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Should you ever find yourself in the need to create blank disk images, OS X’s built-in Disk Utility is your friend. A disk image usually has a .dmg extension and appears, looks and behaves like any ordinary file, with one key exception: launching it prompts OS X to mount the volume on the desktop.

These mountable disk images can be useful in a number of situations. For example, you may want to create blank disk images for storage.

Furthermore, disk images can be used as a virtual disk for software distribution, to burn CDs or DVDs and so forth. In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to create blank disk images in Disk Utility, at any size, with optional password protection, formatting options and more.

This tutorial was brought to you because someone asked about it.

How to create blank disk images with Disk Utility

1) Open Disk Utility using Spotlight or directly from your /Applications/Utilities/ folder.

2) Choose File → New Image → Blank Image to get started.

4) In the Name field, enter the name that will appear on the Mac’s desktop and in the Finder sidebar after open the image file.

5) In the Size field, enter an arbitrary size for the disk image. You must manually type in the size of the image file: i.e. “100 MB”, “2 GB”, “1 TB” etc. Typing just a number (i.e. 100, 500, 5000) will yield an audible alert warning you that the value is incomplete.

Choose among the following options:

OS X Extended (Journaled) or OS X Extended—Select either option if the disk will only be used with Macs. The former option uses the Mac’s Journaled HFS Plus file format to protect the integrity of the hierarchical file system.

MS-DOS (FAT)—Use this if your disk will be used with Windows and Mac PCs.

ExFAT—For disks larger than 32GB that’ll be used with Windows and Mac PCs.

Tip: For MS-DOS and ExFAT partitions, the disk name must be eleven characters or less due to legacy limitations of Microsoft’s file system.

You can choose between the following encryption options:

128-bit AES—A recommended option that provides a trade-off between encryption speed and security.

256-bit AES—Select this option for maximum security, at the expense of encryption speed.

Select either encryption option will put up a prompt asking you to enter and re-enter the password that will be used to encrypt and unlock the disk image.

Anyone attempting to open the disk image file will first need to type in your password.

Tip: Make sure to write down the password and store it in a safe place. Should you forget it, you won’t be able to open the disk image or access any of the files.

8) Select a partition layout in the Partitions menu:

CD/DVD—Select this if you’re creating a disk image to burn a CD or DVD.

Single partition-Apple Partition Map—Used for compatibility with older, PowerPC-based Mac computers.

Single partition-GUID Partition Map—Used for all Intel-based Macs.

Single partition-Master Boot Record Partition Map—Used for Windows partitions that will be formatted as MS-DOS (FAT) or ExFAT.

No partition map—The disk image will not have a partition map.

For most people, No Partition Map will be the preferred option here.

You have the following image formatting options at your disposal:

Sparse—Creates an expandable disk image file that shrinks and grows as needed (no additional space is used). Uses the .sparseimage file extension.

Sparse Bundle—Same as a sparse image, but uses the .sparsebundle file extension and the directory data for the image is stored differently.

Read/Write—This option allows you to add files to the disk image after it’s created and uses the standard .DMG file extension.

DVD/CD Master—This changes the size of the disk image file to 177 MB (CD 8 cm) and adds the .CDR extension to the file. The file can be used with third-party apps to create other CDs or DVDs and includes a copy of all sectors of the disk image, whether they’re used or not.

After Disk Utility creates the disk image file it’ll get saves in the location you specified, the volume automatically mounted. Its disk icon will appear on the desktop and in the Finder sidebar, letting you add, remove and edit files on the mounted disk image by way of drag-and-drop just as you would with any ordinary disk.

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Mastering Disk Utility In Mac Sierra

Disk utility is a utility application designed by Apple for the use of executing disk-related operations across macOS. Disk Utility is the equivalent of Disk Management, a similar program found on Windows.

Even the most casual of Mac users will need to use Disk Utility at some point. Examples include setting up a backup disk or partitioning an external drive, so knowing the basic ins and outs of the program are beneficiary.

This article will define what first aid, partition, erase, restore, mount, and info mean regarding disk utility in macOS. It will also cover some basic uses for each selection and clear up the difference between “restore” and “erase.”

Launching Disk Utility

To access disk utility, press “Command + Space” on your keyboard to open a Spotlight search. From there, type “Disk Utility” and press Enter.

Alternatively, select Launchpad from your Mac’s dock, select the “other” folder, and select “Disk Utility.”

Various Operations and Their Functions First Aid

First aid will run tests on the selected disk to check for errors. If you suspect your hard drive is not working properly, first aid should be one of the first things to try to attempt to get things running normally.

Partition

Partitioning is the division of a single physical drive into two or more sections, sometimes with differing filesystems. This is so that the operating system can handle data in certain regions differently than others. An example of a reason to partition a drive is if one plans on running an operating system other than macOS on a Mac, such as Windows. This is because, again, a different filesystem is used to handle Windows files. Partitioning can happen in a few different locations other than Disk Utility, such as Boot Camp.

Erase

When you erase a drive or partition, the space is simply marked as “free.” It is then ready to be overwritten when the system needs the space. Once this is completed, you will be free to partition the space as needed.

Restore

A disk restore will make a copy of one volume and restore it onto another. In other words, you are making an exact copy of a whole disk or partition. This option is most commonly used when upgrading or changing hard drives.

Mount

Mounting a disk is the act of allowing the computer to read and write data to the disk. In most cases when a disk is connected to the computer, it will automatically be mounted. When a disk is ejected, it can later be mounted again in disk utility. This is done without having to physically unplug and replug in the disk.

Info

Info will detail various stats of a drive, such as the space available in bytes, the overall file count, whether or not the disk is ejectable or encrypted, and more. To view this data, select the target disk in Disk Utility and select “Info.” A new window will open that shows all of the stats of the selected drive.

Conclusion

Knowing your way around Disk Utility is certainly a great way to avoid problems when setting up disks and partitions, and to do so right the first time. Most definitely take a moment to familiarize yourself with the terms, as you will likely need to use the utility eventually.

Corbin Telligman

I’m a junior at UT Dallas, a tech enthusiast, an adreneline junkie, and a coffee fanatic.

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What Is A Disk Server?

In computing, a server is a computer that constantly runs. Serving whatever content and functionality it has been configured to perform. A classic example of this is a web server, which helps web pages that can vary depending on the user’s request. Servers can host any application that works on the server-client model. Online video games are another excellent example. A physical server runs the game server application for users to connect to.

Note: Both the physical hardware used as servers and the software that runs on them for users to connect are referred to as servers.

One of the issues that servers, as well as most other enterprise-grade computer hardware, have to deal with is high levels of specialization. Enterprise networking hardware, such as routers, switches, servers, etc., is all relatively space limited. These machines are designed to fit into server racks. Typically taking up one to four “U” of the height of a 48U 7-foot-tall server rack.

Note: A “U” is a standard unit of height for computer hardware designed to fit in server racks.

Not only do servers have limited space, but they also have limited cooling capacity and power limits. These restrictions mean that server hardware is designed to be as efficient as possible through specialization. Unfortunately, this means there is limited space for other hardware, such as hard drives. Hard drives are necessary to hold the operating system and run the server. Still, they’re also required to keep the vast store of data that the server may need to serve and the data it collects.

Enter the Disk Server

Servers have some built-in and sometimes expandable storage. But this isn’t enough space for modern server needs. Additionally, many servers are not a single server but multiple servers acting behind a load balancer that helps to ensure that no one server gets overloaded. If you stored the actual data that the application runs on each server, you’d have a massive data duplication issue.

Another type of specialized hardware is used to get around all of these issues, the disk server. The disk server is designed to fit in a standard server rack and hold as many hard drives as possible. A disk server will also be kitted out with enterprise-grade connectivity so that data can be provided to the actual server as quickly as possible. In most cases, a RAID array will be used to provide some level of resilience to drive failure. And potentially a performance improvement, depending on the array’s configuration.

The disk server is a single point for storage drives to be located. Of course, with substantial data sets, even a single disk server won’t be able to provide enough storage space. So, multiple disk servers may be needed. A disk server should be directly accessed by actual physical servers in a properly configured network. The end user should not be able to connect directly to the disk server.

NAS

In a home environment, the NAS server is essentially the same as a disk server. A NAS server provides network connectivity for a (smaller) number of hard drives allowing other computers on the same network to access that data. There are some differences, though. Most NASs can also run some low-end server functionality directly as they need to be less specialized than their data center cousins.

Note: NAS stands for Network Attached Storage.

Conclusion

A disk server is a specialized computer device that holds as many hard drives as possible. It then provides access to the storage of these hard drives to configured devices, typically exclusively servers. In the home environment, the closest thing to a disk server is a NAS which offers most of the same functionality and some extra because of the reduced need for specialization. Both disk servers and NASs are designed to provide a high density of storage space to other devices on the network.

How To Skip Disk Checking On Windows 10/11 Startup

Check Disk, or more often known by its abbreviation CHKDSK, is a built-in tool in Microsoft Windows to scan hard disk drives for errors and bad sectors and repair them. This short tutorial will show you how to skip or disable disk checking on Windows 10 or Windows 11 so that it won’t run on startup again.

If a disk check is automatically scheduled to run every time you turn on your laptop or desktop computer without your consent, it can indicates two possibilities:

Windows has detected unusual shut down or restart behavior.

Windows has detected issues on one of your hard disk drives.

If you attempt to interrupt and cancel the disk check by “pressing any key”, you can temporary cancel the disk check for the current session. However, the disk check operation will repeat on every startup until the process can be completed at least once and that the disk has no issue.

Let’s not ignore the obvious. Repeated forced startup disk check is an indication of possible disk errors or even hardware failure. The proper action to be taken is to let the disk check run to completion.

The disk check process will automatically scan for errors and repair them. Once the errors are fixed, Windows will stop scheduling disk checking on startup if there is no other issue detected in any of your disk drives.

If the disk check finds any error that can’t be fixed, it will let you know in the scan reports at the end of the scan. If this is the case, it usually indicates that your hard drive has started to fail or has already failed. You may want to quickly backup any existing data on the disk if you don’t want to lose them later.

There are two methods to force cancel a scheduled startup disk check on Windows 11/10. If one doesn’t work, try the other.

Enter the following command: chkntfs /x c:

Note

: Replace C: with the letter of the drive you wish to stop disk checking on Windows startup.

The /x parameter is to disable auto check for the selected drives on startup.

To stop disk check for multiple drives, add the drive letters to the end of the command. For example: chkntfs /x c: d: e:

Caution: Registry editing can cause serious problem and may potentially corrupt your operating system if incorrect changes are made. Please continue at your own risk.

On the Windows 10/11 start menu, search for and open “regedit” (Registry Editor).

In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following path. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession Manager

In the “Value data” field, change the value to: autocheck autochk /k:C *

NOTE

: Replace C with the letter of the drive you wish to disable disk checking on Windows startup.

To disable disk checking for multiple drives, repeat the /k:x. For example: autocheck autochk /k:C /k:D *

The /k parameter is to tell autocheck to stop checking C: drive on Windows startup.

Should you meet any unexpected result, you can change the key’s value back to its default: autocheck autochk *

Close Registry Editor and restart your PC. On the next Windows startup, the disk checking should not appear again.

If the disk checking continues to run on every startup even after trying the methods above, you may want to seriously consider letting the disk check to complete the scan. If the scan finds any error that cannot be fixed, you may want to backup the existing data immediately before it’s too late, and replace the drive.

If you don’t care if the disk is faulty and that you might lose the data on the disk when it eventually fails, and just want to skip the disk checking on Windows startup, you can create a shortcut file to run the “chkntfs /x c:” (replace c: with the drive letter you wish to skip disk checking on startup) command and include the shortcut file as a startup program.

To set the shortcut file as a startup program, press Win + R keys to open Run window. In the Run window, type in “shell:startup” and press enter. This will open a folder where all startup programs’ shortcuts are placed. Move the shortcut you’ve created to the startup folder.

After doing so, the shortcut to execute the skip disk check command will automatically be run on every startup so that Windows will automatically skip the disk checking on the next startup.

How To Increase Disk Space Of A Virtual Machine In Vmware

Virtualization software like VMware and VirtualBox provide an easy way for you to install operating systems in a virtual environment. If you are familiar with VMWare, you will know that you need to specify the maximum disk space while creating the virtual machine. This allows VMware to allot the amount of disk space required for your virtual machine. However, you can easily run out of space if you didn’t allocate enough disk space initially. Here is how you can increase the disk space of a virtual machine in VMWare.

Before doing anything, make sure that you have a good backup of your virtual machine as there is a good chance of something going wrong while expanding the virtual disk file. Moreover, I also assume that you know how to use regular partition management tools.

Note: this tutorial is for VMWare. If you want to do the same for VirtualBox, here is the tutorial to resize disk space in VirtualBox.

Increase Disk Space from Command Line

To increase virtual disk space in VMware from the command line, the first thing you need to do is to shut down or power off the virtual machine (don’t suspend it) and also make sure that there are no snapshots. If you have any previous snapshots, delete them using the VMware snapshot manager.

Now open the Windows command prompt by pressing “Win + R” and type cmd.

Navigate to the VMware installation folder. You can generally use the below command to do that on 64-bit systems. Do change the file path if you have installed VMware in another folder.

Now to increase the disk size, execute the below command. Don’t forget to change the disk space (in Gb’s) and the location of the virtual disk file as required. If you have multiple “vmdk” files, then use the file that does not include -flat or -s0 in the file name.

Once you have executed the command, VMware will increase the virtual disk size. The increased disk space will appear as unallocated space in your guest operating system. Use the built-in partition management tool to either extend the system partition or to create a new partition for your files and folders.

Increase Disk Space using VMware GUI

Note: though I’m showing this in the VMware Workstation, the same steps are applicable to VMware Player.

With the above action, VMware resizes the disk as required and displays a confirmation message letting you know the same.

Now log in to your guest operating system and use the partition management tool to manage the new unallocated space.

That’s all there is to do, and it is that easy to increase virtual disk size in VMware through command line or the graphical user interface.

Vamsi Krishna

Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.

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How To Fix Windows Search High Cpu Or Disk Usage On Windows 11

In case Windows Search is using exceptionally high CPU or disk resources, then you can use the following troubleshooting methods on Windows 11. The methods to fix the issue include simpler methods like restarting your PC to restarting or rebuilding search services, using DISM and SFS commands, and much more.

8 Ways to fix Windows Search High CPU or Disk Usage Fix Issue on Windows 11

Method #01: Using troubleshooter

Windows 11 has a dedicated troubleshooter to help fix Windows Search issues on your system. In most cases, the troubleshooter should help identify and solve background issues which should reduce the overall disk usage of Windows Search. Use the guide below to get you started. 

Select ‘Searching Windows’. 

Check the box for ‘My problem isn’t listed above’.

Windows Troubleshooter will now try and apply fixes to reduce your disk usage. Restart your system if prompted. 

And that’s it! Windows troubleshooter will now have fixed high disk usage by Windows Search on your PC. 

Related: How to Open Control Panel in Windows 11

Method #02: Restart your PC

Restarting your PC can sometimes fix most issues. Restarting will restart the Windows Search services and tasks in the background which should get Search back up and running on your PC again. If however, restarting your PC does not help, then you can try manually restarting Windows Search services on your Windows 11 PC using the guide below. 

Method #03: Restart Search services

Press Windows + R on your keyboard and type in the following and press Enter on your keyboard. 

services.msc

Try and check your disk usage in the Task Manager now. If a background conflict for the search service was causing high disk usage on your PC then this should help fix your issue. 

Related: How to Disable Updates on Windows 11

Method #04: Reduce indexed locations on your PC

In case your PC is using older hardware or an HDD then it is likely that your disk is getting overloaded with continuous indexing tasks in the background which is causing high disk usage. Additionally, if you have drives larger than 1TB in size then this could also be the case for you regardless of the fact if you are using an SSD or an HDD. In such cases, you can try reducing the number of indexed locations for Windows Search and see if that fixes your issue. If it does, then we recommend you increase your indexed locations slowly so that it does not overwhelm your disk in the background. This should be a rare case scenario considering how Windows Search works but it is worth a shot nonetheless. Use the guide below to reduce your indexed locations. 

Add locations to exclude

Press Windows + i on your keyboard. Select ‘Privacy & security’. 

The folder will now be added to the exceptions list and it will no longer be indexed by Windows Search. Repeat the steps above for all the folders and locations you wish to exclude from Windows Search. 

Remove already indexed locations

Press Windows + i on your keyboard and select ‘Privacy & security’. 

Uncheck the boxes for locations or drives already added to Windows Search indexing.

Selected locations will now be removed from the indexing list of Windows Search. This should also help fix high disk usage on your PC if your disk was being overwhelmed by background indexing in Windows 11. 

Method #05: Rebuild your search index to get rid of conflicts

If you recently added a folder, changed drives, or renamed your partitions then it is likely that Windows Search has been experiencing conflicts in the background due to existing indexed locations. In such cases, you can use the guide below to rebuild your search index on Windows 11. Follow the guide below to get you started. 

Press Windows + i on your keyboard and select ‘Privacy & security’ from your left sidebar.

Once completed, we recommend you restart your PC and check your disk usage. If your disk is no longer being overwhelmed then a faulty or old search index was likely the cause of it.   

Method #06: Use the resource monitor to check for culprits

By this point, if you haven’t been able to fix high disk usage on your PC then let’s verify if this problem is being actually caused by Windows Search. Follow the guide below to use Windows Resource Monitor to look for culprits that are causing high disk usage on your system. 

resmon

Switch to the ‘Disk’ tab as shown below. 

SearchHost.exe

SearchIndexer.exe

And that’s it! If you have verified that your high disk usage is being caused by Windows Search then you can continue using one of the fixes below. If not, you can use this guide by us to fix high disk usage on your PC. 

Method #07: Run DISM and SFC commands on your disk

DISM and SFC command help fix general disk errors and defragmentation issues with your system. If none of the methods above worked for you, then it might be time to try and fix errors with your disks and system files. The DISM command helps fix your Windows image while the SFC commands scan for corrupted files and replace them with usable ones. Use the guide below to run DISM and SFC commands to fix your disks in Windows 11. 

Now type in the following to repair your system image. 

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Once the process completes, type in the following and press Enter on your keyboard. 

sfc /scannow

Windows will now scan and replace corrupted system files on your system. This command will also replace corrupted protected files which should help solve most high disk usage issues on your system. Once the process completes we recommend you restart your system and check your disk usage.  High disk usage should now be fixed on most modern systems. 

Method #08: Get in touch with your OEM/Microsoft Support

If you are still facing high disk usage issues due to Windows Search then it might be time to get in touch with a support team. This could be an issue unique to your system hardware or windows installation and the respective team could help you solve this issue. Use the link below to get in touch with the Microsoft Support team in your region. If you are looking to get in touch with your OEM support team then we recommend you use your OEM support app instead. 

That’s all.

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