Best Practices for Mac OS – CompTIA A+ 220-902 – 2.1

Apple’s Mac OS X operating system includes a number of tools and utilities to keep things running efficiently. In this video, you’ll learn about scheduled backups, disk maintenance options, system updates, and anti-virus options in Mac OS X.

<< Previous: Windows Preventive Maintenance ToolsNext: Best Practices for Linux >>

Apple’s Mac OS X operating system includes its own backup utility called Time Machine. When you enable Time Machine, it performs backups automatically behind the scenes every hour, and it keeps the last 24 hours on an hourly basis. It will also store daily backups for the past month, and it will keep monthly backups as long as you happen to have disk space. And if you begin running out of disk space, it begins deleting the oldest information so that it has room for the latest backups.

If you need to perform disk functions in OS X, you can run the Apple Disk Utility. From here, you can run First Aid. You can partition a disk. You can erase a disk. You can unmount a disk, or you could get information about a drive. From a disk maintenance perspective, the Disk Utility is something you would rarely need to run. Normal disk maintenance features are built into the ongoing usage of the operating system, and you usually don’t have to go into a separate utility to run disk maintenance.

If you would like to verify that a disk is working properly, or you need to run first aid on a disk, there is a First Aid option within Disk Maintenance, but this is something that you would run on demand rather than something that you would schedule. This is very similar to running the Disk Check inside of Windows to check the operating system file structure and make sure that the drive itself is able to work properly.

OS X centralizes all of the updates for the operating system and for the applications into a single utility. To see these updates, you would start the App Store application, and you would use the Updates option at the top. This can also be configured to automatically install updates, or you can tell the App Store to only install the updates when you would like to have them installed. This is also very useful for patch management, because any operating system updates will always come through this Update option in the App Store.

In OS X, you don’t generally work with device drivers. It’s all part of the operating system, and it happens behind the scenes. Apple’s worked very hard to make the integration between the operating system and the hardware as invisible as possible. If you’d like to see what device drivers are installed, you can go into the System Information utility and get a detailed list of all the hardware. If you click on pieces of hardware, you may see the drivers listed for that particular piece of hardware, but this is a View Only option. You can’t disable, change, or update device drivers from this view.

Although Apple doesn’t provide its own built-in antivirus or anti-malware application for OS X, it’s still something you should consider installing into your operating system. There are many third party options out there, and if a company makes antivirus and anti-malware for Windows, then they probably have an option for Mac OS as well. Although the raw number of malware and viruses on Mac OS is much less than on Windows, it’s still something you should absolutely be concerned about, so make sure that you have an antivirus or anti-malware software, and make sure, just as in Windows, that you’re updating your signatures every day.