How to Bulletproof (or Unf*ck) Your Mac

(Photo: Small Dog Electronics)

Macs are easy to use. Intuitive!

Viruses? Never heard of ’em!

Well, perhaps. But problems do crop up, even with the venerated Macintosh. Not long ago, I went to use Spotlight (cmd + spacebar) and, well, it looked a little off.

It displayed “Indexing Spotlight,” with an estimated finish time of several MILLION hours.

I’m no computer scientist, but that seemed like an abnormally long time. Alas, “ruh-roh” realizations alone do not diagnose problems, let alone fix them. Much of the world has felt the same at one point or another: “My [fill in the blank] is screwed, but I don’t even know where to start.” Cars? Computers? Health? We’re all ignorant of something, as mastering everything just isn’t an option.

So, I put a notice out on the Internets asking for help and learned a lot about Macs in the process. First and foremost: It need not be complicated to bulletproof (or unf*ck) your Mac.

But what if your Mac crashes or is stolen? Does that goddamn spinning beachball mean that my computer’s going to implode? Is there a simple way to sleep soundly at night?

My hope is that this post somehow helps you to do exactly that. It won’t be fancy, and it won’t impress the Carnegie Mellon CS crowd, but it will get the job done with minimal headache and paradox of choice. Here’s what I’ve learned so far…

We’ll start with an e-mail thread from Jared Cocken, Creative Director of The Wonderfactory, then we’ll lead into personal suggestions.

If you have alternative solutions or more elegant fixes, please let me know in the comments!

Enter Jared

Most software glitches on OS X are permissions-based. Permissions set the read/write characteristics of every file and who those files can be viewed by; it’s an old system that comes from Mac OS X’s Unix underpinnings. Luckily, it’s usually pretty easy to repair permissions.

Below are a few steps that will (A) Fix common issues on Macs, and (B) Keep your Mac running smoothly.

Step 1: Backup Data and Repair Permissions

1) Backup your data using one of the following methods:

Local Incremental Method – You can use Time Machine to perform incremental backups. I like the freedom of no wires, so I back up over WiFi to a Time Capsule ($299). The initial backup will take awhile, so plug your Mac into the Time Capsule’s ethernet port and let it run overnight. The subsequent, incremental backups take far less time since they only back-up items that have changed. If you don’t want to spend the cash on a Time Capsule, you can opt to plug in an external drive. I like these drives from Western Digital; they’re affordable and easy to store.

Off-Site Incremental Method – If you don’t want to spend the cash on an external drive and you’re more worried about your data than your OS, I recommend Backblaze ($4 per month for unlimited storage). It won’t backup your OS files, so if you want to avoid the pain of hand-restoring your system, you’ll want to double up with one of the other methods, as well. If you have a lot of data, the first back-up will take you a long time even on a fast connection; incrementals will speed through. Should you have a fatal drive error and don’t have time to wait for a large data download, Backblaze will expedite you a harddrive (for a fee).

Off-Site Clone Method – I recommend SuperDuper! ($27.95). It allows you to create a bootable clone on an external drive, meaning you’ll be able to get your machine restored with all of its data in no time. It can be scheduled, or set to run when you plug in a specific external drive. I perform a clone weekly and store it off-site.


2) Open up ‘Disk Utility’ – [Location: “/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility”]

  1. On the left, you’ll see little drive icons. There should be a slightly indented icon ‘Macintosh HD’ underneath another icon with a number (mine is 500.11 GB)
  2. Select the one named ‘Macintosh HD’
  3. Select ‘First Aid’ from the tabs
  4. Hit ‘Repair Disk Permissions’ and let it run
  5. When the repair is complete, click the non-idented drive and run another repair
  6. Congratulations, you just repaired your permissions. It’s actually good practice to run this every time you install/update software. I normally set a calendar reminder so I don’t forget.

3) Restart your Mac

Did that solve your problem? No? Not time to reach for the whisky just yet. It’s time for some drive repair.

Step 2: Fixing A Corrupt Directory

Another common problem is a corrupt directory file. The directory keeps track of how all the files are connected. If it gets messed up, your computer will effectively be driving in the dark. But this can be fixed.

Remember that DVD that came with your Mac? The one that has the ‘Do not throw these DVDs away’ label on it? It’s time to go and dig that out.

  1. Insert your OS X DVD
  2. Restart your Mac
  3. Press and hold the ‘C’ key until the Apple logo appears (you’re now booting from the DVD)
  4. Open up ‘Disk Utility’
  5. 1. Select Macintosh HD on the left

    2. Select ‘First Aid’ from the tabs

    3. Hit ‘Repair Disk’ (NOT ‘Repair Disk Permissions’) and let it run

    4. If you see any red results, they were likely the cause of your Mac’s problems

  6. Restart your Mac (making sure to select ‘Restart’ from the hard drive, not the DVD)

Did that solve your problem?

No? DAMMIT MAN… what have you been doing to that poor computer?!

Time to move onto the final step…

Step 3: Enter DiskWarrior

If Disk Utility wasn’t able to fix the problem, you’re going to need to bring in the big guns. Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m talking about DiskWarrior ($99), the Spartan Army of OS repairing awesomeness. I’ve been using it since 1998, and it’s saved my bacon on numerous occasions. Sure, it might not look like much, but it’ll bring a whole world of hurt to those evil directory demons. How? It wipes them from the face of the earth by building it’s own directory.

Here’s how to use DiskWarrior:

  1. Insert the DiskWarrior DVD
  2. Restart your Mac
  3. Press and hold the ‘C’ key until the Apple logo appears (you’re now booting from the DVD)
  4. Agree to the ‘Blah, Blah, not our fault if you lose stuff, but we’re TOTALLY claiming the credit if we fix it’ disclaimer
  5. Select Macintosh HD from the drop-down menu, and hit ‘Rebuild’.
  6. Once DiskWarrior has finished building a preview directory, you’ll get two options: ‘Preview’ or ‘Replace.’ Click ‘Replace’ while shouting “This. Is. SPARTA!” (wearing an adhesive beard is recommended during this step).
  7. Restart your Mac
  8. Rejoice that all of your problems have gone away!

No? Okay… Now would be a good time to book an appointment at an Apple Store. The specialists at the Genius Bar will probably perform the exact same steps you just walked through, so it’s worth printing this post out beforehand to show what you’ve tried already, just so you don’t waste your time (or theirs).

If you call Apple Support, chances are that they’ll just tell you to reinstall your OS. Unless you followed Step 1 and backed up your data, that’s going to be a giant pain in the ass. Consider yourself warned!

Good luck!

Afterword and Additional Thoughts from Tim

Ultimately, I did all of the above but remained unconfident, even after adding other safety nets like using DropBox for redundancy and the lightweight Prey for theft protection. Why still unconfident? Simple: I’ve f*cked this type of thing up in the past with alarming regularity.

After all, the basic concept of a “bootable drive” eluded me for an embarrassingly long time. In plain-speak: you need a way to look at your computer without *using* your computer. Duh. The afflicted machine needs to be treated like a patient etherized upon a table, hard disk as still as a dead heart.

In the end, I took perhaps the simplest route as an insurance policy: I made an appointment at my local Mac store’s Genius Bar and brought DiskWarrior along with me, hat in hand. Long story short, my friendly Mac Jedi fixed my laptop using the store’s external drive, and the computer’s been fine since.

During the wait, I peppered this fine gentleman (nameless for reasons that will become obvious) with Mac questions of all sorts. There were a few additional takeaways that I found helpful:

1) If you’re going to run around with your laptop in a backpack, as I do, it’s best to get a machine with a solid-state drive, like the new Macbook Air.

2) To speed up reboot time, take all the crap on your desktop and put in a folder labeled something like “Desktop stuff to July 17, 2011.” This eliminates the need for your laptop to generate thumbnail images and accelerates everything.

3) Think Macs are impervious to viruses? Not forever, at least that’s my bet. I ended up installing the simple Sophos Anti-Virus for peace of mind.

4) You don’t need to buy new licenses for software when you get a new computer. Just copy and paste the following folders to your new computer in the appropriate locations:

– “Applications” folder

– Within “Library” (in your home directory), the “Applications Support” and “Preferences” folders.

Can anyone confirm or refute that this works?

5) Computers inevitably end up clogged with crap: stupid applications that don’t pan out, bloated unnecessary files, etc. I asked him: “If you were starting from scratch, what would you put on your short list of must-have applications?” His survival list included the following:

Tuneup – for cleaning up and unbloating iTunes.

Cocktail – use 1x per month to clean up your OS.

Handbrake – for ripping DVDs to your hard drive.

VLC media player – for playing various media files.

Transmission – for downloading torrents (BitTorrent client).

1Password – for (not)remembering log-ins and passwords.

Quicksilver or Alfred – for quickly launching apps (Call me old-fashioned, but I’m perfectly happy with Spotlight for the app-launching feature)

Netnewswire – RSS reader (I don’t have an RSS reader installed)

AppZapper (Tim addition to the list) – aptly called “the unintaller Apple forgot,” I use AppZapper to delete all the niggly hidden files, sometimes dozens, associated with applications that you want to get rid of.

Any other votes for elegant must-have applications? Other Armaggedon-avoiding Mac tips?


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155 Replies to “How to Bulletproof (or Unf*ck) Your Mac”

  1. Next post please: How to speed up Tim’s website (a heck of scripts running here) ;-). Nevertheless nice list for us mac folks!

    1. To speed up your pages, have a look at a site called google web page test, put in your website and it generates whats called a waterfall chart, shows what is loading slow so you can work on speeding the pages up, I used it on one of my sites and it helped me pinpoint the issues.

  2. I was just looking for this kind of article the other day and couldn’t find anything good…thanks!

  3. CleanApp for getting rid of installed junk when you delete a program. FileSalvage for if you have really screwed up and wipe files clean.

  4. Perfect timing. This couldn’t have come any sooner, as I’m experiencing a slower-than-normal boot up time, and am about to head off on some adventures where I run around with my laptop in a backpack. Thanks gents!

    Tim, was that Carnegie Mellon piece in the beginning a little rub on Charlie’s TEDx speech?


    – Josh

  5. Yeah – copying an applications files from “[home]/Library/Preferences/com.[application or company name].plist” and “[home]/Library/Application Support/[Appplication Name]” will contain all of the apps data.

    Lion installed a bootable drive such that you don’t need the install DVD in order to access Disk Utility from outside of the actual OS installation.

    More app props:

    * Moom by Many Trickets ( resize windows with the keyboard / grid resizing of windows

    * Perian ( play all sorts of files in quicktime

    * f.lux ( better lighting for your computer depending with options for actual room light

    * Spotify ( [requires invite]: because music on demand is cool

    1. This isn’t completely true – it’s only part of where some apps can get installed.

      A lot of apps on the mac are self-contained (all their dependent files reside inside the single app icon (which is actually a folder) so everything travels with it – minus user preference file, which can be transferred).

      However there are a lot of applications that depend on installed files inside the Application Support folder as you have mentioned. That being said, some applications install and rely on files placed inside the “Frameworks” area of the system library as well….

      Plus there are actually two Application Support folder areas (one system, one user) and sometimes/often both are used…

      So the real answer is Yes & No. It really all depends on the application installed.

  6. I am dreading the day my MacBook starts to act up. Thanks for the tips. As much as a I KNOW that I’ll end up making the Genius Bar pilgrimage, this post gives me some solid options to try before doing so..

    BTW, how is the ultra training going? I am working my way through “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall – pretty inspiring. Any views on the book?

    1. I read Born to Run and found it very inspirational. I had the pleasure of meeting Chris last summer on a barefoot run from Harlem, NYC to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He ran with our group and then gave a presentation at Word Bookstore. I’ve been running barefoot for over 10 years now (Vibrams were only invented about 5 years ago), so this book has served well to reinforce what I have been telling skeptics all along- that sneakers, as well as any footwear are detrimental to the feet. Yes you guessed it, I am one of those crazy dedicated barefoot people. If you want to see one of them, come to one of our professional meetups in NYC listed on the above website. While it may not be as obvious in the summer, if you happen to go in the winter time when male/female alike is wearing closed shoes and socks, then this guy iwith bare feet walks up to you, and asks you how you’re doing, chances are you’ve just met me!

      On the subject of unf##king your MacBook, as I am typing this response, that annoying spinning beach ball keeps coming up and preventing me from doing anything remotely productive (tweeting, writing non-sensical surveys, checking my friends’ facebook status, and of course typing up silly responses to these posts). The most irritating part is that after about 5 minutes of beachball fun, I’ll attempt to do some work again. After about 3 characters, the beachball returns to do its thing for another 5 minutes! It especially likes to sit there and heckle you each time you go back to correct a typo! I am running Super Duper! as I am typing this and hoping that it works. Right now it is at the point of repairing permissions – (oh sh*t – there’s that beachball again!) – anyway, it is at the point of repairing permissions which it has been doing for the last half hour (beach ball f**k off!). I will post again after going through (Beachball, get your f##kin rotund a** off my screen!) the rest of the steps. In the meantime, it’s about time I move my country a** away from this laptop and enjoy the rest of the day outdoors in (beach ball, did you hear me? f##k off! I said F##K OFF!) barefoot bliss!

      BTW I hope you like this response. I personally find it pretty lame, especially combined with Mr. Beachball (whose a** I am about to kick if it were ever possible), and Super Duper running in the background, it’s taken me almost an hour to type this out!

      1. LOVED the response:) Very entertaining discourse on the beach bacll:) And the next time I am in NYC (I could possibly be there in November – I checked out your site but couldn’t tell what the dates are for meetups), I’ll try to make a meetup. I am impressed with your barefoot running. I’ve been obsessing about having the right shoes and I am starting to think that I have been working off of the wrong premise completely.

        Footwear aside though, running allows me the endorphin-induced clarity to make my biggest decisions and to stick with my vision for life… I simply think better in the cool-down right after my run. It really is amazing.

        Very impressed that you got to meet Chris. Any views on the best training schedule for an ultra?

      2. Loving the Beach Ball post. Yeah, the little nerd likes to bounce in and play for the LONGEST time at the most inconvenient moments.

        Life can be full of those inconveniences…until you start to notice how they can be turned into opportunities, like going outside barefoot…

        Anyway, Tim, THANKS for this. I ran a computer repair shop for a year and these things you listed are some of the core tips. Love that you posted it all so thoroughly here, despite some commenters reacting to this being a “tech blog”.

        TechToolsPro is a great little app to fix stuff as well; someone mentioned the PRAM reset and that’s the only other tip I’d ad.

        Rawk on.

  7. Tim you really need try Reeder, it’ll change your life or at least the way you digest blog news. Available on Mac, iPhone and iPad. I have no relationship with the creator.

  8. Hey Tim –

    A few other handy apps that can make life on a mac even easier include Default Folder X, which makes save dialogues a whole lot smarter, and Daisy Disk, which can help you locate huge files which are taking up room on your hard drive. When using that one, though, caveat emptor: if you’re using it to delete unnecessary files, be sure you know what you’re deleting before you send it to the trash!

    One other sweet little utility is Take Five, which puts your iTunes (or other media player) pause on a timer. Handy for when the phone rings!

  9. Little Snitch is a great app to see what’s going on in your internet up/down streams. See which apps are doing what and block those that shouldn’t be doing things.

    I feel real naked on computers where I can’t see how the internet is behaving.

    1. I’ll thumbs up Little Snitch. I was shocked to see how many times my computer was uploading data (especially to Google) while not even surfing the net.

  10. I would recommend : Disk Inventory X

    It gives a nice visual representation of your harddrive and colour codes it, for video, photos, data etc.

    Also, Why is there no link at It keeps saying “coming soon.” At the very least, I think you should explain why the conclusion of your story on ultrarunning isnt available.


  11. I use all backup outlined above too. Time machine once a day, seven days a week. Backblaze is always running in the background and I have a clone made twice a year. There is no way I can afford to lose data on my MBP. My friends call me paranoid but the one time when my HD died, I was prepared and up and running within an hour.

    Some of my favorite software for the Mac (aside the ones already mentioned in the post):

    Omnifocus – the best task manager.

    Busycal – they call it iCal on steroid for a reason and works great with Gcal.

    Pathfinder – I never liked Finder. You can’t copy and paste easily. Pathfinder does that beautifully and supports tabs for browsing around.

    Mindmanager – for mindmapping.

    Textexpander – great tool for having shortcuts for common phrases you use.

    F.lux – turns your screen brighter/dimmer based on the daylight time.

    Quiet Read – nifty tool for savings URLs that you don’t necessarily want to instapaper, but want to revisit later.

    Hazel – automate routine tasks on the background. I love this little app. – easy and fast way of sharing screenshots.

    Istat menus – handy menu bar tool for system monitoring.

    Omnigraffle – for making diagrams and flowcharts.

    Screenflow – for making screencasts.

    Launchbar – my favorite application launcher. Can be very basic but if you explore the advanced options you’ll almost never use a mouse/trackpad again.

    For bloggers, I can highly recommend Scrivener – the best writing program. Ever. Tim, you should consider writing your blog posts with Scrivener. You can store all your research material within the program and they are easily accessible. You won’t have to leave the program to Evernote to use your research data. Plus, if you use Multimarkdown + Scrivener you can blog really fast and efficiently.

    1. Macs don’t ‘copy & paste’ in the Finder, that’s Windows thing. Just hold the option key while dragging a file to a new location, that’ll duplicate it rather than move it.

  12. One utility I would suggest you install on your Mac is AppleJack. It’s basically a trouble shooting utility for when the OS won’t start, and you don’t have a startup disk handy.

    I’ve used it a few times at work for Mac’s that refuse to boot, and it’s saved me a ton of hassle. It’s an open source project on sourceforge, and you can get it here:-

  13. The most important thing to note is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Run an antivirus, a dedicated firewall, and make backups before you need them. Keep all of it updated.

    On the windows side, for a really bad machine, it’s often easier to rebuild from scratch and just pull the old drive using it as a slave. Then pull just grab your data from the slave (or your nice off-site backups).

    Hardware is cheap, time is not.

  14. The preferences bit sounds right. I use it for people at work almost everyday. Although I keep a backup of my serials/licenses on a server and my local machine in case I need to reenter them later.

  15. My Macbook Pro was stolen a few weeks ago, and I was SO glad I had Prey installed. I got the computer back this week! You can read the full story on my blog.

    Glad to know about the benefit of Solid State drives for travel. I’m using a Macbook Air now and will probably continue using them from now on. Lighter, smaller, and fast enough for my needs.

    I agree with Tim – Spotlight fills my needs for application launching, although it sounds like QuickSilver can do a lot more than just that.

  16. Some applications (Not many, but a few) store their settings in /Library rather than /users/[username]/Library. In Finder, open your hard drive, then look in the Library folder. You can then copy Application Support and Preferences from there.

  17. As a former Mac Genius, a truly hellish retail job, I can say that this is a sound article.

    I offer a few tips:

    – Backing up your data is a must, do it often and before any troubleshooting when possible. Cannot stress enough, Apple will almost never help you with lost data. Data is a liability and Apple doesn’t want to touch it.

    – If you have a portable and you are going to have it in your bag for longer than 10 or 15 minutes turn it off before hand. The boot times aren’t that bad and it prevents heat related issues. Just because it’s sleeping doesn’t mean it can’t decide it wants to roast.

    – Allow the sleep indicator light to pulse before moving your portable after you close it. When you close the lid it starts writing down anything it needs in its sleepimage file, moving it is bad and increases the amount of time it takes to get to sleep while introducing unneeded hard drive wear.

    – If you’re missing your disk and the drive isn’t completely shot you can boot holding command and s at the same time to boot into single user mode. The command listed “fsck -fy” will do the same directory repair disk utility will, with higher success in most cases.

    – For a lot of issues making a new user account from the System Preferences menu will tell you whether the issue is system wide or account based. Account based issues are a little more annoying to troubleshoot, system wide issues are usually resolved with a reinstallation of the OS. This normally will not result in data loss if you use Snow Leopard. With Leopard just make sure you check “Archive and install” and “Preserve Users and Networking Settings.”

    – AppleCare is actually a good idea, even though most warranties aren’t. For proprietary parts it’s amazing to have and increases resale value of the machine drastically. You can sell a computer with a year of AppleCare for almost as much as a new computer, allowing you to upgrade for less when the shiny new things come out.

    – Run your updates. They fix bugs and don’t create issues, only bring about things that were bound to happen anyway. Set a day of the week to check for updates that works for you in the rare event that they cause an issue. Back up your data first.

    – If you hard drive fails out of warranty and it’s user replaceable (All MacBooks, and any unibody MacBook Pro) just replace it yourself. It’s simple and will cost less for an upgrade than a repair for the same part. Plus, if you didn’t back up you can do data recovery if you want to shell out the $500-$2600 to most reputable places.

    – Most current Apple viruses are designed to trick you into installing them. Be mindful of what you give your password to and ask yourself if you really wanted to install this application advertized in a pop up. Common sense is still enough to protect you, can’t promise for the future though.

    – If your computer is out of warranty don’t expect Apple to cover it past 45 days. If your computer is over 3 years old, don’t be surprised at issues, it can happen to any piece of hardware.

    After 4 years of that job you start to pick up a few things. Most issues are software based, isolating the user account or operating system are the first steps, follow by component isolation. Think logically, and be nice to the guy behind the counter, and you’ll get any issue resolved.

  18. Nice Post- Here ar e a few of my tips that I have used as often as soap:



    Backup to external harddrives and keep them away.

    Backup via firewire port (if you have an air- use usb) Thunderbolt port soon to come.


    When you purchase a new mac you can buy One-One- Apple’s unlimited one to one sessions with an apple specialist good for a full year.

    Tip-3 Purchase Apple Care. Helps when you want to resell your mac and you can call Apple and get help on any issue you are having with your mac.


  19. KeePass is another great tool to store your passwords safely. I use a portable version which is in my Dropbox folder. This way I can use on all my computers (PC and Mac) without being afraid of loosing any data as it’s both backed-up and encrypted.

    But for convenience one would rather try web-based

  20. Thanks Tim! My MacBook is just over 2 years old and I thought that it was starting to die on me (it’s been a long, slow death over the past six months really. I’ve been using a SeaGate 2TB external HD along with Mozy for about a year now after losing my non-backed up data for “the last time”.

    Jared’s and your tips sped things up quite a bit, will make the last months of use before my AirBook upgrade much nicer.

    @Angel – Look at, they publish at least one list per year like this for Windows based PCs.

  21. I like this!

    Some more:

    – Instead of Transmission, I use uTorrent as a torrent client: fast, userfriendly, encryption, and almost never crashes.

    – 1Password is very secure (much more than a lot of other programs that claim to do the same), and doesn’t send my password to their site. Also, I use it on both my mac and my iphone, and can sync it whenever I want. It even works on windows!

    – I reccomend Skitch for it’s ability to quickly cut & paste images, resize them, and fix ’em up. A screen capture swiss army knife:Very inuitive, very flexible.

    – Winzipper: lets you create zip files with a password, and without all the little dot-files that macs create, so windows users wont freak out when they open your zip (the file. I was talking about the file).

  22. A very good list. I would add Applejack as #1 however (

    This free utility allows you to repair your system by rebooting into Single User Mode. (you don’t need the Install Disk for repairs) It has saved my bacon several times on odd systems or systems that won’t start properly. It costs nothing, and can’t be easier to use.

    Check it out.

  23. True…. Another thing that frazzles your mac is if you mess with the time date settings and then launch applications that maybe expired but you need to use them for a minute.

    Thanks for the article, Macs rock!


  24. Try using a great Single User Mode program called applejack @ Install the dmg and then do the following:

    1. Shutdown your Mac

    2. Press the power button while simultaneously pressing the ‘Apple Key or Command Key’ and ‘s’

    3. You will boot into Single User Mode – it will be a black UNIX or DOS like box with scrolling text.

    4. When everything has stopped scrolling type the following into the command line applejack AUTO restart (it is important to use AUTO in all caps)

    5. Press enter and leave for 10 to 20 minutes for coffee with cinnamon and whey donut

    When you return you will find yourself at the Mac Desktop with a shinny and clean Mac – Applejack will correct your permissions, rebuild your directories, repair your disk volumes and clean out caches and other good things.

  25. AND HOW do you follow your diet when you are travelling or on social events, like the bachelor party?

    Make exceptions or be unsocial?

  26. Did you switch to a Mac Air, if so how did you handle the issue of photos taking up much of your harddrive ?



  27. Surprised you didn’t already have an SSD..not ‘new’! MBAs have had them for 3 years (lease renewal on mine so top of mind)…;-) Even though mine is old, it is faster than a newer imac which is faster but doesn’t have SSd.

    I also love Dropbox, since I got that (and changed file locations for itunes, iphoto, recipes etc) & email on IMAP, I don’t really care if my computer gets shot at as synced up on servers and other machines.

    Will check out other recs, especially Tuneup. I have tried Handbrake and Cocktail before, though in the end, as everything on the cloud, I just reformatted/reinstalled whilst watching a movie & machine was like new.

    What is the advantage of 1Password over Keychain Access?

  28. Hey Tim,

    I’ve found in my four years of Mac ownership that AppZapper is one of the best applications for keeping your Mac running smooth. A few other suggestions:

    Keep a hard copy of photos on a flash drive, and another copy on a cloud drive or picture sharing site such as Picasa (or Facebook), instead of clogging your iPhoto with thousands upon thousands of photos.

    The best suggestion that I can make for clearing space is a program called Monolingual. It is completely free, and will erase language files for any language that you do not wish to have. I erased everything but US English on mine, and it took out over 4 gigabytes worth of space without any adverse side-effects.

  29. Another simple way to hide desktop icons is to simply open Terminal and type:

    defaults write CreateDesktop -bool false

    …then press enter and type in:

    killall Finder

    Press the enter key again and your desktop will never show icons. It’s a little easier than saving things to different folders. 🙂

      1. Type in the same commands, but in the first statement replace “false” with “true”. 🙂

  30. Great post. Fortunately, I haven’t had to use all of these yet on my 11″ Air. Great computer by the way. It makes my wife’s 13″ Pro seem like a tank.

    I am using Time Machine for full local backup and DropBox for selective backup of critical documents. Both of these work great in the background.

    1Password is brilliant. I really appreciate it for those sites the sites that I don’t visit that often (student loans, insurance, etc.). You know the type, the sites that you always have to click “forgot password” on. This is where it is really handy.

    Handbrake is great for reducing clutter and getting rid of all your DVDs.

    One addition I’d like to add to the list of essential apps for 11″ MacBook Air owners is Mac Screen Rotate.

    My only real complaint with this laptop is that the screen is a bit short for some uses. Rotating the screen 90 degrees for portrait viewing makes surfing, reading blogs or books, reviewing spreadsheets, etc. pretty nice. Bonus, you get to relax while holding your laptop like a book. It’s not a replacement for an Ipad, but if you are trying to limit the number of gadgets in your backpack this can be helpful.

    Thanks for the great books Tim. They have been quite an inspiration. I probably wouldn’t be having breakfast this morning is Koh Phangan as part of a two month trip through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia if I hadn’t read them. Keep up the great work.



  31. Solid state drives are much better for carrying because there’s no moving parts. Hard drives have long been the weak point of laptops because the needles that read and write data move, and the disks spin. Solid state is like the memory in your phone or card in your camera: nothing moves, so there’s far less chance for something to break when g-forces are applied.

  32. Thank you for reading my mind! I was just starting on the project of figuring out what I needed to do to clean up my Mac. So stoked to have the Tim Ferris intensely thorough answer!

  33. For the longest time i used a MAC at work but could not get used to one. I dunno – people say its intuitive, easy and hassle free – while all of the above are true my logic circuits have long being conditioned to Windows behavior and the intuitive logic of MAC just did not make sense – it was far too simple to believe – in fact i lost productivity. Funny what indoctrination can do since i do not have an affinity towards MAC or PC. However with Ubuntu being what it is and what’s to come in terms of usability, simplicity, performance and well free – i highly doubt both these platforms are on my Christmas list.

    BTW one up to the good sir that mentioned solid state drives – crashed too many if my hard drives that’s my only option these days.

    1. Yeah, laptops with Ubuntu are the leading computing solution these days. Especially if you buy Ubuntu preinstalled-

  34. Thanks Tim for this post! I have implemented many of these tips and have gotten great results. I can’t emphasize how important backing up data is because you never really know when your computer will decide to die on you.

  35. I’d highly recommend, in no particular order:

    – Things, syncs with the iPhone/iPad app to get stuff done.

    – Evernote, syncs with the cloud and your iPhone/iPad app to store notes (as you well know).

    – Transmit, the best FTP client if you ever need to move files to your server.

    – DropBox, for cloud storage and sharing of files.

    – TextMate, because sometimes you just need to edit a text file or simple piece of code and you need it to work well.

    – Caffeine, use it to keep your laptop permanently awake and non-dimmed.

    And yes, I’d definitely recommend using TimeMachine to backup your stuff to an external drive. Its always nice to go back and view old versions of files, and if the worst happens, you have a good solid backup to fall back on.

    Good luck,


  36. My mom uses one of these, I’ll point here towards this article since she complains her mac is going slower.

    OR maybe not…..

    I enjoy gloating and telling her Macs suck and thats why hers is slow…..

  37. Hey, Tim.

    Thanks for the shout out. A few responses to your list:

    2) I have two folders on my desktop that are linked (via aliases) to DropBox:

    To Sort – The same as your ‘Desktop Stuff’ folder

    Need Action – Anything that needs an immediate response

    They’re tied across all of my machines, so I never run into the “Ugh… that’s on my desktop” problem.

    3) Be careful with Anti Virus software on the Mac, it can lead to more problems that in can solve. No there aren’t any viruses yet, but trojans like Mac Defender still require the user to install them accidentally. If you start getting kernel panics (grey screen of death) after installing anti-virus software, you should de-install.

    4) Doesn’t work for all apps. Adobe, for example, uses a CPU-linked registration database. You need to de-authorise Photoshop on your old machine before authorizing it on your new one.

    The easiest thing to do going forward is to purchase apps through Apple’s Mac App Store (if available), because your purchases are tied to your account. On a new machine, all you need to do is open the Mac App Store, open up the “Purchased” tab and hit the install button.

    Alternatively, you can use the Migration Assistant that lives in your utilities folder. That does the same job.

  38. For anyone considering the off-site clone backup method, CarbonCopyCloner ( is an excellent free alternative to SuperDuper!

    The setup I use is to have my system drive automatically backup every night, using 1 of 2 backup drives. One remains on-site hooked up to the iMac, the other is off-site, and they’re swapped weekly.

    If my system drive crashes, there’s a one day old clone of it already hooked up and ready to boot from while I get a replacement drive. In case of a real disaster, I’d be able to grab any recent Mac and restore my system from the off-site clone.

    1. I can also recommend CCC as a great tool for making a bootable clone of your Mac drive. One full backup, then schedule incremental backups based on your level of usage/paranoia. It’s free, but be sure and toss ’em a donation if you’re happy with the product!

      Just a disclaimer, I don’t currently own a Mac, but I set this method up for a friend whose drive bit the dust. No testing here; it worked in real life. Hard drives are the most critical physical point of failure, so prepare yourselves kiddies!

  39. Information Technology has been my lifetime profession so far although, I have only been using a Mac full time for the past year. With that said, I couldn’t think of a better solution than a Solid State Drive (SSD) both for performance and protection. Cost wise, its a hard pill to swallow but for folks like Tim who can easily afford it, forget about backups and everything else, upgrade or buy a system with SSD first.

    A place to buy SSDs for Mac:

    Great for Mac news and performance info:

    This article may help:

  40. An often missed but very useful trick for broken macs is a PRAM Reset. It’s kind of like a reboot on steroids. It resets the Parameter RAM and NVRAM (these are different from regular old RAM).

    PRAM is used by the system to hold certain long term parameters like Alarm Clock settings, volume setting, mouse speed, keyboard rate, etc… and is not flushed when the computer reboots. It ALSO contains the Disk Cache, RAM Disk settings, Virtual Memory settings, and a host of other system config stuff (see the Apple link below for full list).

    These settings can get messed up, and when they do they cause a host of unusual and difficult to diagnose problems. The PRAM Reset sets them all back to default.

    It’s easy as pie!

    1)Turn off your computer.

    2) Hold down Command-Option-P-R and turn on your computer.

    3) Wait until you hear the SECOND startup beep.


    Warning: This resets system parameters to their defaults. You may notice changes in your system if you have made any customizations (mouse speed, keyboard rate, system fonts, etc…). Read the Apple Knowledge Base article before you do this!

    Here is Apple’s KB article:

  41. I seriously cannot believe I won the Travelocity voucher! Thanks to Tim I am now 50 lbs lighter in 60 days, and am about to become a world traveler.

  42. I have a question about the diet if someone can help.. I have been on it for about three weeks now.. Lost 5lbs the first week and now I keep going up and down within a couple lbs. I work shift work and wonder if this is messing everything up, metablolizm wise. Any suggestions..

  43. There is a new company, Cloak @, that offers a VPN (virtual private network) services, which gives MAC users protection on open wifi networks. Cloak is in beta and I am using it to protect from malicious computer hackers, who lurk on open wifi networks.

    Def. add to bullet proof a MAC!!!

  44. Listen, i feel compelled to say this… about 25% of the article and replies to the article are baloney, and in a few cases actually the worst path to follow. Google is your friend. investigate thoroughly before doing something you’ll regret later.

  45. Another thing that will f*ck up your Mac is corrupt fonts.

    A great utility is Macaroni. It’ll run maintenance scripts to keep your machine running smooth.

    I’ve been a Mac user since 1987. This year was the first time I ever had to do a reformat/restore (thank God for Time Machine). Latest OS update killed Firefox and a few other apps. Now I’m afraid to run it again, as I don’t have a whole day to diddle with problems again.

  46. Tim,

    Rather than copying over your ~/Users/Library folder when moving to a new system – use the Migration Assistant tool that has come with Macs for many years. If you’re moving from a Mac to Mac, this program will quite literally move all of your data, configuration, applications (where it can). So when you turn on your new computer it is configured exactly like the old computer and is as you never left.

    The cool part is Lion (the new version of the Mac OS coming out soon) has a Migration Assistant to move from Windows to Mac – minus the applications of course.

    1. Brian,

      Perfect timing! My Macbook is currently trying to commit suicide on a daily basis, but I need to buy some software before my new on arrives – Migration Assistant here I come.

      Many thanks.

  47. Another option you might wanna check out if you need a back-up to work in a moments notice is Carbon Copy Cloner. Very similar to Time Machine, but no permissions changes or licenses required. Literally can be plug and play, if your hard drive dies, or computer fails. Freeware too!

  48. Hey Tim, I see you have not responded to any comments yet, I have noticed you respond to the first people to bite. Anyway, if your reading this. I’m seeking contact with you. I promise I have a lifestyle/story from Palo Alto you will find intriguing.

    Thank you for everything you have done for people. It’s a modern day bible.



  49. And I forgot to mention this post is exactly what I have been dreading about, I cant wait to read it. just not possible right now. Been in transit for several days.

    I have been a nomadic artist entrepreneur for 7 years. I’m 24 years old.

    That’s why I love your book, your doing for people the same goal that i seek to inspire. mine involves a surprisingly small amount of money tho. My goal is to be more like you and your book is exactly everything i needed to know!

  50. Just about the most worthless blog posting you’ve ever done. I usually look to you for inspiration not tech support.

  51. +1 for previously mentioned 1Password and Pathfinder. 1Password has it all covered for a secure central repository for your life. Not just logins but all your software licensing info, credit cards and financial info, secret notes, all taggable and under lock and key in one convenient package. Pathfinder has a setting to banish the Finder if you so desire and you likely will once you realize how primitive it is in comparison to Pathfinder. It is mission control for your Mac. If you want to become a true OS X Jedi it does not necessarily mean you need to master Unix commands in the Terminal. For mere mortals there is MacPilot that gives you the GUI to really get down into your machine and be master and commander.

  52. Another stellar post, Tim. One of my resolutions for 2011 is to clean up my Mac of programs I no longer use or find as useful as they once were, and your recommendations and those of other commentators give me some options to consider.

    Thanks to all!

  53. I second @angel’s question and would love a similar post for PCs. Tim, not only do I look forward to all your articles, I also love the wealth of information in the comments too … Tim fans, you are all awesome! eg. thanks @Ravi for link to an article abt PCs 🙂

    1. Ben,

      If you follow my first steps (using Disk Utility) you’ll normally get some red results if you have directory issues. If DU can’t fix them, DW will.


  54. For the ‘must have’ applications list (and Tim, as ‘Lord of Efficiency’ I’d figure you must already know and love either):

    TextExpander from SmileOnMyMac


    TypeIt4Me from ettoresoftware

    I can’t IMAGINE working on OS X without one of them – turn any text shortcut into a longer word, a sentence, or a whole page of text. URLs, signatures, you name it, just a few keystrokes away. Works in all applications – i.e. the same shortcut you use in email works in Skype or Word.

    How it works: I create a shortcut like ‘wbad’ (in my mind ‘web address’) and when I type wbad the software instantly replaces it with ‘’. Magic.

    I’ve saved many hours of typing by using text-expansion tools. If you write or communicate with text a lot, install one of these and then give yourself a high-five.

    (no, no connection with either company, just a user).

    – Karl

  55. This is a helpful article that reminds us Mac users of the inherent sensibility of spending $99 to get Disk Warrior, something I am guilty of never having done in my 9 years as a Mac owner. I use iAntiVirus (free) for Mac and YASU for a utility and so far, I have been fortunate. But we’d all be wise if we were to go out and get Disk Warrior, too.

    When I buy a MacBook Pro, I *always* get the warranty and expect 3 years of life out of it, getting even the most minor issue taken care of before the warranty period ends. Apple Care is worth it! Then if the computer is in good shape, sell it on eBay because a 3 year old MacBook Pro is worth something.

    Which reminds me, it would be great to get a Tim Ferriss written article on how to prep your Mac for resale in a manner than truly wipes all your data.

  56. I had a terminal hard drive failure a few months ago that cost me all my music. Trust me that was a lot of songs!

    Maybe the answer is ultimately to store all of your data in the cloud. Obviously that’s great if you have a reliable internet connection but for someone like Tim who travels a lot then is that always possible?

    There is something that appeals to me about having a device and not having to worry about it going haywire!

  57. There is a new company, Cloak @, that offers a VPN (virtual private network) services, which gives MAC users protection on open wifi networks. Cloak is in beta and I am using it to protect from malicious computer hackers, who lurk on open wifi networks.

    Def. add to bullet proof a MAC!!!

    “Repost without biz name (sorry).”

  58. I don’t make backups. My critical documents are in Dropbox and Google Docs, my code sits on Github and photos on FlickR. Most mp3’s in Spotify and or easy to redownload (legally of course), same for series and movies.

    The only part at risk are photos that I still need to sort / process.

    I’m more worried about identity theft if my laptop is stolen. I would need reset a lot of passwords.

  59. Keep it F*ing Clean! The ultimate road warrior setup is to use Virtual machines!

    Have JUST the basic clean Mac (or PC) setup. Then install virtualbox and create a virtual Mac, PC and/or Linux machine in that.

    You can run all of your applications in those and keep copies of those Virtual Machines on a USB drive.

    if you lose or break your precious Mac, plug the USB drive into ANY computer, install virtualbox on it and you are back up and running in minutes.

    Too easy 🙂

  60. Re-submitting because I missed the part of using Personal Name. Sorry about that.

    Tim, I just (7/19/2011) downloaded the audio version of your book “The 4 Hour Work Week” on iTunes. My goal was to listen to the book during my commute and/or while working out. I started listening to the book and about 51minutes into it the audio/sound just went silent. I can see that it continued to play but no sound was coming out. At 1st I thought it had something to do with my iPhone4 but when I also download the book to my brand new MacBook Pro the same thing happened (played fine until the 51 minute mark). When I check the book review on iTunes I noticed that many others have had this same issue as far back as 2009ish. Some individuals even paid for the audio book twice because they thought their initial download was faulty (which I almost did as well). What’s going on. Can we get this fixed? I’m gave this book a poor review but only because the audio did not work. HELP!!!

    P.S. Also reading “The 4hr Body” on my Nook.


  61. While traveling in Nicaragua I sold my surf photography on a daily basis to other surf tourists and ended up in a tight spot. My Macbook performed flawlessly but I saved all of the photos I was selling on a small external, thinking that the computer would crash before the drive. I woke up one morning to find the drive not connecting to the computer and after 8 hours of trial and error (and a lot of Mac forums), I finally discovered DiskWarrior. The best part was the digital download. I didn’t have time to wait for a DVD to be mailed to me and even if I did, there was no address for my small beach side shack.

    I just wanted to plug Disk Warrior because it instantly fixed my problem and all of my photos were intact and it allowed me to keep my small business running.

  62. I’ve been seriously considering taking the plunge into the world of Macs. I’ve always been a PC man, but I’m especially curious about the video editing capabilities of MACs.

    Thanks for the article,

  63. Tim, Love your program but I’m a little unsure of your position on Whey protein. Its a dairy by product meaning it should be considered off limits for six days a week….but is it? Does it qualify as a valid protein hit first thing in the morning? I know you’re busy….Thanks. Marc

  64. Arq by Haystack is by far the best offline backup I have come across. Uses AWS and you dont get better than AWS.

    I just switched from another provider and am a happy camper.

    Great post Jared, thanks!!

  65. This is so syncronistic; My iMac HD is full and I need to back it up (iphoto mainly) and next thing I know after coming home from a trip to Italy a great post about unf*cking my iMac.

    Thanks Tim and Jared.

  66. Heh, it’s fun to read these things since I basically work as the Swedish equivalent of a Mac Genius.

    Good post! Covered alot of the basics!

  67. Also, regarding moving licenses and serial numbers. I would always suggest doing a clean installation of the application and manually entering the serial number instead of moving around files. It’s more likely to cause troubles by copy pasting.

  68. Thanks Tim. I’ve always been under the “it just works” impression that I don’t have to do any sort of maintenance for my mac, but I’m definitely starting to experience a drop in performance after using my macbook for a few years. Hopefully some of the programs you suggested will help me extend the life of my mac.

  69. Okay, let me add a truly bizarre Mac issue to the list. Did not have this issue with my original MacBook Pro but purchased a new one a couple months ago. Lo and behold, noticed a strange bruise that would not heal on my thigh a few weeks later.

    Took me a little while to put two and two together, and then I experimented with NOT putting the Mac on my lap, and lo and behold, bruise started to fade.

    I’ll admit this freaked me out a bit, and I don’t see a fix on your list, Tim 😉

    At home I can put a pillow on my lap but I like to be able to use my computer in airports and at public events, so this is kinda problematic.

    Any ideas?

    1. Erikia,

      That’s a million dollar idea if you figure out a solution to that. One of my ideas I don’t have time for but im sure someone like us is working on it as we speak.


      Well written as usual, a god damn genius if you ask me lol. Ive been bulletproofing and unfu*king my life for awhile now and thanks to your book, I can take chances without getting my head blown off. Quality of sales per effort is on the rise as well as happiness and prosperity.

      Im trying to buy 100 of your books 50 of each when you get a chance to email me back. Im also working on a deal to sell 10,000 of your books with my product in under 60 days.

      I wrote a detailed email to Charlie i hope he passed the msg on to you.

    2. Erika, Apple states in the manual that you’re supposed to run your unit on a hard surface i.e on a desk or table or so. Not in your lap.

      This is also why they call their units Notebooks instead of “Laptops”.

      The units can get very hot, so the fix to the issue is – don’t use it in your lap.

    3. Regarding the bruise Erika.

      Apples portable computers are referred to as: “NoteBook” and not “Laptops” and if you read the manual for the unit you’ll find that its supposed to be used on a hard flat surface i.e a desk.

      I would also advice against using it on a pillow or on in your lap because they do get quite warm. When using a pillow the ventilation ducts also gets blocked which makes it even warmer.

      So the issue is honestly more of a misuse of the product rather than a manufacturer error. There are notebooks stands that you can use if you want to use your machine in your lap.

      I even think one of them was mentioned here, the lapdawg or something like that.

  70. Hi Tim and others,

    and thanks for the article. I’ve been using a Macbook Pro since April, and here are my findings on the best apps / software and such.

    Arq for off-site backup instead of Backblaze. I went with Backblaze for a while. Then I tried to backup different things that went down. It didn’t work. I switched to Arq after doing a bit of research, and been happy ever since. Arq backs up all my files to Amazon S3, and does this in certain intervals, so I can get back anytime a file if something goes wrong. As I use Amazon S3 for my site, this was a no brainer for me.

    Reeder for reading RSS feeds. This has been the best-looking and most functional RSS reader I’ve ever ran into.

    iA Writer for taking notes and for quick writing. The interface in gorgeous. Allows to focus on the writing, not the app.

    Sketchbook Pro for drawing. Again, really simple piece of software, but does its job really well.

    Scrivener for long-form writing projects. At first I thought “What the crap I’ll do with that?” But then, I tried it and I love it. Absolutely love it. For instance: I have ahead of me a year-long writing project. Instead of using Pages (which is excellent for writing, as well) I can keep the whole project inside of Scrivener, including research. Really flexible piece of software. You should try it, if you’re a writer.

    That’s my 2 cents, now getting back to work.

  71. I do apologize if this has been mentioned… “CLEAN MY MAC” saved my mac and my temper. Every so often my macbook hits the breaks and becomes like, well, windows… I went to my iStore and reloaded everything from scratch and I was happy until it happened again. I couldn’t go through the hassle again so I did some searching and found “clean my mac”. It cleans up your system with one click, worth every penny! More than a gib worth of crap on the first clean and its been a dream ever since. Back up and clean once a week and you’ll be a happy camper.

  72. Do you want to know the most SIMPLE and EASY solution to a happy Mac?

    Remember just 3 things…

    Get good RAM

    Get the best hard drive you can afford

    Make sure your hard drive is at least 2X the size of your data!

    Yup, 2X the size of your data.

    The other stuff is all good, but this will make smooth sailing more than anything.

  73. Hey Tim, what are you going to do to celebrate reaching 100k facebook likes? Maybe release a mix tape? Haha, keep ’em coming!

  74. Lol, no offense Nils (I appreciate your response), but I didn’t spend $3000 on a laptop to be tethered to a desk or other “hard surface.” The answer you’ve given sounds admirably “by the book” and also feels totally unsatisfying. Especially since my last Mac had no such problem and was also a “notebook.” Everybody knows people use notebooks on their laps. Otherwise they would buy desktops.

    Anyway, unless someone knows a way I can use my laptop on my lap, I will probably call Apple and let them know this really doesn’t fly with their customers.

    1. Erika – The most likely cause of your bruising is heat from the underside of the computer. Things like watching streamed video put a heavy load on the processor, GPU and other components and produce significant heat.

      Fans dissipate the heat, but the problem is fans make noise, and people don’t like noisy computers. Therefore, computer manufacturers have to balance how loud the fans are against how hot the computer gets. Apple has gone through several firmware updates for the Macbook line over the years to address this issue.

      There are two tools you need: a temperature monitor that will show you readings from the many thermometers inside your computer, and a fan controller that will allow you to manually control the fan speed.

      I use Temperature Monitor, it is freeware:

      Look for the temperature reading for the Enclosure Bottomside (or something to that effect). Mine is currently 33C and climbing.

      For fan speed control, I use smcFanControl, also freeware:

      You will want to configure your fans so they run faster. Play around and find a speed that gets the computer cool enough for you to use. It may be louder, but that beats bruises I think!

      Other options to try are

  75. Kudos to Apple for the Macbook Air – fantastic product.

    But the motherboard is attached directly to the aluminum case … no suspension of any kind. Any drops, tweaks, impacts, transferred directly to some highly miniaturized components. It’d never pass a Mil-Spec test. Bullet proof your Mac? Get a Thinkpad. I know, I know … but serious roll cage, fingerprint reader, and you can drop, cook, and freeze it, and it’ll still work.

  76. Time Machine problem:

    Select a HD

    Click on on/off switch

    Goes back to select drive window

    Select drive

    On/off button switches itself to off

    Will work if I do a clean OS install, but after migration problem returns.

    Any ideas?

  77. Alex,

    Thank you for the creative suggestions. I’m going to check them out.


    I understand that may be written somewhere, and let me ask: have you heard of this idea of “thinking outside the box”? People have written lots of things in lots of places that don’t make any sense and that I don’t follow. In fact, if I tried to follow all the things written in all the places, my life would be a mess. I understand you are trying to help me, and I invite you to step into the freedom of thinking outside the box 🙂

  78. Hey Jake,

    Thanks for the suggestion. You’re probably right, I just don’t feel any passion for it. And I’ve learned that I don’t stick with things unless I feel passionate about them 🙂

    What I am passionate about is transformational coaching … helping people get aligned with their true life purpose and start manifesting the life of their dreams 🙂

    Like Tim, who has helped so many people, each of us has a unique talent and role to fill in this world that nobody else can fulfill. I found mine, and that brings me a lot of joy 🙂



  79. Here are some staples apps I use for my Mac and web:

    Kaspersky for Mac (antivirus protection)

    Backup Buddy (WordPress complete backup plugin)



    Things (productivity, project planning and to-do lists)


  80. Great article Tim, thank you! A couple years ago I started using ubuntu, in conjunction ( on netbook), but still use mac for desktop. the disk utility part you mentioned to repair permissions is the most important one I see people commonly overlook. Will look into Diskwarrior.

  81. Very helpful! Did anyone mention iDrive? I love this backup solution because the files are available anywhere you have net access and there is also an iPhone app where you can access your files. If you pay the yearly rate (works out to less than $4.50/month) you get unlimited storage.

  82. Hey liked the post…could have done without the language…but hey, that is why I write post. Ahh the world of Mac and the tight community that seeks to help. And I am a fan of four hour body.