Approaches for staying away from information corruption and loss on your Mac are as adheres to:
Execute a detailed Back-up and Recovery Remedy and utilize it routinely.
Executing an extensive Data backup and Rehabilitation option– and utilizing is frequently– is necessary to guarantee versus information loss in the event of a hard disk failing or other issues. For insight on the backup and rehabilitation option we employ, see our “Data backup and Recovery” Frequently Asked Question. Using a desktop computer without data backup and recovery resembles steering without automobile insurance policy. Without a Backup and Recovery solution, you are accepting the risk of potentially losing all of your data at some point.
Execute the little quantity of normal upkeep needed for Mac OS X.
See our “Maintaining Mac OS X” Frequently Asked Question: it covers the routine upkeep we recommend and eliminates some common “maintenance myths.” In particular, a regular check for difficult drive directory site corruption is essential as directory site corruption is similar to cancer: early diagnosis and therapy are essential.
If you use a desktop Mac, you need an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
Power outages and other power problems– surges, spikes, brownouts, and the like– can not only cause data corruption but damage your hardware. The “Protecting Against Power Problems” chapter of our book, Troubleshooting Mac OS X, covers this topic– including the selection of an appropriate UPS– in depth.
Eject exterior storage gadgets, such as FireWire ® drives, prior to either detaching them or transforming them off.
Failing to do so can result in information corruption. In the most serious instances, this can lead to the partition chart of the drive being damaged, indicating one needs to turn to data recovery techniques in hopefully of recuperating the data on the now-inaccessible drive.
A corollary to this guideline is that if you are making use of external difficult drives that call for keys energy, these ought to also be powered with a UPS. A power failure in such a situation is no various than powering-off the external drive before removing it. If you use bus-powered external drives on a desktop computer, that computer should be powered through a UPS.
When they occur, Troubleshoot problems.
If you regularly “solve” troubles by doing a difficult reboot then returning back to function without first addressing the reason for the issue, you run the risk of permitting a tiny issue compound in to a larger issue. At a minimum, after a difficult reactivate your should:
Run the the Procedure pointed out in our “Dealing with Disk, Permission, and Cache Corruption” Frequently Asked Question.
Troubleshoot the source of the problem that resulted in the tough reboot.
Our publication additionally has a whole phase on methods for addressing “Freezes and Hangs” which cause challenging restarts.
Do not install Mac OS X Updates on a malfunctioning Mac.
Hoping that you will fix a problem by either installing a Mac OS X Update or reinstalling the Combo Update corresponding to the version of Mac OS X you are using, without first checking for other problems– like directory corruption– can make a bad problem worse. Before installing software updates, consider the advice in our “Installing Software Updates” FAQ. Taking the steps therein before installing an update often helps avert problems and gives you a fallback position in case trouble arises.
Think twice before using FileVault.
While FileVault can provide strong security for the data in your Home folder, it is also an “all your eggs in one basket” solution: if bad sectors develop on the hard drive in the area occupied by your encrypted Home folder, you could lose all of the data therein without a backup.
Unless you have a pressing need for the industrial-strength security provided by FileVault, there are other methods for selectively protecting only the data that needs strong encryption. This topic is covered in more depth in the “Security” and “FileVault” chapters of our book.
If your data-security needs demand FileVault, you should backup your encrypted Home folder regularly, preferably daily. Like any hard drive or disk image, a Home folder protected by FileVault– an encrypted, sparse disk image– does not respond well to the causes of data corruption cited above. This is why it is essential to regularly backup your encrypted Home folder using a comprehensive Backup and Recovery solution.
Think twice before implementing RAID.
If you use a desktop Mac that permits one to install multiple hard drives within the computer, such as a Power Mac or a Mac Pro, RAID is often advocated as a strategy for avoiding data loss. Furthermore, some RAID configurations improve the performance of disk read and write operations.
It is our opinion that, unless one is running a high-volume transaction server with a 99.999 %– “Five Nines”– availability requirement, RAID is overkill. For example, unless you are running a bank, a brokerage, or a major e-commerce site, implementing RAID will involve spending both time and money that could be applied elsewhere by the average user of Mac OS X.
While RAID may be high on the “geek chic” scale, it is low on the “average user” practicality scale and very high on the “troubleshooting complexity” scale should problems arise. The difficulties that can arise in troubleshooting and solving RAID problems have led us to conclude that the average user is better served by implementing a comprehensive Backup and Recovery solution and using it regularly instead of implementing RAID.
Do not “test-drive” every piece of software you read about.
While one can not completely avoid problems caused by bad programming, one can minimize the risk by not installing every bit of shareware, freeware, or beta code you read about just to “try it out.” With application software, often less is more. , if you depend on your Mac for your stability, reliability and livelihood are your primary concerns.. Stick to reliable, proven applications– shareware or freeware offerings that are highly rated on sites like MacUpdate and VersionTracker– as well as commercial software from major software publishers.
As the preceding points have noted, many causes of data corruption and loss can be avoided by taking appropriate measures to protect your data and avoid the common causes of data corruption. Unfortunately, everything one needs to do so does not come in the same box with your Mac.
Modern cars still require regular maintenance, but they have evolved to the point that one can use them without needing a mechanic’s skills. Personal computing still has a way to go: you need to be prepared for troubleshooting (the mechanic role) as well as using (the driver role) your Mac.
If your home or office has several Macs, a network, and the other peripherals normally associated with such setups– printers, scanners, etc.– then one is running their own data center, whether one realizes this or not. Educating yourself is helpful: our “Learning About Mac OS X” FAQ has a number of resources that you will find helpful including books, online training, and more.
The “Protecting Against Power Problems” chapter of our book, Troubleshooting Mac OS X, covers this topic– including the selection of an appropriate UPS– in depth. Hoping that you will fix a problem by either installing a Mac OS X Update or reinstalling the Combo Update corresponding to the version of Mac OS X you are using, without first checking for other problems– like directory corruption– can make a bad problem worse. Unless you are running a bank, a brokerage, or a major e-commerce site, implementing RAID will involve spending both time and money that could be applied elsewhere by the average user of Mac OS X.
While RAID may be high on the “geek chic” scale, it is low on the “average user” practicality scale and very high on the “troubleshooting complexity” scale should problems arise. If you depend on your Mac for your reliability, livelihood and stability are your primary concerns. Personal computing still has a way to go: you need to be prepared for troubleshooting (the mechanic role) as well as using (the driver role) your Mac.