Thursday, December 22, 2011

File Sharing Between Mac and Windows

File sharing between computers has become a necessity with the use of computers everywhere. With more and more people switching to Mac from Windows cross-platform connection has become common, earlier it was quite tricky but with time has become easy. Why one wish to connect Mac and a PC?  There can be various reasons:
  • You might prefer user interface of Mac
  • Might be having PC at home and Mac at office and need to share files.
  • You may be required Windows files which are shared on the local network.
  • You might want to share files between Mac and Windows machine.
  • You might have a network HDD attached and want to share files between Mac & Windows.

Ways to Share Mac and PC:

Using Firewire
This is the simplest method of connecting two machines but is possible only when two machines are placed together.
1.Get a Firewire that is easily available to connect Mac and PC.
2.Make sure that your files are in MS-DOS format as both Mac and PC support this format.
3.Connect the Firewire to the machines that need to be shared.
4.Transfer Data from one to another and remove the Firewire.

Sharing Files over the network

This is the option that is most preferred when the two machines are far enough to not connect by physical means. All we need is that two machines should be on a similar network. Mac is having a inbuild feature of detecting any system connected on local network, so it’s very easy for a windows user to share files for anyone on Mac.
Go to System Preferences from Apple Menu -> Select Sharing from Internet & Network
By default only Public Folder will be shared and if you want to share any other folder, click on the '+' sign and choose the folder.

After selecting, set Permission for each shared folder. You should prefer to allow Read only permission in order to avoid messing around with your files.
Now, transfer files from one machine to another over network.

  • Resource Sharing: One of the major benefits of sharing a Mac and a Window machine is Printer Sharing, means you can get output from your Printer regardless of which computer it is connected to.
  • Guest Account Sharing: Through network you can share Guest Account.
  • No Physical Boundaries: There is no boundation on the distance between two machines. You can place them anywhere irrespective of the fact that they are connected on a same network.
  • File Sharing is Cheap: Every Macintosh comes with mandatory software to share files, there is no need for users to spend money on hardware.
  • No File Size Limit: What if you are having file larger than 100MB? File Sharing's limits are much higher than that of any other storage media.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Clone and Backup your Hard Drive Using Disk Utility

To take proper backup of your data is the best way to recover from the worst situation that occurs from data loss and one of the best way for same is making clone of your drive. Cloning is a process of copying the content of your drive to another drive. The main reason why cloning is one of the best way is that you can create a bootable of your clone drive. If your OS X got corrupt and you want the data stored in it then you can boot your system from its clone.

There are software available in market for cloning like Stellar Drive Clone, Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper etc. but they need you to pay some amount of bucks. You are having a free facility for same that you guys may not be aware of. ANY GUESSES?? Ya, it’s by using Disk Utility. By Disk Utility you can clone your drive or simply do a full Backup without paying even a penny, it’s absolutely free and very reliable. To clone a drive you need to follow this path:

Go to 'GO' in Menu Bar -> Applications -> Utility -> Disk Utility -> Select Restore

Source: Drive you want to clone or backup. Select that drive and drag it in source option.

Destination: Drive on which you want to make clone or save backup. Select the drive, drag it and drop to the destination option. Always prefer that it should be an external drive. As the whole concept of cloning will ruin if you will use an internal drive as destination drive. In this case if your system got corrupt then the clone as well, so prefer to use an external drive.

Using this process you can make clone of any drive except the one from which you booted your Mac. For that you need to follow a different process i.e. if you want to make clone of a drive other than Macintosh HD then use the above process, but if you want to make Clone you whole system including Macintosh HD then you need to go for following process.

Here we go:

Step 1: Insert the CD or DVD that came with your Mac to Startup and hold the C key while your Mac restarts.

Step 2: Go on, select your language. What do you think; you are installing Mac OS X again? NO.
This is just you need to do to get to Disk Utilities. When Menu Bar pop-ups, select Disk Utilities from Utilities menu.

Step 3: In Disk Utility you need to select Source and Destination Drives.

Step 4: Click Restore and you will end up with a perfect clone of your hard drive.


Now Restart your Mac and you are done with cloning.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mac Malware Update- XProtect

XProtect is a inbuilt feature in Mac OSX incorporated by Apple, it is a basic scanner for newly downloaded files confirms if they contain malware or not.  Apple just released a new version for its XProtect to block new threats of Trojan horse.

Though Mac OS X is the most secure operating system from malware (viruses and worms) attacks but malware developers are one step forward form Apple, they wrap their malware and serve it as a legitimate software package, which when installed by an user will send personal information to  remote servers, corrupt files and breakdown systems security measures. They play hide and seek with Apple and other security software developers by releasing new variants for malware when scanner definitions are updated with any malware attempt.

Few months ago malware distribution sites had become prominent in Search Engine Result pages with “Mac Defender” and its variants showing up on many prominent websites like Google and MSN. It was the result of Black Hat Search Engine Optimization; it is a process of making pages by unethical methods that doesn’t follow SEO Guidelines.

Initially malware attacks were almost negligible in Mac, with time they increased as more and more malware makes its way, to help this Apple has added a feature to Mac OS X known as Xprotect. Earlier Mac OS X Snow Leopard and later include very basic protection against malware downloads, after the breakout of MacDefender in May 2011, Apple released a security update that enables automatic updating of Mac OS X.

To enable or disable security update, follow this path:
Go to System Preferences in Apple Menu -> Security and Privacy -> General -> Automatic Update Safe download list

After MacDefender malware 'Flashback' was found in late September as an installer for the popular Flash Player Plug-in. When run, install malware in user's Preferences folder. In its second version malware was modified for Web browser applications like Safari, which would inject the malware when these applications were run. In both cases, their job is same to send personal information to remote servers.

In-spite a number of Flashback variants have also been released, today's Xprotect update only include definition for second release of Flashback (FlashbackB) which was found a month ago. It’s a bit disappointing to see Apple's slow response. Though, in any case, an update to Apple is welcome news.

It's great to see Apple tackle malware more quickly to help protect those who don't have any third party scanner installed. Moreover It is advisable to keep a regular updated backup of your data and files to protect your self incase of any malware attack or a recommended Mac Data Recovery software like Stellar Phoenix Mac which can help you in recovering your lost or deleted files.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mac Data Loss Causes and Recovery Solutions

Data loss “a horrible reality”, everyone faces at many stages, is the most unexpected thing that happens usually at the worst possible moment. Sometimes our Mac goes unbootable, data go lost and many more. Here we are discussing some frequently occurring data lost problems, causes and possible solution.

Problems we usually face

  • Corrupted Preferences File
  • Data Corruption
  • Damaged File
  • Missing Volume
  • Files suddenly go missing

These are the most common problems that you all must have faced sometime. Now what are the major causes of their occurrence?

Major Causes and Recommended solutions

  • Is Your Hard Drive Detectable?
If your system is not detecting hard drive, don't pull your hair, problem may be in your power cable or data cable. It’s not necessary that every time there is problem in your hard drive. Just check your power cable and data cable again and try to connect your cables with your hard drive.

  • Power Issues
Power outages (power cut, blackout or power failure) and other power related issues can also be the cause of severe problems. So its recommended to check your power supply time to time, to take proper backup in UPS, you can also use auto save option if you are working in MS Word.

  • File System Corruption
File system is one of the most important structures of your Mac to locate data stored on hard drive and to retrieve it. What if your file system got corrupt? Data is inaccessible. To fix this problem go to Disk Utility, it is an inbuilt utility of Mac OSX operating system to help you check integrity of file system and fix minor problems. To reach Disk Utility follow this path:

Go to 'GO' in Menu Bar -> Applications -> Utility -> Select Disk Utility

Select Macintosh HD and click “verify”, it will show all the details and make you sure if your file system is corrupted or not. Then click on “repair”, to repair your files. Most probably it will work, still if it doesn’t work, then there is problem in your hard drive and go for a good Data Recovery Software like Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery to retrieve your inaccessible data and files.

  • Accidental Loss
Its human nature to take some things very lightly like deleting some file without properly checking if it’s useful or not and afterwards we realise its importance but now it’s too late. So it’s always recommended to take proper backup which is the best way to recovers your lost data.

  • Bad Programming
Bad Programming, particularly when your system hangs-up and forces you to hard restart. This eventually results data loss of your last unsaved files. Though, one cannot completely avoid problems caused by Bad Programming still its always advised that your main drive should be having 15-20% of free space and increase your RAM.

Conclusion: Nothing and no one can give you 100% assurance that your data is safe. But for your sake its always recommended to take proper backup of important data.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Is Time Machine a Safest Option For Backup???

Are you using a Mac and sure about your data backup security?? IF Yes. Are u sure because of Time Machine utility. Then think again, IS YOUR DATA REALLY SECURE!

Now let me explain some noteworthy flaws about Time Machine Backup.

  • NEEDS MANUAL STARTUP : Time Machine needs to be started manually and anyhow if you forgot to do so, no one can help you from the feeling of despair. I personally faced it, last week while going out i forgot to start time machine in hurry and that dumped all the happiness of vacations in a bin after knowing that there was no backup updated.

  • SOURCE AND DESTINATION DRIVE : If you have selected destination drive on the same system as that of source drive and your system got corrupt then the destination drive as well. Now ARE YOU SAFE? NO. Here what you need to do is to always prefer an external drive as your destination drive.  
  • STARTUP DRIVE : There are two problems related to Start-up Drive:
    •  Firstly you can't backup to the Start-up drive.
    • Secondly, though time machine backup everything on an external drive, still you can't boot your system from time machine backup means you need to spend hours restoring your data if your internal drive got corrupt.
  • USER CONTROL: Sometimes you might want to backup some files at one drive and others at different one but this is not possible in case of time machine, it is not flexible enough and you have to take backup at one location only. In addition, you can't exclude file based on certain criteria like files with a particular extension.

  • MARSHALLING NOT ALLOWED: If you are working with confidential file then you need to think again before using time machine as marshalling is not allowed in time machine and anyone can access your data. Time machine doesn’t read marshalled data as well as it doesn’t allow marshalling on time machine backup.
  • DOES NOT INCLUDE OFF-SITE PROTECTION : If you are really concerned about security of your data then you should better go for off-site protection like taking online backup, as time machine is providing you a false sense of security. After all someone can steal your hard drive from your table, likewise disasters like fire and flood won't spare your backup drive.

You might get the impression that the Time Machine is the worst scenario in backup industry. But did you know that some of the top names in Backup Industry use Time Machine? Everything have some pros & cons and this article was just to put a light on the cons of time machine, that doesn’t mean you will stop using this utility. It’s just to make you quite aware before using it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Recover Deleted Data from Mac Hard Drive

Today i switched on my Mac and got shocked my hard drive did not boot. I tried so many times to startup my Mac but it would not start. I was having an important presentation on my Mac and there was no backup updated. I won’t be having any other backup as this was the worst situation i have ever faced. My boss was calling me for presentation and file was not there.

I shut down my system immediately as i was aware of the fact that if i will continue to work then chances of recovering data will reduce. So as soon as you come to know that your data has been lost from your Mac , just stop working and shut down your system because as long as you will use that system the chances of recovering your data is reducing. YOU KNOW!!! Data is still there on hard disk, its just not visible. If you continue to work then the newer data will overrite the older one and possibilities of recovering data will reduce.

The situation has become haphazardious and then the idea of searching over Internet struck my mind and i got to know that there are possibilities of recovering data and i breathed a sign of relief.

These possibilities were all because of Stellar Phoenix
Mac Data Recovery software; it is very useful and user-friendly software that helps in recovering our lost data, photos, videos etc. Without wasting any time i just downloaded the trial version of software in order to check if it will be able to recover my data or not.

The software gives me a detail list of all the items that can be recovered but unluckily I was not been able to save the data as i was using the trial version. In order to save my files i need to download the full version and it was worth buying this software to get my lost files back.

Thank God to
Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery software it helped me in recovering my files and reaching for presentation on time.