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Archive for the ‘Mavericks’ Category

OS X Bash Update 1.0 is now available to address Shellshock Security Threat

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Apple commenting on Shellshock security threat via www.imore.com:

“The vast majority of OS X users are not at risk to recently reported bash vulnerabilities,” an Apple spokesperson told iMore. “Bash, a UNIX command shell and language included in OS X, has a weakness that could allow unauthorized users to remotely gain control of vulnerable systems. With OS X, systems are safe by default and not exposed to remote exploits of bash unless users configure advanced UNIX services. We are working to quickly provide a software update for our advanced UNIX users.”

OS X bash Update 1.0 is now available and addresses the following:

Bash

Available for: OS X Lion v10.7.5, OS X Lion Server v10.7.5, OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5,
OS X Mavericks v10.9.5

10.9 Link: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1769
10.8 Link: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1768
10.7 Link: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1767

Impact: In certain configurations, a remote attacker may be able to execute arbitrary
shell commands

Description: An issue existed in Bash’s parsing of environment variables. This issue was
addressed through improved environment variable parsing by better detecting the end of
the function statement.

This update also incorporated the suggested CVE-2014-7169 change, which resets the
parser state.

In addition, this update added a new namespace for exported functions by creating a
function decorator to prevent unintended header passthrough to Bash. The names of all
environment variables that introduce function definitions are required to have a
prefix “__BASH_FUNC<" and suffix ">()” to prevent unintended function passing via
HTTP headers.

The update from Apple can be downloaded here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1769

If you have modified either /etc/profile or /etc/bashrc be sure to back up those files before installing the Apple update, since the patch overwrites both.

Written by Dana Stibolt

September 29th, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Apple Releases OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 Update

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10.9.4

Please read the following tips from Apple before you update to 10.9.4 Mavericks, and you’re you jumping to Mavericks 10.9.4 today, be sure to read our upgrade safety page as well! http://www.macmedics.com/updates.htm

1. You should back up your system before installation. To do this you can use Time Machine.

2. Do not interrupt the installation process once you have started to update your system.

3. You might experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modifications installed, or if you’ve modified the operating system through other means.

4. Choose Software Update from the Apple menu () to check for the latest Apple software using the Mac App Store, including this update.

5. Other software updates available for your computer might appear, which you should install. Note that an update’s size can vary from computer to computer when installed using Software Update. Also, some updates must be installed prior to others.

You can also download the manual update installer. This is a useful option when you need to update multiple computers, but only want to download the update once. Standalone installers are available from the Apple Support website.

About the update:

The OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 Update is recommended for all Mavericks users. It improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.

This update:

-Fixes an issue that prevented some Macs from automatically connecting to known Wi-Fi networks

-Fixes issue causing the background or Apple logo to appear incorrectly on startup

-Improves the reliability of waking from sleep

This update also includes Safari 7.0.5.

Written by Dana Stibolt

June 30th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

MacMedics Saves A Customer’s Lost Wedding & Honeymoon Photos As Well As A Masters Thesis

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MacMedics is Anne Arundel County's Only Independent Apple Authorized Service Provider

We love to help when we can, especially when it comes to wedding and honeymoon pictures. This was a case where our customer could not afford a full data recovery, but there were portions of the drive that were available to us. One of our engineers, Chris, decided to take it upon himself to try and move some of the data while we had the drive mounted. As a result, he was able to copy some of the files that were most important to the customer.

After the customer got his drive back, he wrote us this note:

Chris,

I just wanted to write to thank you for your wonderful professionalism and kindness in helping me and my wife sort through what to do with our crashed Mac. It was a very difficult decision for us not to recover the entire hard drive, but the right one given our finances. When we received the hard drive in the mail a couple days ago, we were downright moved to discover that you took the trouble to find our most important files – the wedding and honeymoon photos and her master’s thesis – and copy them for us.

We will definitely send all of our future business – and that of our friends – to you!

Many thanks,

Stephen

While other Macintosh data recovery firms charge $1000 – $2500 for data recovery and then charge extra for the hard drive that contains your data, MacMedics will recovery your lost data, replace the failed hard drive, transfer your data back to the newly installed replacement hard drive, and include a free 500GB Time Machine hard drive (so you never need data recovery again) for a flat fee of just $699 for Macbook, MacBook Pros, Mac minis, Mac Pros (older silver tower model), and iMacs.

You can learn more about our data recovery programs on our website at: http://www.macmedics.com/recovery.htm

Step 1: Get Time Machine Working; Step 2: Monitor Time Machine Backup; Step 3: Replace Time Machine Backup After 3 Years of Use

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Replace your Time Machine hard drive after 3-years of loyal service to prevent data loss!

Apple’s Time Machine is the most powerful feature built into the OS X operating system. You can buy almost any hard drive, plug it in, and Time Machine practically configures itself. It’s pretty much set it and forget it. While that is true for the most part, you do need to keep an eye on it.

Ensure Time Machine is running. If there is an issue, or if it’s running slowly, that could be a precursor to an issue with your Mac’s hard drive, your Time Machine hard drive, or perhaps BOTH!

Hard drives don’t last forever, and your Time Machine hard drive is no exception! When you buy a new Time Machine hard drive or a Time Capsule, you should write the purchase date on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the front of the hard drive. After 3 years of loyal use (in most cases), then it’s time to retire that backup and add a new one. Hey, this is your chance to EXPAND your backup plan by reusing that aging hard drive as an off-site back up!

When a hard drive starts to fail, it can make both your main hard drive and your backup hard drive work harder to keep up. If you leave a situation like this going for too long, you can end up with more than one sick hard drive and put your valuable data at risk.

Written by Dana Stibolt

May 20th, 2014 at 9:10 am

MacMedics Is the Only Independent Apple Authorized Service Provider in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

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MacMedics is the ONLY independent Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Authorized Premium Service Provider in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. MacMedics’ office in Severna Park, MD is close to the Annapolis and Columbia Apple Stores. (Our other office in the area is the MacMedics office in Lanham, MD, which is a good option for those that live or work closer to Washington DC.) So if you’ve got a tough Macintosh repair problem that the Apple Store could not solve, we are the closest place to visit for a second opinion.

MacMedics offers Macintosh help, training, Apple Authorized Service, and Apple Authorized Sales assistance without the hassle of:

A. getting to the mall.

B. finding a parking spot.

C. lugging your iMac or older Mac Pro desktop and walking it all the way through the mall.

D. trying to first get an appointment with an Apple Genius, and then not getting enough time to really pick their brains for expert Macintosh advice.

Plus as an added bonus, most MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air repairs are performed locally right here in our shop. The Apple Store will usually send your unit away for Apple Depot Service.

It’s also important to know that the Apple Store does not perform data recovery. If you think your data is at risk, having anyone look at it further or trying to copy the data in any way is usually a bad idea. As hard drives fail, they generate heat, and as they generate heat they fail further. We’ll remove the drive from your computer and put it right on our data recovery equipment to try and rescue your data. Our fee for this type of recovery is only $499 with a free 1TB USB hard drive. Read more about our process and levels of pricing here.

Our expert Apple Certified employees stand ready to help at anytime. We are super proud to be an award-winning Apple Authorized Service Provider, an Apple Authorized Value Added Reseller, an Apple Authorized Government Reseller, and Certified Members of the Apple Consultants Network.

We’re a great alternative to either buying a new Mac or bringing a sick Mac computer to the mall. In fact, we’re the only Apple Authorized Premium Service Provider in Anne Arundel or Prince Georges counties (or in the entire Baltimore or Washington DC area. There is only one other Apple Authorized Premium Service Provider in all of Maryland, according to Apple. This award recognizes us for several things, but most importantly for accuracy and speed of Macintosh repairs. There’s a reason that MacMedics is the most frequently referred service firm for tough Mac service cases, like LCD replacements, liquid damage, vintage or obsolete Mac equipment, and Macintosh data recovery. With well over 65,000 in-lab and on-site service cases and our staff’s combined Mac experience of over 200 years, MacMedics IS the place to bring your sick Mac!

Come visit either of our two fully-staffed and stocked Macintosh Service & Sales locations in Lanham, MD (1 Mile from I-495/I-95 just inside the Beltway of off Rt 50 and Martin Luther King Hwy.) or in Severna Park, MD (near BWI Airport 3 miles from I-97 or 1.5 mile from RT 2 Ritchie Highway).

For folks that live in Anne Arundel County or more specifically, Annapolis, Davidsonville, or Bowie and work in the Baltimore metro area, MacMedics in Severna Park, Maryland IS the most convenient option for Apple sales and service. We stock all of the most common Apple, computers, iPads, iPods, and Apple accessories, like MacBook & MacBook Pro batteries, PowerBook, iBook, and MagSafe and MagSafe 2 power adapters, back up hard drives, and FireWire & USB cables.

Also, in comparison to the Apple Store, our Apple Warranty and AppleCare service is the fastest. Most Apple warranty repairs are generally complete within 24-hours. With our Severna Park store being 3-minutes from I-97 or RT-2 and our Lanham office being 1-minute from RT 50, it’s super easy to get to us and drop off your repairs quickly. Pull up right at our office door and you can be inside in 5 steps.

Got a problem and want to talk about it? Just pick up the phone and call your nearest MacMedics office. It’s unlikely that you can get anyone at the Apple Store on the phone, and most other places just send you to voicemail. You will only get voicemail here if every single phone line we have is tied up (and that does happen).

MacMedics has been in business and fixing Macs all over town since before the Apple Store or anyone else. We are very proud to be celebrating 26-years of service to the Central Maryland, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Northern Virginia area!

Apple Releases OS X Mavericks v10.9.1 Update

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The OS X Mavericks v10.9.1 Update is recommended for all OS X Mavericks users.

Before you run any software update, MacMedics recommends that you read our Software Update Warnings Page, Which can be found at this link.

Updating your system:

1. You should back up your system before installation. To do this you can use Time Machine.

2. Do not interrupt the installation process once you have started to update your system.

3. You may experience unexpected results if you have third-party system software modifications installed, or if you’ve modified the operating system through other means.

4. Choose Apple menu () > Software Update to check for the latest Apple software using the Mac App Store, including this update.

5. Other software updates available for your computer may appear, which you should install. Note that an update’s size may vary from computer to computer when installed using Software Update. Also, some updates must be installed prior to others.

You can also download the manual update installer. This is a useful option when you need to update multiple computers, but only want to download the update once. Standalone installers are available from Apple Support Downloads.

The OS X Mavericks v10.9.1 Update is recommended for all OS X Mavericks users. It improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac. This update includes:

-Improved support for Gmail in OS X Mail, and fixes for users with custom Gmail settings

-Improves the reliability of Smart Mailboxes and search in Mail

-Fixes an issue that prevented contact groups from working properly in Mail

-Resolves an issue that prevented VoiceOver from speaking sentences that contain emoji

-Fixes an issue that prevented iLife and iWork apps from updating on non-English systems

-Addresses an issue that may cause multiple prompts to unlock “Local items” keychain

-Addresses an issue that may cause Japanese keyboards to retain a previously used language

-Includes Safari 7.0.1

-Fixes an issue that could cause Safari to become unresponsive when filling out forms on fedex.com, stubhub.com, and other websites

-Improves Credit Card Autofill compatibility with websites

-Improves VoiceOver compatibility with facebook.com

-Updates Shared Links periodically when open in the Safari Sidebar

About the OS X Mavericks v10.9.1 Update: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6065

Written by Dana Stibolt

December 21st, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Be Thankful For Your Digital Devices And Your Data Stored On Them

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The following was written by Mike Harrison from the MacMedics Washington DC office:

Here’s my “thankful” suggestion for the day. Please take stock of your digital life, your pictures, music, digital content, files, etc. Many of you have a 4-day weekend (This Thanksgiving holiday), so please use some of that time to make sure your computer is backed up. Make sure your cell phone’s content is backed up. If you have an iPhone or iPad, use iCloud backup services. For those who don’t know me, I work with the hard-case customers that the Apple Store can’t help. I see hard drive failures, destroyed computers and data loss every day, no exaggeration. I have customers break down crying because it’s going to cost them thousands of dollars to get back the pictures of their children, or the masters thesis they’ve been working on for six years. I’ve seen young people flunk an entire semester of college because they didn’t have a backup. At least a few times a week customers, will tell me how much they “live” on their computers, many use them for their livelihood and can’t be without them for a few hours. Please be thankful your devices have worked thus far, because it’s only a matter of time before they fail, get stolen or destroyed by a spilled cup of coffee.

If your backup plan is lacking in some way, or you don’t have one at all, please get in touch with your local MacMedics office. We’d love to help you get one set up.

We have lost and lots of suggestions here on the MacMedics Blog. See this link for more info on Time Machine.

Also, with the holidays upon us already, see my tips for protecting your holiday photos here: Protect Your Holiday Photos With These Simple Steps

Apple Mavericks OS X 10.9 and Western Digital – Data Loss

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Western Digital bundled software is not compatible with 10.9 Mavericks

Update 12/1/13

Via an email from Western Digital:

As we previously announced, Western Digital received reports of Western Digital and other external HDD products experiencing data loss when updating to OS X Mavericks (10.9). Our investigation to date has found that for a small percentage of customers that have the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and/or WD SmartWare software applications installed on their Mac, there can be cases of a repartition and reformat of their Direct Attached Storage (DAS) devices without customer acknowledgement which can result in data loss. We have an updated version of the software that fixes this issue. We strongly recommend that you install this updated software. Please contact our service and support team with any questions.

Below are links to download the software:

WD Drive Manager for Mac Version 3.1.0.

WD SmartWare Version 1.3.6 for Mac 10.5-10.9.

Sincerely,
Western Digital

This email arrived from Western Digital last night. We wanted to share it with our readers as soon as possible.

Dear WD Registered Customer,

As a valued WD customer we want to make you aware of new reports of Western Digital and other external HDD products experiencing data loss when updating to Apple’s OS X Mavericks (10.9). WD is urgently investigating these reports and the possible connection to the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications. Until the issue is understood and the cause identified, WD strongly urges our customers to uninstall these software applications before updating to OS X Mavericks (10.9), or delay upgrading. If you have already upgraded to Mavericks, WD recommends that you remove these applications and restart your computer.

The WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager, and WD SmartWare software applications are not new and have been available from WD for many years, however solely as a precaution WD has removed these applications from our website as we investigate this issue. .

Sincerely,
Western Digital

The Western Digital bundled software has been an issue for quite some time, and it is one of several reasons MacMedics does not resell the Western Digital external hard drives. If you have this software, you should NOT use it, and frankly you don’t need it. Any external hard drive will work with Time Machine, and that is all you need for a safe back up.

If you have questions about this, please feel free to give us a call.

Written by Dana Stibolt

October 31st, 2013 at 8:18 am

Don’t Play Trick Or Treat With Your Mac’s Back Up!

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This post was updated 10/31/14

We just had full moon, and it seems like it brought a ton of new Data Recovery jobs into the MacMedics offices. Spooky!

Now that it’s Halloween, I offer you the perfect metaphor for your Mac’s (or iPhone’s) Back Up. Don’t play “Trick Or Treat” with your valuable data.

When we have clients show up at our Mac Lab with data we can’t recover it just breaks our hearts. We’ve got a great track record for Recovering AND Rescuing data for folks (Usually for just $399 w/ free 1TB Time Machine drive so you never lose your data again BTW), but there are cases we we can’t help with. We will refer these jobs off to Clean Room recovery firms, and often they can save your data in exchange for fees as high as $2500. But, not all data can be saved, and about 10% of the cases we refer, there’s not a positive result, and that data is gone forever.

As soon as you buy a new Mac, or get an old Mac’s hard drive repaired, you need to have a back up program running. On any Mac that is running Leopard (10.5) or Snow leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8), Mavericks (10.9), or Yosemite (10.10) use the built-in Time Machine! It’s very, VERY powerful, and has been used to save lots of our client’s data. Plus it’s the MOST POWERFUL feature that is BUILT IN to the Mac’s modern OS!

The important thing is to PLAN AHEAD. Your back up is not complete if it’s not:

1. Automatic (Use Time Machine and this point is covered)
2. Redundant (Double your back up with a clone of your data and this point is covered)
3. Off-Site (Take your double back up off-site or get Mozy and this point is covered)

See how easy it is to be 100% covered! Now think of how much better you’ll feel knowing this little project has been taken care of and that your back up has been certified! If you need help getting a back up in place, we can help. On-site, In-lab, or even Remote Desktop Support, we’re there, and we’ll help get your back up configured and tested!

While all of us at MacMedics are HUGE fans of Time Machine, it’s not 100% infallible. MacMedics recommends that you ALSO back up your hard drive via a “clone” use Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner, as that way you can “test” your back up to insure you have a good, bootable copy. With a “clone” back up AND a Time Machine back up, you’re covered for TWO types of back ups, and you’re DOUBLING your chances for a successful recovery.

This might also be a good time to enhance your back up plan by adding an off-site back up. MacMedics hosts our own in-house CrashPlan backup server for your important data! So, if you want to expand into a cloud backup, we can help!

We had a client in with a bad MacBook hard drive just a few days ago, and she was mostly backed up, but she was working a major project for her employer that had huge amount of Excel data in it. All she wanted was that one folder. Sadly we could not get it for her. If she had set up Mozy, even if she did not have a back up drive *a common problem for portable computers), her data would have been “automatically” backed up AND “off-site” thus completing two points of the golden triangle of data protection. Best of all, it would have been 100% free!

We have tons of posts on Time Machine and we even have a free White Paper on it If you’d like a copy, let us know. If you’re not using an automatic backup, your data is at risk!

Also, don’t forget that hard drives don’t last forever. Our rule of thumb for hard drive retirement is as follows. In Apple laptops the hard drive should be proactively replaced after 2 to 3 years years. In Apple desktops the hard drive should be proactive replaced after 3 years. You can find out more about this on our website http://www.HardDrivesDie.com.

There’s one more thing I would like to mention here. iPhones and iPod touch models also need to be backed up. All you have to do is to sync with you Mac from time to time. People are starting to treat these portable Apple products as stand alone devices, and when you think about it, many people are generating data on their iPhones and iPods just like they do on a computer.

You’ve got photos, e-mails, text documents, bookmarks, files, contacts, calendars, and videos that all can be generated or sent to your mobile device. All you have to do is connect to iTunes, and it will back up your device. Apple also has iCloud, which offers a PAID service that will allow you backup your entire iOS device to the cloud. This is however not automatic, and it IS something you have to pay for. Photos in My Photo Stream are saved on the iCloud server for 30 days. To save or back up these photos, you must copy them from My Photo Stream to your Camera Roll on your iOS device. You can then back up your Camera Roll using iCloud or iTunes.

There are not too many ways to get mission critical data off a dead iPhone. We can often do it, but the data is all stored on the logic board of your iPhone or iPod touch. If it gets wet, gets dropped, or gets lost or stolen, then there goes your data. If we can’t get your logic board to fire up, then we don’t have access to your data.

Be sure to read “The Nine Things We Wish We Did Before Our House Burned Down“. We have the list line by line and a link to the original post, which is a “MUST READ” for anyone that has a house OR a computer

Before installing Snow Leopard be sure to read our Apple upgrade warning page first.

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Update 10/23/13 See our Mac OX X 10.9 (Mavericks) upgrade warnings page here: http://www.macmedics.com/mavericks

Update 1/27/10: This topic was mentioned on the Apple forums. See the link here.

Apple released Snow Leopard to the public on August 28. This new version of OS X leaves behind support for the Power PC and it will only run on Intel based Macintosh computers. It’s faster, smaller in size, and much cheaper then previous Apple operating systems. At $29 it’s a good value and well worth the investment. It’s $29 for the single user, $49 for a 5 user family pack, and Tiger users can upgrade via the Mac Box Set which includes iLife ’09 and iWork ’09 as well as Snow Leopard.

Update 9/12/08: MacMedics has both Snow Leopard and Snow Leopard Family Packs in stock in both Lanham and Millersville locations.

Our initial reaction to Snow Leopard has been good, and most of the MacMedics are running it now and have been using it and testing it for some time. While we are excited for it, we have not yet begun to install it for clients just yet.

Before you take the leap to Snow Leopard (or any other update to Apple’s OS) be sure to read our software upgrade warnings page first. It can be found here, but to get the word our we’ve copied the text of the page to this Blog post.

As noted below, MacMedics also strongly recommends you have a tested and fully functional back up in place BEFORE you install any Apple system software update. Something could go wrong, and you could have a major problem on your hands. Whenever Apple releases a major update to OS X we usually see 4 or 5 clients’ hard drives die that first day. If your hard drive is dying or already unhealthy, the extra hard drive activity needed to install a major update is often all it takes to kill a hard drive. Please see our web page on the subject of hard drive failures.

For more detailed information on installing Apple system updates, please see details below.

Upgrading to Snow Leopard and/or installing any Apple OS X software update

Running a software update from Apple (or elsewhere) as soon as it pops up is not always the best plan. In our travels we very frequently see clients who have run a software update without planning ahead for it, and as a result end up with annoying issues, sudden incompatibilities, and even data loss. One thing to consider is how healthy your hard drive is overall before running an update. Never try to solve an issue such as system lock ups or crashing by installing the latest update, as symptoms like those can be exasperated by applying a software update.

Here’s our safety checklist for running software updates or installing a system upgrade.

1. Back up your data, and double check your back up before installing any update. [Don’t forget to unplug that back-up before installing an update]

2. Repair permissions – It’s not going to hurt anything, so a quick permission repair is always a good idea.

3. Disconnect any USB or FireWire hard drives, devices, or hubs.

4. Make sure you have enough free space on your hard drive – A safe bet is to have 10% of your total hard drive free.

5. Quit all applications while running software updates. The updates should be the only process running.

6. Consider the possibility that major applications and/or features might be affected by an Apple software update or system upgrade.

Don’t run a software update on a production machine while on a deadline. You want to be certain that the update will not cause more problems than it was designed to fix. If your machine is working, let it continue working as is, and plan to install the update after you know it’s not going to cause any issues for you. We install the updates on our test machines here at MacMedics as soon as they are released to Apple Developers, and again when they are released to the public.

Can your hard drive handle Snow Leopard?

Installing a new OS is like taking your hard drive to the gym. It can be quite a workout for an older hard drive, and whenever a new OS comes out, we always see a few dead hard drives as a result. No matter what you do, make sure you have a back up of your data before you begin! Also, don’t forget (or skip over) the important task of TESTING your back up. Time Machine is what many clients are running, and while it works most of the time, it can suffer from issues. It’s very hard to test that a Time Machine back up is totally working, and we often find ones that don’t work. Just keep that in mind when you plan your upgrade.

Prices have dropped significantly on hard drives over the last year or so. MacMedics now recommends retiring hard drives after three years in desktops, and two years in laptops. Be sure to check out new web page to find out why you should retire your older hard drive and to learn about our 5 rules of data protection and preservation. Why take a chance with your data when faster, larger, and generally more reliable drives are available. Moving to Snow Leopard is a great opportunity to get a new drive, while at the same time insuring your data is safe.