Troubleshooting Mac® OS X, Tiger® Edition

The Chapters

Troubleshooting Mac OS X, Tiger 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.

Buy the Book

Getting Started with Mac OS X

Moving to Mac OS X
Comprehensive guidance on achieving a trouble-free Mac OS X installation for those new to Mac OS X.
Installing Tiger
Complete details on upgrading from Mac OS X v10.2 Jaguar or Mac OS X v10.3 Panther®, to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, including information on common installation problems to make your upgrade or installation trouble-free.
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.
Moving to a New Mac
Step-by-step advice on moving from your current Mac to a new Mac when both are running Mac OS X.
Providing Feedback
How to tell Apple about the features you would like to see, or the problems you have found, with their products.

Prevention and Preparation

An Ounce of Prevention
Key practices to help you avoid common problems with Mac OS X, with special advice for laptop users.
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
Links to Mac OS X error codes and how to find unlisted error codes.
Creating a 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
Comprehensive advice on how to get help when you need it from the plethora of resources available on the Internet.
Organizing Information About Your Mac
Keeping information about your Mac, including hardware, software, peripherals, and changes you have made can significantly reduce the time you need to spend when troubleshooting.
Protecting Against Power Problems
Comprehensive 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.
Comprehensive discussion and advice on installing, troubleshooting, and uninstalling applications.
Archive and Install
Addresses when to use Archive and Install, caveats for using such as a problem-solving technique, and how to perform and Archive and Install.
AVI and DivX Files
Addresses how to play AVI and DivX® files in Mac OS X.
Burning CDs and DVDs
Comprehensive advice and troubleshooting information on preventing or resolving common problems when burning optical media, including burning with iTunes®.
Cache Cleaning
Discusses the process and tools used to perform cache cleaning, a useful troubleshooting technique and often the solution to a variety of problems in Mac OS X.
Discusses Classic mode and how to troubleshoot such.
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.
Widgets wobbly? This chapter will help you put them right.
Data Recovery
How to recover lost data, ranging from accidental deletions to disasters. The chapter Dr. Smoke hopes you never need to read!
Disk Images
Creating, using, and troubleshooting disk images in Mac OS X, including alternatives to Disk Utility for those who mourn the loss of Disk Copy.
The Dock
Provides advice on living with the Dock and troubleshooting common Dock problems.
Fast User Switching
How to use and troubleshoot this useful facility in Mac OS X.
Resolving issues with the Fax capability bundled with Mac OS X.
Discusses FileVault, including advice to help you decide if it is right for you, important caveats to its use, 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 finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.
FireWire® Problems
Comprehensive troubleshooting advice for problems with FireWire peripherals.
Floppy Disk Drive Problems
Floppy drive problems and support under Mac OS X, for the storage medium that just will not die.
Addresses font management in Mac OS X, previewing uninstalled fonts, and troubleshooting font-related problems.
Font Book
Avoiding and resolving common problems with Font Book 2.0, Tiger's revised font-management application.
Force Quit Applications, the Dock, or Finder.
Techniques used in so many troubleshooting procedures that they deserved their own chapter.
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 Viewer
Resolving common problems with Help Viewer.
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.
Troubleshooting advice for problems when logging in to your Mac.
Mac OS 9
Why you should keep Mac OS 9, how to uninstall it if you want to remove it, and how to reinstall it if you change your mind.
Mac OS X Maintenance Scripts
Discusses the Mac OS X maintenance scripts, including Tiger's new launchd (lanch daemon) faciliity.
Mac OS X Standalone Updates
Finding every standalone update for Mac OS X, including both individual 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.
Mac-Windows® Integration
Comprehensive advice on integrating your Mac OS X system with Windows-based systems, including Windows File Sharing.
Mouse Problems
Step-by-step instructions for troubleshooting every Mac user's favorite rodent.
NetInfo® UID
How to find the NetInfo User ID number for any account: a critial piece of information in several troubleshooting procedures.
Detailed advice on creating a variety of networks, file sharing with other Macs, getting on the Internet, and troubleshooting 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.
Printing and Printer Sharing
Comprehensive advice on 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 if problems are related to insufficient RAM or available hard disk space, and how to resolve such.
Reinstall Mac OS X Using Erase and Install
If all else fails, reinstalling Mac OS X using Erase and Install may be the last troubleshooting step before taking your Mac in for service.
Repair Disk Process
A vital troubleshooting and repair process for addressing common hard drive problems.
Repair Permissions Process
Permission issues are another source of Mac OS X problems. This chapter provides several approaches to addressing such.
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, including several side effects introduced in Tiger.
Discusses scanner compatibility with Mac OS X and how to get an incompatible scanner to work using third-party software.
Troubleshooting advice for this light-weight Web browser, including how to find new Sherlock 3 channels.
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.
Software Update
Troubleshooting common problems with this key utility, including advice on how to obtain large updates if you do not have a broadband Internet connection, and comprehensive guidance on avoiding and troubleshooting problems from installing software 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 "please wait" progress indicator has worn out its welcome.
The definitive resource on troubleshooting this powerful search facility, with comprehensive details on its inner workings, strengths, and limitations,.
How to resolve a variety of common problems that keep you from getting to Mac OS X's lovely Aqua interface, including a variety of Startup-related Log In issues.
Startup and Login Items
A thorough procedure for troubleshooting Startup and Login Items, which can be a major source of probelms.
System Preferences
How to resolve missing preference panes and other issues with this critical Mac OS X component.
System Profiler
Provides advice on launching, using, and troubleshooting System Profiler including a tip on how to create a text file containing a System Profiler report.
Terminating a Process
Step-by-step instructions for terminating runaway applications or background processes.
The definitive, step-by-step guide to Trashing files that just will not go away and other Trash-related problems.
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: Significant Changes from Jaguar to Tiger
For the benefit of those upgrading from Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar directly to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, this appendix details significant changes from Jaguar, many of which were introduced in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther and that still apply under Tiger.
Appendix 2: System Logging
An introduction to system logging in UNIX system and discussion of the new Apple System Logging facility in Tiger.
Appendix 3: Tiger’s Spotlight Plug-ins
Describes the Spotlight Plug-ins included with Tiger.
Appendix 4: Indexing Shared Volumes with Spotlight
Discusses a procedure for locally indexing shared volumes with Spotlight.
Appendix 5: Spotlight and Hidden or Invisible Files
A discussion, with examples, of Spotlight anomalies when searching for hidden or invisible files.

Troubleshooting Mac OS X, Tiger 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®.

Troubleshooting Mac OS X, Tiger 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 10.4: buy Troubleshooting Mac OS X, Tiger Edition today!

Buy the Book

Buy the Book
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.