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Common Mac OS X Problems And Issue

I can’t eject a disc

You want to use a CD or a DVD, but there’s one already on your Mac. Then press the Eject button and … nothing happens. And now?
As daft as it sounds, try holding the button longer. A slight delay has been added to prevent you from accidentally ejecting discs. You can tap the Option key to hurry up. Still no joy? Find the disk on the desktop and drag it to the trash icon in the Dock. Or click the Eject icon next to the disc name to the left of any Finder window.

Are not you still leaving? Start Terminal, found in / Applications / Utilities, type drutil tray open and press Enter. This should do the trick.
No? The last option is to restart the Mac by holding down the left mouse button. The external disk and memory drives may not be ejected, usually because the software refuses to let them go. Close the probable culprits: for example, iPhoto.

My hard disk is full

The exhaustion of the room on the hard disk can manifest itself in a warning window indicating that it is almost full; or programs like Photoshop that fail to complete operations; or your Mac generally slows down.On any hard disk, files are invisibly divided into blocks to fit the spaces left by previous additions and deletions. The more a “fragmented” unit becomes, the more difficult it must work. A general rule is to leave 10% of the disk blank to minimize fragmentation. To check how full the disk is, select its icon on the Desktop (or in the sidebar of any Finder window) and press Cmd + i. Under General, you will see how much is free.

When space becomes tight, delete some files. Move your work to an external drive and remove apps you do not use.Use Spotlight to find unwanted files. Press Cmd + F in the Finder to open a search, then set the criteria. For example, choose Kind, is, Other, then type disk image: this will find all the .dmg files you have downloaded to install programs and you no longer need them.
Or switch between Type and Size, choose is greater than and enter, for example, 50 MB. Delete files in search results by selecting them and pressing Cmd + Del: they do not disappear, but their details, in the bottom bar, show that they now reside in the Recycle Bin.Empty the trash otherwise everything you have “deleted” is still on your hard drive.

My optical drive won’t read

CD and DVD drives are sensitive to dust, which can accumulate on the lens that directs the laser to the disc. In general, this is not something to worry about; as the attempt at regular cleaning can do more harm than good . But if the unit stops working, try a lens cleaning disk.

Flash drive won’t read

Unplugging a drive without expelling it can leave it in an inaccessible state and some computers not created by Apple have a habit of killing the memory sticks.If you are playing a flash drive, you can reformat it using Disk Utility, available in / Applications / Utilities. When connected, the unit should appear on the left, even if it has not been displayed in the Finder. Otherwise, it’s time to buy a new unit. After selecting the device, you can check it in the First Aid tab and try the Repair option, but it is designed for hard disks and may not help.More likely, you will need to go to the Delete tab and reformat it. Choose MS-DOS (FAT), which works with Mac and PC and click Delete (not Clear free space).

Something just seems funny

When connected, the unit should appear on the left, even if it has not been displayed in the Finder. Otherwise, it’s time to buy a new unit. After selecting the device, you can check it in the First Aid tab and try the Repair option, but it is designed for hard disks and may not help.More likely, you will need to go to the Delete tab and reformat it. Choose MS-DOS (FAT), which works with Mac and PC and click Delete (not Clear free space).Your Mac starts well but runs slowly; or applications and files lose their icons; or certain functions stop working. Which component is the fault?Well, while most are solid state wonders, the hard drive is basically made up of a roulette wheel full of iron filings and a fishing rod with a magnet at the end. This is not a recipe for reliability.The drive maintenance location is Disk Utility, in / Applications / Utilities.

Select your unit in the left panel; you will notice that it has two icons, one for the hard disk itself, another for the ‘logical partition’ that contains the data (called Macintosh HD by default).Select one, then go to the First Aid tab and click Verify Disk. This controls the data structure; any errors detected can usually be solved by clicking on Repair Disk.However, if this is your primary hard drive, you can not repair it while Mac OS is running it, so you’ll have to reboot with your OS DVD, holding down the C key to start it.After repairing the hard drive, restart by holding down the left mouse button to eject the DVD and restart.If the repair fails, you will be asked if you want to delete the disk; obviously you do not, and your next stop should be an engineer. First copy all the vital files to an external drive and avoid writing new files to the hard drive.

Forgotten password

The great thing about password-protected user accounts is that other people can not get your content. But if you forget your password, you can not even get it.However, if your Mac starts with a login request and you forgot, all you need is the OS X DVD that came with your computer. Insert and restart, holding down the C key to make sure your Mac starts from the DVD. You will find a Utility menu that includes the Reset Password command. Do it, then restart, by keeping the left mouse button pressed.If you used FileVault (in the Security pane of System Preferences) to encrypt your Home folder, the procedure is different.

The master password is required to replace the FileVault password.Do not you know that either? The only way to recover data is to decrypt the 1024-bit RSA encryption algorithm, which, according to a recent article, will not happen until ‘at least until 2014.

Screen goes weird

If the screen suddenly seems messed up, a restart is often all that is required.With CRT monitors, it was possible to choose between a combination of resolutions and refresh rates that would result in an unreadable display, but with today’s LCDs the worst thing that can happen is an inappropriate resolution that forces the screen to “upsample”, giving a slightly pixellated appearance effect. If your display becomes illegible or empty, the video configuration has seriously gone adrift. This can often be solved by PRAM zapping: see suggestion 8.

Failed to sync

Syncing email, contacts and calendars between your Mac and iPhone or iPod touch is probably the best reason to subscribe to Apple’s MobileMe service. However, from time to time, you may find that the information you expected to see on your device is not present.Like any online service, MobileMe can also suffer from problems. Log in to www.me.com (in Safari) and check the Contacts and Calendar pages. If your data is correct there, but not on your device, it’s probably just temporary, so give it a few minutes (staying online) to fix it.To check if there is a problem with MobileMe, check the system status on the Summary page. If this is not the cause, try restoring your sync data. Verify that the data on your Mac is the version you wish to keep; if you have added information on your iPhone or iPod, it will be overwritten. Go to System Preferences. Click MobileMe, go to the Sync tab and click Advanced, then click Restore sync data. Choose All sync information from the Replace pop-up menu, then click the right arrow button, which causes the orange arrow to go from the Mac to MobileMe.The current data will be copied from your Mac to your MobileMe account, which should be propagated to your iPhone or touch. Or, “turn it off and on again”. Restart by holding down the power button until Scroll to turn off appears, and then press the button again to turn it back on.Go to Settings> Mail, Contacts, Calendars> MobileMe. Using the sliders, turn off any element that does not synchronize correctly. When this is confirmed, go to the relevant app and verify that the data is gone. Then activate the synchronization again.

Audio input/output broken

Sometimes you will find that your Mac is not listening to you, or vice versa. The reason can often be found in the Sound pane of System Preferences. The tabs are: Sound Effects (check the noises created by Mac OS X and app); Output (check speakers and headphones); and Input (controls microphones and other sound sources).Connecting headphones or speakers to the headphone jack will divert the signal from the internal speaker, then the headphones replace the internal speaker in the device list. However, your Mac stores the Output volume you used for the headphones and applies it.On the Input tab, increasing the input volume slider should increase the level of the meter while you are making a noise. If no blue dot lights up, the microphone does not work. Note that on the last iMacs, the microphone is above the webcam; placing things on top will kill the microphone input.

Cleanup needed

Pouring liquids on your Mac is a nightmare scenario. With a laptop, grab it quickly – watch out for any MagSafe cable – and turn it over, letting it run as much liquid as possible; then turn it off and leave it in a warm (not hot) and dry place to recover.AdvertisementRemove any residues with a cotton swab slightly moistened with water. With Mac desktops it is usually the keyboard that gets. Disconnect, turn over, then evaluate the damage.

If the liquid has penetrated inside and is something that will not evaporate easily, like a carbonated drink or a beer, consider making the whole thing work under the tap; this should not cause permanent damage as long as you dry it completely, leaving it somewhere warm for a day or two before reconnecting it.This is, of course, entirely at your own risk. On a less mission-critical theme, white MacBooks can become dirty quickly. A clean cloth slightly moistened with natural water is safe to use, but what if the signs do not change? Try to delete them with, yes, a rubber, which should only get you back a couple of quid. If this does not work, some users recommend Magic Eraser, the spongy material filled with a detergent. Or, the recommended detergent from Apple, iKlear, is available on the Apple Store.

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