Mac Tips for Techs: Carbon Copy Cloner

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apple logoAs I’ve been getting into my blog-writing career here with Everon, I have been writing a lot of posts about Macs. My love of Macs started before I got into IT. Now that I am in IT I realize that, although I know a lot about the Windows OS, I am not as familiar with Macs, despite owning a few. In all reality, anything you do with a PC can be done on a Mac. (And there are many really cool tools that help you achieve your goals.)

In previous blogs, I have discussed a great cleanup tool called Onyx. I also discussed using the Network Utility tool for a Mac. In my latest blog, I want to discuss a tool that, before we were aware of the tool, we had tried for DAYS to get this working. This tool took our days of work and finished the job in 30 minutes. (I know: anyone who is more Mac-savvy probably could get the job done quicker, but for a Windows engineer, this was a tough task). The tool is called Carbon Copy Cloner.

Carbon Copy Cloner effectively and easily clones a drive in its entirety, so you can put a new drive in and change out hard drives. This is extremely important for many reasons. First off, if your drive is showing SMART errors, and you know the drive might fail soon (which you can find out by using Onyx), you will want to get a new drive in there ASAP. Also, in our case, the client wanted to go from a 240 GB drive to 1 TB in order to increase his disk space. I would also recommend using this if you want to use a solid state drive, as that is becoming the go-to for fast, reliable hard drives.

You can purchase a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner here: https://bombich.com/. However, you can also demo a 30-day trial, which works great for cloning one drive onto another. When starting up CCC, you simply choose your source drive and destination drive (also really great for complete backups), and allow it to copy.

carbon-copy-cloner-image-copy-your-hard-drive_2Once done, if you were copying your bootable drive, you could then put the new drive in and boot off of it.  If you are using it for backup, you could then mount the image and grab whatever you need. It is literally a one-for-one copy of your drive.

This product has a ton of other features, but I am not going to get into the details about those, as you can go to the site and review yourself. However this is my go-to every single time now for closing and replacing hard drives for a Mac. I would strongly urge you to review this product as well.

Up next for my Mac Tips for Techs: NetSpot. Your go-to tool for reviewing wireless networks.

 

The Shocking Cost of Data Loss

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The cost of data loss

Think about these facts revealed in our new infographic:

  • A hard drive in the US dies every 15 seconds
  • SMBs experience an average of 6 outages a year
  • 70% of SMBs experiencing a data loss shut down within 2 years

All true. And a little bit scary considering that we rely on computer systems to perform vital business functions and to store years and years of customer and financial data. Do you think your business could survive a data loss? Check out our infographic to understand what that could mean to your business.

When it comes to protecting your data and your technology, we can help. Interested in learning how?  Register for a free backup assessment at: http://www.everonit.com/data-loss-infographic/

 

 

How To Transfer iPhone Contacts To Another Phone

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A common issue many smart phone users is transferring their contacts between phones. Yesterday my friend got a new Android phone and after inserting the sim card from iPhone I noticed he has no contacts. It seems all his contacts are kept on his iPhone memory and not on the sim.

I’ve seen it talked about on a number of forums and it doesn’t appear that there is a clear cut method of dealing with this.  The most common solution I found involved jailbreaking the phone- something I am not comfortable doing for a variety of reasons.

Finally, after a bit of research I was able to find a solution by creating a vCard. Here it is:

  1. Install MCBackup from App Store (FREE)
  2. Select Backup (it will take a while if you have hundreds of contacts)
  3. Once the backup file is done it will ask you to send it as email attachment to yourself
  4. Download the .vcf file from your email to your computer
  5. Connect your new phone to computer and upload the .vcf file into the root of your phone
  6. Safely unplug your new phone
  7. On HTC go to People app / Menu / Manage contacts / Import/Export contacts / Import from phone storage

Note: After I selected Import from phone storage I received an error – ‘failed to parse vcard for unexpected reason invalid line xx’. If you receive the same, open the .vcf file with Wordpad search for whatever contact is displayed and correct the error.  You can look at a similar contact in the code and replicate the same format and code around your corrected contact.  E.g. my broken contact was going on 2 lines. Once I removed the ‘enter’, I copied the file again to HTC and then I selected Import again from phone storage. It worked like a charm. Now I have all 251 contacts on my new phone.

The quick how to on backing up Windows 7 drivers

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WindowsDrivers are essential software for the hardware functions on a computer, and it is always a very good idea to back them up. It can be really an hassle to try to reinstall or repair Windows, only to find that a driver is missing or corrupt. Many PC manufacturers have their own drivers for crucial hardware and Windows generic drivers just won’t work.

In Windows 7 all the drivers are in a few subfolders located in the system folder %SystemRoot%\System32\. Two standard  protected subfolders  are called “DriverStore” and “drivers”.  Often there is also a third subfolder  “DrvStore”. These folders can be copied to a external hard drive, cd or some other kind of media.

Also, you should back up the folder %systemroot%\inf\. This folder contains the driver setup information files. This folder is sometimes overlooked but drivers cannot be installed without the information it contains.

This is very handy to keep backed up due to there may be a time when your drivers become corrupt and the manufacture no longer carries them, or in some cases it could be a network driver that could have become corrupt and, there may not be access to the internet to receive new drivers.

Generally is it always a good idea to backup your Server or Computer offsite, in case of a catastrophe. At Everon we provide excellent backup solutions, from granular level cloud backup to full Total Data Protection of a server. Please click on this link to view more details. http://www.everonit.com/data_backup_services.html

 

 

 

 

If for some reason you need more discussion, including ways to reinstall drivers can be found at this link.

Argh! VSS errors keep making my backups fail, how can I fix this?

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Almost every backup software platform uses VSS, so this is actually a common issue. A few of the most common platforms that use this are Mozy, Intronis, Shadow Protect, Windows backup and Symantec Backup Exec.

Normally all VSS issues can be resolved by a reboot. However in some cases a reboot cannot be done due to the VSS writer may be on a production server that cannot be restarted.

If for some reason a reboot does not resolve the issue or you are unable to perform a reboot another attempt that can be done to resolve this issue is use a Microsoft application called “Microsoft VShadow”.

Using the VShadow Tool to help clear out the issue

1.  Open services.msc | Start > Run > services.msc and stop any VSS related service that is currently running, most commonly this includes:

Background Intelligent Transfer Service
MS Software Shadow Copy Provider
Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider
Volume Shadow Copy
SQL Server VSS Writer
Windows Backup
Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy Requester

2.  Next, download the VShadow version that applies to the Operating System. (The best way I have found to do this, is to do a Google search for VShadow OS Type Download.

(Save the vshadow.exe program from the Downloads Page to the path of( %windir%\system32\ ) this should allow you to run it from all directories of the system from the command prompt for the next steps.)

Open a command prompt, go to |Start > Run > cmd .

3.  From the command prompt run the command. ( vshadow C: D: )

Please Note: Volume letter(s) should match those of the system’s volume letters.

Run the vssadmin list writers command to confirm that the VSS writers are in a Stable and Ready State