Nov 30

If you don’t yet have an SSD in your Mac, it’s time to upgrade!

By far the biggest speed boost on a Mac comes with upgrading the Hard Disk to an SSD. A faster processor (i7 etc) will improve the speed of some tasks, more RAM can avoid a slowdown, but a faster SSD improves the speed of everything. If you still have an old Hard Disk I can’t say how strongly I suggest upgrading.

a faster SSD improves the speed of everything

I received an email today from Amazon telling me that 240GB SSD drives are AU$42.19. I just checked the US store and you can get a 1TB Crucial MX500 drive for $94.99. These prices are ridiculously cheap.

I wrote this article back in August 2018 about how to upgrade to an SSD drive . Back then a 480GB drive was $1579.99!

So if you are running a 2012 MacBook with an old SATA drive, or even a 2018 iMac without an SSD, grab one, and install it. It’s not complicated.

There are good instructions at macfixit.

How to pull apart an iMac

How to pull apart a macbook

How to pull apart a Mac mini

Check out your Mac first to see if the Hard disk is upgradable.

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May 05

The hard drives in the new 2018 Mac mini are PCIe which means they are very fast, but also expensive. Unlike previous models, you cannot upgrade the internal hard drive. It is soldered in. But thanks to the USB-C interface on the new Mac Mini, an external SSD drive is now a good option. I chose to buy the smaller (and cheaper) 250GB Mac Mini and supplement it with a 500GB external SSD drive.

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Aug 09

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This article was originally written in 2015 but it is still relevant.  I have just updated it given that SSD prices have dropped dramatically in the last 3 years. Upgrading the boot drive on my Mac Mini to an SSD drive was by far the biggest speed enhancement I’ve experienced on any computer! The speed increase is incredible – almost hard to believe. Boot time went from 60 seconds to under 30 seconds, and applications launch instantly – no bouncing dock icon. In terms of bang for dollar, upgrading to an SSD drive is by far the best upgrade you can do.

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Oct 11

I have a friend who  has a 120 GB MacBook Air and his hard drive was filling up. There were lots of suggestions on the Internet as to what might be causing it – Spotify cache,  system files, movies,  but what’s the best way to find out what is using up your hard disk space?  An old but I think still the best application for doing this is Disk Inventory X.  I wrote an article back in 2010 on how to use it here: Disk Inventory X.   Seven years later disc inventory X is still the best app for this so here’s a bit of a reminder on how to use it.

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Sep 12

Many printer manufacturers have a built in counter on the drum cartridge in their laster printers. This is so that the drum cartridge will get replaced at a regular interval and remain in good condition. The drum can in many cases continue to function a long time after the counter has expired. It is possible to reset the counter in the drum cartridge to extend it’s life. Then you can wait until there are marks or faded patches on the printed pages before you replace the cartridge. In some cases I have been able to reset the drum cartridge 3 times, extending the life of my cartridge to 400,000 copies instead of the the recommended 100,000.

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Mar 08

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In 2015 I wrote this post about installing an SSD drive.  Back then SSD drives were expensive and the whole process I described was a bit complicated. Now SSD drives have dropped dramatically in price and you can just replace your existing drive with an SSD one.  I can’t think of any reason why you should not be using one. All MacBooks now come standard with an SSD drive.  If you have an older one that you’d like to upgrade you should be able to take your Macintosh computer to a local dealer and have them install an SSD drive. Otherwise you can have a go at installing one yourself.

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Apr 10

ram

When your computer is running a bit slowly, how can you tell if getting more memory will help?

If you run out of free memory then your computer will be forced to use some of your hard disk as memory, which is VERY SLOW because hard drives are much slower to access than your computer’s RAM.  It’s not just a matter of saying ‘8 GB’ is enough because the amount of RAM you need will vary according to your Mac model and the programs you use.  Here’s how to check if you have enough RAM.

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Jan 29
timer

When your computer first turns on it needs to load the system software (OS-X) and some settings from the hard drive. This is called ‘booting’.  Boot time can slow down over time as you accumulate more software and hardware connected to your computer. Here are some tips to make your Mac boot faster.

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