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

Macintosh Consulting, Service, & Support

Archive for the ‘Mac Mini’ tag

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

Last Minute Gifts Available At MacMedics Severna Park

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If you’re looking to avoid the Mall today, we have some great last minute gift ideas at some really great prices at the MacMedics Severna Park location.

Save $100 New & Custom Built and MAXED out MacBook Air 13”, 1.8GHz i7, 4GB, 256GB Flash, Intel HD Graphics 3000 $1599!

Save $100 New Last revision 13″ MacBook Pro $1499 model: 2.7 GHz i7, 500 GB HDA, 4GB RAM in stock at MacMedics at “mail order” price: $1399

1/17/12 Just Re-Stocked: Save $300 MacBook Air closeout: Previous model: MacBook Air 13.3″ 1.86g 2GB 128GB $999 only a few left at MacMedics Severna Park

Also in stock:

iPod touch in both black & white
iPod nano Silver
Apple TV
iPad 2 16 GB WiFi (Black)
iPad 2 16 GB WiFi (White)
Used iPad 1 32 GB WiFi + 3G
Used iPad 1 64 GB WiFi + 3G

Buy any iPod or Mac and get 25% off any case (hard shell, sleeve, or carrying bag)

We also have a wide selection of used MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs. There is also a small number of iMacs and Mac minis available as well. All MacMedics refurbished Macs carry a full 1-year warranty.

MacMedics also carries new and used iPads. We have sold out for the holidays, but we are expecting some more in soon. If you’re looking to get an iPad or you’re already getting one for the holidays, we do accept trade ins and we also pay cash for them outright (in any condition).

1/12/12 Update Now 25% off LoJack for Laptops, the Mac OR Windows version makes a great gift. If you have a MacBook Pro road warrior or a college student, this is a MUST have item. Order here:

Written by Dana Stibolt

December 23rd, 2011 at 10:31 am

The Apple Store Cant Upgrade Your Hard Drive. MacMedics Can!

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The Apple Store won’t upgrade your hard drive for you. But, MacMedics can, and we can do so either in or out of Apple warranty.

Here’s a common hard drive scenario that we help MacMedics clients with every day.

Your hard drive has failed, but you’d like to replace with a larger hard drive.

This makes perfect sense. Your MacBook with a 120 GB hard drive kicks the bucket, and in the process of replacing it, you’d like to upgrade it. MacMedics can help!

In Warranty: If your Mac is under warranty AND it’s hard drive fails, we can upgrade you to a larger capacity hard drive “under warranty”. All you do is pay for a new hard drive in the capacity of your choice.

Here’s how it happens:

1. We diagnose your computer’s hard drive as failed.
2. We order a new hard drive from Apple.
3. We install a new third party hard drive in the capacity of your choice.
4. We will install a new operating system on your new hard drive. (good time to upgrade your OS if you wish!)
5. You pay MacMedics for the cost of the new hard drive.
6. We send your old hard drive back to Apple.
7. We give you the Apple replacement hard drive to keep.

Your total cost: Just the price of a new hard drive, assuming we don’t also have to worry about or recover any of your data.

The free “original” size hard drive is yours to keep and you can sell it, keep it as a spare part, or use it to upgrade one of your other Macintosh computers.

Installing a new, large, faster, and more robust hard drive in your Macintosh does not void your AppleCare warranty. The only caveat that you have to keep in mind is that the Apple warranty WILL NOT cover the third party hard drive under Apple’s warranty. But if it should fail it is covered by a 1-year MacMedics warranty.

Out Of Warranty: If your Mac is out of warranty, we can also replace your hard drive with any size hard you would like. Most hard drive “upgrades” or “retirements” are done for our flat fee of $150 plus the cost of the hard drive. (Black or White original MacBooks are done for $99)

Obviously, if we have to recover your data from a failing hard drive, and provide other services in order to get your computer back in shape other charges may apply.

Here’s how it happens:

1. We diagnose your computer’s hard drive as failed.
2. You choose a new hard drive size and speed.
3. We install that new hard drive for you.
4. We clone your data from old hard drive to new hard drive
5. We test and run updates on your computer.

MacMedics keeps all popular hard drive sizes and speeds in stock at all times, so we can get you back on-line as quickly as possible.

This is just one more reason that MacMedics is often a better choice than trekking to your local Apple Store and dragging your iMac or Mac Pro through the mall.

MacMedics Frequently Asked Macintosh Service Questions: Is The Power Mac G5 Still Suitable For Designers?

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The Power Mac G5 is really pretty much over in terms of being powerful enough for someone who is doing professional design work. We have very few clients left still doing professional design work on G5’s. Some of the more recent Power Mac G5’s are “okay” for some use, but at this point, it’s really time to move on. In some cases, even the Mac Mini is a better machine in certain situations. If someone comes to us with a Power Mac G5 that needs, more RAM, a new hard drive, AND wants to also upgrade to Leopard, it’s pretty much not even worth it. Leopard (10.5) is the last OS that will run on the G5 and is no longer available for sale from Apple. With a Mac Mini you get a new OS (10.6) and iLife ’09 for free. A new Mini is only $599. Same holds true for a unit that needs a major repair, in almost all cases a repair is not worth pursuing.

If you “retire” a Power Mac G5 you can reuse your keyboard and mouse, and in most cases your monitor too with the new Mac Mini.

Now that the new iMacs can support up to 8 GBs of RAM, even the low end one is pretty nice for a designer (it now is 21.5″ and has a great display), but the high end iMacs are even better for design work with better video performance and a 27″ display. You can get one with a Quad-Core processor for $2000.

Some of the G5’s are now on Apple’s “Vintage” list and we’ll start having issues finding parts here pretty soon. Also, Apple’s newest OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) won’t run on the Power PC platform.

If you have a G5 and you’re still using it, the hard drive is really beyond it’s life expectancy, so if you plan on continuing to use it, the hard drive should be replaced at some point. I have a whole website about hard drive retirement. And, as always make sure you have your data backed up as hard drives seem to have way of dying at the worst possible time.

See my web page about why you should consider “retiring” your hard drive before it fails at:

For more facts on why retiring a Power Mac G4 or G5 is a good idea, take a look at this previous MacMedics Blog post from earlier this year.

If you’re thinking about a new Macintosh system for Graphic Design (or anything else!), please give your closest MacMedics office a call. We would be delighted to help you pick out a new model.

MacBook Seagate 7.01 & 3.CAE Firmware Hard Drive Failures

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Update 2/4/11: Apple completed it’s repair extension program covering the Seagate 7.01 type drives on February 04, 2011.

Update 2/1/11: We’ve noticed (and others on the Internets) that Seagate drives that have the firmware version of 3.CAE are in the same category as the Seagate 7.01 firmware drive that are prone to catastrophic and sudden failure. MacMedics STRONGLY recommends that both the Seagate 7.01 AND 3.CAE hard drives should be replaced no matter where they are installed or how old they are. Having an effective back-up is great protection, but if you’ve got a ticking time bomb in your computer it could blow up at anytime, and you could still lose data. Also, no time is a good time to have your hard drive blow up. It could happen before a big trip or project and the computer would be unusable until the drive was replaced, and the data that you HAVE backed up can be restored. In some cases that could take an entire day as Time machine often take several hours to fully restore. Also, MacMedics recommends having a clone of your hard drive in addition to your Time Machine back up. Read all about Time Machine warnings here.

Update 2/16/10 Apple announces repair extension program for MacBook Seagate 7.01 hard drives. Get details from If you have an affected MacBook, call MacMedics and we can arrange to have hard drive replaced.

This post has been updated on 3/11/09. It appears that more of these drives are starting to let go. MacMedics is recommending a proactive approach. These drives should be replaced before they fail outright.

We have seen a number of MacBook hard drives fail due to a certain type of failure. 2.5 inch SATA Seagate hard drives with the firmware version 7.01 have a fatal flaw that can cause a serious hardware problem. In some cases we’ve also seen this drive supplied as an Apple service part and we’ve seen it in MacBook Pros and Mac Minis. Because of the nature of the failure, data recovery is usually NOT possible if this type of drive fails in the manner that we have seen. MacMedics is recommending that if you have this make, model, and firmware version of this drive, that you proactively replace it. For more info, please get in touch with your closest MacMedics office.

See this screen shot to learn how to identify if you have this drive installed or not:

Update 9/19/08: The affected Seagate drives do come in different sizes (we’ve seen both 60GB & 80GB). If you have a Seagate drive (look for the model that starts with ST) AND you have 7.01 firmware of any size capacity, then you should look to replace the drive.

Update 10/18/08: Several customers and folks who have read this post have asked about hard drive replacements. MacMedics offers four ways to replace this drive.

1. We can sell you a new hard drive, and ship it to you if you want.

2. We can sell you a new hard drive and install it in your MacBook at either our Millersville, MD or Lanham, MD offices for $49 plus the cost of the drive.

3. We can sell you a new hard drive, install it, and clone your data from your old drive to the new drive for $99 plus the cost of the drive.

4. We can sell you a new hard drive, install it, then install a fresh Apple OS (you could upgrade to Leopard here if you wish for $129 extra), then migrate your data from your old hard drive, and we will update your system for $150 plus the cost of the drive. This is our full service hard drive replacement where we update your OS, check all of your setting, clean the system out from top to bottom, so when you get it back it’s factory fresh with all of your data in place and ready to go.

Our drives carry a 3-year warranty.

Update 3/11/09: We’re still seeing these drives come in for data recovery. We had two in one day this week. Check your hard drive in your MacBook to ensure this drive is not in your Mac. If this drive kicks the bucket, there is only a small chance that it can be recovered. Any recovery attempt would have to be done in a clean room.

We are working with a data recovery company that has had “some” success in recovering the 7.01 Seagate firmware drives. If you are serious about recovering your data and willing to pay the “clean room” recovery price, which is about $1000, then feel free to get in touch with our partners at Gillware via this link.

If you think you have a Seagate 7.01 firmware drive and you think it has failed, it is extremely important that you leave it powered OFF! This failure can result in platter damage, so the longer the unit runs, the lower your chances for recovery. If you turn the drive on and you get three quick clicks in a row, then there’s pretty much no question that you have this problem. I’m looking for an audio recording to post here. I’ll Twitter about it when I post it.

This is a really serious problem. 1. If you know of anyone that has a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or a Mac Mini, tell them to check their drive before it’s too late. 2. Get a back up and test it often. 3. Don’t generate data you care about without having a back up! Hard drives are cheaper then ever (as low as $99 for decent 250 GB portable drive Pay $99 now or $1200 (or more later).

I’m working with a very sad client that lost 4000 digital photos to this exact drive failure. His drive has already been sent to one of the leading recovery firms, and they could not recovery any data from it, and told him it was a lost cause. Gillware is taking a second look at that same drive for free to see if they can see any data on it at all. Oh, and by the way if you do need “clean room” recovery Gillware will look at your drive and evaluate it for data recovery free of charge. They also have a very fair two-tier pricing plan for lower priced “non clean room” recoveries and full price for advanced “clean room” recoveries. If they can’t get your data you’d don’t pay anything. No crazy up front agreement, price ranges, or high pressure sales tactics either. Just the way I like it.

If you are shipping your sick hard drive off to a “clean room” recovery company (any company), don’t ruin your data recovery chances by packing and shipping your hard drive incorrectly. Packing peanuts are not safe to use, and make sure you have a static bag. If you’re in the area, feel free to stop by our Millersville, MD or Lanham, MD office and we’ll be delighted to give you free shipping supplies and a static bag for wherever you’re sending your drive. Yup. We really do care that much about your data.

Update 12/5/09. We made a video to show folks what these drives sound like when they fail: