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Dear Steve

Posted by Richard Weiser

Dear Steve,

It's been a long five years ago today that we lost you. I never got the chance to meet you but you changed my life in ways that I cannot believe. You gave me a dream, a vision and a passion. I'll never forget the first time I was introduced to an Apple II at school, and a light turned on. A light that burns to this day, you had passion in your vision and I've tried to live that life everyday. Make life better for others through technology in a way that is beautiful, art worthy and different as you taught us all to think.

Without you, the world would have been very different, a world I would not want to live in. You saw technology as art, and I can't find a better analogy.  Technology isn't about the code, the hardware but it's about the people behind it. People who have a vision, to make life better through it's use.


Increase a MacBook's Hard Drive Space

Posted by Richard Weiser

It happens to everyone who buys a MacBook Pro or Air. They buy the machine, sometimes because of a sale or simply they think that they'll keep somethings on an external drive but we all eventually run low on available hard drive space. If you have a newer MacBook, mid 2012 and onward, you have the luxury of USB 3.0 and you could simply add an external drive and solve your problem.  That solution though leaves you with carrying around some kind of portable hard drive, making your beautifully designed MacBook not so portable anymore.  We found ourselves in the same situation and found it to be annoying constantly carrying around an external drive just to access certain files or have enough space to work, so we went on a journey. We're not the first ones to experience this, and we know we won't be the last, so this blog post covers step-by-step how we solved the problem but kept the aesthetics and portability of our MacBook Pro's intact. We've included links to the items you need to purchase or have available to you to complete this guide. This guide will make a concatenated or spanned hard disk set of both your internal drive and new Micro SD card to act as one drive as far as your MacBook is concerned.

What you need to have to complete this process: 

  • Micro SD Card Adapter (MacBook Pro | MacBook Air)        
    • If your machine does not have an SD Card Slot this solution will not work for you
    • If either one of the links is not for your type of MacBook but you need a recommendation of one that will work, send an email to rich@weisertek.com with a screen shot of your "About This Mac" and we will send you a response with the appropriate adapter to buy
  • 200GB Micro SD Card
  • If you wish to do a clean install the following items are not necessary:

Disclaimer: WeiserTek has no association with any of these products listed above and the procedure does involve destroying all of your data on your internal MacBook hard drive, so proceed with extreme caution. We have verified these procedures but we offer no guarantees and are not responsible for any data loss or failure of any of these devices to work with your MacBook specifically. This is a do-it-yourself guide intended for reference only and should not be considered definitive. There are other options out there for increasing your hard drive space but we found this to be the simplest.

Step 1: Back Up Your MacBook's Hard Drive

This part is extremely important to get right, we recommend you perform both a file level back up and a bootable hard drive image back up.  For the file level back up, we use and recommend CrashPlan.  For the bootable hard drive image back up, we use and recommend Carbon Copy Cloner.

For the file level back up, install and run CrashPlan making sure to select all folders you want included in your back up.  This should include user folders. For the best protection, make sure to do a local back up and place it in CrashPlan Central as well. We won't go in to details on the CrashPlan backup as they provide very good instructions on their website on how to do it correctly.

For the image level back up, connect your external USB Drive (should be clean or willing to lose the drive's contents, it should be formatted as Mac OS X Journaled) and run Carbon Copy Cloner. Set the source disk as your MacBook's internal drive and the destination disk as the external drive you just connected. See image below:

Carbon Copy Cloner

Step 2: Insert your Micro SD Card & Adapter

After you have verified that your file and image level backups are complete, insert the Micro SD card into the Micro SD card adapter and insert into your MacBook, it can be turned on or off but you will need to power down to complete the following step, so it's fine to shut down now. Also, so you don't make any mistakes, eject your external portable hard drive now.

Step 3: Build your Spanned or Concatenated Disk Set

Only complete this section, if you have already backed up both a file level and image level backup.  To start up from OS X Recovery, hold down Command (⌘)-R immediately after turning on or restarting your Mac. Once it finishes booting, select Disk Utility. Chose one of the drives you'll be using, for instance the internal hard drive, and hit the "Erase" tab choosing "Mac OS X (Journaled)" as your formatting option. Repeat this portion for the other drive, for instance the Micro SD Card.

Click on one of the drives you are using and select the "Raid" tab. Give your set of disks a name and choose "Mac OS X (Journaled)" again as the format, since this is the boot volume we are messing with, we recommend using "Macintosh HD" then select "Concatenated Disk Set" for raid type.  Then drag the other disk into the list below, once both the internal and Micro SD card are listed, click "Create". Once this process is finished, you now have two drives acting as one hard drive. Now shut down your MacBook using the familiar menu item.

Step 4: Restore your Image Level Back Up

Once your MacBook has been shut down, reconnect the drive you used to do the image level back up.  Press the Command (⌘) key and hold till you see a list of Hard Drives available for boot, select your external drive and it should boot your MacBook up like before.  Then run Carbon Copy Cloner, reversing the process and setting the source as your external drive and the internal concatenated drive as the destination. Once this process finishes, you can shut down your machine and remove the external drive. The contents of your hard drive should have been copied back to your new concatenated disk set and the machine should boot as normal just now with an extra 200 GB of hard drive space.