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Mac Troubleshooting Tips

Troubleshooting your Mac may not have been on your to-do list for today, but problems have a way of cropping up when you least expect them. This collection of tips can help you get your Mac up and running again, so you can get back to work (or play).

Use the Apple Hardware Test Over the Internet to Diagnose Problems With Your Mac
Use the Apple Hardware Test over the Internet to test your Mac's hardware and confirm that everything is working correctly.

Use the Apple Hardware Test (AHT) to Find Problems With Your Mac's Hardware
The Apple Hardware Test (AHT) can test your Mac's hardware and confirm that everything is working correctly.

Time Machine Stuck on the “Preparing Backup” Phase of a Backup
It’s not a good sign to see Time Machine stuck, or taking much longer than normal to perform a backup. In this guide, we look at common problems that can make Time Machine seem stuck, and how to correct them.

Time Machine Troubleshooting
If you’re experiencing a Time Machine error, this guide can help you determine the cause as well as how to fix it.

Time Machine Troubleshooting - Backup Volume Could Not Be Mounted
The Time Machine "Backup volume could not be mounted" error is easy to fix.

Fixing Time Machine Errors - The Backup Volume is Read Only
“The Backup Volume is Read Only” is a fairly common Time Machine error. Fortunately, it’s also easy to fix.

OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Installation Guides
Snow Leopard supports two methods of installation: clean and upgrade. This list of guides will take you through the process of installing Snow Leopard, as well as creating a bootable USB version of Snow Leopard.

Mac Troubleshooting - Reset User Account Permissions
Your home folder’s file permissions can sometimes get out of whack, causing your Mac to exhibit some strange behavior. Resetting your home folder’s file permissions can cure a number of common headaches.

How to Reset an Administrator Account’s Password in OS X
If you can’t remember your Mac’s administrator account password, you can use one of these three methods to reset the password and regain access.

How to Create a New User Account When You Can’t Log In
How to create an emergency OS X admin account when you’re unable to log in to your Mac.

Mac Firmware Restoration
Macs sometimes have problems after a firmware update. This guide shows you how to restore your Mac firmware to a working state.

Mac Stalls on Gray Screen at Startup
If you're having problems with your Mac stalling at the gray screen at startup, this guide can help you fix the problem.

Troubleshooting Mac Startup Problems - Stuck at the Blue Screen
If you find your Mac stuck at the blue screen during startup, you may be having startup drive problems. This guide will take you through the steps you need to perform to get your Mac running again.

Top 10 Troubleshooting Tips for Mac Startup Problems
When your Mac fails to start up, this collection of troubleshooting tips can help you get it running again.

Safe Boot
Safe Boot: Safe Boot can get your Mac running again when you're having problems caused by corrupt applications or data, software installation issues, or damaged fonts or preference files. In all cases, the problem you may experience is either a Mac that fails to completely boot and freezes at some point along the way to the desktop, or a Mac...

Reset PRAM
Reset PRAM: The Mac stores some of its system and device settings in a special type of non-volatile RAM commonly called the PRAM, short for Parameter RAM. Most Mac users don't think much about their Mac's PRAM, but it works hard anyway. It keeps track of startup volume, speaker volume, display settings, DVD region settings, the date, and the...

Fix SPOD – How to Fix a Spinning Pinwheel of Death
How to Fix a Spinning Pinwheel of Death: Once in a while, for no apparent reason, you may encounter the SPOD (Spinning Pinwheel of Death). You...

Resetting the SMC (System Management Controller) on Your Mac
When your Mac is acting wonky, you can sometimes resolve issues with a simple SMC (System Management Controller) reset.

OS X Troubleshooting – Use OS X Combo Updates to Correct Installation Problems
Use OS X Combo Updates to Correct Installation Problems: The OS X combo updates can fix a wealth of problems, including system crashes, application freezes, applications failing to launch, and even those infrequent gremlins that just seem to pop up now and then. If you have thrown your hands up because of a problem, you may want to try applying...

How to Eject CDs or DVDs From Your Mac Even When They Are Stuck
Ejecting CD/DVD: The Mac doesn't have an external eject button on its CD/DVD drive. Instead, it offers several options for ejecting a CD or DVD. Most of the eject options are for routine day-to-day use. But what do you do when a CD or DVD becomes stuck? Take a look at our guides to ejecting CDs and DVDs.

Troubleshooting OS X Kernel Panics
Kernel panics are scary things, but they can also be easier to fix than you think. Use this troubleshooting guide to keep kernel panics from returning.

Reviving a Hard Drive for Use With Your Mac
Putting an older hard drive back into commission is a great way to economize on data storage costs, but before you put that hand-me-down drive to work, make sure it's in tip-top shape.

Troubleshooting Safari - Slow Page Loads Caused by DNS Prefetching
Safari's DNS prefetching capabilities can make web browsing faster, at least most of the time. If there's a web site that's always slow to respond, this guide may help you fix the problem.

What to Do When Mountain Lion Mail Fails to Auto-Complete Email Addresses
Mountain Lion Mail can have some problems with syncing services other than iCloud. This tip can help you restore the auto-complete and events and invites features to Mail.

Aperture 3 Troubleshooting: Using Aperture 3 Library First Aid
Aperture 3 provides a Library First Aid utility for troubleshooting and repairing common issues with image libraries and Aperture's database. Because library and database corruption can prevent Aperture 3 from launching, you will need to invoke a sequence of startup keys to access the Aperture 3 Library First Aid utility.

Aperture 3 Troubleshooting: Prevent Aperture 3 Image Previews
When Aperture 3 fails to launch, there are a few possible causes, one of which is a corrupt image causing previews not to be generated correctly. You can prevent automatic generation of previews at launch with this simple trick.

Starting Up From the OS X Recovery HD Volume
The Recovery HD volume can be used to reinstall OS X. It also provides utilities for troubleshooting issues with your Mac, including fixing drive problems.

Aperture 3 Troubleshooting: How to Reinstall Aperture 3
When you're having problems with an application, sometimes it makes sense to simply reinstall the application, rather than spend more time trying to figure out the problem. While this is fairly easy with Aperture 3, if you're running Snow Leopard, there is one additional step you need to take before you can successfully remove and then reinstall Aperture 3.

Aperture 3 Troubleshooting Guides
Aperture Troubleshooting: Aperture is robust and easy to use, but there are times when you can run into problems. When that happens, one or more of our Aperture 3 troubleshooting guides may be just what you need to get back on track.

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