How to handle Mac backups in the enterprise


One of the challenges with moving away from traditional Active Directory networking environments is handling device migration and restoration in a damaged Mac. How do enterprise Apple environments address this in a way that scales to thousands of devices? In Active Directory environments, IT administrators just needed to deploy a new PC, join the Domain, and then the employee is back up and running. In a situation where Macs are not bound to a domain, how do IT departments handle Mac backups in the enterprise?

Sponsor: If you’re a business of school looking to find a trusted repair partner for your Apple devices, check out 9to5Mac’s Apple Repair Services.

About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers has been managing an enterprise IT network since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, 100s of Macs, and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.


Despite working with an entirely new fleet of devices this fall, I’ve still had situations where I’ve had Macs either suffer accidental damage or have devices encounter warranty damage. Getting the right gear is the first step in planning through a situation where a damaged Mac needs to be migrated to a new one.

Gear needed to migrate

The first thing you need to purchase is a Thunderbolt 3 cable. This cable will allow you to migrate from one device to another. If a device is so damaged that it won’t turn on, this cable won’t be useful, but otherwise, it’s going to be the fastest way to restore your device to another machine. Even if the display is damaged, you can boot a Mac into Target Disk Mode to make it appears as an external drive for Migration Assistant.

Performing a restore (factory reset) with Intel Macs uses macOS Recovery. While that’s still an option for doing things like reinstalling macOS on M1 Macs, there’s a different process to fully restore an M1 Mac or in limited cases, the need to revive an M1 Mac. Check out…

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External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Mac [7 Solutions]


External hard drive is not showing up

You’ve connected an external hard drive to your Mac computer. Instead of seeing it show up in Finder, macOS says that you don’t have anything there.

When your Mac doesn’t recognize your external drive, accessing the files kept there is no longer possible. 

If you know how to restore this functionality, you can help your Mac see the external drive once again.

How to Find an External Hard Drive on Mac

As you go about the business to repair external hard drive on Mac issues, it is essential to review how macOS locates this resource.

When you plug an external drive into your Mac’s port, it mounts (appears) on the desktop. You’ll also see an access point appear in Finder windows with the latest versions of macOS.

If you’re still using an older operating system, you might see the external drive appear under Devices or Locations.

Should you have an “external drive not showing up on Mac” issue to manage, it is often due to corrupted system settings instead of an issue with your media. You might even have a faulty cord contributing to the problem!

Reasons Why External Hard Drives Aren’t Showing Up on Mac

Your Mac might struggle to read an external hard drive for several reasons. The most common issues involve cord health and system settings.

You could have a permissions issue interfering with your external hard drive. This problem sometimes develops right after you’ve installed a new app or upgraded to the latest macOS version.

Some apps can cause conflict with how Mac computers read your external drive. Although macOS does an excellent job of finding drivers, interference issues can cause recognition problems.

If your external hard drive has bad sectors or file corruption issues, the problem could be enough to cause macOS to be unable to see it.

7 Ways to Solve External Hard Drive Detection Issues

If your external hard drive doesn’t mount on Mac operating systems, several potential fixes can get you up and running once again.

This guide takes you through the most common problems users face to the rarest issues that cause Mac not to read external hard drive connections.

1. You have a faulty cord or cable

If you plugged the external hard drive into your…

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AppleCare+: What you need to know about Apple’s extended warranty


Your Apple gear wasn’t cheap. And if you drop your iPhone, your iPad stops turning on, or you smack your Apple Watch into something and shatter it, getting it repaired probably won’t be cheap either.

Apple includes a one-year limited warranty with all hardware so if there’s a manufacturing defect, you’ll be covered. To also protect against accidental damage plus extend the original warranty for longer and enjoy free tech support, you can opt to purchase AppleCare+. Here’s what it is, what it covers, and what you can expect to pay. Is AppleCare+ worth it? Only you can decide for your own situation, but this should be everything you need to know to make a smart choice.

Updated 12/21/20: Updated several links, prices, and references throughout this guide.

What is AppleCare?

If you’ve never even heard of AppleCare, start here! Otherwise, feel free to skip to the sections that cover your particular devices.

How is AppleCare+ different from the warranty Apple products come with?

AppleCare is Apple’s term for its warranty programs. Every Apple device comes with a certain stretch of AppleCare warranty service and phone/chat support for free, typically one year for the warranty and 90 days of phone support. You can pay to extend that protection for longer, which is called AppleCare+.

Do I have to buy AppleCare+ at the same time as the product?

No. If you already know you want it, buying AppleCare+ with the product is a good idea, just so you don’t forget. When you’re shopping at the Apple store and Apple.com, you’ll be offered AppleCare+ at checkout, and authorized Apple resellers can offer AppleCare+ too.

But you have some time to decide. Generally you get 60 days from the purchase date to buy AppleCare+ (only 30 days if you’re in Japan), and Apple has a page where you can check your exact device’s eligibility.

The latest iPhones and iPads will show you an AppleCare+ signup prompt right there near the top of Settings, if you’re still eligible. You can tap on it to see how many days remain, and purchase AppleCare+ (with or without Loss and Theft protection) right on your device.

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How to figure out if a MacBook power adapter or battery has gone bad


You plug in your adapter to your laptop, and the battery doesn’t charge reliably. Sometimes, your Mac dings to let you know it’s plugged in to power; other times, you have to plug and unplug, or even restart your computer. What’s up?

Battery charging involves three separate elements, so you have to go through a process of troubleshooting to identify which one is faulty.

The battery

For several releases of macOS, Apple has provided alerts and information about the health and status of a laptop’s battery. macOS warns you if something’s actively wrong with a battery when it determines this.

In macOS Catalina and earlier, you can Option-click the battery icon in the menu bar, and get a little more insight about the state of the battery. In macOS Big Sur, there’s a lot more detail about the battery available by default, but the condition is nested more deeply: go to the Battery preference pane, click Battery, and click Battery Health.

mac911 big sur battery dropdown IDG

Big Sur shows the current battery parameters, but not battery health. Click Battery Preferences for that.

The condition should be listed as Normal, but if the battery’s maximum capacity has dropped below a certain point (which Apple doesn’t specify), it might say Service Battery. You may also see one of a number of other messages that Apple doesn’t document, such as Service Recommended, Replace Soon, or Replace Now, all of which have a little more urgency, as the operating system has deemed the battery holds a charge poorly, or even not at all. If the battery dies entirely, an X appears through the battery icon, and the message reads No Battery Available.

In Big Sur through many earlier releases,  you can hold down the Option key and select  > System Information and click the Power item under Hardware in the left-hand navigation bar. Look for Condition there, where you can also see Cycle Count and, on certain models and versions of macOS, Maximum Capacity. The Cycle Count isn’t the number of times you’ve charged, but rather the total capacity of the battery divided by the total energy every used. The more cycles, the lower total capacity the battery has remaining, though it should be both years and…

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