How to Prepare for Mac Computer Repair

As with any computer, the part most likely to fail on your Mac computer is the hard drive. Make no mistake, at some point in the future your hard drive will fail. A hard drive is the one component of your computer that has moving parts, which will eventually wear out. New Jersey Mac data recovery and repair services often get called upon to recover data from dead Mac drives. A little preparedness though, goes a long way.

There are steps you can take right now to protect your Mac data and be ready for a future hard drive problem. One of those steps is to begin backing up your data, if you aren’t already doing so. The other steps are concerned with making sure you can boot up your Mac when your drive does fail. In the event of a problem, you will want to get your Mac started up so you can troubleshoot the drive.

Even if you are not able to troubleshoot or replace your drive, you may need to recover data which hasn’t been backed up at the time of failure. By preparing in advance for a Mac hard drive failure, you can save yourself from a panic call to a New Jersey Mac data recovery service in the future.

Create a Flash Drive Recovery Tool

If your Mac hard drive fails, you will need to boot your computer from an alternative device. You can create an emergency drive on a USB flash memory stick. An external drive is necessary for fixing the newest Mac computers as they often have no CD or DVD drive. An emergency flash drive recovery tool will allow you to get your Mac started up if it won’t boot from the hard drive. A flash drive with a capacity of 8 gigabytes is all that’s required to hold the recovery software. You may also want to update your flash recovery drive from time to time and 8 gigabytes gives you some spare capacity for this.

There are two possible ways to create a flash drive recovery tool for the OS X operating system. The easiest way is to use the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant, which can be downloaded from Apple’s support site. In order to use this method, you must already have the Recovery HD partition on your Mac’s hard drive. This is the quickest and easiest way to create a flash drive recovery tool.

You will need to use the second method if you don’t have the Recovery HD partition on your hard drive. To check if you have the partition, restart your Mac while holding down the “Option” key. On the screen that appears, one of the options should be “Recovery HD”. If this option appears, you know you have the appropriate partition on your Mac’s hard drive.

If you have the Recovery HD partition, download the OSX Recovery Disk Assistant, launch the application and connect your flash drive to a USB port. All you need to do then is follow the onscreen prompts.

If You Don’t Have the Recovery HD Partition

Without the Recovery HD partition, you will need to follow these steps to create a USB flash drive recovery tool for your Mac:

1. Make sure you have a copy of the “Install OS X Mountain Lion” app. If necessary you can download this from the Apple App Store.

2. When you have located or acquired this app, right click on it and select the “Show package contents” option from the contextual menu. A folder will appear on your screen.

3. From the folder, open “Contents” and then open “Shared support”.

4. Inside “Shared support” you will find a file named “installESD.dmg”.

5. Now open your Mac’s Disk Utility app. Drag the file named installESD.dmg into the left side of the Disk Utility window.

6. Now that your file is in the Disk Utility window, select it and click “Open”. This will mount the recovery drive disk image in the OS X finder application.

7. In the Disk Utility sidebar, select the “Mac OS X Install ESD” option and then click on “Restore”.

8. Now drag the “Mac OS X Install ESD” icon over to the right hand “Source” field.

9. Connect your USB flash drive and locate it in your Disk Utility application.

10. Drag the flash drive icon over to the “Destination” field and click on “Restore”.

11. A dialog box will appear: In this dialog box, click on “Erase”. You may now need to enter an administrator user name and password. After this, your flash drive recovery tool will be created. The process may take some time.

Create a Clone of Your Original Drive

As an alternative to creating a flash drive recovery tool, you can clone your hard drive onto an external drive. The external drive must be at least as big as your current drive. The advantage of a cloned drive is that it acts as a backup for all the data on your current drive. If your main hard drive fails, a clone will get you up and running fast, allowing you to retrieve data from your Mac and troubleshoot the cause of the main drive failure. This may save you from having to take your Mac to a computer repair professional.

To create a clone of your main hard drive, you will need to purchase a cloning utility application. These are quite inexpensive and the utility will pay for itself the first time you need a bootable clone.

DIY or Professional Mac Computer Repair, Which is Best?

Now you have your cloned drive of flash drive recovery tool, you are ready for the worst. If you find one day that your Mac won’t boot, you can get it started with one of these tools. After that, you can either troubleshoot and repair the problem yourself or get professional help.

If you’re confident in your ability to affect basic Mac repairs and your data is all safely backed up, you can go ahead and troubleshoot. At worst you may have to replace your hard drive. If you are in any doubt about what to do though, your best bet is to have a Mac specialist carry out your computer repair.

Dave’s Computers is a Mac computer repair and data recovery service in New Jersey. If you need a professional repair, your Mac will be safe in the hands of Dave and his team. You can make contact through chat on the Dave’s Computers website or by phone on 908-428-9558.

by David Molnar

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