Sometimes after adding new system components or otherwise changing the hardware configuration of your system you may find that the OS will load rather slowly. Usually this will only happen after the first restart as the system configures the kernel extensions needed for the new hardware; however, there are times when it can persist. If the system always runs slowly then there may be problems with the hard drive, or the configured filesystems on it, and you should run diagnostics utilities to tackle the issue. If on the other hand the system runs fine except for slugishness or pauses during … Read more
When you empty the trash in OS X, the system will usually present a progress bar showing the number of files remaining to be removed if the number of items in the trash take longer than a moment to delete. Normally this will only take a few minutes and there is some indication that the trash process is working, such as the number of calculated items increasing, or the progress bar moving across the window; however, sometimes the progress window may appear to hang.
Large numbers of files
The time it takes to remove files depends primarily on the number … Read more
Some routers require passwords in a particular format. Users may find that after entering a password for a WEP Internet connection, their AirPort menu bar icon shows an exclamation mark. You may also see an alert that reads, "Alert: No Internet connection..."
These routers actually have open networks that your Mac will associate with, but they still require a correctly formatted password to connect to the Internet. If the password is not interpreted correctly, the exclamation mark will appear and you will be unable to access content online.
To remedy the situation, you need to adjust the format … Read more
Our utilities update report is a list of updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though a utility can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there are only a few updates for filesystem utilities and a popular maintenance utility.
Filesystem utilities The first update this week is to a filesystem utility that is exceptionally useful for managing the size of volumes that hold a … Read more
Perhaps one of the more useful features implemented on computers is the ability to copy and paste items, allowing for the quick transfer of text, images, and other items between separate documents. Though this function is integral to many computing environments and tasks, there are some limits to the default clipboard in OS X and other operating systems, with the primary one being that it can only hold one copy instance at a time.
If you copy an item to the clipboard and then copy a second item, the first item will be overwritten so you will need to go … Read more
In several recent versions of Snow Leopard, including OS X 10.6.4 and 10.6.5, a few people have had an issue crop up when adjusting display properties (resolution, multiple monitors, etc.) where sometimes changing settings will result in the loss of all display modes and switch the display to 640x480-pixel resolution with the text "<<do not localize>>" in the list of display resolutions.
Though this can happen when adjusting resolutions and other properties, it may happen immediately when opening the Display preferences, indicating some cache and settings files the preferences use … Read more
MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed from our readers. This week we have questions on MacBook fans spinning at very high speeds when using an external monitor, how to automatically mount a NAS volume at start-up, Safari not understanding certain link types, and options for using Zune media players with OS X. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present a few here, we certainly welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.
Question: MacBook Fans spinning high
MacFixIt reader "Ian" asks:
The … Read more
Apple has released an update, the EFI Firmware Update 2.0, to the new, razor-thin MacBook Air. "This update resolves a rare issue where MacBook Air boots or wakes to a black screen or becomes unresponsive."
The update is recommended for users that have either the new 11-inch or 13-inch MacBook Air. EFI Firmware Updates are different than other updates from Apple. Follow these steps to ensure the update is successfully completed.Be sure your MacBook Air is plugged in to a working power source. After downloading, your MacBook Air will restart to a gray screen. Be sure … Read more
Sometimes people may have issues either with installing OS X where the installer may not show the drive as a valid installation source, or in the case of cloning from a previous boot drive the system will not boot. This likely happens in cases where people have acquired a system second-hand, or are reconfiguring a system that has had multiple drives and partitions on it, but can also happen if a current system has crashed to the point where the OS needs to be reinstalled.
While people might try using Disk Utility to format the hard drive to the recommended &… Read more
There are many times when people may have items they would like to keep secured, which can include banking account numbers, software license information, or a secret Coca-Cola recipe. One way to keep these items secure is to save them to an encrypted disk image, but another option available is to use the OS X keychain's Secure Notes feature.
If you open the Keychain Access utility, you will see a Secure Notes section for each keychain; here you can add any bit of text, and it will be securely saved to the keychain. Here are the steps to do … Read more