TarDisk Total Protection

With TarDisk Total Protection, you’re protected no matter what happens. If your TarDisk is lost, stolen, or damaged; or if it experiences a mechanical or electrical defect after our standard one year warranty expires, you’ll receive a brand new TarDisk free of charge! If your MacBook is stolen with your TarDisk in it, the same conditions apply.
For just $3.99 a month, you’re totally covered.


Here at TarDisk, we understand that laptops and data are at the center of your workflow in today’s fast moving world. Don’t get caught flat-footed.
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TarDisk Pear

Pear is the first ever plug-and-play HYBRID drive. Simply stated; Pear allows your to “pair” an enabled TarDisk to your existing system to effectively create a Macintosh HD that is up to 256GB bigger. Pear works by enabling commands at the root of OS X, to logically combine Pear enabled hardware and your original (probably-full-by-now) hard drive. For example:   
  •      • A 128GB MacBook Air/Pro Peared with a 128GB TarDisk will produce a Macintosh HD which is 256GB.
  •      • A 128GB MacBook Air/Pro Peared with a 256GB TarDisk will produce a Macintosh HD which is 384GB.
  •      • A 256GB MacBook Air/Pro Peared with a 256GB TarDisk will produce a Macinosh HD which is 512GB
  •      • A 512GB MacBook Air/Pro Peared with a 256GB TarDisk will produce a Macinosh HD which is 768GB. 

The same logic applies to hard drive sizes not listed here, including spinning disk drives. Time Machine backups, programs and everything else in OS X continue to work as before. All TarDisks shipped from our website are Pear enabled by default, however a user can choose if/when to Pear. Once Peared, computer performance is maintained and even often improved. Pearing is a permanent upgrade, and offers the only way to increase the size of your Macintosh HD designed to augment your MacBook experience.

  1. Operating system: Yosemite, or El Capitan*. (Mountain Lion, Mavericks, should function but are not officially supported) *El Capitan installations, so far have performed flawlessly. 
  2. Bootcamp: must be uninstalled before Pearing (i.e. MacBooks intentionally modified with a Bootcamp partition are not officially supported).
  3. Encryption: FileVault and any third party antivirus software must be turned off before Pearing ( FileVault and antivirus may be turned back on after the Pearing process is complete).

Unfortunately, no. Only Pear-enabled TarDisks are supported. As of October 29th, 2015, all TarDisks shipped from our web store are Pear enabled. TarDisks purchased from 3rd party re-sellers (ex: Amazon.com) or TarDisks purchased prior to October 2015 do not support Pear unless otherwise stated. 

Sure! If you want to use TarDisk as a secondary volume, that is no problem! It will function similar to an external hard drive (but is always with you)! This is a great option if you want to run a Time Machine Backup.   

No, Bootcamp is not officially supported by Pear. Further, before Pearing your system, you must remove your bootcamp partition. After your system is Pear'ed, creating a bootcamp partition is not recommended and is not supported.

Yup! Just remember to turn FileVault off BEFORE you Pear so that your files are not encrypted during the Pearing process.  After you are Pear'ed you can turn FileVault back on!

To answer this question, please choose the scenario that applies to you:

  1. Virtualizations (Parallels // VM Fusion ):  Pear works well with virtualizations that are run inside of OS X. Examples include Parallels or VM Fusion. If these programs were installed before, they will continue to function as they have previously. If you plan to install a new virtualization, Pear will give you even MORE space to store your files and VMs!
  2. BootCamp (Windows // Linux): Pear does not support Bootcamp’ed computers.
  3. Non-MacBook computers Running windows: Pear cannot be run on non-Apple hardware.

TarDisk

TarDisk is a small solid state device which provides permanent onboard storage for MacBook Air/Pro through use of the computer’s SDXC port. Each TarDisk is constructed within a unibody aluminum enclosure, is MacBook Model Specific and can be installed without tools. 

We ship world-wide using a combination of USPS First Class mail and DHL. Domestic orders usually arrive in 3-5 days. International orders usually take 2 weeks depending on the option selected (but can take as long as 4 weeks) with the buyer responsible for local tariffs and taxes. If premium services are selected, international shipments will take around 4 days. We send shipments out 2-3 times each week.

We ship worldwide for FREE! Priority shipping is also available with rates varying by country. 

Are we talking Storage size or Physical size? TarDisk is bigger on the inside than it may appear.

Storage:
TarDisk comes in two* sizes: 128GB or 256GB and can be used with any compatible MacBook, regardless of that computer’s original HD size. 
*(Older 64GB TarDisk models are still sold by some retailers).

Physical Size:
If compared to an “SD card” a TarDisk is about half the length and generally more powerful. Each TarDisk is specifically tailored for the computer it was designed for. This includes variations in length and width and allows TarDisk to live inside your computer without the danger of being lost or knocked loose. Our shortest TarDisk is 16mm and our longest is 22mm. A full product compatibility chart can be found here with representative images to show size.

All MacBooks support both the 128 and 256GB TarDisk Models. For selecting the correct model, there is no ambiguity -- we have developed a simple one-click piece of software available on the footer of this page to ensure your TarDisk fits perfectly before it is shipped! 

Absolutely, but it depends on how you intend to use it. TarDisk works really well when it is linked to programs like iTunes, iPhoto, Dropbox etc. If you would like to do this, then no, it shouldn’t be removed too often. However, if you plan to just hold specific files, like a Time Machine Back up or a specific file, then, yes removing it, after you safe eject, is not a problem. If you Pear'ed your TarDisk however, then no, TarDisk should not be removed.

How would you like to use it?

TarDisks are built around the same MLC flash memory modules found in many SSDs and powered by high capacity flash controllers developed for high definition media recording. TarDisks transfer data through the UHS-1 SDXC protocol at speed class 3 or above. The peak data transfer of the hardware alone is about 1/5th that of a high performance SSD, however Pear more than makes up for that... 

If Pear'ed, TarDisk maintains a cache on your SSD making any speed differential between TarDisk and your lighting fast SSD, almost unnoticeable. 

Yes, but not significantly. TarDisk maintains a power draw of around 70 milliwatts. To put that into perspective, for a MacBook Air containing a 50 watt/hour battery and a 7-hour battery life, you’ll see less than a 5 minute loss of life.

Just like any storage device, it is possible for TarDisk to fail and we strongly recommend that you always backup your data with Time Machine. TarDisk uses the same MLC flash memory modules found in SSDs, where each block is rated for a minimum of 3k write cycles. (SSDs are 5k). Again, Data failure on any storage device is possible and we recommend always backing up your system data.

If you are not yet backing up to the cloud, you can receive 30-days of online Backup for free here

Rest assured knowing that TarDisk is water proof up to 72 hours, temperature proof from -13°F to 185°F, shock proof up to 500Gs of shock, immune to airport X-rays, and capable of up to 5000 Gauss of static magnetic field!

Possibly, but probably not perfectly. There is no guarantee that TarDisk will fit in your PC laptop as the SD card slot vary from computer to computer.

TarDisk Pear

If your HD icon has been changed, it is possible that your Macintosh HD volume has not yet reflected the resize. First try restarting your computer. If the problem persists;

  1. Run ALL the steps on the "Quick Guides" -> "How do I Pear my TarDisk" including the Optional steps.
  2. Run the diagnostic which can be found in the “TarDisk Tool” located on the footer of this page, and from the "Pear" menu, select “Diagnose” then shoot us an email with this information to TechHelp@tardisk.com so we can help! Do this only after you have completed "Step 1" above. 
  3. (Advanced Users Only) We may have you run the "Fix Pear" option from the "TarDisk Tool" located on the footer of the Page. To do so, from the "Pear" menu, select "Fix Pear". Performing this command will make your computer go un-responsive for upto an hour. This command should only be run if the diagnostic shows two healthy "Logical Volumes" disk1 and disk2.
  4. UnPear. If the above steps do not work, you may need to Un-Pear your computer. Before proceeding with the Un-Pear, send us the diagnostic so we can confirm this decision. 

This is normal. Both physical drives will be shown. Note that the GB size of each drive is now increased to the sum of them both.
TarDisk Pear Storage

In this example a 256GB TarDisk has been Pear'ed with a 256GB MacBook Pro to produce 489GB free of 507GB. Notice that the MacBook Pro's SSD is 251GB while the TarDisk is a true 256GB, this is normal. Also notice that the colored bars are a reflection of each other, this too is normal and shows that both pieces of hardware are functional.

Finally the assigned names such as "Flash Storage" or "Secure Digital Disk" will vary depending on your MacBook Hardware which has been Pear'ed -- this too is normal. In the event that the sum of the two drives is not shown on the right hand side (i.e. you do not see 507GB or the combine equivalent) something in the Pearing process may not have completed fully and you should now review the trouble shooting steps in this FAQ. 

Well, don't do that again. Plug your TarDisk back in, restart your computer and make sure that your backup is up-to-date. Our testing has shown that OS X manages the removal of the drive well, however removing the Pear'ed TarDisk while your system is running can result in a corrupted volume depending on what is running. If you did it once, it is probably (hopefully) ok. 

It is important that we do not accidentally Pear your TarDisk to the wrong volume. The Pear installer has a number of safety features built in to prevent this from happening!  

  1. First make sure that you have disconnected ALL external devices. This includes, USB devices, network attached storage and Thunderbolt connections. Restart your computer and try running Pear again. 
  2. If Pear is still giving this error message, please run: sudo tmutil disablelocal You can then try running Pear installer again. (after successfully Pear'ed, run: sudo tmutil enablelocal)
  3. If Pear is still giving this error message, it is possible that you have a bootcamp partition, which must be removed or transfered to a different computer.
  4. If you are absolutely 100% sure that you do not have any additional partitions or volumes plugged into your computer (don't forget network attached storage), it is possible that your system was transferred from an older Macintosh which is throwing red flags, or some other unforeseen error has been flagged to protect you. Unfortunately, this safety feature will intentionally prevent you from Pearing your system as a safety measure. If you would like to proceed with Pearing, please restore your computer from your Time Machine backup and begin the Pearing process again.  
If you have followed the steps above and still receive this error, your computer is not supported. Your TarDisk however can be run as a mobile secondary drive. 

    We have found that some computers have corrupt core storage volumes. This can be the result of many different things, but often we have seen this occur with users who have restored their MacBooks from an image after upgrading. Not to worry, we have the fix! You will use the “fsck” tool,  accessible in single user mode through command prompt. To proceed follow these steps;

    1. Backup your computer with Time Machine Backup. (it is possible that your original SSD is getting old and backing up your data is always a good idea)
    2. Unplug all USB devices and restart your computer. (If your TarDisk is currently installed, please leave it plugged in)
    3. Open this guide on a second computer or cellphone for reference.
    4. Restart the computer into Single User Mode by holding down Command+S during system boot after you hear the boot chime, you know you will have successfully entered Single User Mode because you will see a bunch of white text on a black background scroll by.
    5. When the Single User boot sequence has finished, you’ll find a small command prompt at the bottom of the screen prefixed by a hash sign (#), when you see that type the following command exactly: fsck -fy
    6. Once fsck completes, if you see a “File system was modified” message, then you should run “fsck -fy” again until you see a message stating “The volume (name) appears to be OK” – this is standard procedure of using fsck. You may have to run it 3-4 times. (Take a picture of this screen with your phone's camera)
    7. Type “reboot” then press enter, to leave Single User Mode and boot the Mac back into OS X as usual.
    8. Once OS X is booted again, it can be a good idea to confirm all is well by running the Disk Utility tool and running the “Verify” tool to check on the drives health. For an article on how to do this, click here.
    This should solve your problems with corrupt storage, but if it does not, please feel free to send an email so we can help! (please give us a few days to get back to you especially if you email over the weekend!) Make sure that you send photos of (1) the fsck screen and (2) the diagnostic which can be found in the “TarDisk Tool” located on the footer of this page (3) a bullet point list of the actions you have taken.

      TarDisk

      Feel confident knowing that every TarDisk is formatted by hand before it is shipped out! If your TarDisk is not mounting when you plug it in, try shutting down your computer, and while it is off; unplugging the TarDisk and securely plugging it back in TEN-times or more. Feel free to use a credit card or other plastic tool to remove the TarDisk if your nails are short. Repeating this process helps “clean” the electrical connections inside your MacBook which sometimes get blocked with dust or dirt. Remember, never use metal objects to remove your TarDisk, or damage will occur. After this process is completed, turn your computer back on.

      •      • If further troubleshooting is needed repeat the process above and download the “TarDisk Tool” located on the footer of this page. From the File menu, select “Mount all Disks” then select “Where is my TarDisk”. 
      •      • If you prefer to use command line in terminal, you can follow this guide or type the command "diskutil mount /dev/disk1s2". (You may have to change the disk# to suit your system)  
      •      • If you're still having trouble, create a bullet point list of what you have done so far, and send an email over to us. (It may take a few days for us to get back to you, but we will get back to you!) 

      *Please note that if you previously Pear'ed your TarDisk to your system and have since removed Pear, you will need to delete the EFI partition from your TarDisk, more info here. This only applies to users who have completed the un-Pear process.

      Not again… on behalf of shipping carriers everywhere we apologize for any delays and pledge to do everything in our power to help! To deal with this problem as effectively and efficiently as possible please visit this page. 

      Hold on, it should slide right out! TarDisk is precision machined to within .005 inch accuracy, but between that range and the range on your MacBook’s machining, some TarDisks are especially snug. Don’t worry!

      1. Make sure you’ve ejected your TarDisk first (and of course that it is not Pear'ed).
      2. Then, use the edge of a credit card to gently pull it out. Push down on TarDisk to engage the spring mechanism built into your MacBook’s SD port. Do not use anything metal, like scissors or a paperclip, which will damage your TarDisk and SD port.
      3. If you would like a "Guitar-Pick" tool mailed to you, send a self-addressed envelope to us and we will get one in the mail to you! 

      We also made a video of our TIGHTEST fitting TarDisk to demonstrate how to remove it with a credit card! Remember to never use a metal object when removing your TarDisk or damage will occur!  

      If your find that you have run your computer down to 0% battery, TarDisk will be ejected by OS X, and after a simple re-start TarDisk should appear again.

      If you have not run your computer down to 0% battery, but the TarDisk has still ejected, the first thing to try is shutting your computer down and with the computer off unplugging and plugging your TarDisk back in TEN-Times. It is possible that if you rarely used your SDxc port prior to using your TarDisk, the pins in your computer’s slot are dirty and not making good electrical contact with the TarDisk. The act of pushing your TarDisk in and out may fix the problem. (Remember never use metal objects to remove your TarDisk)

      If your TarDisk is involuntarily unmounting from your MacBook upon sleep, there are software fixes for you here that will help as this is a setting in OS X. 

      This is actually a defect in Apple’s drivers and/or OS X which is a problem not unique to TarDisk. We pre-format all TarDisks into MacOS Extended Journaled, which provides the highest performance experience, however this format may show this error when files are accessed across separate drives when those files contains special characters (? / < > " | > *) in their names. This even more commonly occurs if the file was created on a Windows computer. Luckily, it’s an easy fix;

      1. Format TarDisk into ExFat. You can use DiskUtility to format the Drive; here is a tutorial.   
      2. SMC & Pram Reset. You can follow our tutorial here.
      3. Delete/Rename files.  Especially for files created on a windows computer, make sure to delete special characters from file names; (? / < > " | > *)

      Please note that if you Pear'ed your TarDisk to your computer, and received this error code, "Step 1" and "Step 3" are not applicable to you. 

      Remember when inserting TarDisk into your MacBook that the gold contact pins should face the floor and should be inserted into your computer first. 

      If your TarDisk is not sitting completely flush, it is likely that you received the wrong model or your are not inserting it correctly. We are happy to replace your TarDisk with the correct model, just ship it back and explain what is going on with a hand-written note and a copy of your original receipt! In the event that you confirmed that you did in fact order the correct model (using the selector software in the footer of this page) and your TarDisk is still not fitting correctly, please get in touch with us: help@TarDisk.com. Please include; 

      1. Your MacBook model number as specifically listed in the TarDisk MacBook Selector (Link to the software is in the footer of this webpage
      2. Your TarDisk model number and receipt
      3. A description of the problem.  

      TarDisk Pear

      Pearing your MacBook is a simple, but permanent process. To prevent the potential for data loss, please make sure to follow the steps below carefully. Pearing makes edits to your operating system's core storage that results in a Macintosh HD that is additively larger. Please follow the steps below or visit us online for the full instructions: www.tardisk.com/pages/instructions 

      1. Purchase TarDisk: Obtain a Pear enabled TarDisk, which has not been used previously. (Only Pear enabled TarDisks, which have not been used previously support the Pearing process.)  
      2. Create a Time Machine Backup of your system. Make sure that your backup is up-to-date.  For information on how to enable your MacBook's existing Time Machine backup, visit Apple's website. A TimeMachine backup is a necessary safeguard to the Pearing process.
      3. (Optional) Create an online Backup. CrashPlan.com offers a free 30-day online backup of your MacBook. Note that an online backup should be in addition to your Time Machine backup
      4. "Turn-Off" FileValult and turn off any installed third party antivirus software. After Pearing is complete, you may turn FileVault and antivirus software back on. 
      5. Free up 8GB. Make sure that you have at least 8GB of free space for the Pearing process, although 15% is ideal. This space is only needed temporarily during Pearing. 
      6. Unplug ALL Devices from your MacBook. Make sure your Laptop is connected to power. 
      7. Turn off your computer. 
      8. (Optional, but HIGHLY recommended.) Confirm that your existing hard drive is running properly before Pearing;
        1. Turn your computer on and boot into Single-User Mode. To boot into Single User Mode, press the power button and hold down the Command and S keys simultaneously until you see white text appear on the screen.
        2. When the Single User boot sequence has finished, you’ll find a small command prompt at the bottom of the screen prefixed by a hash sign (#), when you see that type the following command exactly: fsck -fy
        3. Once fsck completes, if you see a “File system was modified” message, then you should run “fsck -fy” again until you see a message stating “The volume (name) appears to be OK” – this is standard procedure of using fsck. You may have to run it 3-4 times. 
        4. Type “reboot” then press enter, to leave Single User Mode and boot the Mac back into OS X as usual.
      9. (Optional) Verify status of your current storage. Once OS X is booted, confirm all is well by running the Disk Utility tool and running the “Verify” tool to check on the drive's health. 
      10. Quit ALL programs. Hold down the Command key and press tab to see programs that are running. Quit each program. 
        Command + Tab
      11. Insert TarDisk. Slide TarDisk into your SDXC port. Remember, never use metal to remove your TarDisk. 
      12. Run TarDisk Pear installer.  If the installer does not launch automatically, click the program on your desktop to open a step-by-step installer. Be sure to read every screen. After the installer finishes, you will be prompted with a window asking you to restart your computer.  (For MacBooks that formerly did not have core storage, you will be prompted with a separate dialog and will be asked to restart your computer again. For these users a total of three directed restarts is required.) This process will vary in length based on the size of your current hard drive -- for a step-by-step Tardisk Pear Installer walkthrough please visit: www.tardisk.com/pages/instructions
      13. Finished. Welcome to TarDisk Pear!
        (Remember some computers may need to run the installer again, be sure to read the prompts).

      Enjoy your new Peared MacBook!

      If you have additional questions, or you had any trouble with the process please review this guide and confirm that all steps were properly followed. In the event that you intentionally skipped any of the optional steps above (i.e. Step 8), this may be the source of problems. For trouble shooting assistance please visit: www.tardisk.com/pages/help

      Although the Pearing process is permanent, there may be instances where you need to remove your TarDisk for troubleshooting etc. In these cases the un-Pearing process is listed below and can be accomplished in eight steps. For a step-by-step guide, please click the link below.  

      1. Reduce the used disk space on your Macintosh HD to 20% below its original size.
      2. Turn off FileVault and any third party antivirus software.
      3. Create a Time Machine backup.
      4. (Optional) Create an additional online BackUp
      5. Turn your computer off.
      6. Slide your TarDisk out.
      7. Turn your computer on while holding down Command (⌘) + R while the computer starts.
      8. Enter into “Disk Utility” and click “Repair Disk.” After the repair process completes, exit Disk Utility.
      9. Restore your MacBook from your most recent Time Machine backup. The process will take about an hour.
      10. Thats it you are done!

      For a step by step tutorial please visit here.
      Note that after you un-Pear your TarDisk, the TarDisk itself will need to be wiped clean before it will function properly again. To wipe the TarDisk clean, you will need to delete the EFI partition. More info and a guide here.     

      TarDisk

        1. Click on the Dropbox icon on the top menu bar.
        2. Click on the gear icon and select "Preferences..."
        3. Click the "Account" tab under the dropdown menu labeled: "Dropbox location" select your TarDisk.

        1. Plug TarDisk into your MacBook. Open Time Machine in Systems Preferences on your Mac.
        2. Click the "select disk" / "select backup disk" button.
        3. In the popup dialogue box, click on the TarDisk icon and then click "use disk”.
        4. If Time Machine asks to reformat the disk, select yes, but be aware that this will delete any data you currently have on your TarDisk. Note: If you want to back up part of your computer, rather than the whole of it on your TarDisk, you can exclude folders from the backup by pressing the "Options..." button in the bottom right hand corner of the Time Machine dialogue box from step 2 above.

        Setup:

        1. Create a folder in your TarDisk called iTunes_TarDisk
        2. In iTunes, go to iTunes -> Preferences (in the settings bar). In the popup menu choose Advanced tab.
        3. Locate “iTunes Media folder location” & click on the “change” button.
        4. Select the folder you created on your TarDisk iTunes_TarDisk in the finder window and press OK.

        Copy Files to TarDisk:

        1. In the settings bar go to File -> Library -> Organize Library and a popup window will appear.
        2. Select the option “Consolidate Library”. Check this box and hit OK. This may take anywhere between a few minutes and an hour depending on the size of your library.
        3. After you confirmed that everything transferred properly, delete your old iTunes Media folder (/Users/Your-Name/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media).