Category Archives: Macintosh Advice

How to make a bootable USB Mac OS X Yosemite install drive

Capital Mac Service Business Services

Let Capital Mac Service be your Macintosh business connection in the Capital District area!

Since there haven’t been CD’s or DVD’s to reinstall Mac OS X software in the last few years, here’s a fast and easy way to get yourself any of the Macintosh OS X versions on your own USB flash drive. This is a great trick for any Macintosh IT folks who need to do installs all day long!

What you’ll need for your Mac OS X Yosemite USB installer

  1. At least an 8GB USB flash memory stick, such as this model
  2. The Mac OS X Yosemite downloaded installer (more on this soon)
  3. Some Mac OS X Terminal voodoo (more on this, too)

The first step in creating your own bootable USB Mac OS X Yosemite install drive

First, we are going to insert our USB flash drive–make sure it’s empty since it will be erased later. It has to be formatted in disk utility if it’s not already formatted, so go ahead and do this in the disk utility program. Make sure the name of the flash drive is “untitled” for the sake of this example. Also make sure you have the Mac OS X Yosemite installer, which is located in the Applications folder. If you don’t see it there, you will have to go to the Mac App Store and redownload it from your purchases tab. This may take awhile, since the file is around 6GB.

We are going to launch the Terminal, which is located in the Utilities folder inside of your Applications folder. If you don’t know where any of that is, this article may be a bit advanced for you. Launch the Terminal and copy and paste the next code into the Terminal window and hit return–(you will be asked for your administration password!):

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –volume /Volumes/Untitled –applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ –nointeraction

The Terminal will now show you progress of the process, which can take 30 to 90 minutes or even more. You will see things like: Erasing Disk: 0%…10 percent…20 percent… during the process. Eventually, it will copy the installer files and make the disk bootable. After the “done” command appears, you will have a perfectly good Yosemite Mac OS X installer USB drive.


Mac OS X Installers Cannot Be Verified: Tampered or Corrupted?

Capital Mac Service Business Services

“This copy of the Install OS X Mavericks application can’t be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading”

The reason why this insane message is happening is because as of February 2016, the security certificates that validate these Mac OS X installs seems to have expired. What this means is that when you try to install Mac OS X Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan from any USB or external source, the certificate checking process will render your copy of the installer null and void. You will then get the error “This copy of the Install OS X Mavericks application can’t be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading.”

Thankfully, as annoying as this is, there’s a pretty easy fix in the Terminal, located on every installer of Mac OS X. Here’s what to do:

  1. Boot into the OS X installer as you would normally do (hold down option at boot and choose your installer
  2. Disconnect the ethernet cable if it’s connected and turn off wi-fi from the networking menu
  3. Open the utilities menu item and choose “Terminal”
  4. When the Terminal appears, simply type in the following command: date 0202020216
  5. Hit return and you will now see the new date as read back by the system
  6. Quit the Terminal
  7. You can now begin to reinstall OS X from the main screen as you did before

Why does this work in the Mac OS X Terminal?

The reason why this works is that you are actually turning your computer into a time machine–and you are telling it to go back to the date February 2nd, 2016. This tricks the certificate into believing that the date is now in the past and allows the installation to resume. You can also redownload any installers to get the new certificates, which are located in your purchase history on the Mac App Store. You would then have to make new installer disks with these new downloaded installers.

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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!

Apple Launches MacBook Pro Retina Display Quality Program

MacBook Pro Retina Staining Issues

Does your MacBook Pro Retina screen look like this?

In the fall of 2015, Apple quietly introduced a program to replace displays on MacBook Pro Retina models that exhibit strange markings around the outer edge of the display. This is known as the MacBook Pro Retina Display replacement program. The best ways to describe the MacBook Pro displays that have this issue are the following:

  • Greenish metallic hues around the edges of the MacBook Pro retina display
  • Blackish-green coloring that bleeds into the viewing area on some MacBook Pros
  • Strange staining around the edges of the MacBook Pro display
  • The MacBook Pro Retina screen coating seems to be wearing away
  • Scratching near the edges of the MacBook Pro Retina screen
  • Etching near the edges of the MacBook Pro Retina displays

Capital Mac Service had this issue on our MacBook Pro Retina

MacBook Pro Retina Display Staining

MacBook Pro Retina stains can go around the entire screen

Unfortunately, the main Capital Mac Service MacBook Pro Retina began to show this screen delamination issue, starting in the corner and working its way all around the display. We contacted Apple Support and they did offer to cover the cost of a new display for our MacBook Pro Retina. 4 days later, we have the MacBook Pro back and it’s looking just like new!

Conditions for the MacBook Pro display replacement program

Some of the conditions of this Apple MacBook Pro Retina display recall include the following:

  • Expect a replacement display on your MacBook Pro from up to 3 years from your original purchase date or 1 full year from October 16, 2015, whichever one is later.
  • If you paid for a repair to fix the screen issues on the MacBook Pro, you are entitled to a refund through AppleCare.
  • If you have anything else that may be causing screen issues, such as a bad logic board, you may have to pay for that repair before you can get the free screen replacement.

You can read more about what users are calling this “Staingate,” at the website devoted to this MacBook Pro Retina screen issue, located here.

Online Petition to Fix Older Adobe Software on the Mac

Adobe CS5 Crashing on ExitA petition (vote here) has popped up asking Adobe to issue fixes relating to issues that appeared on older Adobe products, such as CS4, CS5 and CS6 when the new Mac OS X El Capitan arrived. Some of those issues include the infamous Adobe Illustrator CS5 color picker crash on El Capitan (and sometimes Yosemite) and Illustrator CS5 mysteriously quitting on exit (there’s a temporary fix here). Vote on this petition to demand Adobe issue patches for older software and not bully you into buying a cloud subscription to the Adobe Creative Suite. This petition to force Adobe to fix older Creative Suite CS5 software on the Mac may gain traction and cause them to issue fixes for these annoying Adobe Illustrator CS5 problems on Apple’s Mac OS X El Capitan. Please share this article to gain support for Adobe supporting older Mac software and fix these annoying bugs in El Capitan Macs!