Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

Backup

Backup drive says it's full.

Scotty I got a pop up message that my seagate back up hard drive says FULL.

What do it do now? Last backup will be this morning
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In a backup scenerio, there are two size factors. The source and the target. Your internal computer drive is the source. Your external backup drive is the target. The source should ALWAYS be equal to or greater than the target. If the target is smaller then you can sometimes see that message. If there is other data on the drive in addition to the backups.backupdb folder (like some stuff someone drug over to that drive) then this could also not leave room for the full contents of the internal to backup.

Time machine's job is to fill the drive so this is normal for the external to be full. I would check the backup.backupsdb folder and scroll down to the bottom of the long list. Make a note of the date of the last backup. Go back tomorrow and do it again. If you have a new folder at the bottom of the list with a newer date, you're fine. If the dates of folders stopped several days ago or so, then it may be time to move to a larger drive. We could always also wipe that drive and just start the process over again but it's just nicer to just move to a newer, larger drive.

Apple says the same thing here.

What HD can you recommend?

What drive should I use to backup? Can you recommend one?
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I prefer the Seagate drives.

https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Portable-External-STDR2000100/dp/B00FRHTSK4/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1494893433&sr=1-1&keywords=seagate+backup+plus+slim+2tb

Use time machine to recover old email

Hi Scotty,
I had used your consulting services awhile ago, and now I have a friend who may be in need.  I said I would reach out on his behalf to ask if you might be able to assist.  Then, we could use your site to schedule an appointment and appropriate timeframe, based on how my friend wants to proceed.

My friend has been using Time Machine to do backups, and is now in need to checking for email from this year 2016 as an email appears to be deleted and the files that were it in, not saved/ download as he thought had occurred.  When he goes to Time Machine for the start of October 2016…the emails are only returning 218 messages and they are from 2014.  He’s not sure how to confirm that emails from this year (September/October ) are available or how to get to them.

Are you able to help with retrieving backups for emails?  Does it involve restoring the full email inbox, or can certain emails be retrieved?  For this type of activity, is a short appointment sufficient or is the hour and half likely needed.

If you can let me know, I can share the details and your website for scheduling.  I know he was trying to google more information, so he might try this first, but I recalled how you assisted me so wanted to ask a few questions.

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Good questions.  Time Machine is SUPPOSED to allow you to retrieve individual emails within the history of backups but it doesn’t always work.  So, what I might suggest is we use a test computer to restore the entire email contents to a fresh unused user.  Then your friend may be able to find the specific items he was looking for.  Worth a shot.  Not an easy task but possible.  I would say 1.5 hours to be safe.  If time machine has a healthy set of backups dating back over a year or so, there’s a good chance we can get what they need.  We would then just have to move or forward the emails to his current account.  

How to restore from a time machine backup using migration assistant.

How do I restore from a backup after a hard drive replacement? The operating system and a new user have already been created.
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Go to the Applications folder then into the Utilities folder. Applications/Utlitilites/Migration Assistant. There you'll find "Migration Assistant". (You can also spotlight search for migration assistant.) Open it with your backup drive plugged in.

Select Continue and enter your admin password. All other applications will quit and you'll be presented with the choice of restoration sources. Select Time Machine backup. From there you'll be able to select which users you want to restore. Select everything. (Users as well as applications.) Once the migration is complete, keep in mind you still have the original admin that you'll want to delete.

To delete the temporary admin user, log in to your now restored old admin user. Open system preferences. Select Users and Groups. Unlock the screen using the lock in the bottom left corner. Select the user you wish to delete and hit the minus button in the bottom left corner. Select to delete the folder immediately. (the third choice). You're done.

Screen Shot 2016-12-12 at 7.21.27 PM

Is online backup a good idea?

Scotty,
I am thinking of using an online backup service for my Macs and Windows computers and family phones.  Someone has mentioned iDrive.  Do you have any experience with iDrive or other online backup services?  What is your take on cloud backup services?  Thanks
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I'm not a fan of online backup services such as iDrive, BackBlaze, Mozy, Carbonite, or Crashplan. Here are my reasons:

Slows traffic on your home network as it uploads data constantly via your wifi router.
Takes a longer period of time to restore your data if you have a hard drive failure.
Not as easy as time machine to restore the entire contents of a drive.
Permissions on files can be effected. (gets a little technical)
You are constantly paying a fee.

What I do like and trust completely is a physical hard drive connected to your mac using the built in software called Time Machine. Not to be mistaken with Time Capsule which is a wifi router Apple manufacturers. I do not like that product. But the software Time Machine is very good in my opinion and it's very rare that I ever see a failure of any type to retrieve data as long as time machine was running. Leave your drive connected. If you'd like to use an online backup service in addition to time machine then I wouldn't dissuade you. But every person I work with should have a time machine drive connected to their computer at all times. In a perfect world you would have two that you rotate every month. But I realize that may be asking a bit much for people to be expected to go to those lengths.

In addition, using dropbox, google drive, or icloud drive to store documents and iCloud photo library to store your pictures is a great way to double up on backup.


However if online backup services are the only things you'll use then it's better than nothing.

My computer hasn't backed up in over 30 days

Hey Scotty,

My Time Machine says it’s not backing up for 30 days… it says… "check that it’s available to select a new disc… "
I cannot figure out what to do.  Do you think I need to schedule a session?
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May be nothing. When we choose to have time machine back up to more than one drive, for instance: a home backup and an off site backup that we rotate, if you do not rotate the other drive back in within 30 days, your computer will display the message "your computer has not backed up in over 30 days". This wording is poorly written. What it should really be saying is "we haven't seen the other hard drive you're backing up to in over 30 days". So this may be the issue if you were using 2 different drives to backup. One way to see if your current drive is doing its job with Time Machine is to select the small clock in the menu bar (right hand side near the time display). You'll see a "Last backup" and then a time. If the time is very recent you're fine. If it says pending or failed then it's time to explore other possible issues. Those could include that your backup drive is too small for the amount of data on your computer, or that the drive has failed. Check those issues out first then schedule if you feel you still need to go further.

Can I get a deleted text message back?

Urgent-is there a way to retrieve texts kids have deleted? School is involved And I need them thx
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If their phone was backing up to iCloud then it may be possible to restore an older phone using that iCloud backup. It depends on how long the text message sat on the phone. You could also contact the phone provider but it's not easy. The FBI can usually subpoena to get them but they don't normally just retrieve them for customers. So restoring from an older iCloud backup is your best choice. Problem being that if the message was not on the phone very long, chances are it may not have been included in an iCloud backup since those only happen over wifi.

Time Capsule fails infinity

I am confused because I have a 3 (?) terabyte seagate back up drive that it is supposed to be backing up to. It tells me there is a problem connecting to my time capsule and to contact my administrator? Is that you? 😄 Should I schedule time?
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That’s great that you’re using the seagate.  That’s your true backup.  Sounds like maybe the computer is still trying to connect to your time capsule drive thinking it needs to back up to that as well.  And it’s fine to use Time Capsule as a secondary backup, just not the primary one.  Try going into system preferences/Time Machine and selecting “select disk”.  Then select the time capsule drive and choose “remove disk” if that’s an option.  

Another sparse image bundle failure

What does this mean?
Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 4.51.54 PM
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I can’t tell you how little faith I have in Time Capsule.  My week is filled with troubleshooting this failed implementation from Apple for a wifi backup system.  It’s even number 6 on my least favorite products list for exactly the reason you’ve come across here.  I even put on the front page of my web site from time to time “don’t trust time capsule”.  As a router, it’s great but as a backup system, the method that apple chose to encapsulate your data is called a sparse image bundle.   And that is the cause of the problem.  This method is very fragile and prone to failure.  While there are ways to resolve it, I’ve found the easiest thing to do is simply reformat the drive and start the backup all over again.  However, I strongly encourage you to take the same opportunity to go out and buy a good old USB drive for backup.  

Time Capsule problems (shocking)

Hello Scotty,
I keep getting this message that Backup Failed "Thrr backup on "Time Capsule " is already in use"   I cannot figure out what to do.. Help!
Thanks
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A few of things to consider. The computer needs to reestablish a relationship with the time capsule hardware. It has to first forget it then meet it again. Try this.

1. restart the time capsule router and after rebooting, try to connect once again.
2. See if you can use the finder to select the time capsule in the left column and unmount it by choosing “eject” in a right click.
3. Go to keychain access, delete the entry associated with the time capsule, restart and re-enter the time capsule password which most likely either the exact same password as your wifi network or the word “public”.

In the end, as I’ve stated many times on my website, while I am a big proponent of time machine as a backup strategy, I am not a fan of Time Capsule as a hardware solution. I strongly prefer a good old USB hard drive plugged directly into the computer. It is extremely common to see Time Capsule issues throughout my week.

Backup failing

Hi Scotty
Not sure if you will respond to this - but one of my backups worked the other one keeps failing.  Any suggestions?
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I always start by saying every hard drive dies so it would not surprise me in the least if even a backup drive has died. With that in mind, to see if the drive can still be used, I would suggest disconnecting all other external drives then open disk utility. You can find it by using spotlight search in the top right hand corner of your computer. After opening disk utility, select the problematic drive in the let column then choose to erase. Be sure to choose Mac OS Extended (jounaled) in the format dropdown.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 10.57.44 PM
If the drive erase is successful, go to system preferences and in to time machine settings. Now reechoes that disk as a second backup drive.

best way to migrate to a new phone

Scotty,

I'd like to get the new iPhone 6+ before two or three weeks. Do you have any recommendations of where I should go, seeing that I am in uptown? Also, will they take my old iPhone and give me any $ for it?
The biggest q is what do I need to do before turning it in. I don't believe all my stuff is backed up, especially my 5k+ pics. 
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You can always go to the Apple Store south park in the a.m. They have an inventory that usually gets sold out daily. The folks there would have more info. Some cell carriers do have buy back offers but those may have expired. You can also check gazzelle.com for what the going rate is on your model iPhone. They buy back phones also.

The easiest way to transition to your new phone is to first plug the old one up to iTunes, make a backup. (that should be found under the summary tab in iTunes after the phone is connected and selected in the left hand column of iTunes.) Then after you’ve purchased your new phone, connect the new phone to iTunes when you get home and choose to restore from a previous backup. (the one you just made) I find this method more thorough faster and reliable than the wireless iCloud method. By the way, you may want to consider getting those 5k pictures off the phone and into iPhoto eventually. Here’s more info on how to do that.

Does iCloud backup my Pictures?

Hello. I am trying to backup my desktop on my netscape account. When I click on icon on the top it says that backup failed. I get a screen that says that Time machine is also on.  IS that what should be on? How do I correct it? It has not backed up since the end of August. My startup disk on my laptop is full again. What do I delete? I have not added any photos.  Also, shouldn't everything except photos be backed up in the Icloud too?
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Time Machine is the software that Apple provides for use in backing up your computer. It does require a second hard drive to be connected to your machine. I’m not sure what you mean by “netscape account” but if time machine is working properly (in other words, there is a healthy external hard drive connected) then you should see a last backup time when clicking on the icon in the menu bar. In your case, it sounds like time machine isn’t finding a healthy drive connected to the computer.

In regards to your hard drive being full, this is something that many people encounter. Mostly people who have small drives like you may find on an older mac or a macbook air for example. Despite what almost everyone thinks, iCloud does not back your computer up. I repeat: iCloud does not backup your computer. It is true that about the most recent 1000 pictures can be find in your iCloud accout, but as of 10/4/2014 iCloud is only used to transfer these pictures to iPhoto or share the most recent pictures between devices. It is not iCloud’s job to backup your pictures. It IS iCloud’s job to back up your contacts, calendars, and documents you create within certain applications such as Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and Text Edit but it does not keep copies of your pictures permanently.

As far as what to remove from your hard drive in order to free up space, I’m afraid I can’t answer that with out a longer conversation and being in front of your computer.

Where does my backup go?

Scotty – I have been meaning to ask you a question for awhile…
Do you recall the big black box (Seagate-Desk Adaptor) I was to hook up once a week to the computer as to have ALL files backed up? 
Since your last installation/removal of computer equipment there is no place I can see to hook it up.
Did you fix our system to backup everyone's files in another way?  I have the smaller blackbox (Seagate-FreeAgent GoFlex) that I hook 
up a couple times a week – does this now copy everyone's files?
Thanks for you help,
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I assume you are referring to a time machine drive.  It’s an external drive that you can connect periodically and the software on your computer will copy all the newest files to it automatically.  There are two types of drives.  Portable ones that can power just by plugging it in to USB or a larger (book size) drive that requires power from an AC outlet.  It sounds like you are continuing to use your portable seagate go flex but may not be using the larger on.  Just a guess.  Your mac (an in your case your mac mini server) should have the ability to back up to multiple drives.  So you could probably plug the second drive up to the back of the mac mini USB ports and it would backup using the time machine software.  

Time Capsule doesn't have enough room to backup

My time capsule says that the backup is too big. I think that I need to delete the content and start fresh or somehow get it to delete old backups. What do I do?
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Several ways to go about this. You could erase the time capsule drive and start the backup over again by going into Airport Utility, selecting disks, then erase from there. You’ll then need to re add the time capsule drive as a time machine drive via system preferences.
Another way would be to mount the time capsule drive from the finder window then select the sparse image bundle (my arch nemesis) then delete it, followed by emptying the trash. That would also free up space. It’s possible that deleting one sparse image bundle made from another computer backup may from up enough space to allow your own computer to back up as well.
Another solution (although short term) would be to exclude many items from backing up (system preferences/time machine/options). This would allow for only the most important items to be backed up. i.e.: iPhoto library or documents folder. Not the best choice here either.
The thing not to do, is mount the sparse image bundle, therefore revealing your backups.backupdb folder then selecting a range of backup folders and deleting them. I do not recommend that method.

Which drive should I buy?

Should I get a back up hard drive for Time Machine? And where in Charlotte is the best place to look and which one would you recommend.
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A backup drive for your computer is the most important thing you can have.  I personally prefer the Seagate brand drives.  They fail the least often.  Every drive dies, or at least we should assume they do so we are not surprised when it does happen.  You can get a Seagate Backup Plus at any Best Buy.  

Why I hate Time Capsule


I am at wit's end trying to install Windows 8.1 on my 2009 iMac using Parallels Desktop 9, and the new virtual machine will not accept my product key and suggests I check my installation media. Are you familiar with this issue?
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That can be a problem.  Yes, I’ve encountered it before.  I see you’ve made a phone appointment for tomorrow.  I suggest you first get on the phone with Microsoft.  There is a 1-800 number you should be able to find on the Windows 8.1 packaging.  If you’ve used the install before on another machine that can be an issue.  There is however, a way to (over the phone) be issued another install key.  You can answer a couple questions, one of which is something like “are you reinstalling Windows after a hardware failure”.  If you say yes to that, you are usually issued the new product key.  You’ll have to jump through their hoop of writing down an incredibly long series of numbers and letters before they issue the new key.  It’s a total pain but then again, that’s why Microsoft is in the position they’re in at the moment.  By the way, Windows 8 is very difficult to use on a non-touch device.  it’s basically a failure.  It works fine on touch devices but is difficult to use without a touch screen.  If you can stick with Windows 7, I would encourage that.  Just my opinion.

The above scenario is only one possibility.  It’s also possible your version of Parallels doesn’t yet support Windows 8.  If you’re moving to Windows 8, you need to be sure you have the latest version of Parallels and all the updates have been run.
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Update:
I have been on the ph with Microsoft 3x now in the last 7 days and no one will just give me a new activation code, much less speak English I can actually understand. I get passed from person to person and the issue does not get resolved. I have Parallels Desktop 9 so I think it will run Windows 8.1. My ultimate goal here is to be able to run a version of Quicken that isn't made for Mac (Quicken Home & Business) that meets my needs. Happy to use Windows 7 which I suppose means I have to get a refund for Windows 8.1. That's my only purpose for having Windows at all. 
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Overall, I think you would be happier in Windows 7 however I don’t believe it will be easy to return open box software (windows 8).  When you try to install you should be presented with a phone number to activate over the phone.  Microsoft has many phone numbers depending on the software you’re trying to activate.  Here are a few articles Microsoft provides that may or may not be of use:

Why can't I activate Windows? - Microsoft Windows Help

Activate Windows on this computer - Microsoft Windows Help

Unfortunately, being Microsoft, I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to solve your issue in this case.  But I am willing to try.  Microsoft is just so hard to deal with.  Let me know if you’d like to keep our scheduled session later today.

Update:

attached are screenshots of what goes on. It is an iOS file as you can see in the attached within Parallel Wizards window. Link to my login provided.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 4.05.05 PM

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 4.03.03 PM


Just the link is not going to work.  I would actually need your login email and pw.  But the picts you sent look like you are doing everything correctly.  Can you tell me how large the ISO file was?  select it and hit command+i and it will tell you file size.  

I doubt this is a Parallels issues.  This looks to be a Microsoft issue where the key is simply invalid.  There is a possibility that the ISO is an update only and not the complete OS.  The file size will give me a better idea of that.  Another option would be to burn the ISO to a disc then install that way.  Although it’s probably not going to make any difference.  I’m going to do a little more research on the price you paid.  $119 seems low to me.  

When you hit next after the product key fails, does it give you the option to authenticate over the phone?

I feel your pain.  I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this.

Price looks right for the basic version of Windows 8.  This seems to be a simple case of an invalid product key.  Microsoft is going to have to issue you another key.  Simple as that.  I bet that will solve the issue.  The problem is getting them to issue you one.  If you use the “activate over the phone” option during the install and the product key you have is rejected over the phone, then you’ll have to contact support via email I’m guessing and describe your case that way.
You could also try downloading the ISO again however just in case the original download was corrupt but I doubt that’s the case.  I’m just reaching now.  

There’s also the possibility that Parallels is expecting a Windows 8 Pro product key but you have a standard product key.  Did you make sure you are selecting the standard Windows 8.1 install and not the Pro option.  Also, make sure that all Parallels updates have been run.  Use “check for updates” within Parallels.  Windows 8.1 was just released and that could be an issue.  Parallels may be expecting 8 but you have 8.1.  Just sharing possibilities.  


Don't trust drive manufacturer's backup software

When you came here you transferred our iTunes library from our old computer to our new one.  For some reason, the music did not get transferred.  Can you email the steps to do this?
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If your music was not transferred, the easiest way to accomplish this would be the following:

  1. connect a hard drive to your older computer
  2. drag the “iTunes” folder located in the music folder to the connected drive
  3. connect the hard drive to the new machine and drag the “iTunes” folder into the music folder on the new Mac.
  4. There may already be an iTunes folder there that iTunes created if you’ve opened iTunes prior to moving the music. If there is no music in iTunes currently, you can drag that to the trash. But to be safe, if you are unsure, you can create a folder on your desktop and call it something like “old music” then drop the old iTunes folder into it.
  5. Now when you open iTunes, it should automatically recognize the music from the new folder you’ve just moved from the external drive.

There are many other factors to consider in this process. This is only a general description of the process. You may consider throwing away the com.apple.itunes.plist file from the user/library folder. This folder is hidden by default and can be revealed by holding down the option key and selecting “Go” from the finder window.

I suggest you join us on Monday evening for Town Hall at 7pm and I can more easily walk you through the steps.

Where did my backup drive go?

Will you replace my broken screen?
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No. I do not do physical (out of warranty) repairs at this point. I am software support only with hard drive replacements being the exception.

When was my last backup?

How do I completely wipe a hard disk on Mac to sell?
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There are several ways to accomplish this. If your goal is to simply remove your personal data then you can do the following:

  1. Go to system preferences/Users and Groups.
  2. Hit the plus sign in the bottom left corner to add a new user.
  3. Choose a name for your new user and password.
  4. Be sure you’ve given the new user admin rights.
  5. log out of the user you’re currently in.
  6. Log in to the newly created user.
  7. Go to system prefs/Users and Groups once again
  8. Select the old user(s) and now hit the minus button.
  9. Choose to delete the user immediately. This will instantly remove the old user without going to the trash.
  10. Lastly, go into the applications folder and delete any applications you do not care to move along to the next user. MS Office, Photoshop, Quicken, etc...

None of your personal data is in the above mentioned apps. This is only to adhere to the licensing agreement. You may want to just scan over the hard drive’s application one more time to make sure you didn’t drop any personal file there. Most likely there’s nothing personal in the applications folder like a stray word document but it doesn’t hurt to look.

There are other ways to erase the computer completely including the operating system but if you’re planning on selling the machine you probably want to leave them an OS to use.

Time Capsule backup was interupted

How do I set up a second time machine drive?
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It’s a great idea to setup a second drive to allow time machine to use then get it out of your home in case of a theft or fire. To setup a second drive is backing up follow the following steps:

1.  Assure it’s plugged in via USB in the back
2.  Open system preferences
3.  Go to time machine preferences and choose “select disk”
4.  You should now see a list of drives.  Choose the new drive and select to “Use Disk” below.
5.  You’ll be prompted with the following dialog box…

tmbother

You may be warned that a “reformat is required”. If this is a new drive, don’t worry about it. Allow the reformat and continue. This simply means that out of the box, it was a windows drive and your mac wants it to be a mac drive. If this is an older drive you’ve had for a while, stop and go buy a new one. You don’t want to erase something on the old drive.

That’s it.  The first time machine copy does usually take a while but as I said, you can rely on the other backup drive for now.  The second drive is an “insurance policy” against theft or fire. After it’s finished, get it out of your house and bring it back periodically and just plug it back in. Time Machine software will do the rest. Then get it back out of the house again.

Turning off iCloud backup on your iOS device

unknown

Scotty

This annoying “1” has appeared on the calendar icons on all my computers after updating to Mavericks.  It looks like the kind of thing that is intended to warn or notify me of something.  However, I haven’t been able to figure out what I am supposed to do.  Can you tell me what I need to do to make it go away?

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The one on the calendar in the dock is letting you know that a date or event needs your attention in the main calendar. It could be an invitation or a reminder. Open your calendar on your mac and look in the top left corner. There should be a small symbol near the top left corner letting you know what the event is. By clicking that area, you’ll see what event wants your attention. Most of the time it is an invitation to a shared event between two people. After clicking it, you’ll be asked to accept the event or decline the event. After you’ve done that, the number should go away.

Backup questions

Installed latest update and this is what I am looking at for 2 hours. any ideas?
IMG_3349-2
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There are many reasons for this.

The update went bad during installation.
hard drive died during installation.

First thing to try is just holding down the power button forcing the computer to shutdown the try to restart. If that doesn’t work, you’ll next want to boot into the recovery disk partition and check the disk if you can. You may have to reinstall OS X from there.

How do I setup Time Machine?

Scotty,

My laptop recently has been starting up differently. Have you seen this before, if so, what does it mean?

photo 2

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Bad video cable.  There's a video cable that runs from the main chasis of the computer to the screen.  Every time you open and close your computer, that cable is bent slightly.  After many many many times opening and closing the screen, that cable can become damaged.  Imagine bending a coat hanger over and over.  It eventually breaks in half due to the continued flexing of the metal.  Your video cable can work the same way.  

It could also be a bad graphics card.  Either way, it's hardware.  Time to call AppleCare.  If it is within AppleCare, they will most likely cover it.  

Restored to wrong user

Scotty,
I had a crash the other day and this was the error message - I screen captured it, attached below.
Is my mac dying?

Screen shot 2012-05-30 at 9.15.22 AM
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It’s very hard to tell without looking at the entire log. Console has the ability to email a crash log and you are welcome to do that if you’d like. I would recommend checking the disk by running disk utility and “verifying disk”. Overall however, the best way is to check the disk from an alternate boot method. If on Lion, you could hold down option while booting and you could boot to a recovery partition that would allow you to more effectively check the disk but even then you are still checking one partition from another on the same disk. The best way would be to boot from an external hard drive that already has a copy of a known good operating system on it then run disk utility. Of course it goes without saying you should back up everything before doing anything.

Most common issue I see is hard drive failure. However, with Mac Pro’s considering all the PCI slots that can be involved it could be a third party additional hardware that is causing the problem. If the problem persists, unplug all third party devices and see if the problem goes away. If not run from an external drive for a while with the internal drive(s) disconnected. If the problem still doesn’t go away, then that is a strong indication that the logic board is at fault. And that’s what you don’t want. $$$$$.

That’s troubleshooting 101.

Backing up before iCloud transition

Hi Scotty,
hope everything is well!!
I am getting ready to buy the new iphone and remembered
that you told me I would need to upgrade to operating system lion.
I can not figure out how to download it to my computer, I feel like an idiot : )))

Please help!!
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From the Mac App store on your computer you’ll find Lion available for $29.99. To get to the app store look in your dock to find the following icon:

Pasted Graphic
If you don’t see it there then you’ll find it in your applications folder as long as you are running Snow Leopard 10.6.6 or higher.

My mac isn's seeing my backup drive

Scotty:

I read your Oct 13 Q&A posting re Do I need a new Mac for Lion. Please look at my hardware overview below and tell me if I'd be wise to spring for a newer MacBook before upgrading to Lion. I'm uncertain about whether I meet the cutoff you used in your posting ie, "2 Duo 2.2 or higher". You kindly upgraded my hard disk a while back.


My MacBook Pro will be four years old in January. Since I got an iPad, I've never untethered the MacBook Pro for use as a portable device. Therefore, I would probably replace it with an iMac of maximum in-store disk, memory and speed. I'd ask you to specify the description and whether I should look to you or to the Apple Store to help port my programs and data over to the iMac. I'm a heavy user of Microsoft Office for Mac 2004 Edition and read your posting that I'd need the 2008 Edition to work best with Lion.

I'm upgrading today from iPhone 3 to the 4S and want to switch as soon as sensible to iCloud from MobileMe for syncing my data in iCal, Address Book and Safari bookmarks to and from iPhone and iPad. Must I install Lion on my MacBook Pro before converting to iCloud?

  Model Name: MacBook Pro
  Model Identifier: MacBookPro2,2
  Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
  Processor Speed: 2.33 GHz
  Number Of Processors: 1
  Total Number Of Cores: 2
  L2 Cache: 4 MB
  Memory: 2 GB
  Bus Speed: 667 MHz
  Boot ROM Version: MBP22.00A5.B07

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I guess I need to be clear. My recommendation to really only move to Lion if you have a 2.2 or higher is only my opinion. Apple states that the oldest supported processor is any Core 2 duo. This is the bare minimum. More requirements can be found here. There are other factors to consider as well. Mainly: what type of graphics card does one have? You are using a MBP whose Graphics care will do an adequate job of handling all of Lion’s new transitions and effects such as creating a new email or switching to full screen mode. The processor and the graphics card, along with how much ram you have, all come together to produce the experience Lion gives on a given piece of hardware. Your machine’s 2.33 processor is fine but you would definitely want to increase the amount of ram you have. 2 gigs was fine for Snow Leopard and earlier but Lion requires at least 2 which means you have no head room for programs to run. Yes, they would run with only 2 gigs but they will feel sluggish.

Office 2004 will not run on Lion. No PowerPC based program will run under Lion. Lion only supports software written for intel processors and Office 2004 is not one of them. Therefore, Office 2008 or 2011 is required. I’m not sure of Apple’s position of data transfer at this point so I can’t really speak to what they can and can’t do and what time frame they will quote. I would be happy to assist if you feel you’d like assistance moving data.

Lion is required to take advantage of iCloud services.

What is the default password for time capsule hard drives?

I will wait to update the iCloud but should I go ahead and download 10.7 Lion?  Last time we discussed this you didn't like the iCalendar and I was hesitant to change for no apparent reason because I use the Ical quite frequently and I was not looking forward to the  unfavorable changes so I never updated iCal or to 10.7 Lion.
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Go ahead and go to Lion. It’s inevitable. I’m still not a big fan of the calendar or address book but you’re going to need to get to 10.7 sooner or later. The calendar and address book are not great but they’re not deal breakers. Update away.

What 750 gig 2.5" drive do you recommend?

Hi Scotty
Hope you are well.  You helped me a few years ago install Parallels on my mac so that I could run Windows.  All is working fine for the most part (it does not move at lightning speed but I have learned to live with it).  I have learned though that if I want to run Face Time I need to upgrade my operating system to Snow Leopard.  Do you know if this will have any impact on my Windows environment, etc.?  Please let me know when you can.
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First, to address the slow speed issue, check to see how much ram you have. If you are running Parallels then you’ll want to increase the amount of ram to the computer’s maximum. Check out www.crucial.com to order the most ram you can.

Now, I would need to know a couple of things”

1. how much hard drive space to you have left
2. how much ram does your computer have (or will have)
3. what version of parallels is running

Depending on those factors, I could then safely say yes to moving to Snow Leopard or not. Parallels Desktop for Mac - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia states that even up to Parallels 7, you can run 10.4.11 Tiger and still be able to use Parallels so you should be ok. Looks like most builds of Parallels will run in Snow Leopard.

Pages auto backup

Although upgrading to 500 GB would buy us another year or two of time before reaching that capacity, we figured that (with the rate that we are continuing to load and store additional large photo files on our computer)  going to the largest hard drive that is made to fit in our Macbook Pro might be advisable?  Do not want problems with the new drive, that is for sure!  Our time machine back-up external drive is 3TB I think, so no limits there with how much we can back-up.  

1. and 2. below are the products I came up with when I searched the WD Caviar Black internal hard drive you mentioned our possibly ordering.  Neither sounds correct and the WD Caviar black series does not seem to be offered at all in the necessary 2.5 size for our computer~ only in a 3.5 size.  

Could not find any internal G drives, only external.  Did find 3. below.  Is this the best quality hard drive for us to order?

Still unsure what to order before proceeding with our appt.  If the 500 GB replacement internal drive you mention having in stock is the very best quality/reliable option existing out there over any available 750GB replacements, then I suppose we could go with that ~ but we would really love to go higher to around 750GB when doing this (if you think a really good quality replacement hard drive exists for our MacBook with that much storage).  

Will look forward to hearing your thoughts and any recommendations as to how we should next proceed/what to order.
___________


First and foremost, when dealing with drives never trust one.  I can't overstate this.  No matter what the age or make of the drive, you need to be prepared for it to fail at all times.  And don't be shocked when it does.  If you are prepared (by having backed up) then you can be at peace with the idea that your drive will die.  

Here are the two I would recommend.  
Newegg.com - Western Digital Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Newegg.com - Seagate Momentus ST9750420AS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive -Bare Drive

I've seen them both fail but these fail less often than most other drives.  

Online backup not so hot

For some reason my iPad apps never transferred.   What can I do without buying them all over again. It is still sncy and it is on photos
___________


You won't have to repurchase any of your apps.  iTunes now allows you to re-download any previously purchased items at any time on any device.  However, any apps you had in the past should have synced over.  With iPad connected and iTunes open, be sure you have selected which apps to sync under the "Apps" pane at the top in iTunes.  

Screen Shot 2011-10-05 at 11.48.14 PM

If the apps you are looking for are not listed then you'll need to re-download them from the app store.  (at no cost of course.)

Erase your Time Machine drive once a year.

Hi Scotty
Appointements from a year ago are popping up on my ical  - what is going on?  Should I get you over here?
Thanks
___________

My first guess would be that these events are set to repeat annually. Double click on the event in question and see if it has a “repeat every year” setting. Try that first and if that’s not it, let me know and we can look more closely at it.
Screen Shot 2011-08-22 at 10.47.44 PM

Two drives is better than one

Scotty,

We are now at the point that we need to have a spreadsheet that multiple people can work on simultaneously. We tried to share it via iwork and this did not work for us.
I was working on part of the spreadsheet while my co-worker was working on it also she sent it to me but my changes of course were not there.
I really need this to work to manage a big international project.
I have searched the apple website to no avail at this point, but I am still looking.
Is there a way that multiple people can work on a spreadsheet at the same time?
___________


Google Docs should do the trick. it will allow multiple users to edit the document at the same time. iWork may support this feature in the future with their iCloud service but that doesn’t roll out for a month or so and there’s no guarantee this will be supported. Office has a similar feature but I’ve not seen anyone use it. Google docs is the way to go.

What external drive to you recommend?

Can I transfer my own data from my older macbook to my new macbook pro?
___________


Yes but you’d need a firewire 400 to 800 cable to transfer data during the initial setup. Otherwise you can do it using the migration assistant with an ethernet cable later.

Archiving your Time Capsule

Scott, my new airport/time capsule that we set up in guest house is blinking amber -- frankly i don't how long it has been that way because using my new macbook has been without issue or warning sign. The internet works fine. In fact, i should be sending this message through it. Perhaps amber means it is not backing up...?What steps do you recommend? I am not getting any warning signs...?
___________
When you see the “amber light” on the time capsule or airport extreme, it’s obviously trying to tell you something. Sometimes it’s as simple as needing to be updated. There are other errors that I commonly dismiss. Here’s what you need to do to find out what it’s trying to say...

Open airport utility and double click on the icon to the left that represents your time capsule or airport extreme. Now click on the amber light and it will state the error. It’s possible that you’ll see a list of a few “errors” that have been allowed.
Screen shot 2011-06-03 at 10.34.49 PM
Among those I sometimes allow are Double NAT, default password, unsecure network (under certain conditions). There are more serious errors that need to be addressed. Ethernet unplugged means it’s not getting a connection from the router for instance.

Time Machine...time to erase and start over.

How to get iCal in 10.5.8 back to syncing after the mobileme upgrade:

Go to iCal’s preferences.
Now select accounts
Now add account by clicking the plus button in the bottom left corner.
Now enter mobileme for the name of the account
enter your full mobileme email address and password

Now for the trick part, select the toggle triangle in server and enter the following: https:/cal.me.com

Your mobileme calendars should appear in the left hand column. Hope that worked.

Missing discs and backup drive is too small.

How do I transfer the info from my old mac to my new one?
___________

Transfering data from one mac to the next is easy. When you first turn on the new mac, you’ll be asked to transfer info. You will select “from another mac”. At that point you’ll be prompted to boot the old computer with the T key down then connect it to the new mac via Firewire. You’ll need a firewire cable. Newer macs use FW 800 will older macs use FW 400. If you have an older machine that only uses FW 400 then you’d need a 400 to 800 cable. Those are a little harder to find. Next, plug up the cable then move forward with the transfer.
If you don’t want to transfer the info right at the setup then you can always use the “migration assistant” in the applications folder inside the utilities folder later. But be careful. If you’ve created a new user on your computer that has the exact same name as a user on your old computer then you’ll have trouble. Best is always to transfer data right at the beginning. By the way, if you choose to use the migration assistant, you’ll want to use ethernet at that point as wireless would be way too slow.

Data is exceeding Time Capsule capacity

As we collect more and more data these days, Drobo’s mass storage is becoming a more frequent player in the home.


Am I backing up correctly?

Scotty,

I need some help. I have 2 iPods with stuff on them that both need to be transferred. Any recommendations?
___________


Try irip.  

iRip 2 – iPod and iPhone music transfer software for Mac or PC – The Little App Factory

___________
Scotty,

Thanks, it was quite easy and did the trick. For 20 dollars I was able to transfer about 70 gb of audio and 80 gb of video. Fun Stuff, time consuming, but nothing was lost.

Time Capsule failed again. Do I have to use the ATT router?

Scotty,

Per your suggestion I have my external hard-drive connected 24/7. The question I have pertains to mobile-me and the external hard-drive...is iphoto and itunes backed up automatically on both? I noticed that on mobile-me preferences that iphoto and itunes were not listed.
___________


Since you are using time machine (apple’s built in backup system) all your data including pictures and music is now being backed up to the external drive. MobileMe’s main goal is to move contacts, calendar, and bookmarks to the cloud (servers controlled by Apple outside your home). So as long as you continue to use time machine you’re in good shape. The program use used to use called “Backup” which was the one with the umbrella as it’s icon, was a horrible program that failed more than it succeeded and I can’t recommend anyone ever use that.

Your MobileMe account has about 20 gigs of storage space online Apple calls iDisk. Usually iDisk, even with 20 gigs, is not enough to backup your pictures or music.

Recovering Addresses using Time Machine

Scotty,

I have a friend who is wanting to know about Anti Virus software for a Mac. What are your recommendations? 
___________


Don’t bother. I equate it to paying someone to guard your house against a dinosaur attack. One day they may come back but I wouldn’t put any effort into guarding against it for now. The more important thing to consider is to not click on links in emails you weren’t expecting. Those are often fishing scams trying to get personal information.

dino_attack

Lost Pictures...always backup

Scotty -
 
I have an Imac with Microsoft Office for Mac on it. My wife has a Verizon Blackberry and would like to be able to sync her calendar, contacts, etc., preferably wirelessly and automatically. On a different topic, 4 of us share this machine and I would like it configured such that all music downloaded/purchased on itunes to any user account goes to my account as well, but not vice-versa. Can you help us with these issues and are they very involved? I will check your calendar for availability. Thanks.
___________


Syncing music across multiple itunes libraries can be easily accomplished via “home sharing”. Mac or Windows, it won’t matter. The Blackberry however, ugh... Your best bet is to use
Blackberry Desktop Manager (free) to sync although it won’t be automatic and wireless may be unreliable. Blackberrys are said to be able to sync to the mac using bluetooth but my experience says don’t bother. Stick with the cable. Blackberrys can sync google contacts and calendar via exchange support. Google offers exchange as part of your account. But you wouldn’t use a mobileme account. (I doubt you have one anyway.)

Great Time Machine Article

Hey Scotty thanks for the info, and I actually enjoyed reading your post. We are eagerly anticipating the info from Verizon but Uli has a question maybe you can answer. Blackberry has free messenger between blackberries and we were wondering if anything like that exists on the iPhone.

___________


I would say that answer to that is yes. The iPhone has facetime that, when connected over a wifi network, you can see each other as you talk. ala Dick Tracy style. Skype also has this feature and works over 3g but there’s a fee there. Maybe one day soon, the iphone will be able to facetime over 3g with apple’s software built in. There are work arounds that will allow it but not apple supported yet. Otherwise, you are texting. You can text via third party programs and not use up your ATT texts. But that usually is limited to WiFi as well. Either way, ATT is counting your data unless you’re on WiFi.

MyBook hard drive dies again

He Scotty,
Hope you are doing well.  I wanted to check with you and get your opinion on Quicken for mac.  I am running 2007 and know that it is time to upgrade; but I not sure which version to go with.  I have tried to read reviews - but they are not much help - too confusing!  If we need to set up an appointment to do this - I will be glad to do that.  Please let me know.
Thanks,

___________


I’ll tell you that most of my clients have abandoned Quicken along with myself. They just took too long to get it right. The last version was in 07 like you said but they drug their feet trying to get a new version out that would take advantage of all the features the operating system had to offer. So they fell way behind. Meanwhile, companies like iBank and Moneywell came on strong and gained a good bit of ground. But it’s all pointless because they’ll all been destroyed by Mint.com. Mint is now my favorite way to keep up with my money. It auto categorizes my transactions which is wonderful. It will text me if I spend too much. It has limits you can set on certain categories and notifies you if you go over. Mint is so good, that Intuit (the company that produces Quicken and Quickbooks) just bought them. So expect to see some sort of merged software in the future. In the meantime, try out Mint. It’s free so you can use it along with anything else you want and it won’t effect anything.

Removing old time machine data

Thanks for your help y'day. I am having a problem with my mail. I click the stamp on the bar at the bottom, mail show up on the bar at the top, but the window never opens. I have no trouble opening safari, iTunes or others. 
Not sure what I have done. Any ideas?

___________


A few things to try and be aware of. First, try going under Window in the menu bar and select “message viewer”.



If that doesn’t bring up your main mail window, try quiting mail. Sometimes mail gets “stuck” with its communication to the cloud and sort of hangs. You’ll know mail is in this state if you choose to quit mail under Mail menu bar but “quit mail” is greyed out then it’s time to force quit.


To force quit applications you’ll find “force quit” under the Black apple in the top left hand corner of your screen. Select it and select mail. Then select to force quit. Mail should quit and you’ll now be able to reopen mail ...hopefully better behaved this time.

One more thing to try, use command + 1 to bring up your inbox.

Transfering the flag!

Something doesn’t seem to right if the Time Capsule is full.
 
Also, I’m having trouble getting on the computer (Marcia is a heavier user than I anticipated). I am really interested in expanding my photographic editing skills. I had always presumed I would get another iMac but am wondering whether it is possible to commit to a good laptop. Ie, do I really need the bigger screen to be proficient. There is something appealing to having all the pictures I might want to work on with me when I travel.
 
Your thoughts?

___________

First, Time Machine’s job is to fill the drive with historical data so everything is normal here. I would suggest checking the box for “do now show this warning again” and move on. It’s perfectly fine.

Next, considering a laptop as your flagship computer is extremely common now. You may consider moving to a macbook pro and also purchasing (or getting your hands on) a second montior. That way, when you get home you can plug up your laptop and gain a second display. The macbook pro is plenty powerful enough to push both screens. This is exactly what I do and it works wonderfully. Just remember that you need to continue to backup. Especially with a laptop that is more easily damaged than an iMac.

Hard Disk is getting full...you better do something very soon.

So YOUR email address has shown up in another contact’s info....

To edit contact information in Address Book, use the “edit” key then delete the info in the first contact. Now re-click the “edit” button to close the card. Now go to your own card and add the email in just as you did on the other card by using the edit key. If you have not assigned your card to be you, you can do so while you have it selected by going under “card” in the menu bar then select “make this my card”. This will tell the computer you’ve selected that card to be yours.

Time Machine failing backup

This was helpful and I recorded the i-movie to a high quality Memorex 4.7GB high quality DVD yesterday. When I played it on our DVD player the picture was blurry. Do you have a remedy for this? The original disc was HD picture perfect.
Again, thanks for your help.

___________

I’ve seen this before and there are a couple of things that could be the cause.

1. When you imported the material from the original disc, it’s possible that the screen resolution the program you used to import was set to a lower resolution than what you wanted. This sometimes happens if the program used to import wants to reduce file size.

2. The format you chose when you created the imovie project was set to 4:3 but the original video was shot in 16:9 or vise versa.

There are other causes as well. Just not sure unless I was in front of the computer.
Hi Scotty,

Time Machine not completing the backup

Scotty -

I'm working on things to be addressed when I book another session w/you, but I'd like to know how to separate my AOL account from my Road Runner Account - you combined them on my mail site and it just doesn't work for me - I want no AOL mail to come in on the mail site - only on AOL when I sign onto AOL.  Can you please tell me how to do this so I can take care of it right away.

Thank you.

___________

To remove an email account from your Apple mail program (the stamp) it should be simple. Go to Mail then to preferences. Next, you’ll select the accounts tab and that will get you to the area that lists all accounts currently managed in mail. Simply select the account you are interested in deleting then hit the minus button on the bottom left hand corner of the screen. This will remove all the email associated with that email account. Since you are talking about AOL, it is IMAP based which means it will not alter your email on the AOL server at all and it should continue to come in where you were previously checking your AOL mail as always.


FW mode and time machine help

How do I get my all my contacts that were saved in my outlook email?  They all are gone.

___________



User is running Parallels and has two installs of Windows...

They're not gone remember.  They are over in the other windows universe.  "Windows 7".  Go over to that virtual machine and export them using outlook into a .pst file.  It will be a selection to export within outlook.  Drag that over to the mac's desktop area.  Quit Windows 7 and now open the virtual machine Win Seven.  (I think that was the name of it.)  Now drag that .pst file into the Windows area and choose to import that pst file into Outlook.  That should do it.  

Time Capsule not archiving

Scotty,

Is switching to QB for Mac a good idea? We are getting an iMac for the office.
___________


I would have to say that based on the opinions of the majority of clients I’ve worked with who’ve made that switch, no. Most of them absolutely hate the lack of features in the Mac version compared to the Windows version. You may want to also consider the online version of Quickbooks. That’s where it’s all headed anyway. Limited features compared to the Windows version also however. So overall, if you are used to the Windows version of Quickbooks and use it in depth, there’s a very good chance you will be disappointed in the Mac version.


Here’s a useful comparison chart.
Online Accounting Solutions and Professional Internet Accounting Software - QuickBooks OE | Compare to QuickBooks for Mac

How to get to the Archive Utility in Time Capsule

Scotty,

I have been synching my iPad with my iMac. I need to shift it to synch with my work laptop. Is there a way to do that without losing all of the apps?

_________


You can set the iPad into a manual sync mode. (available under the info tab in iTunes) This will allow you to manually manage certain parts of your content like movies and music. This will not allow you to manually manage applications. The iPad remains married to the first computer. You can transfer apps to the new computer then sync to that one but that would be come a pain moving back and forth. You would select “transfer purchases” under “File” in the menu bar. This copies all the apps into the new computer including free ones then you can begin syncing from that computer. Note: You will also lose all pictures.

Online Storage and Backup

Scotty 


Thanks for your note

If you look at the succession of screen shots, I think I know what the problem is-The passport is already "full" and my iMac wants to send all my files, not just the new ones.

Thoughts??








___________

That's exactly right.  The target drive has to be at least the same size and have at least an equal amount of free space available.  If the passport drive is an old archive drive then there shouldn't be anything wrong with erasing the drive using disk utility (with the drive connected directly to your computer) then trying again.  However, if there is data on the passport drive that is important then that can not be done of course.  You'd need a different drive.  

Good call.  

How many drives do I need to backup?


Scotty-
I am going to get a new imac desktop tomorrow (tax free no less).  My though was to get the 21.5” but wanted your insight again on the benefits/tradeoff of the more powerful vs less powerful system.  For roughly $300 more, I can get the 3.2GHz vs 3.06 and 1TB drive vs 500GB.  You know the differences and how we use our computer.  My plan would be to have this computer for 5 years but allow for the need to upgrade sooner given technology changes (we’ve had the current system for 6 yrs).


___________

congrats on the new purchase.  This is the perfect time to buy.  If for some reason they don't have what you want in stock then you can still order it online and get the same tax credit but they'll do that at the store with you as a last resort.  The only reason I mention this because if you don't get the computer we would need to postpone our session.  I'll confirm it in a separate email coming up in a few minutes.  
 I think the larger question here is screen size.  The 27" may be overkill for you but it sure is sweet.  But given your normal use and needs I think the $1199 base model is super.  I don't see a compelling need for you to move to the next tier up unless you are lusting for 27" vs. 21".  I do wish they still offered the 24" which is what I use currently.  So to answer your question, I don't think you need to move up.  Stick with the $1199 and you'll be happy.  

Time Capsule archive

Do u know any tricks if the mouse is frozen on a Mac laptop? Turned it on & off a bunch?
Thxthx

___________
Well there are many reasons as to what’s going on. First you need to figure out if the mouse or the computer. Try another mouse to see if the issue is still there. If so, it’s the USB port. Try another USB port. If it’s still there, it may be the mouse. Try the mouse on a different computer. etc... It’s probably a very simple reason but knowing the answers to the previous troubleshooting steps will help us to move forward with diagnosing the actual problem.

The browser is "frozen" on home page. Won't move. Have cut off the computer and powered on, but still the 'arrow'/browser won't move.

We still need to know if the computer will respond via keyboard commands like command Q for quitting the application or command W for closing the window.  Not being in front of the computer, I can't determine if it's just a mouse problem or the entire computer is freezing up.  I would be very good to know the answers to the previous questions in the post concerning the mouse on another computer, other USB port etc...

Mouse and trackpad not working or by mouse, do you mean trackpad?

My kid is going to college. What computer to buy?


Also, this portable hard drive shows "video 09" on the screen. Is that supposed to mean something. Also, when I bring the HD to work for safekeeping, is there any way to view the contents, I was unable to last time (though I was able to ascertain that a lot was stored).
 
Thank you.

___________

video 09 would be personal information.  Most likely that was drug over manually.  The computer did not put that there automatically.  You should be able to see the files within the TM backup.  You'll look inside a folder on the hard drive called backups.backupdb  You may first have to expand the image file.  Mac often compressed or packages large images.  Simply double click on the sparse image bundle and you should be able to see the data you're looking for.  It would most likely be in a series of folders related to days of the year as Time Machine backed up.  

Lost Financial data...did she backup?

this is the error I rec'd:

Time Machine could not complete the backup.
FIles cannot be copied onto the backup disk because it appears to be Read Only.
You may need to repair or reformat the disk using Disk Utility.  If the disk can't be repaired, you must use a different dicks for backups.  


__________

I can't quite recall where the hard drive was used first.  This can occur if the drive has been connected to a windows machine and permissions were changed.  We should be able to solve the issue.  Hopefully the drive is healthy and this is only a software issue.  If you can afford to loose the data on the drive then the best and first option would be to erase the drive using disk utility then reformat it as a Mac OS extended Journaled drive.  Time Machine will need this format to function correctly.  Reformatting the drive will also clean the permissions of the drive and start you back at the beginning.  

If erasing the drive is not an option then there are alternatives.  First, get info on the drive by control + click or right clicking the hard drive icon.  Now, you may be able to select to ignore ownership and permissions on the drive.  It's a little geeky.  I apologize for not recalling exactly your skill level as this is not the easiest thing to ask someone to do.  Also, be sure that the drive is not locked by assuring the "lock" check box is unchecked.  However, if the drive is already formatted for time machine, then these options should not be available anyway and we have to go to the next step.  

The next thing to try would be to go into the backups.backupdb folder on the hard drive and remove the "inprogress" backup file.  That may give you a fresh start at time machine trying to backup.  

Oh but wait, it's all coming back to me now...you are using the Western Digital MyBook.  I recall you have two of them if I'm not mistaken.  Case closed.  Don't trust that drive.  Take the warning's advice and try another drive.  

Now there is always the possibility that some data on the computer is corrupt and time machine is having a difficult time backing up the data but those occurrences are usually few and far between.  Replace the MyBook drive.  

Slow backup process on Time Capsule

Hi Scotty,

 It's been a while since I'v needed you,
but I need your help now. Road Runner tells me my mailbox is nearly full,
and i don't know how to empty it.  I tried their live chat support, but it
just didn't work for me. Would you be able to come over at your convenience?

__________


This should be a simple fix. A couple of things to consider. Using RR as your primary email means that you don’t really have much server space for your email to sit so RR would prefer you remove it from their server from time to time. If I’m correct I believe they only provide 100 megs which is really not very much by today’s standards. Gmail’s free email service offers 7000 megs. Yes, 7000. You can sign up at www.gmail.com if you are interested. But anyway...here are a few things we can do to help the situation.

1. Log on to http://webmail.carolina.rr.com in your account and select email then delete it from there. You may then want to empty the trash as well.

2. Go to your own mail program (the stamp) on your mac and go to the preferences (should be under “Mail” in the menu bar -upper left hand corner) After you select the preferences, next choose your POP account on the left hand side. Be sure to select “remove a copy from the server after retrieving a message” and select “immeadiately”.


What that will do will be to tell RR that it’s ok to remove a copy after your email program (the stamp) has gotten its copy.

Hope that helps.

What hard drive do you recommend?

Scotty-
As mentioned, I am going to get wife a laptop for Mother's Day (what she wants).  I am leaning toward the 15" Mac Book Pro.  Would you recommend the Intel core i5 or i7 chip?  Is there a reason to have that given our standard uses?  Although I would like to plan for a machine I could keep functional for several years, not sure the difference between those chips will matter even in 12 mos.
 
Also, is there any additional (non-standard) software that you think I should add that you find particularly useful or that you think wife would enjoy?
Thanks and see you next week.

_______

If you want to save some money I would just go with the i5 chip. Those things are way more than enough power for your general use. The i7 is really only going to be attractive to video/graphics guys and people who just have to brag about having the absolute best even though most of them don’t need it. It’s plenty of power and the i5 chip, being so new, has plenty of shelf life ahead of it. You’ve definitely gotten your money’s worth out of that PowerBook G4 you’re replacing!

As far as software goes that she may enjoy, the
iWork suite is really nice. It’s Apple’s version of Microsoft Office. Easy to use and could be a nice lead in to your kids as they begin to start creating on the computer.

Folder dissapearing

hi Scotty

Can dropbox work between three users, two on a mac and one on a PC?
If the one on the PC makes changes to a document will it mess up the mac users?

thanks!

_______

Yes Dropbox will work between mac and pc.  You will want to consider what application is being used.  For just regular documents this should be no problem.  However, if you are using dropbox to work on files pertaining to an application then there is a chance the file formats would vary and not work.  It's more of a case by case basis.  

Permissions wrong on external drive

How can I switch between the Mac and Windows within Boot Camp?

_______


In order to get to the mac practice software on the Mac side of the Macs in the office it's pretty simple really.  I've discussed this with Dr. xxxxxxx and he is familiar how to do this as well.

With the machine completely off, turn the machine on with the option button held down.  You will see grey screen showing you two hard drive icons.  One representing Windows and one representing the  Mac.  Next select which operating system you want to boot into.  You can use the mouse to double click on the desired hard drive.  The computer will now boot into the chosen operating system.  You should now be able to get to all the data within Mac Practice on the Mac just as you did before.  When you are ready to go back into Windows, simply follow the same directions once again.  Shut down the machine and reboot holding down the option button.  Then select the Windows hard drive icon and you are back to Windows.  

Time Machine with Multiple computers

Scotty,

When the girl who works for me and I share Quickbooks via dropbox each time there is a new file which seems to be most recent.
Is this supposed to happen? I thought it would update it automatically?

thanks,



_______

I would like to get a better look at the longer versiion of the file name that QuickBooks is saving it's QB file as. In the screen shot the file names were collapsed. I'd like to know if these are time stamped within the file name. If so, it is most likely saving a backup file in the same location. QB is designed to keep about 8 or so redundant versions of it's backup file and that may be what is happening. Is this a question for curiosity or are you having a problem with two users accessing QB via dropbox?

Computer in the shop...hard drive alternatives

THE password we agreed on yesterday and you registered does not work when a sign drops
down asking for a "keychain password".

_______

Keychain access password issues often arrise when a user changes the password of their computer but does not unlock the login keychain within keychain access. It's more of Apple's fault for a poor warning system. What we are left with is a constant reminder that the old password is still required.

I would suggest deleting the login keychain (seeing how your computer is so new) and restarting. You can do this by going into Users/yourusername/Library/Keycahins/...then deleting the loginkeychain file then restarting.

Considering the level of newness that your at, you may have trouble following the directions. It's not hurting anything to leave it the way it is until we meet again after your trip. Just an annoyance.

The AppleCare phone support line can also help you with the issue over the phone as well. 1-800-MY-APPLE.

External HD for mac mini?

Scotty, Please tell me exactly what I need to do to copy her hard drive and set up her email (past emails, itunes, etc) and then get them active on her new computer. Thank you,

At startup on the new computer,you'll be prompted to transfer the data from another computer.  Choose to transfer data from another mac.  Next you'll be asked to put the other mac into target disk mode by holding down the T key while starting the older computer up.  After the new mac detects the older computer connected via a firewire cable, it will proceed to the next step.  In your case, you may need a firewire 400 to 800 cable unless the new laptop doesn't have firewire.  In that case you'll need to boot the older computer as usual then network the two computers via an ethernet cable.  This option is  selectable in the setup procedure on the new mac as "other computer over a network" or something close to that.  

You can always just set the computer up initially with a new user called "temporary" or something like that then use the migration assistant to move the data from one computer to the next by using an ethernet cable between the two.  Then delete the "temporary" user later.  

Helpful links:

Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6: How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac

Mac OS X 10.3, 10.4: Transferring data with Setup Assistant / Migration Assistant FAQ

Backing up the Drobo Backup

Scotty

I have had sucess running AutoCad on my macbook pro in bootcamp and am going to purchase an iMac. 
Is the iMac as strong in performance as the macboook pro (most comprehensive options) if I want to put autocad/windows
on it as well? Do I need all of these features:

  • 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB
  • 2TB Serial ATA Drive
  • ATI Radeon HD 4670 256MB
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) and User's Guide
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive

I am having a hard time accessing your calendar like last time- it shows more time available then I know you are.
I would like to buy the iMac and then have you come over and help me set it up, set up windows/autocad, transfer
documents and clean up the macbook pro, and file share. It will take a few hours.

thanks,

L

_______

Hi L,

The iMac should be plenty of horsepower for what you are doing. As far as needing "all those features", many of these listed are standard features and can't be downgraded. So it's more a question of which model of the 3 or so that Apple offers is going to be the right fit for you?

The first thing to consider is size. I have both the new 27" and the 21" and I have to say the 27" is easily the winner here hands down. With that in mind, you have a few options there as well. The most important in your case is the power of the graphics card depending on how you will run windows. You'll either be running via VMware or Parallels virtulization, or you'll be using BootCamp. Either way, it would be to AutoCad's advantage to have a strong graphics card at hand. But this increases the price point a bit.

The second thing to consider is not so much, internal Hard Drive space, but rather, how much ram you will want. I would suggest not having Apple increase it but instead, buying it later yourself and installing it yourself. You will save a bit more that way. www.crucial.com is where I recommend for ram purchase.

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

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.

What's your favorite external hard drive?

Hi Scotty,

I'm having problems opening .doc files in Word 2004 for Mac. Actually, I've been having problems for a while but not until now do I really need to do something about it.

When I try to open any Word .doc, the program briefly opens then it automatically shuts down. I do get error messages when I open certain files (files that I haven't previously tried to open in a long time) saying "Word encountered file corruption while opening ___ file." It then asks if I want to try to recover some of the file.

I've updated my Word version to 11.5.0. After doing some more research it looks like the next step will be to uninstall Word 2004 and reinstall it. But I don't think I have the CDs; I'm pretty sure we installed the version on my iMac through my old laptop. Does this make sense?

Have you experienced anything like this on Word 2004 before? What do you advise I do moving forward?

__________


Yes, I've seen this in the past several times. The first suggestion I would make is to delete the plist files associated with Office. Go to your users folder/Library/preferences/Microsoft and delete that folder. For good measure you may want to also delete any of the microsoft.plist files as well. When you next start any of the Office applications you may be prompted as if it were the first time you were launching the program. Not to worry...the product key is stored in a different location.


If that doesn't help....

If you are not using Entourage (and I hope you're not) then you could also toss out the Microsoft User Data folder inside your Documents folder. Then restart Office. You'll be prompted to create a new identity. If you are using Entourage however, then do not take this step as you'd be deleting your email accounts within Entourage. Therefore the problem would be a little more complicated to solve than I would answer here.

Hope that helps.

Where to get an extra external drive

Scotty
I am getting the same "error while printing" message I showed you on your last visit. I deleted it from Mac HD but Epson download failed several times/ What can I do?

Scotty
I have spoken to epson and they tell me that the reason i cannot download the driver is that I am not the system administrator. I then went to
apple.com and to reset the administrator's password I need a disk, which I do not have as, I bought the computer used. Any suggestions?

Scotty
I have been able to download  the printer utility..but when I try to print the "print" icon is not lit up and I cannot print.
Any ideas?
_________

Hi,

I would suggest going to your print settings inside system preferences then holding control + click down to bring up a menu that allows you to choose to reset the print system.  It looks a little different in Tiger 10.4 which is what you are on but should still be there.  Select to reset the print system then reinstall the print drivers again.  I don't know why the printer keeps losing it's connection.  It's most likely something very simple that we're missing.  Often times, especially in the older operating system, if a printer had a hick up of some sort for instance:  a paper jam, low ink, or even if the printer simply ran out of paper, the printer would then tell the computer "hey, I'm offline until someone comes to help me".  The printer would then show an exclamation point on the left hand side of the listing when you went to print something and therefore the printer would not print.  If the printer failed to respond then there would be a red dot next to the printer icon in the print utility.  If the dot is green then the printer should be working normally.  I would be interested in finding out what the printer is reporting within the print window.

(screenshot taken in 10.6.1 Snow Leopard)

 



You may not really have to reset the print system. You could also select the printer in the left hand column and hit the "minus" button on the bottom left hand area then re-add the printer once again by clicking the "plus" button on the bottom left hand area of that window.


This would be a great item for us to look at on my Sunday night town hall sessions.  

Seagate Free Agent pretty good drive

Scotty

how do i sync anne's laptop to the mac for photo's.  We want to transfer all the photos over but i forgot how to do that.

can you give me step by step instructions on how to do that?

________

There's no really easy way (yet) to sync photo libraries across multiple computers.  There are work arounds however. Here a few options you can explore. You can transfer the entire library of one computer to another computer but that could potentially overwrite the original library. iPhoto does have the ability to open multiple libraries so if you named that library something other than "iPhoto Library" then by holding down the option key during iPhoto startup you could choose between libraries. But this is not exactly what you want to do. You want to SYNC them so that they are the same.

Currently I use a program called Chronosync to sync my iPhoto libraries across my computers. However, I can't really recommend this as it is very difficult to use and has the potential of failure quite often by overwriting files you didn't expect to overwrite. I only mention it so you know there are programs that claim to do this but you really have to know what you're doing.

So we come to the best option in your case given your level of experience on the mac. Use the sharing feature within iPhoto itself. Open both iPhoto libraries and select the preferences under iPhoto in the menu bar. (you can also get there by holding down the command key and the comma key). Next you'll want to check out the sharing section. From here you can select to have iPhoto look for other iPhoto libraries on the same network and also share your own library. The next thing you'll want to consider is what folders or "albums" you'd like to share. Considering the size of your iPhoto library, you may want to be selective as to what albums you share. This will speed the interaction up quite a bit over the wireless network in your home as you share pictures back and forth. Otherwise, sharing the entire library over the network will be much slower as thumbnails of every picture would load.



Next, after you've checked the options you're happy with, quit and restart iPhoto on both machines and you should now see each other's library in the left hand column of each iPhoto.


Now all you have to do (after waiting for the images to load) is drag over the pictures you want to add to each library. It is not as easy as there are many steps but hopefully one day Apple will build in "syncing" into iPhoto over your home network. Be sure to provide feedback to Apple requesting this feature by selecting "provide iPhoto feedback" in the menu bar under iPhoto.

Adding a larger drive to a laptop

when I went to charge the computer it would not charge. The orange light came on . I then unplugged it and moved to the new apple set up. still the same. What do I do. Sorry to have so many questions after you left.

____________


Not sure what you mean by not charging. I really think your laptop is fine and the orange light means it is in the process of charging. It will not go green until the battery has been fully charged. There are rare cases where new batteries fail but I do not think this is one of them. I would suggest allowing it to stay plugged in for about an hour. Be sure it's firmly plugged into the wall as well. You can also see the status of your battery's charge in the menu bar at the top of the computer by clicking on the battery icon shown below:

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

Hi,
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.

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.

Moving a user from old mac

Scotty
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.
Help


_______
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 ...

External Hard Drive recommendations


Scotty,

I would love to join your Town Hall Forum Sunday night, but I am shy about it.  Plus it is probably already filled.

_________


Please don't be shy about joining us on Sunday evenings.  You can mute your sound and never even be heard.  You can simply type a question and we'll discuss it.   There’s never been a full session yet. Please feel free to join us on Sunday’s at 8pm.

Time Machine Woes

here is my concern:  there is no place on the iPhone where I can enter information just for my use, i.e. "Memos" on Palm.  I need something that will sync with the computer.  IF I have Leopard, then "notes" will sync with the 2, so I assume I can cut and paste into "Notes" the info in my Memos.  However, I have been told (by you???) that Leopard messes up Windows XP.  I can't afford to do that.  Feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place - please help!  Thanks -

_______

You can use the notes syncing feature to get done what you’re looking for. You are correct to be concerned about the Leopard upgrade and it’s affect on Parallels. However, I would recommend updating Parallels to the most current build of that version. You can do so directly from the Parallels application under Help in the menu bar I believe.

Next, you’ll want to choose to upgrade the operating system during install which is the default setting anyway. Overall I think you’ll be fine. If not, Parallels can usually be recovered if Leopard causes a problem. Most importantly, update Parallels before moving to Leopard.

Time capsule drive dissapeared

Here’s an interesting note from a client concerning the voice dial feature of the new iphone 3GS...

-------

Dear Scotty,

The funniest thing about the iPhone is that when I give it a voice command, it usually returns something quite humorous!  Perhaps, I need to speak with a Cupertino, CA accent!  The verbal command "Johnny Cash" gives me the music from "CATS!"  I say, "Call HOME," and it calls Sue Jones!  Makes me laugh!

Thanks again!

pulling content from DVD's

Scotty,
I have a problem. After you left I changed  something to print a rotated file. Now everything is still printing items rotated 90 degreed and cannot remember how to get things to print vertically...can you help?
Thanks


_____

Yes, you’ll need to change the settings in the “page setup” menu back to portrait. It’s set to landscape right now. Here’s what you’ll do. Go to the menu bar under file. Next go down to “page setup”. Finally, select the appropriate orientation.

large backup file all of a sudden

Summary of the answers section placed here. Read More...

Where's my time machine?

Hey Scotty!

I searched your site but didn’t see anything listed about virus scans. I know we have discussed before, but I cannot locate any info you may have given me.

We tend to run a Trend Micro Housecall scan just to make sure all is Kosher on the machines. Lately either the scan crashes Firefox or just gets stuck. Is there a different free scan that you recommend for the Mac?

Thanks!


Good news. There are no viruses out in the wild for the Mac. Knock on wood. At the moment, there are many reasons for this. Low market share, Unix based Operating System, harder to write viruses on a Mac can’t get around admin privledges, etc... But that’s not to say we should walk around bragging about it. You still need to practice common sense.

1. Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know.
2. Don’t click on links inside emails you don’t know.
3. Don’t go to websites that require you to enter personal information.

These are not virus behaviors but rather items whose job is to harvest information from you by fooling you into thinking your bank account is messed up or you need to verify your eBay account info or your Social Security number may be wrong with your bank. Stupid to most people but there’s always 1 80 year old grandma who gets scared to death and gives up the wrong info.

Overall, don’t worry about a virus scanner. There’s nothing out there for the Mac worth any trouble you would go through. Virus scanning companies would love to make you think you need one for the Mac but you just don’t. Not in 2009 anyway. Ask me again in 2 more years. My answer may be different.

Backup getting full

Question. I made a talk. I need to burn a copy of the dvd and send to some people. How do I do that.

I called Apple support and they told me they could not show me how to do that. I don't understand I owned the dvd.


I know you can help me make copies of it.


Let me know.


Well this is a touchy subject. Apple was being careful because this subject is so taboo. However, there is a big difference between a dvd you own vs. a dvd you purchase. Purchased dvds have encryption that will not allow you to make copies unless you know how to circumvent it. This is illegal but there are ways to make it happen.

But you want to copy your own dvd so that’s a different story. One method to do so is to use disk utility. You can create an image of the disk from within disk utility then burn that image to another dvd. However it takes a few steps to make it happen.
How to copy previously-burned DVD-R video discs

Another way to do it is to use a paid program like popcorn. It makes the process as easy as possible. It’s a slow process and don’t be surprised when it takes around 2 hours.
Roxio Popcorn® 3 - DVD Copy - Overview

Time Machine error won't resolve

Any idea what this is on my desktop screen in the lower right hand corner?  It's just to sets of parallel lines.  It happens once in a while.  No specific timing.



That is most likely a graphics card issue. There is a small chance it’s a problem with the display itself but doubtful. Either way, it’s not good news. The graphics card on that iMac is embedded onto the logic board so it’s not an inexpensive repair. The entire logic board must be replaced. And as I think further about it, since you were able to take a screen shot that means it’s very unlikely that it’s the display. Any physical problem with the display would not show within the software process of a screenshot.

It’s probably the graphics card. If you have applecare, the store should be able to fix it at no cost.

Time Machine Problems

All of a sudden my calendar is wiped clean on my iphone. I don't know what to do. Thoughts?


Most likely you need to reset the mobileme syncing feature on your iphone. go to general prefs on your phone, then to mail, contacts, calendar, etc... then toggle the calendar mobileme sync button. You’ll be warned that all the calendar information on your phone will be deleted but since it’s not there, go ahead. Now turn it back on and it should redownload your mobileme calendar sync info and repopulate your calendar.

If that doesn’t do it, it’s not harmful to delete your mobileme account from your phone and readd it. Since your mail is IMAP, you won’t loose anything and your contacts and calendar are stored on the server so everything should return to normal.

Screen Sharing/Time Machine

Scotty, last night the back up indicated that it failed.  The time capsule lost signal and would not respond.  I tried to soft boot but needed a hard reset and I had to rename it in the process.  I am not sure that the back up is configured to run.  Thanks


Check your Time Capsule's backup process by clicking the indicator in the menu bar.  It should state the status there:

Common Time Machine error

How long would it generally take you to set up an IMac and transfer files from my old PC.

No problem.  Setting up AppleTV and Time Capsule should only take a few minutes however the more time consuming task comes when windows gets involved.  Since there is no reliable way to know how Windows will act at any given moment, the best case scenario for data transfer is usually one hour.  Moving files then importing them into the proper place can sometimes take around 2 hours.  

I always work as rapidly as I can but with Windows I've come to expect anything.  If the computer is in good health then we shouldn't have problems.  Most of the time, I usually pull the drive out of the windows machine then transfer the data directly therefore avoiding the hassle of networking the two machines.  It's the fastest way.

Time Machine not backing up

I just got a notice that my mac has not been backed up in Time Machine for 53 days. Not sure if this is my Air or Mac. What do you think?

Time Machine is a great backup method but can be problematic from time to time. You’ll often see errors from TM stating that a backup failed but these are usually self healing and within the hour they go away. However, your issue is more severe. Since TM has warned that the last backup had not been for 53 days, it may be time to go to your system preferences and reset where TM looks to backup. Since you are using Time Capsule as your backup, it’s possible that changes made to the router confused TM and we need to re-establish a relationship between your computer and the hard drive inside Time Capsule. To do so, go to system preferences/time machine and choose to “change disk”. Next select the Time Capsule drive (often labeled “Data”). Reinitiate the backup and hopefully that will solve it.

You stated that you weren’t sure which computer was not backing up. Whatever computer you saw the error on was the one that is not backing up. A quick way to check is to look at the icon in the menu bar and see when the last backup was.


This image is a theme.plist hack