drops are usually the death knell for a Macintosh hard drive. With a SSD upgrade, your hard drive’s chances of survival increase to almost 100%. Since there are no moving parts in an SSD, there’s nothing to damage. SSD drives are also slated to last longer than a traditional hard drive. SSD drives have a predictable rate in which they can no longer accept or write data, unlike a standard hard drive.

SSD Macintosh Upgrades Before and AfterCapital Mac Service is a local SSD Upgrade leader.

Capital Mac Service has been installing SSD hard drives into older Macintosh computers in the Capital District for the last 3 years–we have the experience and knowledge to get the right SSD for your Macintosh and install it correctly and quickly. Most SSD upgrades are either same day upgrades, or, 24 hours at most. While your hard drive is currently working, contact us for a quote on this exciting new upgrade that will breathe life into your older Macintosh!

Gadget Corner: Seagate 1TB USB 3.0 Backup Drive

Seagate 1TB Mac Backup DriveWe know for a fact here at Capital Mac Service, that most of you don’t backup your Macintosh on a regular basis. Most of you find it a hassle, or, simply don’t know how to use the built-in Time Machine software to back your critical data up. Most of you also don’t know that a typical hard drive will only last you about 3-4 years on average, and, that it will simply stop working with no chance to get that data back (unless you use a drive recovery service for about $700-$1,000). In this Gadget Corner by Capital Mac Service, we are going to make it super-easy for you to not have to deal with data loss–introducing the Seagate 1TB USB 3.0 portable backup drive. Simply purchase this amazingly small and self-powered hard drive and plug it into your Macintosh. The Mac will ask you if you want to use this as a backup drive–say “yes” and from now on, your computer will keep itself perfectly backed up. That’s it, literally.

Some features of this hard drive include:

  • Quick file transfer with USB 3.0 connectivity
  • USB powered -no power supply necessary
  • Compatible with Time Machine software built-in to every Mac
  • Various colors
  • Cable included

This hard drive is at an all-time low of about $60 and will save you hundreds on a complete data loss, especially if your Macintosh is getting older. Take a moment and purchase this amazing backup drive from Amazon today–you won’t be disappointed. Seagate 1TB USB 3.0 portable backup drive (from Amazon).

Why (and how) do I need to backup my Macintosh?

Backup Your Macintosh with Time MachineComputer backup is one of those things like airbags; hopefully you will never need it, but, it’s there regardless. On average, today’s 3-5 year old Macintosh is going to blow a hard drive. You know, that place where every single photo you have EVER taken is stored. EVERY single document you have typed since the early days of college. That James Brown song that you found on some strange website 14 years ago. Now, imagine if all of that data was just……gone. It happens and it’s not Apple’s problem. When you walk into an Apple Store Genius Bar with this problem, they will kindly ask you if you backed up BEFORE the computer is in a death spiral. Since I’ve performed that very job for Apple, I can assure you that more than 50% of those customers answered “What is backup?” At that point, your Genius will probably sigh and begin the long, sad, awkward conversation on how you just lost all of your data. Read more below the fold.

Fortunately for you, faithful Apple soul, the answers you seek before this catastrophe are about to be laid out before you. First step, get a hard drive. I’m going to make this VERY easy on you and give you a link to the very hard drive I’m talking about–a simple 1 terabyte hard drive that will back up your computer–any computer–for about $70 bucks. Click here to go buy that on Amazon and get your data SAFE. That hard drive is about a small as a deck of cards and connects to your computer with ONE simple cable. That’s it.

You’re probably thinking: “Once I plug in this mysterious hard drive, what do I do to get it backing up?” Easy. The answer is click on “OK” when you see a message that states “Do you want to use Time Machine to backup your personal data?” Just say yes. Time Machine is the built-in software that allows your vulnerable Mac to back itself up to this new magical hard drive. As a matter of fact, it will save your life to the point of backing up EVERY SINGLE HOUR while that hard drive is plugged in. This is literally one of those set-it and forget-it moments thanks to Apple.

From that point on, your data is safe and secure!

Capital Mac is ready and able to talk about any of your data backup needs. Let us know by contacting us today–we can get you a hard drive and go over your backup options!

Before sending your Mac to depot, get that data safe!

Capital Mac Data Extraction

Is your Macintosh data safe before sending to the Apple depot facility? Let Capital Mac help you be sure.

Your computer may be ready to be sent out to the Apple depot center for repair, but, make sure that data is safe before you send it out! When you check in a Macintosh laptop for Apple depot service, you will have to sign a waiver saying your data is completely safe, and, it may be wiped when it goes out for service. Unfortunately, your Macbook may be completely dead or not working correctly in some way. At this point, your data is locked on the computer with no way to get it off–until you call Capital Mac Service. We would be happy to extract that data–for a reasonable rate–and get it safe onto an external hard drive–even if your Mac will not power up. Remember, the data is not guaranteed to be there after it returns from the Apple depot center–do you want to take that chance? Contact Capital Mac today so we can get that data safe.