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  • Damaged Floppy Disk...
    Ever inserted a floppy into your Mac and gotten the error, "this disk is unreadable do you want to initialize it?"
    There is a possible fix for this: Eject the disk, then open "First Aid" (which should be located within your system's utility folder). Make sure First Aid is the active program and then insert the floppy. Highlight the floppy in First Aid and click "Verify." It should say "You need repairs." Click on "Repair" and it that should solve the problem. You must verify first or you will not solve the problem.

  • Booting from a CD...
    Booting from a CD is useful for diagnostic purposes. It ensures that the system software your computer is booted from is "known-good."
    The suffix ROM (as in CD-ROM) stands for "Read Only Memory": this means just that the data that have been stored on the disc can only be read, or interpreted by the computer, not written to. This is important because all software, system and application alike, can become corrupted at some point or another. Corrupted software can cause you all sorts of problems, from system freezing, to crashes, to incorrect image display etc. So if you think your software may be corrupt, it might be a good idea to boot from something that isn't or can never become corrupt, like a CD-ROM. To boot from a CD, simply put it in the CD-ROM drive and hold down the 'C' key on your keyboard during the boot sequence. This works for Norton Utilities, your system software disks that originally came with your computer, as well as a number of other diagnostic programs.

  • Moving your Control Strip...
    Lots of people ask me how to move their control strip around the desktop making it more easily accessible. To move the Control Strip, simply hold down the Option key and drag it wherever you like. You can even customize the order in which each button appears on the strip by doing the same thing for each button.

  • Rebuild your desktop...
    Your should rebuild your desktop file at least once a month to ensure your Mac shows the proper icons and aliases on your desktop.
    Hold down the "Command-Option" keys while your computer boots up. Once you reach the desktop, a dialogue box will appear asking if you really want to rebuild your desktop. Click "yes" and let it do its thing. Note, if you have your hard drive partitioned or have an external drive, it will prompt you to rebuild each of these files.

  • Zap your PRAM...
    PRAM, or parameter RAM, works closely with your system's power management. It is mainly responsible for correct date and time functions.
    Whenever troubleshooting a power issue, you should always Zap your PRAM first. To do this, hold down "Command-Option-P and R" keys simultaneously on startup. You should hear a second or even third startup chime when you do this. Your PRAM has been reset. Once you reach the desktop, you'll need to reset the date and time, as it will have changed.


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Revised: November 21, 2007