to commonly asked questions.

November 2010

Erase and install from an install disc


I would like your expert advice on two items I would like for Christmas. I use my MacBookPro at work, and have a lot of pages open all day long. 
My main area or use that taxes my system, is when I have several Numbers documents open at the same time. I do this as I am working, , I close each document as I complete each job. SO I can see a performance difference from start to finish. I also have monitored this with Activity Monitor, and see the pie change.
The other issue is that I have a lot of data on my hard drive. It is backed up on a Time Capsule, and also on Carbonite. I have about 110 gb of 250 free.
I would like to upgrade my memory to 6GB from 4GB. And I would like to upgrade or increase my hard drive storage. 
I have priced out from Other World Computing a 4GB stick, which is around $150. I have not priced out the hard drive increase.
I value your input, and would appreciate your opinion on these 2 desires for Christmas. My thinking is that the memory upgrade would help keep my speed higher. If I'm mistaken, please let me know.
I'll wait to hear from you. I also may need you to do the swap, if you can at my place of business.


A few things to consider first..I assume in activity monitor you are referring to the ram allocation pie chart. Remember that if running in 32 bit mode, any given open application will only address 4 gigs of ram at most. I’m not recommending you jump to 64 bit mode. Just pointing out that adding more than 4 gigs of ram will only benefit someone running more than one application at a time. Also, I don’t believe that Numbers is a 64 bit native application yet either as you can see in the activity monitor list below:
Screen shot 2010-12-06 at 11.45.29 PM

Further, if you are upgrading your memory, I would suggest maxing it out. Don’t waste money on small steps from 4 to 6 gigs. If your ultimate goal would be to max it out anyway, then don’t take small steps to get there if that means you’ll be throwing away ram in the long run. Crucial is where I buy all my ram.

Sounds like you still have plenty of space on the current drive. If you want to increase speed then getting a 7200 rpm drive over a 5400 rpm drive will help out considerably. Don’t know what speed you currently have but I usually install 500 gig 7200 rpm drives. I would be happy to do the installation if you would like however if you want the repair done onsite, in this instance due to data transfer times, I would not be there throughout the entire process. I prefer to bring the machine to my workspace and do the replacement over night. This gives me ample time to transfer data, do the hardware portion, and test the new drive a bit. Most drives that die, do so in their infancy so having it over night gives me a chance to find the bad ones quickly.

Just a thought. You could also just do the transfer yourself if you prefer. You’d just need an enclosure. We can talk more about that at a later time.




Your post kinda helped, but not completely. I think that my hard drive is the smaller or slower, but not totally positive on that one. 

As for the memory upgrade, it is my understanding that I can only have 6GB, with 1 stick of 2GB, and 1 stick of 4GB. Crucial is another option which if you have used, than great.

You can look up the max ram on crucial's site.  Keep in mind that there's apple's ram specs at manufacturing then actual capabilities based on ram amounts that weren't available at the time the computer was built.  

I need for you to come and see what I'm experiencing, and make a recommendation. I would really like to spend money to have a performance boost. But, if the only time that I have a performance lag or drop, is when I have several Numbers files open, along with other applications, and the memory upgrade will not help, than I do not need to spend the money.

If on the other hand, you can see what I am doing, and trying to accomplish, you may be able to show me a different way to work, so that I do not have to have multiple files open at the same time.

I can't really think of a work around to avoid needing to have multiple documents open at the same time.  If you are not editing a doc then you could use quick look but that's only temporary.  

A good determining factor for you to check out would be to see how much ram Numbers is taking up by either viewing the actual program's ram use via either activity monitor or third party software like istat menus, as opposed to only looking at the total ram usage.

Right click on Magic Mouse

Good morning,
We have some Mac questions and are glad to pay for your advice and/or schedule a "house call" if needed.
1.  UNC Charlotte  is now using Trend Micro and suggesting that faculty also use it at home - even for Macs.  Should we download it?

Trend Micro is an antivirus and to my knowledge, doesn’t make a version for the Mac. However, currently Antivirus software is unnecessary on the Mac.  I do not recommend installing it.  There are companies that make this type of product for the mac but it not needed at this time. You’ll be wasting your money.

2.  The CNN site says it appears we are from outside of the US and would we like to make the "international" version our default.  Any ideas as to why they think that?  Also our bank's site says we are signing in from "a different computer" about once a month and we only use our home computer?
You can change your CNN preferences directly on their site in the top lefthand corner.  Shown below:
Screen shot 2010-12-06 at 11.08.57 PM
To answer the bank question, I would need more information.  I would need to actually see the statement.  

3.  Our printer isn't printing most of many pages and it has paper and ink and I can't figure what is "bothering" it - any suggestions?
That would need to be solved on location.

4.  We are going to buy a new lap top and have been looking at Macbook.  UNCC's Apple store has 3 in the 13 in. size.  partner needs it to use excel and word and would like to "play" with some of our pictures.  Option 1 has 2 GB memory and 250 GB hard drive; option 2 costs $150 more with 4 GB memory and 250 GB hard drive and SD card slot; option 3 has 4 GB memory, 320 GB hard drive and the SD card slot and costs $300 more than option 2.  Any advice/considerations we should think about before deciding?
Since you're not really a "power user" the baseline model would be just fine.  You can always add more memory later or increase the hard drive space later as well.  I would suggest going with the least expensive model considering your needs.
5, The UNC Charlotte Apple store currently is offering either free or greatly discounted printer with purchase of a laptop. Any advice on Epson versus HP?
HP printers are by far the most popular.  I've used every printer out there and I think I would have to say for ease of use, the HP wins.   No printer currently blows me away but if I had to choose, the HP would be the way to go for best all around printing.  Getting one with a color display is preferable.  The HP Premium is ok.

6.  We assume we need a router to do what we want- Gary wants a way to use both a Mac and a non-Mac laptop at same time in several areas of the house.  Is that possible and again, what should we be thinking about that we don't know to ask?
I recommend the Apple Airport Extreme router.  It's a more expensive than most other routers but is very strong and reliable.  If you are looking to keep costs down however, most routers are fine.  Stay away from "Linksys" routers.  Nothing but headaches.  

One thing you need to consider is your backup method.  You need a hard drive to back up both computers.  The Seagate FreeAgent Go Flex is fine and available at Best Buy.  

Wireless Scanning still a myth

What is causing the mobile sync to keep returning to the screen? It is the one that says if you sync with Mobile me you will lose a percentage of information. It shows up on every site. it is like when you first decide to sync with Mobile me. one just came up syncing with MobileMe will change more then 25% of your Contacts on this computer below it says contacts   add  123   modify  54   delete 239 then below that cancel, sync contacts.Right now I just cancel and it will go away for about 10 minutes then returns


As we’ve discussed, mobileme can sometimes create duplicates on it’s own. After selecting to find and eliminate duplicates in Address Book, your contacts are cleaned up on one computer or device but then those changes need to move to the other devices. In this case, you should choose to accept those changes. MobileMe is trying to apply the changes made on one computer to the others. In your case, I logged in to your account and cleaned up duplicates and MobileMe is just trying to set all the rest of the contacts on the other devices straight as well. Accept the changes and you’ll be fine.

What is the Smartware doing on my computer?

I have a problem with my email. I cannot get the messages to display.
Can you help?


Yes, I can assist.  Are you having to doubleclick to see the email?  There ARE a few ways to accidentally hide email in Apple's mail application. Look for the small “handle bar” in the mail application. If you double click on it, it will hide or show the current email you’ve selected. See below:

Screen shot 2010-12-06 at 10.44.34 PM

Another button to watch out for is the small “pill” shaped button in the top right hand corner. It will hide and show your buttons. It can be a pain if you are not aware of what it does. Not sure if that is what you’re experiencing but just thought I’d mention it.

Screen shot 2010-12-06 at 10.47.13 PM

Contacts not syncing to Google


Before I do the clean install, please confirm the steps below:

  • Back Up on Time Machine
  • Using the 10.5.4, choose "Erase and Install
  • "Format disk as" dropdown menu to set the formatting options to "Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)."
  • When the "Erase and Install" is complete, I will choose transfer from a Time Machine back up

Is there anything that I am missing?


Couple of things: Once booted from the disk if you choose to erase and install then there’s no need to use the disk utility from the drop down menu as the drive will be reformatted without doing that.

After you have restored from your time machine drive, be sure to run your software update before opening anything. Run it a couple of times to be sure you’ve gotten all updates. Some application’s data on your TM backup will be expecting 10.5.8 so make sure you’re up to date.

That’s all. Good luck.

Danger Danger! Your hard drive is getting too full.

I used to have an option of dictionary (spellcheck) if I right clicked.  Did I lose that with this new mouse?


When we added the new magic mouse and enabled right click that should act exactly the way your old right click worked including having access to dictionary features when applicable.

Best Money manager for the Mac?

I hope all is well.  Can you tell me how to write the network path for a shared folder that's on my hard drive?  The folder is username/documents/HP Digital Faxes.  Now what do I put in front of this to ensure that my HP printer scan program will scan right to this folder.  I tried the following path: \\computer name\documents\HP Digital Faxes.  I get the error shown in the 2nd screen shot.  It says wait until the remote computer is turned on.  Not sure what this means.


I'm trying to set up my HP officejet to email scanned documents.  I enter all information correct regarding email set up, but I get an error saying that it could not connect to server.  See attached screen shots.  Any thoughts?


A few things to try. First, wireless scanning in 10.5 is extremely unreliable. Wireless scanning in 10.6 with the updated HP Scan software is better but mileage varies from printer to printer. The less expensive printers seem to be less reliable. Note that HP Scan Pro is the old version of the software and HP Scan is the more updated version. Check to see if using either of those will work first. HP Scan gives the option to send the scanned document directly to email.

Now to address the file path question. Usually the correct nomenclature for file paths would be as follow:

Macintosh HD/Users/yourname/Documents/HP Digital Faxes. It’s also possible that this software requires the IP address of the computer. Just not sure. I would strongly suggest checking out HP Scan. Search for print drivers on HP’s site and select the updated one. As I said 10.5 is not so Hot. 10.6 wireless scanning is warmer.

Another thing to consider looking at your second screen shot is that \ slashes are not used in file path names on a mac. Only forward slashes /. You may be more successful in the Network tab, most likely assigning an IP address to the computer then designating the file path. I’m assuming this is a web based configuration page.

If you are not doing this wirelessly then I’m guessing this is an ethernet printer and your computer is also connected to this network via ethernet?

Recovering deleted files from your trash

Hi, i have a passport for back-ups and backed up a couple of times. Now suddenly  something named smartware showed up and i do not know what it does, neither can i delete it. please advice


So Western Digital drives often come with a pre installed piece software called “smartware”. It’s their backup system written for both PC and Mac. I highly prefer Time Machine over their system. The problem is, some of their drives have this software embedded on the drive in such a way that it will not go away without a good bit of work. If not activated, it’s not causing any problems. You just have to put up with the extra icon on the desktop. If you’ve installed it (activated it) then it’s something I would suggest turning off. (Not always an easy task)

Google Contacts stopped syncing with Address Book

Hi Scotty,

I reviewed the data and found out the following issues:

1) there are numerous contacts that are part of one of my distibution lists that are not syncing
2) there are also some other misc contacts that do not sync (can not tell anything different about the data)
3) contact with just birthdays do not sync
4) Any contact added to my droid - has never gone back to my computer

Right now, I just deleted all my contacts from gmail and imported them from my i address. At least I'll have a more current list of my contacts.   

There seems to be numerous things going on - very frustrating.


from Google:
Not all contacts synced to Gmail contact list

“On Mac OS X 10.5, Contact Sync can't sync a contact with Gmail if another contact has the same email address. If an Address Book or iPhone contact contains an email address already present in a different Gmail contact, this contact will not be synced.”

So let’s determine if this is happening with your situation. Find one of the contacts you know is not moving to/from the cloud then do a search in apple’s Address Book to see if multiple contacts come up. Sounds like Google prefers that you use the built in sync support in Apple’s address book app as opposed to spanning sync or other 3rd party software. Another thing to try (although we may have tried it already -can’t remember) would be to delete all contacts from Google once again and disable spanning sync. Next reactivate google sync in address book and hope for the best.

Google’s contact sync support doc
Android contacts support doc

School website blocked

Can't download new itunes..........  what should I try?


Danger Danger Danger!!! This means that your internal hard drive is extremely full. It is time to either delete some information, move some information to another drive, or get a bigger hard drive. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Using a drive with less that 10% capacity available is not a healthy way to live your computer life. If the above message is true, that would mean that you have about .05% available and we need to do something about this soon.

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.


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 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.

Formatting Bootcamp partition and updating to 3.1

Is it true that when something is deleted from trash, that there is no way to ever retrieve it again?



It’s certainly not easy. Avoid doing it if at all possible. But it’s not impossible. I’ve recovered deleted items from the trash but it can sometimes take a very long time. Drive Genius is my tool of choice for this. it’s not a guarantee but I’ve had success with it in the past. A good bit of information can also be found here: Recover Deleted Trash Files on Mac OS X  Recover Files, Emails, Photos, Data Mac - Retrieve Trash Files Mac

Mail is not showing the inbox. Is it stuck talking to the cloud?

HI Scotty,

For some reason, my contact in my address book are not updating with gmail.  I had this problem when you came out before - think you fixed it and for some reason, it is not working again.  Any tips I could try?  Know I have 341 records in gmail and 401 in i address.  this is making me crazy!!  thoughts?


Contrary to popular belief. I don’t feel that gmail contacts sync with apple’s address book as well as many other people seem to think. First, it’s a good idea to be in Snow Leopard 10.6 with all updates run up to 10.6.5. Next, you’ll want to check your address book sync settings. Go to preferences for Address book and select accounts as seen below. Be sure that you have “synchronize with Google” checked. Next also be sure to check to make sure your password and email are correct by clicking on “Configure” to the right of the Google line. If you’ve changed your gmail password recently, the syncing could stop working.

Next also be sure to check to make sure your password and email are correct by clicking on “Configure” to the right of the Google line. If you’ve changed your gmail password recently, the syncing could stop working.

VMware can't connect to the internet

Hi Scotty!  I'm having a strange problem.  Neither of my computers can open my school website.  I've checked my preferences and settings and don't see anything wrong.  I can get on any other website I want.  I've called friends with MACs and they can get onto the website.  What could be wrong?


So I wonder do you have a filtering program that could be preventing the website from loading? The Mac’s parental controls will prevent password protected areas from displaying like or While you can see the front pages and browse, the moment you try to log in, the parental controls will block it.

Have you tried another browser like Google’s Chrome or Firefox? Can you access it on any other computer in the house?

Did this just start happening or has it been ongoing?

Where to find an external CD/DVD burner

My hard drive is not showing up on my desk top.  I turned my computer off, disconnected the hard drive, reconnected it and turned the computer back on and the hard drive still is not on my desktop.  This was my usual solution.  What do you suggest?



The hard drive you have is the MyBook by Western Digital. I don’t hold that drive in high regard. As a matter of fact, it’s number 2 on my list of worst products. I would suggest unplugging and plugging back in. Both power and cable connecting to the computer. There is a power button on the back. Be sure that you’ve tried that. Otherwise, it may have died in the move. Every hard drive dies as I always say but that MyBook drive is horrible and I hate it with a passion!

Starting in Xcode from scratch


I have tried to back up my hard drive for the past couple of hours, and I have failed spectacularly. I have renewed my MobileMe account, downloaded the Backup 3 program, installed it. Now what? Also, my Installation and Setup Guide for Boot Camp tells me that I need Windows XP or Vista, but the copy I bought at Best Buy today is WIndows 7. Is that going to be a problem? Am I in over my head, here?



First, the program that Apple offers via mobileme inside your iDisk Called “Backup 3” is horrible! It’s the icon with the umbrella. Right? Don’t use that. I can not recommend it. Time Machine does a much better job although if you are looking to create a bootcamp partition, time machine will have nothing to do with the windows backup. You would have to use specific software within windows to truly back that up.

Now when creating a bootcamp partition, you will first use the bootcamp setup utility in the utilities folder and that will allow you to create the space needed on your drive. You are most likely using Bootcamp 3.0. And will eventually need to be updated to 3.1 but you can’t do that until you’ve installed windows 7. It is possible to use Windows 7 as your bootcamp OS. Most likely, the directions you are reading were written before Windows 7 was released. After you’ve created your partition it will ask for the Windows disc. Then it will reboot into the Windows setup. You may be prompted that your bootcamp partition needs to be formatted NTFS. If this happens, go into the advanced section and choose to format. Be sure you are formatting the windows partition and not the mac side. Be very careful here. Most likely, it will only recognize the bootcamp partition anyway so you should be fine. But always backup your data before you do this. After you’ve done all that, then you are ready to proceed with the Windows 7 install. After everything is complete, the last thing you’ll want to do is update to bootcamp 3.1. It’s an .exe file so you can only do it from within windows. Here’s the link after you are in Windows:

Boot Camp Software Update 3.1 for Windows 64 bit

Boot Camp Software Update 3.1 for Windows 32 bit

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.

Bootcamp vs. Virtualization

Having trouble getting Windows 7 to connect to the internet from within VMware version 3. Using Snow Leopard and pointing VMware to Windows 7 installed as a boot camp partition. It connects fine in Bootcamp but when the Mac is on and VMware is in control, it can not see the internet connection the mac has.


Ok, this one is a little difficult. Proceed at your own risk. Of course you’ll want to back up your data within Windows 7 first. Now, drill down to the following folder. users/library/application support/VMware Fusion/Virtual Machines/Boot camp/%2Fdev%2Fdisk0/ From there, now you will need to right click on the “boot camp partition” file and choose to show package contents. Now find the file entitled boot camp partition.vmx. Right click that file and choose to open with text edit. You may have to select to show all applications because it may only want to open the file with vmware fusion itself. If you’ve made it this far you’r close. Almost done. Now you will be presented with a text file of garbledy goop you probably don’t understand. It’s ok. Now select the very last line. Make sure you on on a line where no other text is. You may have to hit return to get to the last line. Now insert the following: ethernet0.virtualDEV = “e1000”

Save the file. Quit text edit and reopen VMware fusion and then Windows 7. Windows will now automatically install an ethernet adapter driver it apparently didn’t have before and the rest is history.

More details here:

If that didn’t work, reinstall VMware tools.

Do you convert tapes to DVDs? ...No

Last week you installed a hard drive on my Power Book laptop.  As you know the CD drive is also not working.  It appears that I can't get an external CD drive that will work from Apple.  Do you have any suggestions?  Is there a CD drive made by anyone that will work?  Can you repair/replace the CD drive in my Power Book?



Yes, as CD’s and DVD’s become more and more obsolete its harder and harder to find external burners. Good that you didn’t go spend the money on the apple external drive. It’s made specifically for the airs and will not work with other mac unless hacked. I could replace the burner in your computer but your money may be better spent on an external. OWC is known for their Mac Friendly products. Check this one out: OWC Value Line USB2.0/1.1 22X Super-MultiD... (VLU2SD22XLS) at OWC

Others: SuperDrive DVD, DVD Dual-Layer, CD-R/RW, Blu-Ray Optical Drive Solutions FireWire, USB2, eSATA

Buying Refurbished from Apple

We'd like for our son, to get basic training on how to use XCode to develop an app for an iPhone or an iPad.  He is interested in learning to write game software!

I don't know if you would be available for that (I really hope so!) or if not, would you know someone?


Wonderful that your son is developing an interest in coding. If he has not yet found Xcode, he can first do so by using the install disc that came with the computer to install the additional developers software. iOS development is not something I am comfortable in. I am in the process of learning myself so I don’t think I would be of great assistance. But depending on how old he is I would suggest first enrolling in the Developers program with Apple. It’s $100 annually but gives you access to the Xcode devs forums and all the files essential to get started. I would suggest he first start as simple as possible by reverse engineering sample code others have put out on the net. Such as building apps around RSS feeds.

Here’s a great place to start. If he can make it through this then he’s serious. iPhone SDK Tutorial: Build a Simple RSS reader for the iPhone: Apple «

More on beginning in Xcode: RSS Reader (Part 2): Creating a new iPhone Xcode project and setting up your environment |

Lastly: RSS Reader (Part 1): Getting started with iPhone Development |

Changing Permissions in OS X

Not sure if I should schedule an appointment. If so, just reply back and I will happily do so.

I bought the new iMac October 21 and I think I'm all squared away with the exception of Time Machine. The message I'm getting "this backup is too large for the back up disk. Backup requires 215.09 GB but only 7.30 GB are available"

Now, it's time to give my sad, slow little laptop a make-over. I'd love you to install a new hard drive and more RAM. Let me know what I need to do.

Thanks so much!!

Ok, so the time machine drive you are currently using probably contains your old iMac’s data as well as the macbook. You will most likely want to delete the old iMac’s backup data then empty the trash. That should clear up enough space to make room for the new iMac’s Time Machine image. You can do this by going into the backup.backupsdb folder on the time machine drive then selecting the iMac’s folder. There should be a folder for the iMac and one for the macbook. You want to think through this carefully first however to be sure that you no longer need old copies of the older iMac’s data. could always buy another hard drive for time machine.

If you’d like me to purchase that ram, just give me the speed of the processor (available under “about this mac” under the black apple in the top right hand corner of the computer.) I would be happy to.

Test post

Hey Scotty,

I just recently signed on to sell life insurance for a company. I needed to download their software to my laptop, but apparently it's not compatible with a Mac. I called their tech guy and he said I needed to get what he called a windows partition? Ever heard of this? What is it? What does it do? Cost? Hard drive space? Other potential benefits and/or drawbacks?



There are two ways to have Windows run on your mac. One is using the software Apple provides called “Bootcamp”. It take a part of your hard drive and “partitions” it so that you can then reboot your computer and install and use Windows. The other (and more popular way) is to use virtualization. Programs like VMware will allow you to install and run Windows without having to shut down the Mac. You will have to purchase Windows for either way. Bootcamp is free but awkward whereas VMware costs around $50 with rebate. If you use VMware, you can use the insurance program as just another program. It’s much more convenient. You will need a good bit of free hard drive space for either choice. I’d say around 30 free gigs. I’ve talked a lot about virtualization on the site here so be sure to check out questions others have asked here: Answers Bootcamp here: Answers

Ejecting drives properly


Do you convert tapes to dvd's?  i have about 30 tapes in length from 60mins to 120mins.  would like to have them converted to dvd's that i can watch as well as raw data that i can put on the computer to make my own movies.  

Thanks much,


Unfortunately, that's not a project that I would have the time to undertake.  30 tapes would take quite a while as they must be imported in real time.  There are companies out there that will do this for you but it will cost.  So I would shop around.  

Drobo drive gone bad

hey scotty,
we are thinking about getting an ipod for child (even though neither of us owns one) for xmas. can't afford a brand new one. how reliable are the refurbished ones from mac?


Refurbished products from Apple come with the full warranty of a new one. So they are a safe bet. Refurbished means that someone bought the product but for some reason it was returned, either due to their personal reasons for exchange or because the product was faulty. Apple then resolves the issue but can not sell it as “new” by law. Generally it’s totally fine. And if there was an additional problem, then you could always take it over to the Apple store and they would resolve it there as well.

iMac running hot

I'm having some problems with my computer. There are some pictures on iphoto that I'm not able to share because I don't have "permission" because it is "locked" and I have no idea why. Also, on Vectorworks a lot of the files say they are "Read-Only" and I'm experiencing a lot of corrupted files too. So I don't know if there is some kind of permission issue but it's really frustrating.


The first thing you will want to do is “repair permissions”. You will use a program already on your computer called Disk Utility. You can use spotlight to find it. (the magnifying glass in the top right hand corner) Next, if you still have files whose permissions are set wrong, you can manually reset them. Use command+i to get info on the particular file you are looking to alter. In the bottom of the panel, you will see a Sharing and permsissions tab.

Click the triangle to toggle it then select the plus sign. You will now be able to add your user as the owner then change the permissions to Read and Write to that file. In the case of vectorworks, it may simply be that the permissions of the file are different because you are in a different user. However, it could also be Vectorworks itself has a permissions issue. You may also want to get info on the files in question as well to check that “locked” is unchecked in the info window. It’s in the General tab above Sharing and permissions.

Changing the default outgoing ports in mail

iTunes LP and Extras gone from the new AppleTV

How long should it have taken the computer to back-up? I finally unplugged it at 1:15 and it said I was supposed to eject the disk in FINDER before disconnecting and Finder would try and repair any damage that was done...ugh.


That’s a common warning you will see when disconnecting a storage device like a hard drive or USB key from your mac. The proper way to disconnect a storage device is to drag the icon to the trash. You’ll notice that the trash can turns into an eject icon. You did not do any damage. As for how long time machine takes to back up, that will vary depending on the last time you backed up. Commonly, plugging that TM drive up every day or so will only take a few minutes to complete the backup but in your case, where you went more than a week I’m guessing, it can take longer. The first backup can take hours.

Nothing to worry about.

Bootcamp won't create a partition.

Hey Scotty!
One of the 1TB HDs in my Drobo is "bad" ... anything I can do to fix it? Or do I just need to replace?  Am I okay operating with the 3 that are in there until I need more space?


If the Drobo says it’s bad then you need to replace it asap. I wouldn’t even bother trying to fix a drive. Once it fails, don’t ever trust it again. That’s my motto. it’s not worth paying around with. You can buy a great drive from newegg these days for low cost. - Computer Hardware,Hard Drives,Internal Hard Drives,1TB and higher,7200 RPM

Where's my Druid?

scotty we just got the hard drive installed and the right back side of the computer is starting to "melt", afraid of burnout...please advise or we would like you to schedule a session....


I would be happy to check it out.  Although the iMac is known to run very hot.  Many apple products do actually.  Hotter than most others.  Generally heat comes from the processor and not the hard drive.  As a matter of fact, there are temperature sensors throughout the mac (including one on the hard drive) that monitor heat.  The computer is designed to shut down if the heat builds higher than tolerance.  Sometimes, high temps can be caused by processes running that shouldn't be.  However if you would like me to take a look at it and perhaps change out the drive if you are unhappy with it's performance, I would be happy to do so.

Just let me know. 

10.6 killed the printer


Thanks for coming over today. I've sent out a few e-mails and they seem slow going out, taking about 30 seconds each.

When I go to: Mail > Preferences > Accounts>Account information, things look fine. Use only this server box is checked.

Under the advanced tab, enable this account and Include when... boxes are checked. IMAP Path Prefix box is blank. Port box shows 993 with Use SSL box checked. Authentication shows "Password", and Use IDLE command box is checked.

I thought you had set some box to use channel 587, bypassing 25 and 465, but I'm not seeing that now. Is that somewhere else that I'm not seeing? Is the 993 correct, or do I need to change it?



The 993 port you are seeing is the incoming port. The important port to consider is the outgoing port. If you’d like to return to the default method instead of using the custom port 587, the way to reach that is to go to mail’s preferences, select the account then choose to edit outgoing servers. Next go to port and change it back to the top choice instead of using the custom port.

Select to use the default ports.

Which laptop for virtualization?

Hi Scotty -

I'm a big fan of the newsletters you send out.  Thanks for all the helpful information you put in them.  I just have one question for you.  I just purchased the new AppleTV and realized that I can't view my iTunes Extras or iTunes LPs from the AppleTV.  Why would Apple do this?  Thanks.


A few things to consider. The new AppleTV is based on Apple’s iOS and just as you can’t push extras and LP over to iPad or iPhone, you can’t view them on the new AppleTV either. There is hope. The new 4.2 software will be out later this month and this may be addressed. It may be because Apple has moved to the rental only model on the AppleTV going forward and renting a movie will most likely not include extras going forward. There’s no clear answer. Who knows. Apple may be abandoning it altogether. It could also be possible that because the AppleTV is flash based with no means to store data long term, that may not make for a good model to pull over extras or LP info. Streaming only. I really don’t know. It’s all just speculation on my part. We’ll see if they recover this function in 4.2 later this month.

Update: It is speculated that Steve Jobs replied in an email that these features will show up in future versions of iOS therefore AppleTV.
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