Tag Archive: Disk

How to Boot a Mac from an External Drive or Alternate Startup Disk

Certain situations require a Mac to be booted from an external boot volume, rather than the primary startup disk. There are plenty of reasons for booting from external volumes, whether it’s to troubleshoot problems, repair disks, partition, format everything, update, or even reinstall OS X. We’ll cover the two easiest ways to do this, during boot with the Mac Boot Manager, and also through System Preferences using the Startup Disk selection tool.

You’ll need a bootable drive of some sort  [Read More…]

Resolve a “Couldn’t Unmount Disk” Error in Disk Utility

Disk Utility usually works trouble-free, but a frustrating “Couldn’t Unmount Disk” error can halt whatever the attempted task is right in its tracks. This can happen during partitioning, disk verification and repair, and even during formatting, and there’s usually little to no additional information provided as to how to resolve the problem or even what the problem is.

Couldn't Unmount Disk Error as seen in Disk Utility on a Mac

Typically the  [Read More…]

Create a Large File from the Command Line or Disk Utility for Testing Purposes

Large empty files are often used for testing purposes during disk access tests, development, QA, zeroing out data, and scripting. Though it’s certainly not applicable to most users, it’s easy enough to do that anyone can try it out even if you don’t have a specific need.

We’ll cover three ways to quickly generate files of virtually any size, two will use the command line; one being operating system agnostic and the other OS X specific, and another more user  [Read More…]

Manage Your Own iPhone Photos? Delete iLifeAssetManagement to Recover Lost Disk Space in Mac OS X

iLifeAssetManagement bloated folder of duplicate images While Photo Stream is a great feature of iCloud, if you self manage your iPhone photos, it can quickly end up eating tons of disk space on a Mac hard drive. How, might a reasonable individual ask? Well, it may be unintentionally adding duplicates of all the photos you’re already importing yourself. This happens because Photo Stream automatically copies images from the iPhone (or iPad and  [Read More…]

Mount Android as a Disk Drive in Mac OS X for Easy File Storage & Access

Something that many Android phones and tablets are able to do is connect to a computer as if they were an external disk drive. It’s remarkably easy to set up, and all that is required is connecting the Android to a Mac through USB, and it’ll then mount accessible through the desktop and Finder, from which you can treat it like any other storage device to copy files to and from, making it an excellent a replacement to a USB  [Read More…]

Use FileVault to Get Full Disk Encryption in Mac OS X

FileVault disk encryption for the Mac FileVault is an amazing disk level encryption feature that comes with Mac OS X. When it has been enabled, it encrypts everything, all disk contents, and actively encrypts and decrypts data on the fly, meaning any newly created data or document will instantly be encrypted as well. It’s fast and incredibly secure, using XTS-AES 128 encryption to keep things far out of the reaches of prying  [Read More…]

7 Advanced Tricks to Reclaim Disk Space for Pro Users of Mac OS X

Pro tips for advanced users to free up hard drive space in OS X Running out of disk space is never fun, and drive space comes at a premium for those of us with smaller SSD drives like the MacBook Air with a 64GB or 128GB drive. These tricks are fairly advanced and thus aimed at the pro segment of SSD users who are comfortable modifying system functions and files through the  [Read More…]

How to Secure Erase a Mac SSD / Hard Disk from Recovery Mode

Disk Utility icon The newest Macs ship with a Recovery partition rather than a separate external reinstall disk, and if you’ve ever rebooted a newer Mac, iMac, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro with an SSD from the Recovery partition to reformat the drive, you may have noticed that by default the “Security Options” button is greyed out in the Disk Utility options, seemingly preventing a standard “secure” erase procedure. The precise  [Read More…]

Windows Phone’s Black Screen Of Death Tells You To ‘Insert Installation Disk’ [Image]


Microsoft’s Windows operating system is often mocked for its blue screen of death, the dreaded error message that appears on an all-too-often basis when attempting to work the computer too hard. And now it seems the company’s Windows Phone platform has a nasty error message of its own.

This particular error message, spotted on the HTC 8X, rather hilariously asks you to “insert your Windows installation disk” and “repair your computer” to continue.

The  [Read More…]

5 Quick Tips to Free Up Disk Space in Mac OS X

5 Tips to Free Up Disk Space in Mac OS X

Mac running out of disk space? If you’ve ever received that dreaded “disk full” message when using a Mac, you know it can be pretty frustrating to try and free up disk space quickly so you can get back to work. But it’s actually not too hard, and there are a few quick and easy tips to quickly free up space so  [Read More…]