Pin Me

Troubleshooting Your MacBook, iMac and Mac Mini

written by: •edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 9/15/2011

So, you bought a Mac expecting to be completely free of problems? Bad move: at the end of the day, Apple builds computers. Regardless of their reputation, these are consumer items that are just as prone to errors, crashes and breakages as a Windows computer.

  • slide 1 of 7

    Problems Booting Your Mac?

    We’ll start at the beginning, the process of switching on your Mac. As you will learn, a Mac OS X computer should boot straight into the operating system unless a key has been pressed to select an alternative partition. Problems booting can usually be resolved via the Startup Manager, or you might be required to boot from the startup disc.

  • slide 2 of 7

    General Mac OS X Troubleshooting Tips

    General Mac OS X Troubleshooting Tips Regardless of which Mac personal computer you are using, it will be running a version of OS X. As such you will need to troubleshoot based on the operating system rather than the hardware. General troubleshooting tips should always be checked out, rather than being considered a waste of time – at worst, you will remind yourself of what needs to be investigated.

    Should the problem be hardware based, however, there are various fixes that can be applied on a device-by-device basis. Before addressing these, however, running the Apple Hardware Test will take just a few minutes and is a very useful process for establishing the cause of problems. If you’re unable to troubleshoot it yourself, the results of the hardware test can be relayed to an engineer or Apple Store genius for professional assistance.

  • slide 3 of 7

    Troubleshooting the Apple Macbook

    One of the most popular notebook computers currently on the market, the Apple MacBook is a remarkable device – light with minimalist design and an impressive hardware spec (regardless of the model) it single-handedly made mobile computing cool.

    There are various risks associated with using a MacBook of course (or indeed any type of notebook computer), in particular problems with the battery or connecting to a local wireless network. You might also experience severe concerns if you’re unlucky enough to drop your MacBook, something that happens with alarming regularity.

    General troubleshooting tips for your MacBook are always worth checking out, meanwhile, simply so that you can understand the basics of maintaining your computer.

  • slide 4 of 7

    Get to Grips with Your iMac!

    Probably the most popular current Mac is the iMac, an impressively designed all-in-one device that combines high-end computing courtesy of an Intel chipset with a high-definition display and several different hardware specification options.

    Using any computer regularly will lead to you uncovering quirks or the occasional issue, and the same is true of the iMac. You should spend some time learning about power on shortcuts, however, as this is useful for anyone planning to dual-boot their Mac. Reducing glare on your iMac’s monitor is also a good idea if you’re planning on using it a lot, if only to save your eyesight!

  • slide 5 of 7

    Fixing the Mac Mini

    The Mac Mini is a fantastic device, offering a nice entry-level Apple experience that is quite capable of performing most of the standard tasks that you would expect to be able to achieve in Mac OS X, from video editing, graphic design and multimedia playback to gaming.

    While not quite as advanced a piece of hardware as an iMac, the Mac Mini is nevertheless the Mac of choice for many people requiring an affordable Mac, but it isn’t without its problems. If you’re experiencing difficulty booting a Mac Mini, problems with its motherboard or using USB storage devices, don’t worry – the truth is out there!

  • slide 6 of 7

    Problems with Your Optical Drive?

    Problems with Your Optical Drive? One of the few moving parts in a Mac computer is the optical drive, which for the time being is still included on portable and desktop computers from Apple. There are different problems that you might be looking to resolve with these devices, from troubleshooting disc burning issues to working out what your discs won’t mount or even why those old 3 inch mini CDs won’t play on your Mac.

    (A quick word of warning – don’t insert a mini CD into a Mac’s slot-loading optical drive!)

  • slide 7 of 7

    Specific Troubleshooting

    If your problem is more specific, there are various fixes that you might try out. For instance, printing problems can generally be resolved pretty quickly without spending too much time working out what the fault is. Meanwhile, problems with fonts can result in applications failing to launch or work correctly, but again with the right tools these can be sorted out in just a few minutes.

    More common in the age of wireless user interface devices are problems with wireless keyboards, but even this fault can usually be sorted out with little messing around; the majority of wireless keyboard issues are caused by poor batteries or disabled Bluetooth!