Basic Mac Maintenance

Basic Mac Maintenance.

Your Macintosh computer was designed to be relatively maintenance-free, but occasionally problems crop up that require a little know-how to resolve. One of the most common issues is the gray Apple logo and the spinning pinwheel at startup, and the computer never finishes booting up to the desktop. Often times this can be resolved by taking the simple step of staring your computer in Safe Mode.

Safe Mode forces your Mac to run a series of self-maintenance routines while booting. While this won’t always resolve a hung up computer, it is definitely the right place to start.

To boot your Mac into safe mode, simply turn it on while holding down the SHIFT key until you see a long progress bar underneath the gray Apple logo. It may take some time for the computer to complete the tests, so keep an eye on the progress bar for a sense of how it is going.

Once the computer (hopefully!) has booted to the desktop it is a good time to run a couple more routines to straighten out your Mac’s filesystem and get it running right. 

First, click on the Finder (that little smiling blue/gray guy on the dock) and then go to the Go menu on the menu bar. From there select Utilities.

Now look for an application called Disk Utility and launch it. You should see your Mac’s hard drive listed on the left hand side. Click on the volume name, not the hard drive. 

Now, take a look at the window on the right. Below it you will see a button titled “Repair Disk Permissions” Go ahead and click on that button. This will repair the permissions scheme of all the files installed on your Mac using OS X’s Installer. It may take a minute or two if you have never run it before, so be patient!

Finally, and for those that aren’t afraid to get a little more involved in the inner-workings of their Macs, here is a routine to run scheduled scripts that your computer needs to self-maintain. Normally these are scheduled to run late at night when you are not using the computer, but it is more likely that your computer is turned off or asleep at these hours, and so the commands are rarely run as scheduled.

Go back to the Utilities folder and look for an application called Terminal. This is Mac UNIX command line tool. From here we will execute the scripts that clean up files and caches on your Mac, and may not have been run in some time.

Using your Admin account, you can run all three maintenance scripts at once:

Open the terminal and type the following exactly as it appears below:

sudo periodic daily weekly monthly

Press return and enter you Administrator password, and press return again.

Now reboot your Mac, and enjoy!

Check back next week for another simple tip to get the most out of your Apple!

The iClinic

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