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Show the User Library Folder in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Mac OS X 10.7 User Home Folder

With the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has made over 250 changes to the worlds most advanced desktop operating system.  One of these changes is that the User Library folder is now hidden.  This can be a problem for those looking to get in there and delete preferences that are causing them problem or make other changes.

To make the User Library folder visible, simply launch the Terminal (found in the Utilities folder inside your Applications folder) and paste in the following command and press the Enter key:

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

If at some point you would like to hide the Library folder again, simply go back to the Terminal and enter the following followed by the Enter key:

chflags hidden ~/Library

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The Top 10 Causes Of Data Loss

Data loss is a problem for anyone that uses a computer.  Knowing the most common causes of data loss can help you to prevent and avoid it in the future.  Here are the top 10 most common causes of data loss for most computer users.

1) Accidental Deletion

While most users don’t want to admit it, one of the most common reasons for data loss is user error.  Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes those mistakes end in data loss.  Most people have at some point accidentally emptied the trash only to realize that an important file was in it and now gone.  This experience can be frustrating and can cause even bigger issues when the file(s) deleted are important system files which can lead to more issues.  File recovery software like FileSalvage can easily recover files in this type of data loss as long as the user is prepared ahead of time and acts quickly to recover their information.

2) Computer Viruses and Malware

There are countless viruses and malware out there and many of them can lead to data loss either through purposely deleting files and drives or through hard drive crashes.  This is one of the many reasons that it is important to have virus protection software installed and up to date on your machine to prevent against these type of attacks which can lead to numerous headaches.

3) Physical Damage

Hard drives have platters spinning at thousands of RPMs with the smallest of tolerances.  They’re sensitive pieces of machinery and bumps, drops, and other mishandling can lead to physical damage to the drive platters resulting in loss of data or corruption.  Insuring that your drives are handled with care and kept at temperatures well within their recommended operating parameters helps to insure drive life and minimize the risk of data loss.

4) Accidental Formatting

Formatting a hard drive will cause a total loss of all information contained on it.  This can happen simply because the user selected the incorrect device or volume when attempting to format another device.  Most information can be recovered after accidental formatting but the user must act to insure they don’t use the formatted drive and use a data recovery program or call a data recovery specialist right away.

5) Head Crashes

The read write heads on a hard drive are suspended on a thin cushion of air which the spinning platter induces just few millionths of an inch away from each other.  At that minuscule distance with the platter spinning at thousands of RPMs, it’s easy to see how even the smallest bump or drop can send the head crashing into the platter and cause data loss.  Hard drive repair is done in a special clean room as even a speck of dust between the platter and read write head can cause a big problem.  This is why users should never attempt to disassemble and repair their hard drive themselves.

6) Logical Errors

Logical errors are caused by system or file corruption, software problems, and invalid entries in file locations.  They can cause corruption of other files on the drive and lead to data loss.  Logical errors can be fixed using disk utilities in some cases although it’s recommended to reinstall the operating system and restore files from backup as many times repairing such issues doesn’t prevent future problems.

7) Continued Use After Signs Of Failure

Many users ignore the early signs of drive failure.  Clicking or grinding noises, system hangs, and random file deletion are early warning signs that a drive may be failing yet many users choose to ignore them which can lead to data loss.  When a drive starts to show these signs, back it up immediately and consider replacing it.  Users may also want to run drive integrity checks and verify S.M.A.R.T. status although these do not always catch every sign of possible hardware problems.

8) Power Failure

Power failure is a common cause of data loss.  Having the power go out leads to loss of unsaved files and can even lead to file corruption.  The best way to prevent this type of problem is through the use of an uninterrupted power supply or UPS. Insuring that you save your files frequently during creation will also help insure you minimize file loss should you lose power.

9) Firmware Corruption

Firmware on a hard drive controls the way it operates to read and write data to the disk.  It is software code that tells the drive how to carry out various tasks.  Although few think about it, this code is essential to the proper operation of the hard disk.  When the firmware becomes damaged, the operating system is unable to recognize or access the hard drive.  Firmware corruption is hard to guard against and the best defense is always insuring that you have a proper backup of your important data.  Some data recovery services can swap out the hard drives logic board containing the corrupt firmware for a working one although this service is expensive.  Drive makers that use non-standard firmware and drive bridges seem to have more frequent occurrences of hard drive firmware corruption than others.

10) Natural Disasters

Acts of god can cause data loss.  Lightning strikes, power surges, flood, fire and earthquakes cause physical damage to hard drives and more.  Protect your data by having a quality surge protector connected to your computer devices and store backup copies of your most important data off-site at another location or with an online backup service to make sure it’s safe in the event of disaster.  Keeping a current backup on a separate drive stored in a safe location is always a good idea also.  Some store a backup copy of their information at home and a 2nd copy at a friend or family member’s place that swap out and keep up to date weekly or monthly.

Being aware of the most common types of data loss helps the user understand the importance of insuring their data is safe and the steps needed to prevent loss of important files.  Data loss is an all too common occurrence but having proper backup copies and being prepared with good data recovery software can go a long way to minimizing the hardship and headaches that usually accompany data loss.

Blessed are the pessimists for they they backup.

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Create A Bootable Mac OS X 10.7 Lion DVD

Apple has announced that with the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, the operating system will be available only via download from the Mac App Store. Past versions of the Mac OS X operating system have always been available for purchase on a bootable DVD. To create your own bootable DVD disc using your own blank DVD, follow the instructions below.

1) Purchase and download Lion from the Mac App Store on any Lion compatible Mac running Snow Leopard.

 

2) Right click on “Mac OS X Lion” installer and choose the option to “Show Package Contents”

Show Package Contents

 

3) Inside the Contents folder, you will find a SharedSupport folder and inside the SharedSupport folder you will find the InstallESD.dmg. This is the 10.7 Lion boot disc image.

InstallESD.dmg

 

4) Copy InstallESD.dmg to another folder like the Desktop.  To do so, simply click and drag the file to the desired location while holding down the Option key.

 

5) Launch Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities).

 

6) Click the Burn button in the upper left corner of the Disk Utility window.  Select the disk image InstallESD.dmg and click the Burn button.  A burn dialog will appear.  Insert a blank 4.7GB DVD and click the Burn button.

Burn Lion Bootable Installer

 

To boot from the DVD, simply insert the disc and hold down the Option key while your Mac is booting up. A screen will appear asking you which volume you would like to boot the system from. Click on the OS X installer DVD and the system will boot using the disc.

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Create A Bootable Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Flash Drive

Apple has announced that with the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, the operating system will be available only via download from the Mac App Store. Past versions of the Mac OS X operating system have always been available for purchase on a bootable DVD and with some systems like the MacBook Air, they’ve been included on a bootable USB drive. To create your own bootable USB device using your own flash drive (note that the device must be at least 4GB or larger), follow the instructions below.

1) Purchase and download Lion from the Mac App Store on any Lion compatible Mac running Snow Leopard.

 

2) Right click on “Mac OS X Lion” installer and choose the option to “Show Package Contents”

Show Package Contents


3) Inside the Contents folder, you will find a SharedSupport folder and inside the SharedSupport folder you will find the InstallESD.dmg. This is the 10.7 Lion boot disc image.

InstallESD.dmg

 

4) Copy InstallESD.dmg to another folder like the Desktop.  To do so, simply click and drag the file to the desired location while holding down the Option key.

 

5) Plug in the flash drive and launch Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities).

 

6) Make sure the flash drive is properly formatted highlighting the flash drive at the left (make sure to select the device and not the volume shown under it) and clicking the Erase tab across the top right.  Then ensure that the Format drop-down menu is set to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click the Erase button.  Confirm the dialog ensuring that you want to erase the device and all information on it (make sure you backup any existing information on the flash drive before this point).

 

Disk Utility Formatting

7) Select the Partition tab on the top right.

Creating Lion Installer Partition

Using the drop-down menu for Volume Scheme, choose 1 Partition as the partition scheme.

Choosing Number Of Partitions


8)
 Highlight the partition by clicking on it in the space it is shown below the Volume Scheme drop-down and then click on Options underneath it.  Select GUID Partition Table and click OK. This will allow the Mac boot from the drive.

GUID Partition Table

You may now name the device in the Name textbox. Insure that Format is set to Mac OS X Extended (Journaled). When you have finished, click the Apply button to format the USB device.  A warning will pop-up asking if you are sure you want to partition the media.  Click the Partition button to continue.

Formatting The Flash Drive

 

9) Click on the newly created volume listed under the USB device on the left. This volume will have the name of the device you set in the previous step.  Click the Restore tab at the top right.  In the Source area click the Image… button. Select the disk image InstallESD.dmg and click open (you may also drag-and-drop the disk image into the Source area).

Restoring Image To Disk

In the Destination area, make sure that the USB device’s name is showing. If it isn’t, simply click and drag the volume from the list at the left into the destination area.  Click Restore and confirm the dialog informing you the volume will be erased.  You will be prompted to enter the admin password for your Mac and the process will begin.

Restoring Erase Contents Warning

The bootable USB device will be created and a progress bar will show the current status of the operation at the bottom of the screen.

Restoration Progress Bar

 

10 ) When the operation is complete, you can verify that the flash drive is now bootable by selecting it and clicking the Info button in the upper left corner of the Disk Utility window.  Bootable status will show as Yes.

Bootable Flash Drive Information

 

To boot from the USB device, simply hold down the Option key while your Mac is booting up. A screen will appear asking you which volume you would like to boot the system from. Click on the OS X installer USB drive and the system will boot using the USB stick. You will see faster boot speeds using the USB installer compared to a DVD installer disc.