to commonly asked questions.

Nov 2009

iPhone Battery has lost it's charge

Hey Scotty!
Hope all is well at school & with business! The two 1-TB drives in my drobo are almost full.  If you remember, I have 4 bays but we set it up so I only use 2.  I have a 3rd HD that I switch out to back up the first HD and keep a copy at home.  I have under 95GB left...

So here's the question.  Recently a tech at Drobo told me that it is REALLY HARD to recover information from the extra HD if something ever happened to my office/the drobo.  He said I really need to be looking at a "grandfather" system (?)  Since I'm running out of room, do I just take the 3rd HD and add it to the drobo and figure out another way to have an offsite backup? Frankly, I'm worried about the expense involved!! I need your recommendation and possibly some of your time to get this sorted out.

Thanks a ton!


First, I would recommend filling those other two drive bays on the drobo with 2 more 1 TB drives. - Computer Hardware,Hard Drives,Internal Hard Drives,1TB and higher. This will grow your storage capacity imensely. Just go with a $90 choice or so.

Now to the issue of backing up the entire drobo itself. Since the drobo is failsafe within it's own data structure, you are really only trying to cover yourself in case of fire, flood, theft, etc... which is a really good idea. However the problem is that the drobo holds so much capacity that it makes it rather difficult to continue your current "swap out" stradegy. We may want to turn to an unlimited online backup plan. The only catch here is that most online backups limit you to the internal drive of the machine. Not externals. Here are two of the leaders:

Online Backup, Data Backup & Remote Backup Solutions from – Welcome

We'd need to go through the terms of use on each site to find the fine print. Online PC Backup: Simple, Secure. Automatic

At a glance, Mozy offers business backup as well for extended data I believe. Check it out here: MozyPro Remote Data Backup, Online Backup, and Internet Backup Solutions for Business - - MozyPro

Otherwise, our only other option is to Raid a couple of 2 TB drives together and clone the entire drobo (which would not be pretty) or get another drobo to swap out from time to time but that would be crazy as well.

Where can I buy a new battery?


A couple of weeks ago you helped me transfer some data from an old computer to a new desktop.  On the old computer the attached file was an address list in a spreadsheet format.  When i now try to open it, it is unreadable.

Any thoughts as to what i can do to get this is a readable format?

Thanks very much,



Hi Wendy,

1st: If you are still using Appleworks, stop! 2nd: If you are just trying to open an old file then you might want to start by looking at this software:
Panergy Software - Products - icExcel / icXL- Screenshots

It's not supported in Snow Leopard so you may be prompted to install Rosetta but your Mac will handle all that automatically.

Update: I've been trying a few things to open this file on my end but we've moved so far passed Appleworks that at this point, it may almost be too late.  I do have one or two clients who are still using Appleworks and could send out a plea for help.  I found some help here Panergy Software - Products -- Mac viewers and converters for Office documents but the files came out almost unreadable on several attempts.  

Note: if anyone reading this is still using Appleworks, or has it installed, please let me know. I may ask you to convert a file for me.

Mini Disc stuck in drive

Scotty my imac is not syncing with my iphone. what should I check?


Perhaps the easiest thing to do is first delete the mobileme account on your iphone and re-add it. You could also just toggle off the syncing features then back on again on the iphone. You will also want to check your mobileme system preference pane to be sure that under the "sync" tab, they are checked.

My drive is full. Now what?

I have two older versions of the ipod that need fixing.  I have the first ipod that came out that doesn't work and I have the 2nd version of the ipod and it doesn't work.  Was wondering if we can get them fixed and how much it might cost?? 



I don't currently repair iPods but there are companies online that offer that service. Here are a few:

Mac Service - Apple Mac Repair and Upgrades for your Mac, iPod, or iPhone
 iPod Repair | Affordable iPod Parts & Broken iPod Help

undoing the "auto-open in tabs" function in Safari

I need to talk to you about my Apple IPOD touch "Battery". It doesn't appear to be charging any more or even get a full charge. It's taking forever to charge (over 8 hours) and shows a red battery, then green, then back to red again. The phone was purchased in January 2009, so it is still under warranty.
1 - Can this battery be spent after less than 1 year?
2 - Do I need a new battery?
3 - If so, can I purchase one from you and install it myself?
4 - Or do you or Apple need to install it?
5 - How long does it take to get this fixed?

Sorry for the delay in responding to your email.


1. Battery life can be unpredictable. Apple's warranty covers the battery for one year but not beyond, even with the purchase of Apple Care. So yes, it can die unexpectedly.
2. Before determining if you need a new battery Apple would recommend that you restore the phone to rule out software issues. This can be done from within iTunes.
3. I do not install iPhone/iPod batteries. There are 3rd party companies like myself that specialize in that service however if you are within your 1st year's warranty you may want to check with the Genius Bar at the South Park apple store first.
4. Apple or the 3rd party would install. I will not.
5. I can not answer that. It would be up to Apple.

Camera died during iPhoto import


Where can I buy a new battery for my laptop other than


direct link to the apple page: Laptop Battery for apple

Macbook pro battery is dying

Just wanted to try to figure how to get the mini disc out of the macbook pro.


This is not good news. Sorry for the delay in responding. As you may now know, you can't use a mini disc in Apple drives. If you don't have luck with the usual methods, I or Apple may have to disassemble the drive to get the disc out.

1. Try booting the computer holding the mouse button or trackpad button down.
2. Try command + E

copying DVD to DVD

I getting a message that i need to free up space from my start up disk so I can download updates
How do I do this????


This is not a good message. You should immeadiately take action here. You'll need either a: get a larger drive or b: clear off data that you no longer need by moving it to another drive or deleting it.

The first thing that comes to mind are unnecessary print drivers and Garage Band support files. If you don't use Garage Band, you can go to /library/application support/GarageBand and delete the garageband folder entirely. That will give you a few gigs of room after emptying the trash. You can also go to /library/Printers/ then delete any printer manufacturers folders that you don't own. Like Canon, Brother, Epson, etc... Just leave the folder whose printer you have and delete the rest then empty the trash. That should give you a little breathing room until you're ready to install a larger drive.

restoring your phone

I somehow managed to get one item in the toolbar to open in tabs. How do I revert it to open as a drop down?

I cannot remember how to delete individual items in a drop down under the tool bar. Can you help?



First, go to the book icon in the top left hand corner area of Safari. Looks sort of like a Bible. You could also select it from the menu bar under "bookmarks" then select "show all bookmarks". Next, you'll simply uncheck the box that is listed under "auto-click". That should get the folder back to being able to be selected individually.

As for the second question, deleting items from the bookmark folder can be done from the same location. You'll just select the item and delete it from this window.

Son is going to College...macbook here I come

Thanks for coming over last night and getting me started.  
I had  one glitch.  With 142 pictures left to transfer, the transfer process stopped.  I noticed that my camera battery was exhausted or close to it.  I stopped the transfer.  
Is there a good way to do the transfer again without duping those photos that already got transferred from that card?   

iPhoto should detect that you have already imported a certain number of pictures then ask if you'd like to import duplicates or skip over them. Jut choose not to import duplicates when prompted then check "apply to all" and you should be fine. iPhoto will not erase the card until the entire transfer is complete so they should all still be on the card.

Airport Express security warnings

We have worked before in that you installed a 500GB hard drive in my MacBook Pro.  I am now being warned by the computer that my battery needs service.  Can you please contact me about when you might be able to look at what is wrong with the battery?

If the battery needs to be replaced, can you do it and can you give me an estimate of how this would cost?

Your battery may be dead/dying.  Applecare only covers the battery for one year from purchase date and generally there is no way to recover a bad battery other that replacing it.  There is always the outside chance that it could be a software issue but usually it's just the battery has served it's time and is on its way out.  

The battery can easily be removed by anyone.  You should have access to it on the back of your computer.  Depending on exact model and size, you can still buy that battery from Apple but it will cost a bit more.  You may want to check out  Their prices are usually a bit better.   eBay is also a great way to go as long as you're buying a new battery.  Don't buy a used battery on eBay.

Time Machine Full is a good thing

an you recommend a good piece of software that can make copies of my DVD's directly from one drive to the other efficiently?
I usually create an iso image or disk image of the DVD then burn that image to disk.  Disk Utility will take care of that and allow you to make multiple copies faster.  But if you want to go DVD to DVD then check out these products:

DVD Copy for Mac - Mac DVD copy software to clone DVD on Mac
DVD Copy for Mac: Copy DVD on Mac, clone DVD Mac tool

Use Select All


I went to the apple store about my i-phone and problems with "text"  today and they wiped my phone and told me when I put it back in it would sync up and that I should tell the computer it was as new phone so it didn't put back the 'old' problems.........I have hooked up and no sync'ing has occurred let alone a question about sync'ing!

Sorry but if you could through any light on how to help me or come by (even better!) let me know!

To restore your resync your phone, plug it into iTunes. You'll then see the different tabs across the top of iTunes. You can select all the different variables from within each of those. Restoring the phone could bring back the old problems so try to only sync first. You can select the "sync" button on the bottom right hand corner of itunes to start the process. You'll want to check your "applications" tab to be sure you are moving back over the apps you've downloaded in the past. Check music as well to make sure you have some tunes on your phone.

iTunes authorization issue

Hope you are well. I have three questions and a request for help.
I am about to buy a new MacBook for my son. He’s a college student doing normal stuff, not a big gamer. Is the standard model sufficient or should I increase memory? Do you think the extended warranty is worth the money? iWork or Microsoft Office?
I have Parallels which I use to access Quicken. Lately I’ve lost the ability to connect to the internet while using Windows XP in Parallels. Everything works fine in Mac OSX. Can you help?
Many thanks


The macbook should be just fine. I'd stick with that. You may want to add more ram down the road. Not hard drive space mind you, but just ram. This is not nesasary right away. I love iWork at only $79. I think Pages is very easy to use and you can completely save as a word doc file. Powerpoint doesn't hold a candle to Keynote but Excel is still far ahead of Numbers in my opinion. Overall those iWork is fantastic. The only thing you don't get is peace of mind that you have something with Microsoft's name on it. He'd be fine with iWork but many people are still too nervous not to buy Office. This won't be a problem in about 3 more years as all word processing we do will be in our browsers on the cloud anyway.

The AppleCare protection plan is worth it.

Yes, I can help with that parallels no internet connection. Parallels has never been as smooth and out of the way as VMware Fusion when it comes to internet sharing between the mac and windows. There are ways to solve this.

email has duplicated itself

Hello Scotty,
How do I answer this?


Apple seems to go out of their way to scare us as we set up our home networks these days. Two choices here:

1. uncheck the Allow SNMP over wan and Allow setup over WAN and move on or....
2. check the "ignore this problem" box.

I vote for number 2. Check ignore this problem for both of these errors. Apple is more concerned than they need to be overall when it comes to wireless security. I know that sounds niave. But as long as your are using WPA encryption, the chances are pretty low that anyone is going to get past that. Ignoring these problems means that you are free to make changes to the router wirelessly. Otherwise, you'll need to directly plug in via ethernet to change settings on the airport express and nobody wants to do that.

Don't live in fear. Ignore the problem.

Handbrake to iTunes?

Hi Scotty,

Can this be possible???  I thought it would take a looooooooooong time for us to "fill up"?  Is there something I should change, a setting perhaps?  Let me know your thoughts please.  Appreciate it.  Hope all is well with you.


This is completely normal. This is exactly what time machine is designed to do. It fills your drive up then takes off the oldest versions of the data but keeps several copies of the most recent versions of the same data. I would check to "not show" the warning again and move on with life. The drive will now be constantly added to as room is made for the same data.

To save time machine space...if you wanted to eliminate your virtual machine files (if using VMware or Parallels) you could choose not to include those large files in Time Machine backup. Time Machine doesn't really look inside windows to back anything up however it does clone the virtual machine image onto the backup drive and these files are often 20 to 30 or more gigs. You know this first hand as we had to increase that space from before. Each time you make a change to your virtual machine (which is every time you open windows) Time Machine recopies that entire 10 plus gig file back over to the backup drive. That's probably why you are eating up drive space so quickly. If you're using Bootcamp (can't remember) to go into windows then Time Machine has no effect on that partitioned drive. Overall, I recommend that windows users (on mac hardware) use a seperate backup system dedicated to windows.

Where is iMovie HD?

I have 155 messages in my spam box. How do I delete all of them at once, instead of individually?


To delete several messages at once, you can use the "select all" command under the Edit menu. Or use the key combination apple key + A. (the apple key is now called the command key by the way). Then hit the delete key. All the messages should be out of your Junk Mail "spam" box now.

What's a good card game program for the Mac?

Hi Scotty,
I took a picture of what keeps coming up on Anna's computer. After we authorize it then it tells us it's already authorized. We're at a dead end, do you need to come over or is this something you could fix Sunday at 8, or is it an easy one or two step solution? Thanks!


Couple things to try...

Use the iTunes "Store" menu and select deauthorize computer. Then select authorize computer. Try to sync again.

Or try these suggestions...
iTunes repeatedly prompts to authorize computer to play iTunes Store purchases

I've seen this before and it can be very painful to get it solved. This would not a good thing to try to solve over the Sunday session but we could give it a try.

Trash automatically deletes....why?

Hey Scotty!  hope you're doing great!
I was having issues with my address book syncing from my iPhone, so I basically re-entered all the passwords for mobileme everywhere, shut it down, cut it back on and it solved the address book problem.  However, all repairing that created a new issue.  All of my inboxes for email duplicated themselves and I can't delete an inboxes, but they're replicas of each other...  is there a quick fix I'm mising?  I made sure "sync email" was unchecked, but how do I get rid of the duplicates without deleting the originals?  The "delete mailbox" feature is greyed out so I can't select it...


So the first thing to consider is if your email address is IMAP. If so, then just delete the account and readd it and you should be good to go. IMAP email is housed on the server so it should return without the duplicates. I think it's a good idea to avoid the "sync email" in the mobileme prefs. Just use an IMAP account every time and all is well. However, you have the added issue of using a proprietary email address with your business. So the next step consider is checking the forwarding or "checking" settings directly from your hosting service.

As fart as the boxes being greyed out, there can be an occassion when apple's can run into permissions issues where sometimes it's just better to scrap the account and start again. This can be tricky and requires knowing where holds all its support files. That's a little more involved than covering in text.

Hope that helps at least a little.

Audio port is dying...or...the art of troubleshooting

scotty, how do you get the home movie on itunes after using handbreak to get it to the desktop?


If you have the final video file on the desktop, all you have to do is drag and drop the movie file into iTunes movie section. If you have chosen to copy content to the itunes library upon adding then you'll be fine. You can find these preferences in the advanced section within iTunes. Otherwise, iTunes would only create a pointer to the video file on the desktop which means as sooon as you move it, the link is potentially broken.

Macbook pro has a full hard drive

Can my son get the old version of iMovie HD . He loves the older app and is really wanting the old app.   Is a copy available for him somewhere?

Apple used to provide a link online for anyone to download iMovie HD but they've since taken it off. Your best bet is for me to install it off of the old iLife 06 DVD. We should be able to take care of it.

Email accounts failing to open

Hi Scotty,

Could you suggest a good card game program for the mac?


Check out Solitaire 2.5
Apple - Downloads - Cards & Puzzle - Classic Solitaire

Word crashes all the time...what else is new?


I have an issue on my new iMac at church. When I delete something, it is automatically Deleted. Whereas on my MacBook Pro, it is Moved to the Trash, where it stays until it is emptied. Both are running Snow Leopard, and both are set to Empty Securely.


Interesting that your trash on one machine automatically deletes the contents. To my knowledge that is not a feature enabled in OS X so my only explanation is that you may have downloaded a third party piece of software that has the ability to run a script to execute this. Overall this would be a very bad idea. But there are programs out there that will do this for you. I would have also assumed that Snow Leopard would have broken this 3rd party app. There is the ability to enable this within the operating system at the terminal level but how it would have been turned on I do not know. You may want to check out the following post. It may work for you. Proceed with caution.

Apple - Support - Discussions - trash automatically deletes ...

Printer keeps falling offline


The Audio Line In is not working on the PowerBook G4. We have restarted the computer, unplugged and plugged back in, and it still is not working. Is this something that needs to be repaired? It has worked flawlessly up until this morning.


The fastest way to confirm a hardware failure would be to boot the machine from an external drive. In the powerbook's case, the external OS would have to be a firewire drive that is not an intel machine. You could use your tiger or leopard disk to install the OS on an external drive then hold down option at startup with the new external drive connected. You'll be given the choice of boot systems. Then test the audio port from the other OS. If it fails now, it's hardware related.

If it works then there are software issues on the interal drive. Sometimes files become corrupt and need attention. There are many files associated with audio so it's a more logical step to boot from an external initially rather than looking for the needle in the hay stack.

Syncing iPhoto libraries...ugh.

scotty, my laptop is extreamly slow even after I deleted a bunch of pics and files. my stats are above......what else can i look at?  And yes, i copied files to the terrabite on my desk top AND DELETED the pics and files off the laptop...

There can sometimes be background processes that are running that may be causing the system to hang up. Of course, always try doing a restart first. Go to activity monitor and check out all running processes. Be sure you've selected "All processes". Next sort by % CPU. This will tell a great deal about what is going on under the hood. Screen shot that the next time you are experiencing slowness. You can also toggle down the cpu meters in the menu bar to get similar information.

It looks, however, in your case not to be cpu related as istat is not reporting a heavy load. What may be of more concern is how much space you have left. Now that I come to think about it, you are in the emergency stage of needing to free up more space. Do a get info on your hard drive to find out how much space you have left. Remember anything under 10% is not healthy. Time to offload even more then repair permissions from disk utility.

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