Troubleshooting Mac® OS X®, Lion Edition

The Chapters

Troubleshooting Mac OS X, Lion Edition is divided into three primary sections:

Getting Started with Mac OS X

Provides important information for both new and experienced Mac OS X users, with chapters covering areas including installing Mac OS X, learning about Mac OS X, key differences between Mac OS X and prior versions of the Mac OS®, maintaining Mac OS X, upgrading your Mac, and moving to a new Mac.

Prevention and Preparation

The best way to avoid problems is to take preventative steps where possible. The best way to quickly resolve problems is to be prepared for them should they arise. These chapters cover techniques for preventing problems with your Mac and Mac OS X, as well as being prepared to troubleshoot problems that may arise with Mac OS X.

Troubleshooting Mac OS X

The heart of the book, the chapters in this section provide troubleshooting tips and techniques, step-by-step instructions, and links to relevant information for resolving problems with Mac OS X. Other than the "General Mac OS X Troubleshooting" chapter, the chapters in this section are in alphabetical order, focusing on the most common problems with specific Mac OS X components, file types, processes, or procedures.

The following tables detail the chapters and their content in each of their respective sections.

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Getting Started with Mac OS X

Installing Lion

How to install Mac OS X v10.7 Lion, with an emphasis on upgrading from earlier versions and avoiding common installation problems.

Learning Mac OS X
Educational resources for mastering Mac OS X.
Maintaining Mac OS X
How to keep Mac OS X running smoothly.
Upgrades: Planning, Researching, Buying, and Installing
Whether upgrading to improve Mac OS X performance, or the functionality of your Mac, this chapter will help you find and install Mac OS X-compatible upgrades and peripherals at the best price. Includes advice on the ultimate upgrade: buying a new Mac.
Providing Feedback
How to tell Apple about the features you would like to see, or the problems you have found.

Prevention and Preparation

An Ounce of Prevention
Key practices to help you avoid common problems with Mac OS X.
Backup and Recovery
Comprehensive advice on implementing a complete backup and recovery solution, potentially the most important and cheapest insurance you can buy for your Mac!
Create a Test Account
Test accounts are useful troubleshooting tools. Here's how to create them and how to use them.
Disk Utilities
Recommended disk utilities for dealing with the hard drive problems that eventually strike all computers.
Error Codes
A brief discussion of Mac OS X error codes.
First Aid Folder
Having a First Aid Folder in the Dock can provide you with access to troubleshooting tools when Finder is not functioning.
Obtaining Help Online
Addresses how to get help when you need it from the plethora of resources available on the Internet.
Organizing Information About Your Mac
Organizing information about your Mac — including hardware, software, peripherals, and changes you have made — can expedite troubleshooting.
Protecting Against Power Problems
Detailed advice on protecting against power problems, such as power outages and surges, and how to recover from such
A look into the many security features included in Mac OS X, with advice on keeping your system secure.

Troubleshooting Mac OS X: A-Z

General Mac OS X Troubleshooting
Provides a general approach and related process to troubleshooting Mac OS X. Use this procedure if none of the specific procedures elsewhere in this book address a problem.
Activity Monitor
How to use this important troubleshooting utility in a variety of situations.
AirPort® Base Station and Time Capsule® Status Lights
How to interpret the status lights on these devices.
Comprehensive discussion and advice on installing, troubleshooting, and uninstalling applications.
AVI and DivX Files
Addresses how to play AVI and DivX® files in Mac OS X.
Burning CDs and DVDs
Addresses common problems when burning optical media.
Cache Cleaning
Discusses the process and tools for cache cleaning, a useful troubleshooting technique and often the solution to a variety of problems in Mac OS X.
Clean Start

Discusses a new feature in Mac OS X 10.7 to prevent applications — other than Login Items — that were open when you last logged out of your account, restarted your Mac, or shut down your Mac from reopening when you next log in.

Console and Crash Logs
Details how to use Console and crash logs to gain information useful in troubleshooting, including interpreting crash logs and specific Console messages.
Core Storage

Describes the Mac OS X implementation of Logical Volume Management introduced in Mac OS X 10.7.

Widgets wobbly? This chapter will help you put them right.
Data Recovery
How to recover lost data, ranging from accidental deletions to disasters.
Disk Images
Creating, using, and troubleshooting disk images.

Disks, Partitions, and Volumes

Discusses the differences between disks, partitions, and volumes as they apply to Disk Utility.

The Dock
Advice on living with the Dock and troubleshooting Dock problems.
Fast User Switching
How to use and troubleshoot this feature of Mac OS X.
Discusses FileVault, including advice to help you decide if it is right for you and comprehensive troubleshooting advice.
Addresses troubleshooting and solving a variety of common Finder problems.
Finding Corrupted Files
Techniques for finding damaged or corrupted files, a task that otherwise is akin to searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
FireWire® Problems
Comprehensive troubleshooting advice for problems with FireWire peripherals.
Addresses font management in Mac OS X, previewing uninstalled fonts, and troubleshooting font-related problems.
Font Book
Avoiding and resolving common problems with this font-management application.
Freeing Space on Your Startup Disk
Tips and techniques for increasing the available space on your Mac OS X startup disk: a necessary technique if you are low on RAM or hard disk space.
Freezes and Hangs
Comprehensive advice on resolving freezes and hangs occurring in either applications or your Mac, including a detailed example of remote troubleshooting with Secure Shell (SSH).
Hard Drive Sleep
A thorough review of the issue of hard drive sleep, related problems, and methods for addressing such.
Hardware Testing
Procedures for troubleshooting hardware problems using the Apple Hardware Test and other utilities.
Help Center
Resolving common problems with Help Center.
Isolating Troublesome Peripherals
Provides a step-by-step procedure for isolating a problem related to peripherals.
Kernel Panics
Step-by-step instructions for resolving kernel panics, both in general and for the common causes of kernel panics. Includes extensive analysis of sample panic logs showing how to use these powerful troubleshooting tools.
Keyboards and Keyboard Shortcuts
Comprehensive advice on keyboard shortcuts and resolving common keyboard problems, including a general keyboard troubleshooting process.
A thorough discussion of keychains, including comprehensive troubleshooting advice.

Discusses this comprehensive feature for opening, organizing, and uninstalling your applications.

Troubleshooting advice for problems when logging in to your Mac.
Mac OS X Maintenance Scripts
Discusses the Mac OS X maintenance scripts, including details about each script, how to execute the scripts manually, viewing the associated log files, and determining when the scripts ran last.
Mac OS X Standalone Updates
Finding standalone update for Mac OS X, including both Delta and Combo updates.
Make Yourself the Owner of an Object
A procedure for making yourself the owner of a file or folder. Useful for when you need to change or delete an object you do not own.
Migration Assistant
Discusses Migration Assistant, a utility for moving accounts, applications, and data from an old Mac to a new Mac, or from a backup of a Mac OS X startup disk to either a new Mac or a new Mac OS X installation.
Mission Control

Discusses and provides troubleshooting advice about this new feature of Mac OS X that consolidates Exposť®, Spaces®, and access to Dashboard in a single facility.

Mouse and Trackpad Problems
Step-by-step instructions for troubleshooting every Mac user's favorite rodent and the two-dimensional version thereof.
Advice on creating a local network, sharing files with other Macs, connecting to the Internet, and resolving a host of networking-related problems.
How to fine-tune aspects of Mac OS X for optimal performance, and how to identify and resolve performance issues.
Pug-ins and Input Managers
Addresses understanding and troubleshooting these two methods for extending and affecting the function of applications and Mac OS X technologies.
Printing and Printer Sharing
Addresses resolving common printing problems. Additionally includes guidance on printer sharing, including Windows printer sharing, and troubleshooting such.
Problems from Insufficient RAM and Free Hard Disk Space
How to diagnose and solve problems related to insufficient RAM or available hard disk.
Recovery Mode

How to start up your Mac for troubleshooting purposes now that Mac OS X no longer ships on a DVD.

Reinstalling Mac OS X
If all else fails, reinstalling Mac OS X may be the last troubleshooting step before taking your Mac in for service.
Repair Disk Process
A vital process for addressing common hard drive problems.
Repair Permissions Process
Provides several remedies to permissions problems.
Reset Home Folder Permissions
How to use this troubleshooting feature of Mac OS X to correct permissions issues with Home folders.
Resolving Disk, Permission, and Cache Corruption
If there is a magic troubleshooting process in Mac OS X, this procedure comes close. This important set of tasks can resolve a myriad of issues in Mac OS X.
Safe Mode
Details on this important troubleshooting approach.
Discusses scanner compatibility with Mac OS X and how to get an incompatible scanner to work using third-party software.
Procedures for getting your Mac to shut down no matter how much it resists.
How to fix Mac OS X when it has insomnia or is in a coma.
SMART Status
How to determine if a hard disk drive is functioning nominally or about to fail.
Software Update
Troubleshooting common problems with this key utility, including comprehensive guidance on avoiding and troubleshooting problems from installing updates.
Advice that will be music to your ears if Mac OS X gives you the silent treatment. Includes a variety of tips related to sound in Mac OS X.
The Spinning Beach Ball of Death
Troubleshooting advice for when the spinning wait cursor has worn out its welcome or threatens to hypnotize you.
The definitive resource on troubleshooting this powerful search facility, with comprehensive details on its inner workings.
Comprehensive advice on resolving a variety of startup-related problems.
Startup and Login Items
A thorough procedure for troubleshooting Startup and Login Items.
System Information
Provides advice on launching and troubleshooting System Information.
System Preferences
Solving problems with this critical Mac OS X component.
Terminating a Process
How to stop runaway applications or background processes.
Time Machine®
Discusses this backup and recovery solution, including how to battle any Morlocks lurking beneath the surface.
The definitive, step-by-step guide to trashing files that just will not go away.
User ID Number
How to fund the User ID number for any account on your Mac.
Verify Disk Process
Checking hard drive volumes for directory corruption.
VCD and SVCD Players
How to play Video Compact Discs (VCDs) and Super VCDs (SVCDs) in Mac OS X.
Zeroing Volumes
Comprehensive instructions on securely erasing a disk, partition, or volume while assuring that bad sectors are removed from service.


Appendix 1: System Logging
An introduction to system logging in UNIX system and the Apple System Logging facility.
Appendix 2: Kernel Panic Vectors for Intel-based Macs
Kernel panic vectors for Intel-based Macs. These values can provide clues to the cause of a kernel panic on an Intel-based Mac.
Appendix 3: Spotlight Plug-ins
Describes the Spotlight Plug-ins included with Mac OS X.

Troubleshooting Mac OS X, Lion Edition is priced at US$ 19.95 for a Single User License delivered via download after approval of your secure purchase by credit card or PayPal®.

Delivery on CD, a discounted Download+CD Combo, and multiuser licenses are also available.

Troubleshooting Mac OS X, Lion Edition is not only an excellent value, but a superb investment in your productivity.

Take advantage of Dr. Smoke's comprehensive experience and expertise in preventing and resolving problems with Mac OS X 10.7: buy Troubleshooting Mac OS X, Lion Edition today!

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