to commonly asked questions.

Sep 2009

Erase and Install


How do I remote wipe my iphone?

To remote wipe your iPhone:

1. go to and login as yourself

2. click the settings icon in the top of the webpage screen

3. click the "Find my phone" button to the side

4. select the "remote wipe" on the bottom.

iPhone on Windows Vista is confused.

A couple of questions:

I purchased an identical computer for my wife.  I got it after Snow Leopard was included so I installed it when I got it.  I used the same disk to put on my computer.

Although I cannot tie these events exactly, I have had printer problems with my computer since then.  I used Virginia’s computer, and it printed fine.  I have tried downloading drivers again, and that hasn’t helped.  Essentially, my printer reacts and then refuses to print.  Obviously, since her computer printed fine, it doesn’t appear to be the printer.

Separately, I am looking at getting an all-in-one computer for her.  Any thoughts on these.  There are so many that it is hard to reach any conclusion.  Fax is not important.  Wireless is nice.


I would suggest maybe just reseting the print system. Go to the print and fax preference pane and right click or control + click to see the following:

This will completely start you over from scratch. Also, be sure that you have the lastest drivers. Snow Leopard did a lot in terms of printer handling and you may need the lastest 10.6 driver. Go to the printer manufacturer's site and check it out.

more info here:

As far as all in one printer recommendations...

I'd say the HP wireless Premium is ok. It can be a little slow to respond to wireless print jobs but overall does a nice job.

Also look at the Canon Pima series. (my favorite)


Movies not playing in iMovie

I like IBank, but it runs VERY slowly... like every time I hit enter  or even click on anything,  the color wheel comes up and spends for 1- several seconds.. am I overloading the processor on the 2005 Power pc G5?  We maxed out the ram last year at 2 gigs...


Well, the G5 is getting up there in age and as of Snow Leopard, there's no more support for Power PC processors like the one inside your G5 iMac. It is time to consider moving to a new machine, however, that doesn't mean this spinning beach ball issue couldn't be solved. There are several things to consider.

1. How many other applications are running
2. try running the program in another user to see if the problem carries over or if it's isolated to only your user.
3. toss the plist file associated with iBank (can be found in users/youruser/library/preferences
4. be sure that iBank is completely up to date as well as your operating system.

But overall, do consider the next purchase to get you to the intel side of things (the new processors Apple now uses in their computers)



FYI- I tried deleting the plist for "iggibank" and it deleted all my info.  Luckily I had not emptied the trash so I just dragged it back into the Preferences folder from the trash and it seems to have recovered everything.



It's true a plist file can hold pertinent information about an application but overall I see this as a bad practice among software developers. I know Apple's plist file contains account information and usually do not recommend removing it. So it's good to know that iBank may be on the same list. Thanks for the info.

My mac has a fever!

Hope all is well. Have a question-my daughter's iphone got wet and speaker does not work- we cannot hear her. Anything she can do before she takes it into apple in Boston?


Apple has placed several moisture sensors inside the iphone so if the phone got wet and they spot the moisture sensors have been triggered you may be out of luck other than buying a new phone or paying the repair/replacement cost of the phone. UGH!!!!

Recovering an Autosaved document

Hi, how do I take everything off old computer, I'm going to give it to my sister.

Put either the orginal install disc or a copy of Leopard or Snow Leopard in and boot from the disc by holding down the C key at startup.  Next you'll want to select an optional install called "erase and install". 

Another way to do it is to boot the computer into target disk mode by holding down the T key at start up then using a firewire cable to connect the computer to another mac.  Next go to Disk utility then select that hard drive and erase.  It will warn you that you are about to erase the disk.  After you select yes, the next step is to get a new operating system on it.  You can do that by using either the install disc that came with the computer or a copy of Leopard or Snow Leopard.  Tiger may work also depending on the age of the machine.  

Syncing documents and email over multiple computers

About a month ago I got the new 3Gs and this keeps popping up. What do I do?  Please help me! Thank you Scotty!

So it looks like at some point that iphone was connected to another iTunes library and that iTunes assumed ownership of the phone. This means that the iphone can't have a relationship with two iTunes libraries at the same time. If this computer is your only iTunes then I would suggest first transfering any purchased music off the phone then erase and sync to re-establish the relationship between your phone and itunes. But beware that the erase and sync will remove all data from the phone. This includes contacts, calendars, applications. etc....But those should be on your computer already.

Security Camera on network has fallen off

I converted the videos we had downloaded on our dell computer to our mac computer.  I can only view them on itunes but cannot view them in imovie.  Do you know how to complete this process?  I had tuned into your Sunday night conference on August 30th but have not had a chance to log on again.  I plan to listen to your Town Hall tonight.


The videos you imported may be in a format that iMovie doesn't recognize. What is the file extension on the end? .mov? .flv? .wmv? etc??? That will give me a clue as to what steps we need to take to get them converted properly into iMovie.

What laser printer do you recommend?

I do have a question about the temperature of my computer.  It seems to get very hot.  Should I take it in to get checked out?  Or is it normal for an older mac to be hot.  Could the heat issue have contributed to the problem with my disk drive?


The temperature of laptops can be very high. The entire purpose of the computer's physical design is to remove heat from the cpu. I would suggest installing istat made by the good folks at It's free and let's you keep an eye on what your computer is doing as well as the temperature. Depending on the model of the computer, each one has a different average temperature. Macbooks usually run around 105-120. Older powerbooks could be much hotter. There are fans that will help cool the cpus but only come on when the computer senses the higher temperature.

One last note: high temps can sometimes be caused by processes running on your computer that are hung. iStat will show you your cup load and that's a great way to determine if you are running something in the background that is causing your computer to overheat as well.

iStat Menus, a Mac app by iSlayer

Problems Galore

Hi Scotty... can you tell me what the network IP Address is for my MACBOOK....  our pool camera was tied to it and I think we may have changed some things when we put all the new airports in.  Do you know where I can find out what the IP address is or the "wireless key?" or the network key for our router??   He needs to have access to our local network in order to get the camera back up and working?  LEt me know if you may be able to tell me so I can tell him or perhaps I can have you come out and take care of it.  I probably can find other stuff for you do do as well.

Please advise.


Your Macbook's IP address changes from day to day or week to week depending on what the main router in the home wants to assign to it. Each computer or device on your network has an IP address given to it by the main router. This is called handling "DHCP". Only one device in the house does it and that is the main router. Your home network is set up to distribute what is called dynamic IP addresses. This means that your IP addresses within your home change from time to time and no one computer is permanently assigned a number. To do so would be a "static" IP network.

Now the wireless key you are refering to may be the wireless password of your network. I don't remember the name of your network but if you click the airport icon it should list the name. You could send the name of your network to me and I may have it in my keychain from having been on your network before.

This is most likely a very simple fix. Just a matter of your camera being reassociated with the network. I don't know if it was hard wired or wireless however.

One more thing. Some devices prefer IP numbers starting in 192.168..... but by default the apple router gives out 10.0..... numbers. No big deal. That would just have to be something to address in case that were causing the issue.


Hi... the network name is EXTREME... 

Unfortunately I have about 200 named extreme.  So here's what you can do.  To see your own password, go to your keychain access.  Do a spotlight search for "keychain".  You'll see a list of passwords.  One of which will be your own wireless network's password.  Double click on that keychain entry and click the check box that says "show password".  You'll be prompted to put in your computer's admin password.  Next you should see your wireless password.  

System Folder from OS 9

I think I forgot to save my paper in word, then I shut computer down, is this file lost or can I find it somewhere,  I know I saved it once.


Depending on the program you were using, some programs have an autosave feature. If you were running time machine there is also a small chance it was backed up to your time machine disk.

Here are a copule of potentially useful threads:

Automatically save and recover Office files - Help and How-to - Microsoft Office Online

mac office word how to recover unsaved document after crash

Blackberry sync on a Mac

HI Scotty,

Is there a way you could sync my work Mac with my home mac? I want to be able to have access to the same emails and word doc's.

Does that make sense?


Yes there are a couple of ways to consider.

To sync emails you would want to use an IMAP email account like gmail, mobileme or aol. Stay away from, or yahoo emails. These are POP and POP does not sync over multiple computers.

To answer the second part of your question, syncing word docs can be done via iDisk if you are a mobileme user or if you'd like to do it for free, then you can use dropbox.

It syncs a folder across many macs or PC's and it works perfectly.

Time Machine delayed on Snow Leopard So, should we just re-install Leopard?

Hey Scotty!   Any tips for a good all in one  color laser printer?


I see a lot of printers at work in a lot of homes and businesses and I would have to say the most reliable color laser printer for the cost in my opinion is the HP Laserjet series.

You just have to decide what features you want and what price range you're in.

HP printers

The CP1518 is my personal favorite at the moment.


How about a bluetooth?  Jet and full blown laser all in one?

I'd say stay away from bluetooth.  

1. the standard will probably be changing again soon.
2.  The range is just not that great for printers to be useful.  

I'm not sure what you mean by jet and full blown laser. But printers are usually only inkjet or only laserjet.

Mail reports "null" error when deleting messages.

Thank you for all your help today.
My iMac  Root Level has 5 items:
System Folder (with 33 items)

The Systems Folder blue icon is plain where as the other icons for have a symbol in them.

Can I delete the System Folder? 


The "system folder" folder is a left over from OS 9 classic. You don't use it anymore so you can toss it out. However, the permissions of that folder may be set in such a way that the computer will not let you trash it. If that is the case, more drastic measures may have to be taken. But that will free up about 600 megs of data. Not a lot but keeps things clean.

More Snow Leopard problems

So my question is related to another PC concern. I am only planning to use the PC side (with boot camp) when I do my embroidery work. However, I have a blackberry phone and the updates as well as the syncing feature are not compatible with the MAC side. Would I endanger my PC side if I went to the Altell website to download updates for my phone or to install the software that came with the blackberry so I could use the sync feature?

Thank for any light you can shed on this question.


You are certainly welcome to use your blackberry on the windows side. But you may not be aware, you can most certainly sync your blackberry on the mac side with no problem. There are a few products you may want to look into.

The missing sync by markspace ($39)
PocketMac by Rim (free)

Is anything better than the iPhone?

Boy Ol Boy!!!

When it rains it pours. I've just spent the last 72 hours in bed over the flu. And just now have I had the strength to get up at all. I'm very far behind on email responses and I'll get those cleared up within the next 24 hours hopefully.

On top of that, last week just before more first class of the day, my hard drive died on me. I had to resort to my backup which was about 3 days old which means I lost about 3 days worth of work. Overall it could have been worse, then it got worse. My backup drive also began to fail. I had to then resort to my 3rd backup drive that was about a week older which means I've lost about a week's worth of work all while I've had the flu.

I've got a lot of work to do to catch up with everyone. I'm sorry for the delay in responding to everyone's email and hope to be back full throttle when the next 48 hours. Thanks for your patience.


MobileMe merge kills contacts on the phone.

The main issue now is time machine.  It doesn't look like I any back up now at all.  It's all blank.  Hopefully I wont have a hard drive crash while trying to get this figured out.

So, should we just re-install Leopard?


I would say do not re-install Leopard. Snow Leopard has settled down quite a bit for me since the release of 10.6.1. I would suggest restarting the time machine backup by going to system preferences/time machine then reassociating the external drive with time machine by choosing to "select disk".

How to adjust POP email settings

Pls help me. When I try to delete messages, it says  I can't delete to the "null" mailbox..What can I change? It's driving me nuts. Thanks.


I would suggest going to the mail preferences under "Mail" in the menu bar then going to the accounts tab. Next, look at mailbox behaviors. (the second tab in the window)

other useful links:

What printer will fit my needs?

Scotty.  May need your help. Snow leopard is causing me probs. Most notibly time machine. Will not work with the extreme and the gdrive mini. It wigged out some other software too.

Oh, and an even bigger deal. It's no shut me down from sending email. I can receive but not send....from my computer that is.


As I've written here quite a bit, Snow Leopard is not really ready in my opinion to go fully 100% into it. Too many 3rd party applications are broken in the move up. As far as the email not sending, that's most likely an outgoing smtp server setting issue. I'd be happy to assist you but I'd need to know the email address you're refering to. AOL, .mac, mobileme, road runner?

AutoCad on a Macbook pro?

Hi, i have a request for info. I do a lot of traveling at times. In
other states and also countries. I have a cell phone, internet phone,
I-touch to keep my contacts information and other info and have a gps.
The question; is there a way to have stuff to carry around outside of
going to I-phone and pay 30.- dollars a month. Is there anything on
the horizon that would be worth to wait for. Thanks


You are correct in your understanding that the iPhone would replace the GPS, iPod, cell phone and internet phone (via skype).  I do not know of anything currently that can compete with the iPhone.  It's by far the superior smart phone on the market at the moment.  

10.3.9 is done.

When we merged my iPhone contacts it erased all my phone # . Can I get them back or are they lost for good?


When initiating syncing on the iPhone to a mobileme account there is an option to merge contacts with those already in the mobileme cloud.  I always select to merge but have seen the merge command fail therefore replacing the data on the phone with that in the cloud.  

If this happened with your contacts, I'm very sorry.  There may be a Time Machine backup we could recover the old address book contacts from.  

AutoCad in on a Mac

how do i change settings on pop server regarding emails to download...i think setting is now download emails from past 90 days...i'd like to change to a few days old is taking forever.


Settings vary from email reader to email reader but I'll assume you are using apple's to read email.  As you know, POP email doesn't sync across multiple computers and the amount of mail left on the server can vary depending what your program's settings are.  Here's where to find how to change them. 

Go to's preferences under "Mail" in the menu bar.  Then select the "accounts" tab.  Next, check or uncheck the "remove copy from server" line depending on your needs and finally, select the frequency at which you'd like that computer to remove email from the server as seen below.  

POP email is very old and, in my opinion, obsolete.   IMAP email is a much better way to go so start thinking of moving away from that POP email address.  In the meantime, keep in mind that any email program you are using to check that POP email account must be addressed otherwise if they're set to remove the email immediately then you run the risk of another email program never even getting a chance to download a copy of it.  

Hope that helps.

Mini Display to S video...Does it exist? Not yet.

Dear Scotty,

I need to finally get a new printer/copier.  I also need a fax.  I will print all my photos at walgreens because it's cheaper than refilling the ink at home.  I just need a printer that will work reliably with my Mac via airport waves.  I need a copier.   I also need a fax that remains off until i turn it on.  I am old fashioned and need  a hard copy instruction manual for all functions. The CD ROM guide does me no good.  Mom has HP 7310 and likes it.  I'd prefer jut to have one machine like her and maybe even the same one, but i have hated my HP1610 and another one in the past for anything other than printing.  What printer/ combo would you recommend and where should I get it?  The HP set up assistant is more annoyance than help.


Good to hear from you.  I haven't worked with your mom in a while so I hope she is well.  

Now, I agree that the HP set up assistant can infest a mac.  It often gets in the way more than actually help do anything.  I would suggest checking Best Buy and Office Depot but as far as printers/all in ones go, in my opinion, it comes down to two brands.  HP and Canon.  Canon has very good print quality but their user interface is not so great.  HP has decent multi-function capability however, like you said, the setup assistant can infest itself if you don't know how to kill it.  (I do)  HP's wireless printers in the higher series are very good and easy to set up on any wireless network.  The wireless network setup wizard onboard the printer is very easy to use.  But you can always just plug it up to an airport base station or express as well.  

Now as far as faxing goes, there are settings to handle different numbers of rings before it picks up to the fax line, but I believe overall, you'll have to change that manually if you'd like different behavior.  

One last thing.  I've come to the conclusion that even though HP and other print manufacturers claim it to be so, as of 2009 there is NO such thing as wireless scanning.  I've seen it work very inconsistently so the best bet for scanning is to directly plug in.  Hopefully the technology in this area will grow in the coming months but I'm not holding my breath.  HP has had the most success at making this work but it usually only lasts a day or so then something goes wrong.  

Here are a few to consider:

Officejet series with faxing...

Photosmart series  (I've set a couple of the "Premium" up and I've had mixed results.  Both times the printing has been slow)  Just thought I would throw it in.

I can't guarantee that HP would include any hard printed manuals at this point as the trend is now moving to paperless.  (ironic for a printer)

Permissions on iPhoto library


I have a macbook pro. I am hesitant to buy a dell even though I think I am going to need to for Autocad. Do you think it would be worth you
coming here and trying to install Autocad on my macbook pro to see if it will run on it before I get an IMAC or Dell. Or do you think it
is a waste of time and that Autocad is too big a program to run on this macbook pro.

thanks for your help with this.



You may first want to look at the link I included that is autodesk's direct support page for apple.  
official autodesk support here:
Autodesk - Mac-Compatible Products

It states that autocad is fully supported in Bootcamp.  There's no reason why the macbook pro in bootcamp couldn't do what you're hoping for.  It's a pure windows machine at that point.  I would be happy to assist you with getting bootcamp up and running but past that point, I don't support Windows environments even when they're running on Apple hardware.  Just to be clear.  

External hard drive is locked

Scotty, you did some consulting work for me in the past.  I am still a mac novice and am need of some assistance again.  Such as, I got a new I Pod classic but it takes a MAC OSX 10.4.8 or later and I am still on version 10.3.9.  I can't seem to upload any photos anymore, I to back up my files, etc.  These are all minor issues to you but I would greatly appreciate your help + advice.  


Yes, 10.3.9 is pretty much "the good old days" at this point.  It's time for us to evaluate the computer you have and decide if it can move up to a newer version of the operating system or not.  It may require adding more ram as well.  Ram is the memory that a computer uses to run its programs.  I would be happy to assist you.  You can check my calendar on my website to find a time that may work for you.

Partitioning for Bootcamp

I have purchased the AutoCAD Architecture 2009 program and know it is supposed to run on PC but want to see if the iMAC specs
will work. The requirements are below
If I want to get a MAC are any of these compatible (or with additional upgrades?) or do I need to get a PC? 

64-bit AutoCAD 2009

(The 64-bit software cannot be installed on a 32-bit operating system)
  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition operating system
    Windows Vista 64-bit operating system
  • AMD Athlon 64 processor
    Intel EM64T processor
  • 2 GB RAM – 4 GB Recommended
  • 3.5 GB free hard disk space for installation
  • DVD Drive

The iMac as a peice of hardware should work just fine however, you'll most likely use it in Bootcamp. This means that Windows will have its own partition on the Mac hard drive and you'll selectively be able to boot into windows only or Mac OS X but not at the same time. Switching between the two operating systems will require a restart each time. You could run windows inside virtualization but, in my opinion, due to the 64 bit requirements of AutoCad, you may want to avoid any potential complications and run in Windows only.

Snow Leopard with 106.1 has settled down quite a bit. Interesting that Apple put out an update so quickly. That says a lot. But it still doesn't natively boot into 64 bit. You'll have to hold down 6 and 4 at start up in Snow Leopard to run in 64 bit mode. This doesn't help the Bootcamp windows side but just a FYI. Just be sure you're running Vista 64 bit on the bootcamp side and you should be fine.

Other discussions here:

official autodesk support here:

Should I move to Snow Leopard yet?


Thanks for the response concerning the used Macs. If the decision is made, I will definitely use your services to make sure all is hooked up properly.

Now to another issue, the Vista PC at my church finally gave up and died. I would have preferred to make the transition much more smoothly, we purchased an iMac this week, and I have set it up.

The one issue that I have is getting a Mini Display Port to S Video connection for our Panasonic Switcher. The Apple store at South Park sold me a Mini DVI to S Video connector, but it does not plug in.

As you've discovered, mini display ports and mini DVI ports are two different connectors.  Apple's only recently decided to push video through this new connector.  They're very well known for changing form factors at the inconvenience of their users.  (remember ADC?)  But in this case, Mini Display is the new open standard so it will become more popular in the coming months. Apple didn't invent this technology.   It sounds like you need a mini display to S-Video adapter.  Only one problem.  The mini display port is digital and S-Video is analog.  So essentially, that converter would need a go between.  Ugh.  Couple of different solutions.  It may be possible to go mini display port to VGA then VGA to S-Video.  Silly but works on paper.  

My questions are these:
1) is there a way to make this work with something sold at the Apple Store?

I've not seen it done yet but in theory, mini display to DVI, then DVI to S-Video should do it.
2) does someone locally sell what I need?
3) if I need to buy from an online store, is there a reputable brand or store I should go to?
I think Apple is your best bet.  

interesting threads:
 DisplayPort to SVideo/Composite? - Mac Forums
Mini DisplayPort to S-Video? - Mac Forums
Mini Displayport: The Missing Adaptor - Mac Forums
Apple - Support - Discussions - Mini DisplayPort to Composite/ S-Video?? ...

As an aside, I have installed Snow Leopard and love it. I have used it for a few days and put it on my wife's laptop last night. I also encouraged my father in law to put it on his 2 machines. This morning I read your posts about your experience. I have subscribed to your RSS feed, but did not get these posts. So, I may be generating work for you. Sorry in advance.
I'm glad to hear you've had a good experience with Snow Leopard so far.  At this point, even with the 10.6.1 update, I'm not ready to recommend others install.  I've just seen too many issues over the past 2 weeks.  

With the new iMac at the church, what are you areas of expertise? We purchased a One To One training package, but if you can train the operator on what we need, we can return the One To One, and just have you do the training.

What is needed:
1) an intro to Macs
2) Pages and Keynote training

no problem on either of these.   I would be happy to provided assistance to your team in learning how to work through both Pages and Keynote as well as the intro to their new iMacs.  

My schedule is a bit full for the next several days but hopefully we can find a common time that will work for you. 

Fliesyncagent going crazy

So I pulled the External Photo Library over from Time Machine to the new disc.
Only 76 gigs came over.  Essentially the library before we merged the two.
Now I have been able to get one of my bad drives back on.  The photo library says “locked.”
I am trying to copy it to the new drive.


Same as before. Get info on the iphoto library or the folder containing the iphoto library then hit the plus icon in the bottom left hand corner. Now select your user to add to the list then select to Read and Write to that folder. Next, apply the change to all enclosed items via the gear icon.

Syncing gone wrong

So now I am trying to link up to one of my many external iphoto libraries.
When I try I get a caution message: “The iphoto library is locked, on a locked disc, or you do not have permission to make changes to it.”


You can choose to get info on the hard drive.  It sounds like that drive may be formatted as FAT-32.  I'm not sure.  Just select to get info then choose to ignore ownership or permissions on that volume.  
You could also add yourself as an owner of that drive then grant yourself read and write access to the entire drive then apply the changes to enclosed items.  

Can't escape time machine

User wants to create a bootcamp partition.

1) how much HD space does she need?
with the newest versions of both VMware and Parallels, you can expand the virtual hard drive image after setup but overall, I'd start with about 8 to 10 gigs of dedicated space to the virtual OS then increase later if she needs more.  However if she's using bootcamp then you'll only be able to make that choice from the very beginning.  I would then suggest about 20-30 gigs dedicated to Bootcamp.  

2) will you need to wipe the drive? I will make sure that she backs up everything before you go to work.
The drive does not need to be erased.  Since around 10.4, we've had the ability as users to partition drives without losing data.  However, with two partitions that contain two completely different file architectures, it would be best to set it then leave it.  

Back to Leopard


As I've stated in many earlier posts here, I don't think it's time yet to update to Snow Leopard. While it's ok for some, it's not ready for many others and here's why.

Apple just updated Snow Leopard to 10.6.1 which seems to have helped but overall Snow Leopard seems to have broken many third party applications that were not ready at SL's release. It will take some time (around a month or so) for the developers of this software to update their apps to run on SL. While at first glance, there's not much different in appearence, underneath SL has made the move to 64 bit. This means that apps will now have the ability to address more than 4 gigs of ram. Apple hasn't yet initiated 64 bit as the default start up mode but could during any up date to follow. That means that app developers are rushing to move their software to run in 64 bit mode but this will take a while.

I've personally experienced lots of problems with multiple SL installs but have finally gotten an install I'm fairly confident about. Overall, I think it's best to proceed with caution and wait about 1 month before jumping in to SL. I think it has the potential to break much more than it fixes. Just be patient.

(owner)wants to know if we should upgrade to snow leopard? He is sold on it, but wants to know any issues that would keep us from it.

Moving a user from old mac

Soory for all these questions.  My mobile me account is coming up on my
computer as "FilesyncAgent, your Mobileme account has expired"   It
should still be current till 1010. I went to www.mobleme/acctivate and
entered my me Activation code from the box and I get an error Activation
code are ready used.  What do I do?
I can use my mobile me account on my IPhone.

First suggestion would be to log out of mobileme in system preferences and relog back in.
You might also try going to "isync" application and reseting sync data. That may help.

In addition, here are a couple of helpful links to gain more info about filesync agent problems. Filesync agent has been known to hang as a background process and take up cpu cycles. To check to make sure filesync agent is behaving, you can open activity monitor and check all processes then sort by cpu load. This is a little geeky but is interesting.

other interesting notes:

Apple - Support - Discussions - FileSyncAgent going nuts on Leopard ...

Wait a few weeks to move to Snow Leopard

Hi Scotty,

Hope you are well.  Thanks for your recent help.  Perhaps you can give me a 'quick fix' for a new mobile me snag that is somehow the result of fixing some of the problems:

Since having mobile me, every time I'd connect my iPhone to my Mac, iTunes and the 'syncing' options window would automatically open and automatic syncing would begin.  However, this is no longer the case.  Whenever I connect my phone to my Mac, nothing happens.  I've also just now discovered that info from my phone is not being synced to the Mac.  I found several instances of discrepancy in information and again I am at a loss as to what is the correct  information.

Also, my devices still do not retain their settings and reset without my input.  For example, this email is supposed to contain a signature which I have on more than one occasion taken great pain in creating with impact.  When I now go to mail preferences it no longer even exists.  However, one signature is there and it is one I don't even use.  I previously had about 5 different signatures.

Don't you know anyone at Apple with clout who will take pity on me and give me a new system because this one obviously came possessed by every evil known to man since the beginning of original sin!  Just thought I'd ask because you never know!

I'd appreciate your help at your earliest opportunity.


First, there is a setting within iTunes to automatically sync your phone upon the connection.

Be sure that's checked so that iTunes will begin the process when you plug in. Also, there is an application called "itunes helper" that should be in your login items within your system preferences/accounts pane. It allows iTunes to open when plugging in an iPod or iPhone. If that program is not running in the background, iTunes will have to be manually launched. I remove it from launching on my own systems because sometimes I just want to charge my phone without iTunes getting in the way.

With syncing there are many things that can go wrong. First, you'll want to check to see if the data you expect to be in the cloud is actually there. Next you'll want to go to your system prefs and then to mobileme/sync to see that "automatic" is selected. I've seen instances where this will turn itself off in the past so anything is possible.

Moving on, it may not be a bad idea to replace information on mobileme with a fresh copy of known good data. This is done by using the advanced tab shown above. This should only be done if you are confident you know what you are doing. There is a chance you'll lose data if you make a mistake. Then it's time machine to the rescue.

Regarding, signatures, I would suggest unchecking signatures in the sync tab above. You may have lost your signatures if they were syncing and will have to recreate them. I usually suggest users not check the mail accounts or rules check boxes to sync. I've found that just relying on IMAP email is better than what mobileme syncing provides.

Lastly, I don't think I can help you with getting a computer replaced. That's really only a call Apple can make themselves.

Hope some of this info helps.

Multiple Locations in Network settings


I went into Time Machine to recover an email sent last November. I can see the two messages I want to recover, but the bar along the bottom has disappeared completely. I was able to take a screen shot, but I can't print the messages. Command/tab doesn't bring up any open applications and I'm not sure how to exit. Please help!  


I'm sure you're out by now, but within time machine you should be able to hit the red button in the top lefthand part of the screen.  You should also be able to see the "cancel" button on the bottom bar.  Odd that it's not there.  Hitting the escape key will also exit time machine.  

Local Private School misses the mark

One step forward, two steps back.

So I've been using Snow Leopard now for a week and I have to say my impressions of it have not changed. I was hoping that things would settle down on both my main machines I've installed it on but the problems continue to exist. I've experience programs crashing, things not opening, massive reduction in performance and overall instability. For now, it makes much more sense to wait to update to Snow Leopard on your main computer. It seems to break much more than it enhances. Therefore, I'm moving back to Leopard for now. I've been testing Snow Leopard on a clean install on one machine and an upgrade on another and both do not run nearly as trouble free now as Leopard did. Luckily I made a backup Leopard image so I'll throw that back on and go back to stability.

The things I'll miss most going back to Leopard....

1. Dock Expose'. As a classroom teacher in another life, having many windows open is a big part of my teaching style and before I never used the minimize feature into the dock. Now Dock Expose' will give a new twist on how to move from window to window. Much improved there.

2. Airport signal strength in the menu bar.

3. Adding a printer in Snow Leopard is wonderful.

But for now, goodbye to Snow Leopard until 10.6.1 or maybe even 2. I just can't run a business on an operating system that is this unreliable.

Snow Leopard breaks many screensavers


We've been able to move documents and such using the Target Disk mode.

But we're having trouble with the email, address book and iTunes. Wasn't sure how to do that properly. We first just put the icon on the desktop but that didn't work. Do we move the old stuff into the apps folder on the other drive?

Thank  you for all you did with the machine. You can be sure you will get referrals from us.


Moving items inside the user folder to another mac without using the migration assistant can be very tricky. There are many files that would need to be moved if you're going manually and permissions of those files can also be altered in such a way that causes conflicts down the road. I would suggest using the built in migration assistant tool in your applications/utilities folder. This will create a new user on the machine but all files will move to the computer safely and correctly. There is a chance that your computer may not have the migration assistant due to the age of the operating system. Just not sure what you'll be using to move the data to.

If you are planning to move the files manually then there are proceedures that must be followed but the instructions would be a bit much to cover here. Using the migration assistant will still make use of the target disk mode. But if you'd still like to look into how to do so, here's a good start:

Snow Leopard Woes Continue...

I am curious as to why you advise waiting a week or two before proceeding. I'm certainly not second guessing your advice, and with a stack of vet bills I'm not in a rush to spend more $ anyhow, just wondering why your advising the wait...........


Simple. Snow Leopard, with it's new changes within the operating system can very likely break 3rd party software. It would be best to wait in order to give the developers of software to make the proper changes to be sure their software runs fine within Snow Leopard. Overall, you will hardly even notice a difference so you're really not gainning much by upgrading right away.
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