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Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac

Book Description

Learn how to solve any Mac problem with Joe Kissell's expert advice!

We may love our Macs, but they can still suffer significant problems. In this essential guide from best-selling author Joe Kissell, you'll learn 17 basic troubleshooting procedures and how to solve 9 common problems, along with an easy-to-follow way to troubleshoot novel problems. Whether your Mac won't turn on, experiences kernel panics repeatedly, or is glacially slow, this book has the calm, friendly advice you need to find a solution.

Following in the footsteps of his critically acclaimed books Take Control of Mac OS X Backups and Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac, Joe starts by helping you prepare for trouble. You'll learn how to prevent problems from occurring, what tools you'll need to diagnose and fix problems, and the key troubleshooting techniques and solutions for common problems.

You'll also learn how to handle problems that include:

  • Your Mac won't turn on.

  • Repeated kernel panics.

  • Abnormal slowdowns.

  • Emptying the Trash when the Finder balks.

  • An application grinds to a halt.

  • An application crashes.

  • Recalcitrant keyboards and mice.

  • A dead Internet connection.

  • Printing doesn't work.

Table of Contents

  1. Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac
    1. Read Me First
      1. Updates
      2. Basics
        1. What's New in This Version
    2. Introduction: Don't Panic!
    3. 1. Troubleshooting Quick Start
    4. 2. Prevent Problems
      1. Use a Surge Protector or UPS
      2. Back Up Your Mac Regularly
      3. Keep Your Software Up to Date
    5. 3. Prepare for an Emergency
      1. Acquire a Secondary Startup Volume
      2. Get a Disk-Repair Utility
      3. Set Up Another User Account
      4. Consider Purchasing Applecare
      5. Think About an Insurance Policy
      6. Find Extra Help
        1. Phone a Friend
        2. Ask at a User Group
        3. Find a Consultant
        4. Go to the Source
      7. Have a Printed Copy of This Book
    6. 4. Learn Basic Troubleshooting Procedures
      1. Restart Your Mac
      2. Force-Quit an Application
      3. Start Up from Another Volume
        1. Start from a CD or DVD
        2. Start from Another Hard Disk or Partition
        3. Start from a Remote Disc
      4. Run Disk-Repair Utilities
      5. Erase and Restore from Backup
      6. Repair Permissions
      7. Start Up in Safe Mode
      8. Turn Off Login Items
      9. Check Preference Files
        1. Use Preferential Treatment
        2. Manually Disable Preference Files
      10. Reset PMU, SMU, SMC, NVRAM, or PRAM
      11. Use Activity Monitor
      12. Check Free Disk Space
      13. Check Log Files
      14. Clear Caches
      15. Check Your Ram
      16. Test for Reproducibility
      17. Get System Information
    7. 5. Solve Common Problems
      1. Your Computer Won't Turn On
      2. You Experience Repeated Kernel Panics
      3. Your Mac is Abnormally Slow
      4. You Can't Empty the Trash
      5. An Application Grinds to a Halt
      6. An Application Crashes
      7. The Keyboard or Mouse Doesn't Work
        1. Wired Devices
        2. Bluetooth Devices
      8. You Lose Your Internet Connection
      9. Printing Doesn't Work
    8. 6. Troubleshoot Novel Problems
      1. Try the Standard Quick Fixes
        1. Quick Fixes for Application Misbehavior
        2. Quick Fixes for System-Wide Problems
      2. Ask the Right Questions
      3. Ask the Vendor for Help
        1. Apple Products
          1. Searching
          2. Discussions
          4. Live Help
        2. Other Products
      4. Check Mac Troubleshooting Sites
      5. Use Your Favorite Search Engine
      6. Contact a Professional
    9. 7. Learn More
      1. Ebooks
      2. Printed Books
    10. About This Book
      1. About the Author
      2. Author's Acknowledgments
      3. Shameless Plug
      4. About the Publisher
      5. Production Credits