Ask a Macologist
Our Macologists answer your questions and resolve issues about all things Macintosh. Go ahead, set an appointment and talk with our in-store Mac experts. Your problem or question could be posted on the site here! Feel free to browse all of the previous customer questions.
Ah! It’s a virus and it’s attacking Macs!!! Now hold on to your hats, cuz we’re going in. Semantics aside, this malware Trojan “Flashback” has infected over half a million Macs worldwide according Doctor Web, a Russian anti-virus vendor. Our Macologists have hashed it out and have some recommendations. Installing an antivirus software should be your first course of action. We recommend ClamXav because it is passive, and only runs if you want it to. For Business customers, Sophos is an excellent option. Sophos makes a home edition that Mac users can download for free and is great for users looking for slightly more peace of mind than normal software updates provide. Finally we also suggest MacScan, which is made by SecureMac who solved the MacDefender issue. It also removes tracking cookies and doesn’t run all the time which frees up resources to let your Mac run at it’s best. The scheduler feature makes the MacScan worth the $30 onetime fee. If you have any questions or concerns about the Flashback Trojan please come visit us at one of our Mac Store locations. We would be happy to take a look at your Mac at our Helpdesk to find out if it’s infected. We will walk you through the proper course of action for your situation. Mac OS X is not impenetrable, but compared to Windows based operating systems, the risks of Virus infection is minimal.
A problem I see pretty commonly is one related to permissions on files that were restored from a Time Machine backup, migrated from another computer, or restored from a deleted User’s home folder that was then migrated to another machine.
Let’s say a customer has restored his data to a new hard drive or new Mac computer from a backup source. These restored files are unavailable due to permissions problems or ownership privileges on the files. The Get Info window cannot solve this issue as the needed options for fixing or changing the permissions are unavailable in Finder. What to do? Fix them in Disk Utility or Terminal! More »
Thanks to all the lovely folks over at Facebook, we’ve officially hit 6,000 fans! As promised, we’ve got a package of goodies ready to ship out to one lucky amigo.
To enter: comment below with the number of artists in your iTunes Music library (or really, just drop any ol’ comment in there -and while you’re at it, please excuse my Photo-chop skills (or lack thereof …)
What you get if ya win:
• 1 Contour Design, Pocket Sleeve for MacBook – $39.95
• 1 pair Skullcandy 50/50 Earbuds – $49.95
• 1 pair Altec Backbeat Classic Mobile Earbuds – $22.88
• 1 Booq Mamba Pack Backpack, Red – $99.99
One entry per person, per day. We’ll announce the winner Monday around noon, so for those of you with superior math skills, you can enter a total of 4 times (if you leave comments today, Saturday, Sunday and Monday before noon.)
As always – no purchase necessary. CSNW employees and partners are ineligible. Offer ends 8/02/2010 at 12PM PST.
Update: Comments are now closed and a winner will be chosen.
The other day someone brought in a unibody 13″ MacBook Pro with a noisy problem. Rather than the standard RAM tones (which is part of a standard self-test) this person’s MacBook Pro continuously beeped.
After checking for battery issues, it became clear that this issue may be resolved with an SMC reset. More »
Quite often we’ll get folks asking about iPod touch apps which close right after opening. These apps won’t get past the opening screen, and it frustrates a lot of people. These are often non-OS standard apps, and rest assured, there is a way to troubleshoot your iPod touch to get things working again. More »
If your Mac is flashing a folder at you on start up, it likely needs a reminder as to where that start-up software is.
• Put in your install disk, let the computer start from that.
• Go past the Languages screen on the install and choose disk utilities from the utility menu at the top.
• Select your Macintosh HD from the list on the left. Repair permissions first then select repair disk.
• If the disk is not repairable you may need another utility such as Disk Warrior to repair. (We sell Disk Warrior at the Mac Store and it is an excellent investment for anyone with a Mac computer. We use it ourselves at our Help Desks and our Repair Center.
• After repairing retry booting the computer.
If this solves your problems, great ! If not you may need to either call tech support or make a help desk appointment for a software fix or diagnosis. If you are want to try a software repair yourself then do an archive and install from the install disk. This will leave your information intact but replaces the operating system.
A printer can be a big headache when it stops working properly. If you’ve tried everything in the manual and it’s still misbehaving, you might want to try to reset the printing system.
In earlier versions of Mac OS X, this could be done from a simple menu option in the Printer Setup Utility, but that utility is no longer around in 10.6 Snow Leopard. Luckily it can still be done — the feature is just hidden. More »
By default, iTunes likes to sort, organize, and manage your music files and folders for you. This is really convenient — who wants to make a new folder for every album and type out the name of every song when they get new music? More »
If you ever want to get a closer look at something on your computer screen, there’s a quick way to zoom in on whatever you’re pointing at.
First, make sure “Zoom” is enabled by going to System Preferences and clicking on “Universal Access”. Make sure “Zoom” is set to “On”. Now, zooming in on wherever you’re pointing is incredibly easy.
On a laptop: hold the control button on your keyboard, and do the “scroll” gesture: two fingers on the trackpad, moving up & down to zoom in & out.
On a desktop: hold the control button on your keyboard, and use the scroll wheel (or scroll ball) on your mouse to zoom in and out. This also works on the Mighty Mouse: just brush your finger up and down where a scroll wheel would normally be.
You can even fine-tune how your screen follows the cursor when zoomed in. Under “Universal Access” just click “Options…” next to “Zoom” and try out the different modes.
Sometimes your Mac might not want to give up the CD or DVD in its disc drive. Unfortunately, this annoyance can be caused by a variety of things, and if you’ve got a stubborn disc, try the following tricks:
• Restart your computer. While it’s restarting, hold the mouse button (or trackpad button) down. Keep holding it while the computer chimes and boots up. If it boots all the way without ejecting the disk, try the same thing again, but this time holding the “eject” key (or F12 if you don’t have an “eject” key).
• If you have a laptop, try holding it sideways with the disc slot facing downward while you eject the disc, so you’re working with gravity.
• If you’re comfortable using the command line, open up the Terminal application and type the following and then hit Return: “drutil eject”
Sometimes the disc is stuck because it was the wrong size for the drive (make sure you don’t use miniature discs!) or because a second disc was accidentally inserted when one was already in there.
Attempting to “pry” a disc out is rarely successful, since drives are designed to hold discs tightly even when the computer is moved around. If the disc is physically wedged or trapped in the drive, it’s best to let a technician disassemble the unit. This can minimize further damage to the disc and to the drive itself.