MacMedics Macintosh Service, Consulting, & Sales For Baltimore, Washington DC, & Philadelphia Blog

Macintosh Consulting, Service, & Support

Archive for the ‘Better Mac Computing’ Category

Use FileVault to encrypt the startup disk on your Mac

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Use FileVault to encrypt the startup disk on your Mac

If you choose to use Apple’s FileVault (I do!), it’s critical that you record your Recovery Key. The FileVault Recovery Key has two options. You can store it yourself (the most secure way), or you can store it with Apple using your Apple ID.

When Apple’s FileVault feature (included in the MacOS) is activated, and your computer is lost or stolen, there is NO way that someone other than you (with your Recovery Key) can access the data.

I just had to inform a customer that their data was no longer available because they changed their password and then promptly forgot it. When you are required (or decide) it’s time to change a password, we advise that you pick the password you want to use in advance and write it down.

Apple laptops are popular targets for thieves, so protect yourself by enabling FileVault and activating Find my Mac. That way if the unit ever connects to the InterNet after you lose it, you have the option of locating it and erasing it.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837

Written by Dana Stibolt

June 12th, 2017 at 5:14 pm

A Time Machine Backup Hard Drive Makes a Great Mother’s Day Gift

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Happy Mother’s Day! Do you know what makes a great Mother’s Day gift? A Time Machine backup hard drive! If you’re the keeper of the photos, you must have them backed up at all times. The older the computer, the greater the risk of hard drive failure, but ANY hard drive (including Solid State hard drives) can and do fail no matter if they are new OR old. Plus, if you (or your mom) is a laptop user, you also need to consider laptop loss, theft, and damage.

We’ve seen moms AND dads who have experienced a hard drive failure. It’s not a good situation to be in, especially when the photos of their kids are in jeopardy or lost forever. Even if MacMedics can recover the data or it has to be sent out for “clean room” data recovery, there’s the added stress of that, plus the added expense.

A common misconception is that Time Machine requires Apple hardware like a Time Capsule. It does not. All Time Machine needs is an external hard drive that is Macintosh formatted. You might already have a Mac formatted hard drive with data on it. If you do the Time Machine backup file will co-exist with your data as long as there is enough free space. If you don’t have a drive already, MacMedics carries a nice 1TB 2.5″ portable unit with a 2-year warranty for $99.

Written by Dana Stibolt

May 14th, 2017 at 10:05 am

Be Careful Moving Your Data During The Holidays!

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It already happened this year! Someone just contacted us with the following email:

“For Christmas I was given the new MacBook Pro, and in the midst of trying to transfer files from my old PC I accidentally erased my hard drive. It won’t even boot up anymore. I was wondering how to go about fixing this? If I need to bring it in to your store, how much will it cost to fix, how long, etc.”

Two things to remember:

1. Never delete data that has not been certified in it’s new location or on a new computer.

2. Never use a computer to process and generate mission critical data without a back-up.

Always keep your data in two places at once while moving over to a new computer!

When folks buy a new computer (or get one as a gift during the holidays) and then transfer the data to the new Mac, they are often anxious to re-purpose, re-gift, or re-sell the old Macintosh. So much so, that once they see the new unit is up and running, they will ERASE the old unit and put a fresh OS on it in preparation for it’s new life. In many cases they have already made a deal to sell their old Mac (or give it away to a family member) and the sale is “pending” on them getting the new Mac up and running. So there’s often some pressure to get the job done quickly and complete the transaction.

NEVER EVER transfer or migrate your current data over to a new Mac (then delete your old data or sell an old computer) and assume that you’re safer then you were with the old hard drive. Your Data SHOULD always be in two places at once!

If you need to erase an old computer and you’ve just transferred ALL of your data to a new shiny computer, don’t let that “new computer” feeling of safety (because it’s new I’m at LESS risk!) distract you! If it’s a new Mac, run a quick Time Machine back up or clone your drive with SuperDuper BEFORE you erase that old data. In fact, one very safe way to back up and then test your data is to make a bootable clone of your data (you can do this with SuperDuper), you can then “boot” off this clone and test to ensure your data is all there. This way if something gets fouled up in the migration or transfer, you can at least have a bootable copy of your data and use that to work off of until you can sort things out. Don’t forget to ensure that your new backup is also working correctly. This is a common issue, so DON’T fall into this trap!

You ALWAYS need to have your data in two places at once WHILE you are moving over to a new Macintosh laptop or desktop. Very often we see client suffer data loss during this time of transfer. In many cases the client’s first scan of the data is positive and everything looks fine. Then they erase their old computer, only to learn that their e-mail or iPhoto or Photos database is corrupted, and they’ve lost some or all of their data during transfer.

Written by Dana Stibolt

December 24th, 2016 at 11:12 pm

When your Macintosh requires service, MacMedics is where you should come first!

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Today, another computer repair shop came to visit MacMedics. They were trying to fix a MacBook Air and came to see us to try to buy an Apple hard drive service part.

We certainly respect other places trying to help their customers, but these folks are just not equipped to fix Apple gear without the Apple tools, training, and certifications that we have here at MacMedics.

The representative that visited us grabbed the Apple SSD hard drive (just a small memory card the size of a stick of gum) out of their bag, and said while handing it to me with their bare hands (without the necessary static bag protection), “I need one of these”. I promptly suggested that we go ahead and put it in a static bag for them.

They were convinced that was the issue with the computer was in fact a faulty SSD hard drive. I explained that SSD hard drives rarely go bad, and the best way for us to help them would be to have the whole MacBook Air. That way, we could perform a free test on the computer with the SSD hard drive installed back into the unit. They did not bring the MacBook Air with them for today’s visit.

If you have a Macintosh computer, or any other Apple gear like an iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch, or Apple TV, there’s really no reason not come visit MacMedics first. We’re the only Apple Authorized Premium Service Provider in the Baltimore-DC region. Our Apple diagnostic test of your gear is free and requires no appointment. Plus, all current Apple Macs are repaired with genuine Apple Service parts and ALL paid-for repairs come with the famous 1-Year MacMedics warranty.

MacMedics is hiring! We’re looking for Apple Wizard/Rock Stars to join our service teams as Apple On-Site Consultants/Engineers

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We’re MacMedics, an Apple Authorized “Mac-Only” Macintosh consulting, service, and sales company that provides Mac Service and Solutions the entire Mid-Atlantic region. We’re looking for experienced On-Site Macintosh Technicians/Consultants/Engineers to join our Washington DC & Baltimore-Annapolis, MD offices FULL-TIME.

If you’re an IT professional at most places, we’re guessing you work long hours. Not at MacMedics! We only expect our employees to work 40 hours a week. Don’t accept any old Mac IT job if you’re never going to see you family again, or have to be “on-call” on the weekends. Come see us and find out if MacMedics can be a good fit for your new Mac career for 2016!

MacMedics (an Apple Authorized Premium Service Provider & Apple Authorized Value Added Reseller), an award-winning regional Macintosh consulting and service company, with offices in Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia is seeking more on-site Macintosh Engineers to join our Washington, DC AND Baltimore, MD service and support teams.

As a MacMedics Macintosh Consultant/Engineer, you will be directly involved in providing and recommending Macintosh service and solutions for our thousands of on-site Macintosh clients. Some of the markets we service are; graphic design freelancers, small graphic design studios, large scale advertising agencies, in-house advertising departments, commercial printers, video production houses, colleges, universities, as well as Federal, State, and local government agencies.

The functions of this position would include: on-site Macintosh hardware and software consulting and troubleshooting, networking, cross platform integration, and backup & server configuration. Qualified individuals must have EXTENSIVE knowledge of Mac OS X and long-term experience with the Macintosh product line with a strong emphasis on the use, configuration, and troubleshooting of graphic design applications. Experience with Photoshop, InDesign, and font management is absolutely essential!

A strong compensation package with performance incentives, a Macintosh MacBook Pro computer, and an Apple iPhone (with plan) are all provided. Other valuable benefits such as company paid Apple and Adobe technical training and certification; 100% company paid heath/dental insurance and a 401k plan with company matching are also included.

If you’re interested in being part of a well-established Apple consulting, service, and sales company and making new and exciting and things happen, you’ll love working with MacMedics! Our service team members are focused on helping our customers and doing whatever it takes to do so. If you’re being held back, finding yourself doing more Windows work that you were planning on, tired of red tape and politics, and you want your efforts and contributions to count for something, then this position would be perfect for you! If you’re an under-appreciated/under-paid Mac fanatic, then MacMedics is where you need to be!

If you’re a current or former Apple Store Genius with extreme Mac skills and you’re investigating on how to take your Macintosh support career to the next level, we’d love to speak to you.

http://www.macmedics.com/jobs

MacMedics is also hiring Apple retail sales and service folks to work full-time and part-time. We also are hiring for Apple iPhone and Mac techs to work in our Severna Park, MD store.

New 5-Star Review for MacMedics Severna Park: “What a great find the MacMedics are!”

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“What a great find the MacMedics are!

What a great find the MacMedics are! We were having problems with a 2 year old MacBook Pro that would not boot up. We were told at the Genius Bar that the OS needed to be reloaded. (They didn’t tell us about saving the existing docs with Target Disk Mode, but luckily we found out about that online.) We reloaded the OS, but the problem re-emerged 2-weeks later. AppleCare ran diagnostics and said the SSD needed to be replaced, but Apple wouldn’t touch it since I had opened the case during the prior problems. I drove it to MacMedics in Severna Park without an appointment (exchanged emails with them first), and they put the machine on the workbench and started on it immediately. Gave me options, ran several tests, and opined that it was not the hard drive at all. I left an hour later with a clean SDD and new OS installation, and a bill for under $80. It’s been great ever since! In addition, they were super helpful to the other customers at the counter with me. I’m going back whenever I have issues with my Apple devices.”

-Lewes, DE

Written by Dana Stibolt

May 9th, 2016 at 9:00 am

MacMedics Macintosh Data Recovery Case Files: Army Ranger

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You might recall on Veterans Day we put out an offer for a free data recovery for a veteran who needed some help recovering photos of their service, important life events, and all of their data. Nobody stepped forward.

I am happy to report that we found an Army Ranger who was in need of our services after he dropped his 13” MacBook Pro.

The metal on the edge of the right palm rest (where the hard drive lives) was dented out from the impact of the fall where the force pushed the hard drive so hard it pushed out on the metal in an imprint of one of the edges of the hard drive.

We never really thought that we would be helping to the degree that we did. We were not able to recover 100% of the data due to the damage, but we got most of it. The number of photos of gravesites, combat memorials, and fallen comrades this Ranger had been staggering. It was our honor to bring this data back to him at no cost.

In the process of recovering his data, we decided that we would also fix his broken MacBook Pro screen as well.

If you see a veteran, let them know that you support them, and if you have the ability to pay for their meal, toll, haircut, or help them out with a repair bill why not do it? He told me they are not looking for a free ride, but as Americans there is no way we can ever re-pay the debt to our service men and women. So, if you can do something to acknowledge their service and sacrifice, you should.

MacMedics 5-Star Review: “I can’t tell you how wonderful MacMedics has been!”

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I can’t tell you how wonderful MacMedics has been!

I can’t tell you how wonderful MacMedics has been! I am a photographer who has used Apple products for years. I end up taking hundreds of GB worth of photos and am very hard on my computer when it comes to editing and storing all of them. My Mac was a few years old and I wanted to upgrade my RAM and hard drive space. After speaking to MacMedics they helped me find the best solution- I ended up installing extra RAM, getting a solid state hard drive for my operating system, and getting separate hard drives to help store all of my photos. They fixed everything efficiently and were really patient and thorough when answering all of my questions! When I later had some issues with my disk permissions, they were able to walk me through what I needed to do to fix these and the problem was solved. Many people have no idea where to turn for Apple services, sales, or data recovery, so they just end up going to the Apple Store and paying too much for it, not getting an accurate diagnosis, or going elsewhere and ending up with terrible service. But that is not the case with MacMedics- they are great on all accounts. They also give you a 1 year warranty- a big plus in my book. Highly recommended!

-Crownsville, MD

MacMedics Washington DC Seeks On-Site Macintosh Engineer/Tech

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We’re MacMedics, an Apple Authorized “Mac-Only” Macintosh consulting, service, and sales company that provides Mac Service and Solutions the entire Mid-Atlantic region. We’re looking for experienced On-Site Macintosh Technicians/Consultants/Engineers to join our Washington DC office FULL-TIME. If you’re an IT professional at most places, we’re guessing you work long hours. Not at MacMedics! We only expect our employees to work 40 hours a week. Don’t accept any old Mac IT job if you’re never going to see you family again, or have to be “on-call” on the weekends. Come see us and find out if MacMedics can be a good fit for your new Mac career for 2015!

MacMedics (an Apple Authorized Premium Service Provider & Apple Authorized Value Added Reseller), an award-winning regional Macintosh consulting and service company, with offices in Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia is seeking more on-site Macintosh Engineers to join our Washington, DC AND Baltimore, MD service and support team. As a MacMedics Macintosh Consultant/Engineer, you will be directly involved in providing and recommending Macintosh service and solutions for our thousands of on-site Macintosh clients. Some of the markets we service are; graphic design freelancers, small graphic design studios, large scale advertising agencies, in-house advertising departments, commercial printers, video production houses, colleges, universities, as well as Federal, State, and local government agencies.

The functions of this position would include: on-site Macintosh hardware and software consulting and troubleshooting, networking, cross platform integration, and backup & server configuration. Qualified individuals must have EXTENSIVE knowledge of Mac OS X and long-term experience with the Macintosh product line with a strong emphasis on the use, configuration, and troubleshooting of graphic design applications. Experience with Photoshop, InDesign, and font management is absolutely essential!

A strong compensation package with performance incentives, a Macintosh MacBook Pro computer, company paid high-speed Internet access and Apple iPhone (with plan) are all provided. Other valuable benefits such as company paid Apple and Adobe technical training and certification; low-cost heath/dental insurance and a 401k plan with company matching are also included.

If you’re interested in being part of a well-established consulting company and making new and exciting and things happen, you’ll love working with MacMedics! Our service team members are focused on helping our customers and doing whatever it takes to do so. If you’re being held back, finding yourself doing more Windows work that you were planning on, tired of red tape and politics, and you want your efforts and contributions to count for something, then this position would be perfect for you! If you’re an under-appreciated/under-paid Mac fanatic, then MacMedics is where you need to be!

If you’re a current or former Apple Store Genius with extreme Mac skills and you’re investigating on how to take your Macintosh support career to the next level, we’d love to speak to you.

http://www.macmedics.com/jobs

Apple Announces a New Generation of the Mac mini

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Mac mini brings the latest advanced technologies to the most affordable Mac, while retaining its compact, energy-efficient design.

Featuring fourth-generation dual-core Intel Core processors, faster Intel graphics, next-generation Wi-Fi, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, Fusion Drive option, and OS X Yosemite, the new Mac mini delivers the full Mac experience with great performance for everyday use.

Written by Dana Stibolt

October 17th, 2014 at 1:11 pm