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  #11  
Old 08-11-2012, 08:16 PM
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Macs need less work than a Windows pc. Working on Macs are less convenient. I sometimes use the built in utilities or use Mac TuneUp. Pretty good software and it gets the job done and done well. I get in more PC's than Macs in my shop. That right there tells you something. Macs are less prone to problems...
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  #12  
Old 08-11-2012, 08:21 PM
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Default Mac Tools

We use:
1) Onyx (Very Nice but you need to be careful if you don't know what you are doing.
2) CCleaner for Mac (Love it, and even has a nice application removal tool)
3) AppCleaner (remove unwanted programs)
4) AppFresh (Keep you programs up to date)
5) Battery Health Monitor
6) Sophos (AntiVirus, Malware for MAC)
Hope that helps!
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  #13  
Old 08-11-2012, 09:21 PM
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Lots of good stuff here. Thanks for all the information.

Amazingly, I just had another mac call. This one sounds like a dead drive. They already have a new machine and just want to know if I can pull data off the old one. They haven't brought it in yet, but I am assuming this process is no different than with a windows machine? I mean its still a sata drive, just a different format. I'll clone it first, of course, and then extract files from the clone. Any speed bumps I should know about?
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtemusComputerTechnology View Post
Macs need less work than a Windows pc. Working on Macs are less convenient. I sometimes use the built in utilities or use Mac TuneUp. Pretty good software and it gets the job done and done well. I get in more PC's than Macs in my shop. That right there tells you something. Macs are less prone to problems...
Macs make up about 10% of the installed base, though the laptop percentage is increasing. And a lot of Windows machines are low end junk, so it stands to reason that you will see more Windows than Macs for repair.

Our client base is the entertainment industry where Macs are as much a fashion statement as a tool. We also do contract end user support for a large company. Our user base mix is close to 50/50 Windows to Macs. And we fix just about as many Macs as we do Windows machines. Other than malware, Macs are not any more reliable than a decent Windows machine.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:59 PM
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Other than malware, Macs are not any more reliable than a decent Windows machine.
I hope you are not talking about software. Hardware wise I agree, because about 90% of the issues I see are hardware. But then about 70% of hardware problems turn out to be drives, for which Apple doesn't manufacture drives. I attribute many of the drive failures to be associated with heat, for which most of Apples equipment (besides the Mac Pro) the drives are encapsulated in very confined areas with very little air flow. On top of that take the iMac, which has a 21" or 27" display generating more heat right on top of the drive.
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  #16  
Old 08-12-2012, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Checkers View Post
I speak both Windows and Mac :

For day to day maintenance:

ONYX :
<i>Ensure you use the correct OS Version </i>
Very good for the small general maintenance that makes a difference for a Mac

Software Update: I know, however if really does make a difference

Console for review of error logs: Found in the Applications/utilies folder or use Spotlight (Command + Spacebar)

AppCleaner (think REVVO for Mac)

Omnidisksweeper : for review of Harddrive space usage

And Learn this !

How to reset Mac users password: (Many users <b>never</i> use their password as auto-login for Mac is very prevalent

Hold Apple+S when booting to enter single user mode

#sh /etc/rc
#passwd yourusername
#reboot


These are <b> very </b> useful:

During boot if you press:

C You start from a bootable CD such as your install DVD in the drive.

D Perform an Apple Hard ware test if you have your install DVD in the drive.

N Boot from a network compatible server. Only useful if you have the server.

T Start up in Target Disk mode. You can usually connect to another Mac through Firewire and do lots of funky things. Gone out of fashion and not used as much.

Option Start up using the Start Up Manager. Here you can pick which drive you want to boot from. Known to people who use BootCamp. You can also boot from a CD which is the same as press C.

Option then N Similar to the item above, except you get given the choice of booting from a network disk.

Option + N Boot from the first network boot image.

Command + V Boot up in Verbose mode, where you see lots of text whizzing by which is not a lot of use to you. I have written about this command here. It will also show Verbose output on shut down.

Command + S Single User Mode. This is where you can run a lot of high level tasks as a single user. Probably not for newbies. You could probably break your computer very quickly in Single User mode. More about it here.

Shift Start up in safe mode. Very useful if you have a problem and need an environment where you don’t want unnecessary things loaded. A good bet if you get Kernel panics during boot.

Option + Command + P + R Reset NVRAM. Although you will probably never need to reset this RAM it contents some useful stuff that can become corrupted. If you are having really bad problems this may be a good lead to follow. More information on Apple’s website.

Hold Eject or F12 or Mouse Eject anything that is in the disk drive.
I wasn't going to touch this, but some things really need to be elaborated on and I'm just going to do it.

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Software Update: I know, however if really does make a difference
I agree, but its far from perfect and also can break things. Also software update can choke on a certain update and bottleneck the entire process. Best thing to do if you suspect an update has broken something is manually download and install the most recent combined update. If software update won't install updates, its really nothing to be too terribly alarmed with. It usually happens when a bunch of updates are being installed all at once. You can do the manual download of the combo installer or the quick and dirty way is by unchecking some of the updates in the bunch and do them one by one, which usually sorts out the update that id bottle-necking the process. This applies to all versions of OSX 10.7.4 on down. Now with 10.8, software update steers you right onto the app store. So I'm assuming a manual update installation with Mountain Lion is going to be handled by option clicking the update through the app store and selecting "show package contents" and then going from there. But of course, this option will only be available once the download has already been installed at least once through the app store. But we shall see?

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T Start up in Target Disk mode. You can usually connect to another Mac through Firewire and do lots of funky things. Gone out of fashion and not used as much.
Far from out of fashion and actually that statement couldn't be further from the truth. Anyone remember back in late 08 when Apple had discontinued firewire in some models? Well, unlike Apple, they reconsidered (thank goodness) and now firewire is still available on all recent models but the Macbook Air. Without firewire, there is no target disk mode. A machine in target disk mode connected to another Mac acts as an external hard drive or another mounted volume. Furthermore a machine in target disk mode can be used as an external optical drive connected to another Mac with a fubar optical. I regularly use target disk mode to slave to my bench machines to perform backups, create disk images of volumes, and clone to and from other machines all the time through disk utility (something else extremely useful included in OSX). Furthermore, Firewire transfer speeds are (as of the last 6-7 years) 800Mbps. Better yet, firewire runs pretty much independent of the processor which make speeds more consistent (unlike usb 2.0). If/when thunderbolt really takes off and the implementation of usb 3.0 on the most recent Mac models, firewire may become more unnecessary and irrelevant. But for now its still extremely handy (unless every single time you'd like to slave a drive, you'd like to pull the drive).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Checkers View Post
Command + V Boot up in Verbose mode, where you see lots of text whizzing by which is not a lot of use to you. I have written about this command here. It will also show Verbose output on shut down.
Verbose mode is more than text whizzing by and is useful. If a Mac is hanging on boot, it's a very handy troubleshooting tool. The text whizzing by can show you what may be causing the hangup as the entire boot process is logged in real time and visible as it happens. Maybe this was already intended to be elaborated on by OP but his links aren't working?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Checkers View Post
Shift Start up in safe mode. Very useful if you have a problem and need an environment where you don’t want unnecessary things loaded. A good bet if you get Kernel panics during boot.
I don't know so much safe boot fixing kernel panics, as it may temporarily provide a booting environment where it's making a kernel panic less likely. Kernel panics can be caused by just about anything. However, safe boot is extremely handy and even a very good maintenance routine in itself. Safe boot is especially useful if you have a Mac with really hard to pinpoint issues and I found as a consistent fix for the blue screen at login occurrence that can be common with OSX. It's widely believed that safe boot fixes more issues than Apple even acknowledges besides what is already documented by Apple. In short it disables many unnecessary kexts (kernel extensions) and fonts, clears many hidden caches all while forcing fsck (UNIX abrevation for file system check) at boot. Never underestimate the power of safe boot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech Checkers View Post
Option + Command + P + R Reset NVRAM. Although you will probably never need to reset this RAM it contents some useful stuff that can become corrupted. If you are having really bad problems this may be a good lead to follow. More information on Apple’s website.
Does way more than clear only NVRAM or video RAM. Also known as zapping PRAM or PRAM reset. Basically it clears the contents of video RAM and a whole slew of other settings. Also good for shutting off things that will run constantly at startup like verbose mode. Should be a first step in troubleshooting just about any hardware issue (especially no video, or general video issues, or even sound issues) or peripheral issue. To do a proper PRAM reset, follow the key sequence mentioned by (most importantly) holding the key combination for at least 3 chimes (or the gong sound to Mac noobs). A good description of the contents of PRAM is here.

One very important thing not even mentioned is the SMC (System Management Controller) reset. Known and similar to the PMU (Power Management Unit) reset on PowerPC Macs. SMC reset is a first try hardware resolution routine for issues like power, charging and fans, along with a variety of other things. Should be used with caution or only used when really necessary as too many resets may even crash the SMC chip. So it's necessary sometimes, but once is plenty. Unlike the universal key combination for a PRAM reset, SMC reset procedure depends on what Mac is sitting in front of you and some machines can have a couple different ways for performing the SMC reset.
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Last edited by anonymous Mac Tech; 08-12-2012 at 10:30 PM. Reason: needed touch up
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  #17  
Old 08-13-2012, 12:31 AM
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+1 for Onyx, will take care of many maintenance tasks with just a few clicks.
Breslink temperature monitor will help with your overheating trouble shooting.
Original boot discs can help to repair a bad drive which needs to be unmounted to repair in certain cases, but its slow to boot. I find there's no better tool than an external drive with a installation of OS X. Its much faster than a disc and a bit faster than a usb installer (another good tool to have on hand). Just clone (Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper) your basic system to an external usb drive, install your choice of diagnostic applications and you have your portable diag boot drive. On one drive you can partition it to have multiple versions, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion etc. Leave one partition empty and you can copy files from the internal drive to it if need be.
Built in unix tool DD is great to image a drive with a boot camp and OS X partitions on it, takes time but works well.

Rember for checking ram.

Creating a new account helps to narrow down some software of home folder problems. Often if the problem behavior is absent from a newly created account the fix could be as simple as deleting the associated plist file from the problem account
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  #18  
Old 08-13-2012, 01:44 AM
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Original boot discs can help to repair a bad drive which needs to be unmounted to repair in certain cases, but its slow to boot. I find there's no better tool than an external drive with a installation of OS X. Its much faster than a disc and a bit faster than a usb installer (another good tool to have on hand).
There is no repair for a bad drive. I hope you mean repair as in file system or directory structure or permissions repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sal13 View Post
Just clone (Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper) your basic system to an external usb drive, install your choice of diagnostic applications and you have your portable diag boot drive. On one drive you can partition it to have multiple versions, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion etc. Leave one partition empty and you can copy files from the internal drive to it if need be.
Disk utility has the same and even more functionality as CCC and super duper. Also, disk utility tasks can be done with any machine running OSX and the other machine slaved through target disk mode or with the drive pulled and slaved to another Mac, but to each your own.

Yes, an external drive with various OSX installers and installations is handy and I pretty much elaborated about it on my first reply to this thread (see post #3), but thanks for agreeing and not so much for thoroughly reading through all the posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sal13 View Post
Rember for checking ram.
This is where activity monitor is very handy as faring as checking RAM usage, page ins and outs/processor usage/disk read,writes,thrashing

Quote:
Originally Posted by sal13 View Post
Creating a new account helps to narrow down some software of home folder problems. Often if the problem behavior is absent from a newly created account the fix could be as simple as deleting the associated plist file from the problem account
Thanks for mentioning another user account. When you know you have a software problem on your hands, creating a dummy account or checking another existing account is very useful in narrowing down a software issue as being either a user or system corruption.
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Last edited by anonymous Mac Tech; 08-13-2012 at 01:47 AM.
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  #19  
Old 08-13-2012, 06:13 AM
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Disk Warrior is a good program. It rebuilds the disk and is good for indicating HDD issues. Sorry if this program was already mentioned, there is a lot to read.
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  #20  
Old 08-13-2012, 09:22 PM
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Printers;

Small B&W laser printer, same as for Windows - very easy, either immediately recogised, use the supplied media or download the OEM lasted driver set. Network enable are even better. set to static IP and Bonjour will usually find:

Brother
Samsung
HP

Small Colour Printer and MFC: not so much of an issue nowaday, hower apple do still have an "approved" printers list and "some printers still don't play nice with Mac OS, have found surprising the HP inkjets to be some of the best choices - HP and Mac play VERY well together : )

The more expensive the printer the more likely it is to work well with Mac, (was worth the OEM's effort to create and test the Drivers).

Learning and Understanding CUPS (Central Unified Printing System) especially how to administer via the Web Interface is very useful.. Address in localhost:631 and username is the user's "Short Name" usually First Name Last Name.
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