Tag Archives: Hard Drive

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.

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).

Speed Up Your Old MacBook With an SSD

SSD Macintosh Upgrades Before and AfterHere’s another new video of Capital Mac Service upgrading an old (and slow) hard drive to a speedy new solid state hard drive (SSD). Contact us today in the Capital District (Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Latham, Saratoga) for more details on this super-easy way to speed up your older Macintosh laptops! We offer competitive rates, warranty and data transfer on all of our SSD conversion and upgrade services.

Add a second hard drive to your Macbook Pro

Don’t Use Your Macbook Pro CD Drive Anymore? Put a 2nd Hard Drive In There!

Add a second hard drive to your Macbook Pro

Adding a second hard drive to your Macbook Pro is as easy as removing the CD drive!

If you have decided that your internal CD drive is no longer of use to you in your Macbook Pro, let Capital Mac take it out and replace it with a secondary hard drive–that’s correct–you can actually have 2 separate hard drives in your Macbook Pro. It’s up to you to decide if you want solid state drives (SSD), or, 2 regular full-size hard drives inside your computer. Imagine the hard drive space you would have with 2 internal 500GB hard drives! It’s an easy process and we would be happy to give you a quote on this exciting service. Click here to contact us!

Why is my Macintosh booting to a gray screen all of a sudden?

Booting to OS X Gray Screen“I woke up today to turn my computer on and it’s now booting to nothing but either a gray screen, or, a gray screen with the Apple logo and a loading bar at the bottom of the screen.”

During my time with Apple, this was something I heard about umpteen times a day. What it usually means is either a failed hard drive, hard drive cable, or, directory damage that is stopping the unit from booting. Rarely, it’s a problem with the operating system, but, usually it’s one of the first 3. Read more below the fold!
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An easy way to check this out is to force reboot the computer and hold down these 2 keys: COMMAND and the S keys simultaneously, which puts the computer into a mode called “Single User Mode.” This mode will cause the screen to turn black and display a whole bunch of white text, similar to an old DOS computer. When you see this text, you can let go of the keys. At the end of this stream of text, you will eventually get a prompt where you can type on the keyboard. Type this line of text just as you see it, with the spaces between:

fsck -y -f

Hit return on the keyboard and wait. Eventually, it’s going to either pass or fail–if it fails, you will see something that states the Macintosh HD could not be repaired, or maybe disk I/O error in that text. If it fails with either of these faults, you will most likely have to either erase the hard drive, or, replace the hard drive and cable. What you are seeing is directory damage, which can happen to anyone at anytime for any reason and it will prevent the computer from booting. Sometimes, the directory damage will be small and the built-in utility can repair it enough to get you on your way. Otherwise, you would need a higher strength disk utility such as DiskWarrior.

If you are nervous about doing any of this on your own, it’s Capital Mac to the rescue! Contact us for any types of gray screen or stuck at the Apple logo that you may experience on your Macintosh. We’re here to help!