Mac Switcher's Guide

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  1. Sam

    Sam Notebook Virtuoso

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    This sticky last updated on August 23rd, 2008

    By Sammy L.

    [​IMG]

    Welcome to the Mac Switcher's Guide! This guide is for new switchers and those interested in switching to Mac. The Mac Switcher's Guide covers commonly asked questions by potential Mac users as well as new Mac switchers, features a short comparison between the MacBook and MacBook Pro, as well as recommended links to other guides and articles, and many more!

    I've tried to lay out this guide so that it follows chronologically. The guide begins with common questions asked by interested PC users, then moves on to choosing a Mac, after answers common questions asked by new Mac owners, and finally a few helpful troubleshooting tips as well as links to other guides.

    This guide is and will always be a work in progress. Technology is improving at a rapid rate and this guide will be edited regularly to ensure up-to-date facts and tips. If you find mistakes, typos, incomplete links or would like to suggest a new piece of information, a new link or even a new section, feel free to PM me about it!

    Table of Contents

    Common Switcher Questions
    Choosing a Mac + Common MacBook vs. MacBook Pro Questions
    New Mac Owners + Windows on a Mac
    Troubleshooting
    Recommended Guides & Links
     
  2. Sam

    Sam Notebook Virtuoso

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    Common Switcher Questions

    A lot of the following questions are common concerns often asked by users interested in switching to Mac.

    I often hear people saying Mac OS X has no viruses. Is it true?

    Yes, for now there are no viruses targeting Mac OS X in the wild. There is no current need to purchase antivirus on Mac OS X yet. For now, regularly installing Apple's Security Updates and enabling the Firewall will be sufficient security on the Mac. If you must have some sort of antivirus in order to satisfy your fear of getting infected, try the free antivirus scanner ClamXav.

    Do Macs come with bloatware?

    All Macs come bundled with three trial applications: Microsoft Office 2004 Trial, iWork '08 Trial and Comic Life Trial. They each have their separate folders in the Applications folder, and to uninstall these trial applications, just delete its folder off the Applications folder. We do not consider these trials bloatware as it has no effect on your Mac other than consuming hard drive space, and is easy to delete (no clean-install necessary, as is needed in many Windows PCs).

    I notice there's no taskbar in Mac OS X. How would I shuffle through my open applications?

    Expose is excellent for shuffling through open windows, and after a while you will probably find it even more useful than the Windows taskbar as you see a live preview of all your current open windows. Another method is to you use Command+Tab to shuffle through your open applications, or you can also click on the application's icon on the Dock, that will bring the application to the front.

    How do I launch applications in OS X? There's no Start Menu!

    There are several ways to launch applications in OS X. The easiest, and most evident method is clicking on the application's icon on the Dock. Also, you can search for the application using Spotlight, or you can go to the Applications folder in Finder.

    To add applications to the Dock, open the Applications folder and simply drag the application's icon to the Dock. Other icons will move to make room for the addition of the new icon. To delete an application off the dock, just drag the application's icon off the Dock.

    Also, you can use a free application called QuickSilver that is a powerful launcher tool.

    In you want to recreate something similar to the Start Menu in OS X, you can drag the Applications folder to the right side of the Dock (must be on the right side of it, not the left or middle), and it creates a Start Menu-like application launcher. Also, in the upcoming Mac OS X Leopard, a new feature called Stacks will also allow the ability to recreate a Start Menu-like icon on the Dock.

    I'm a bit confused...what sort of upgrades void the Apple warranty?

    Upgrading the RAM or the hard drive on the MacBook does not void your Apple limited and AppleCare warranty. On the MacBook Pro, you can only upgrade the RAM yourself; to upgrade the hard drive, you must have an Apple-Certified technician install it.

    Do I need to defragment my disk drive in OS X?

    In short, no, the average user will not need to defragment their OS X hard drive. Please refer to this article from Apple for more information.

    I'm worried that a lot of the software I use doesn't have a Mac equivalent.

    The amount of Mac software has exploded dramatically in the past few years, and granted, it is nowhere near the amount of applications available for Windows, but a large amount of daily applications you use will most likely have a Mac equivalent. If you want to know if a particular application you use has a Mac equivalent, feel free to post a thread on the Apple forum asking about it!

    And of course, there is the ability to run Windows on your Mac now, for those applications that do not have a Mac equivalent. There are several ways to do so and the Windows on a Mac guide will detail them.

    I have a flash drive and a notebook mouse that I currently use. Will I be able to use them on a Mac?

    Almost all flash drives will immediately be recognized by OS X, and most notebook mice will work as well. The same goes for keyboards and printers, etc. As long as its not an "unknown" brand, Apple will most likely have drivers for it. Also, all Macs come with Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, so you can sync with all sorts of Bluetooth devices, such as mice and cellphones and more.

    Speaking of drivers, how come I don't really hear much about installing drivers on the Mac?

    Drivers do need to be installed in OS X, but rarely do you need to find the drivers yourself. The OS X Installation comes bundled with drivers for almost any device you could possibly connect to your Mac, so once you connect a device it is recognized immediately. Granted, OS X doesn't have drivers for everything, but it will be very rare for you to find a device that isn't supported in OS X immediately.

    How well do the current Macs run Leopard? How about future OS X versions after Leopard?

    Mac OS X has very low system requirements for a recent operating system (compared to Windows Vista). All Intel Macs, and even the last generation of the PowerPC Macs run Mac OS X Leopard perfectly fine.

    If previous OS X versions are any indication, all Intel Macs will run the next version of OS X (after Leopard) fine.

    Macs aren't good for gaming.

    This is true and false at the same time. The MacBook Pro has an NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT, so it certainly has the power to game. But games for OS X are often released months after the Windows version was released, and Mac OS X's implementation of OpenGL is not fantastic, while Windows does an excellent job with DirectX.

    So for the best possible gaming experience, I'd suggest you play games in Windows via Boot Camp.

    How well does the Mac run Windows?

    As of right now, not as well as a Windows-based PC. There are drivers missing for some parts of the Mac, and there have been reports of increased heat and reduced battery time when running Windows through Boot Camp. These can be fixed in future releases of Boot Camp, and Boot Camp 2.0, the final version, is currently available as a feature of Mac OS X Leopard, the latest release of OS X.

    However, if you plan to run Windows full time on the Mac, the majority of users will not advise you to purchase a Mac to be running Windows full time. We feel that only if you plan to use OS X either full time, majority of the time, part time or even "just trying out", should you get a Mac; if you only plan to use Windows, get a Windows-based PC.

    For more information on how to run Windows on a Mac, click here.

    Macs only have one mouse button!

    Yes, that is true. However, Apple included another way to create a right-click; by pressing the mouse button with two fingers on the trackpad, or by tapping the trackpad with two fingers. I've explained how to set up your Mac to recognize these forms of right-click in the New Mac Owners section.
     
  3. Sam

    Sam Notebook Virtuoso

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    Choosing a Mac

    I titled this section "Choosing a Mac", although I will only be comparing the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as NotebookReview is a notebook discussion, and not exactly a general computer discussion.

    For many it is a big decision between these three: one is much cheaper, and still very powerful; the other is much more expensive but full of awesome features. And to top it off, the MacBook Air is thin, lightweight and incorporates some new features not yet seen in the other two Mac notebooks. To help ease the decision, I've compiled the main advantages and disadvantages between these three Mac notebooks.

    MacBook Pro advantages over the MacBook:

    • Larger screen: 15.4-inch and 17-inch vs. the 13.3-inch MacBook.

    • Higher screen resolution: 1440x900 on the 15.4-inch, 1680x1050 & optional 1920x1200 on the 17-inch, compared to 1280x800 on the MacBook.

    • LED backlighting: The 15.4-inch MacBook Pro uses LED-backlighting, allowing the screen to be even brighter and reach full brightness immediately (previous backlighting methods required a few minutes to reach true full brightness), consume less energy and be environmentally friendly. The 17-inch MacBook Pro currently does not have this feature, as 17-inch LED-backlit displays are not available in the market yet.

    • Graphics card: The MacBook Pro has the NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT DDR3, one of the best available graphics card in the 15.4-inch category. This will be useful in gaming and graphics-intensive applications. The MacBook uses an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100.

    • Backlit keyboard: The MacBook Pro has a backlit keyboard, useful for working in the dark. Also, it has an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the keyboard's brightness and the screen brightness. The MacBook does not have either of these features (backlit keyboard or ambient light sensor).

    • ExpressCard slot: The MacBook Pro has an ExpressCard/34 slot. The MacBook does not.

    • Thinner case: The MacBook Pro is measured at exactly 1.0 inches thick (2.59 cm), while the MacBook is slightly thicker at 1.08 inches (2.75 cm).

    • SuperDrive: All MacBook Pros feature the SuperDrive optical drive, meaning it can burn and read CDs and DVDs. The base model MacBook has a Combo Drive (read and burn CDs, read DVDs only). The middle and high-end model MacBooks also feature a SuperDrive.

    • Design: This is pure personal preference, but most will agree the design of the MacBook Pro is much sleeker and aesthetically sharper than the MacBook.

    MacBook advantages over the MacBook Pro:

    • Cheaper price: The MacBook is approximately $800-900 US less than the MacBook Pro.

    • Thicker and stronger case: The MacBook has a thicker and stronger casing than the MacBook Pro does, which will be helpful in bumps or accidental impact on a hard surface.

    • Smaller dimensions: The MacBook is a 13.3-inch notebook, so it will be easier to carry around in terms of fitting into backpacks and bags.

    • Easy to upgrade: Upgrading the RAM and the hard drive in the MacBook is easier than upgrading RAM in the MacBook Pro (upgrading the hard drive in the MBP voids the warranty).

    • Lighter weight: The MacBook weighs less than the MacBook Pro, at 5.1 lbs (2.31 kg). Whether this is an advantage in favour of the MacBook is argueable, as the MacBook Pro's 5.4 lbs (2.45 kg) and 6.8 lbs (3.08 kg) is very light for its categories, while the MacBook is heavy for its category. However, all in all the MacBook is still lighter than the MacBook Pro. For those who absolutely need the lightest Mac notebook, even if its a few ounces' difference, the MacBook weighs the least.
    For more detailed technical specifications, please refer to this link for the MacBook and this for the MacBook Pro.


    MacBook Air advantages & disadvantages

    As another 13.3-inch notebook, the MacBook Air's main competition is the MacBook, so I will be comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the MacBook Air over the MacBook.

    • Thinner case: The MacBook Air's thickness ranges from 0.16 inch (0.4 cm) to 0.76 inch (1.94 cm), while the MacBook is 1.08 inches (2.75 cm) throughout.

    • Lighter weight: The MacBook Air is 3.0 lbs (1.36 kg), while the MacBook is 5.0 lbs (2.27 kg). So the MacBook Air is lighter than the MacBook, which is helpful if you already have a heavy backpack or if you prefer lightweight notebooks.

    • LED-backlit display: The MacBook Air and MacBook both offer 13.3-inch displays at 1280x800 resolution, however, the MacBook Air uses the new LED-backlighting, while the MacBook uses the conventional CCFL-backlighting. While CCFL-backlighting is already quite good, LED-backlighting offers brighter screens while using less energy and is more environmentally friendly.

    • Backlit keyboard: The MacBook Air offers a backlit keyboard similar to the one found on the MacBook Pro, with the design of the MacBook keyboard. The backlit keyboard is convenient when you are trying to type in a dark area.

    • Option for 64 GB Solid State Drive: The MacBook Air, at standard configuration, offers a 1.8-inch 80 GB hard drive. There is also an option for the faster 64 GB SSD, which is basically a huge flash drive. SSDs offer improved performance, produce little to no heat, consume less energy and are more reliable through hard drives. However, SSDs are still rather expensive currently.

    • Multi-touch trackpad: The MacBook Air offers a large trackpad that supports multi-touch gestures similar to those found on the iPhone.


    • High price: The MacBook Air starts at $1799 US, while the MacBook starts at $1099 US.

    • Lack of several ports: The MacBook Air offers 1 USB port, an audio out headphone jack and a Micro-DVI port. Because of this, there have been many complaints over the lack of more USB ports, Firewire as well as Ethernet.

    • Lack of optical drive: The MacBook Air does not have a built-in optical drive. Instead, Apple offers a SuperDrive specifically for the MacBook Air for $99 US, and also, Apple includes the new application Remote Disk that allows the MacBook Air to "borrow" the optical drive of another computer. Click here for more information.

    • 1.8-inch hard drive: While the MacBook Air offers the option for a Solid State Drive, the 1.8-inch hard drive found on the standard configuration is not the best, as it is small, slow and often unreliable.

    • No user-replaceable battery: The MacBook Air does not offer user-replaceable batteries, therefore you cannot swap the battery with a backup when the charge is getting low. This is problematic for many who find the battery life on the MacBook Air to be low and don't easily have access to an electrical outlet.

    • Large footprint: While the MacBook Air is marketed as an ultraportable notebook, it has an unusually large footprint for an ultraportable. While this is not a big deal, some may consider the MacBook Air to be too large for an ultraportable.

    Commonly Asked MacBook vs. MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro Questions

    Often people ask these questions when deciding between the MacBook, the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.

    I plan to do a lot of Photoshop. Will the MacBook and MacBook Air's integrated graphics card be enough?

    This is a common misconception. Adobe Photoshop actually is not graphics-intensive, it is CPU-intensive and RAM-intensive. In other words, the MacBook and MacBook Airwill handle Photoshop fine, although if you have 512 MB or 1 GB RAM you may consider adding more RAM to boost performance. Also, you may want to factor in the MacBook and MacBook Air's resolution (1280x800) in your decision, as Photoshop on 1280x800 may be difficult, depending on the images you work with.

    Does the MacBook have a backlit keyboard, like the MacBook Pro does?

    No, it does not. The MacBook also does not have an ambient light sensor, found in the MacBook Pro. However, the MacBook Air does have a backlit keyboard and ambient light sensor, while using the MacBook's keyboard design.

    I've heard of problems with the MacBook battery and the palmrest turning discolored. Should I be worried?

    These issues were more common in the first batches of the MacBooks. Now cases are more rare. Apple has acknowledged both of these issues. If you notice severe discoloration, Apple will replace the palmrest for you; if your MacBook battery is not fixed with this firmware update, Apple will also send you a replacement battery.

    How easy is it to install RAM on the MacBook compared to the MacBook Pro?

    Installing more RAM on the MacBook is very simple, and there are lots of guides across the web showing you how. This instruction video by 4AllMemory.com is clear and straight-forward. You can also refer to Apple's official guide for upgrading RAM on the MacBook, found here.

    Upgrading the RAM in the MacBook Pro is a bit more difficult, although still do-able. This video shows how to install RAM onto a MacBook Pro. Please excuse the 007 music. You can also refer to Apple's official guide for upgrading RAM on the MacBook Pro, found here.
     
  4. Sam

    Sam Notebook Virtuoso

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    New Mac Owners

    First of all, congratulations ;). Here's answers to some of the common questions asked by owners of new Macs.

    I just got my new Mac. What should I do right away?

    Make sure you're getting what you paid for! :D In the Menu Bar, click the Apple icon and select "About This Mac". Check your processor, RAM and hard drive to make sure your notebook is what you originally ordered. This in no way implies Apple deliberately scams its customers, but mistakes happen and it doesn't hurt to be extra careful.

    Charge up the battery to 100%, and then calibrate it. For instructions on how to calibrate the battery, click here.

    While you're running down the battery to calibrate it, you can customize your Mac to your liking in System Preferences. In the search box found in System Preferences, type in keywords to whatever you want to customize and the relevant sections will be highlighted automatically! For example, to enable right clicking by tapping the touchpad with two fingers, just type in "double click" in the System Preferences, and it will take you to the correct section!

    Register your new Mac with Apple! Click here to register your Mac.

    Install your Software Updates! You can find Software Update in the Apple icon on the Menu Bar, or you can find it in Spotlight (just search Software Update).

    Calibrate your display! To learn more on how to calibrate your display, please refer to this link.

    Turn on your Firewall! The instructions on how to do so can be found here: Turning on the Firewall.

    This is so confusing! My old keyboard shortcuts don't work!

    Mac Switcher Rule #1: Keep an open mind ;). If you insist on doing everything the Windows way, you haven't really switched now, have you? After getting used to working the Mac way, you will most likely start to notice that it is actually more convenient than the Windows method.

    First of all, many of the Windows shortcuts are the same in OS X, just instead of Ctrl + "x" it is Command (Apple) + "x".

    MacRumors has an excellent Keyboard Shortcuts guide found here. Also, this page by Apple is also very useful in learning how to do Windows tasks the Mac way.

    Okay, got my basics done. Now how do I set up my touchpad for right-click?

    Go to System Preferences (through the Dock or the Apple icon on the Menu Bar) and select Keyboard & Mouse, then click the Trackpad tab and select the checkbox "Place two fingers on trackpad and click button for secondary click." Now you can hold two fingers on the trackpad and click to use the shortcut menu.

    If you also set the trackpad to recognize tapping as a left-click, then tapping the trackpad with two fingers also creates a right-click.

    How do I install applications? Where's InstallShield?

    It is much simpler to install applications on OS X. First of all, Mac applications are commonly packaged as .dmg files. To install these, open the .dmg file, and a "virtual drive" will mount. A window will pop up with the icon of the application you're installing. Just simply drag that icon into your Applications folder, and its installed! Now, eject the "virtual drive" and you can delete the .dmg file.

    Some larger applications, such as iTunes, come in .pkg files. Open the .pkg file, and an InstallShield-like installer will open. Simply follow the instructions shown on the Installer to install .pkg files.

    How do I uninstall applications?

    Uninstalling applications are as easy as dragging the application into the Trash. However, doing this may leave some preference files behind somewhere on the Mac. These files are absolutely harmless, but they take up hard drive space. What you can do is use a free un-installer called AppDelete. This will uninstall the application and will also do a search across the Mac for files related to that application to delete. However, it is best to check through the files AppDelete believes is related before emptying the Trash, as it may accidentally mark a critical file of similar name to be deleted.

    Time to move my old files to my new Mac!

    There's several ways to move files from your old computer to your new Mac. You can burn files onto a CD and insert the CD into your new Mac; you can copy files onto a flash drive or an external hard drive and drag them onto your new Mac, or you can connect your Mac to your PC with cables and make a direct transfer. This article will detail how to move files from your old computer to your new Mac.

    Finder's folders are so confusing! Why is the iPhoto folder so messy?

    Apple designed OS X and iLife to "just work", without the need for you to dig through Finder too often. To access your photos and to edit them, open up the iPhoto application; you can and should leave the iPhoto folder in Finder untouched, as you may accidentally misplace a file that is critical in working iPhoto, for example.

    Also, remember to organize your files as logical as possible in Finder. For example, applications stay in the Applications folder, photos stay in iPhoto, etc. Misplacing files in their wrong folders can cause headaches, so its best to keep everything as organized as possible. For example, instead of going to the iPhoto folder in Finder to find a photo, open up the iPhoto application to find it, or use Spotlight.

    I want to install RAM on my MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Any guides?

    I've reposted this here for those who just received their new Mac, and are interested in guides for installing more RAM. This can also be found in the Commonly asked MacBook vs. MacBook Pro Questions section.

    You cannot replace the RAM on a MacBook Air, as it is soldered to the motherboard. The MacBook Air is set at 2 GB of RAM, which is more than sufficient for everyday tasks, but users with a need for more RAM should consider the MacBook or MacBook Pro.

    Installing more RAM on the MacBook is very simple, and there are lots of guides across the web showing you how. This video by 4AllMemory.com is clear and straight-forward. You can also refer to Apple's official guide for upgrading RAM on the MacBook, found here.

    Upgrading the RAM in the MacBook Pro is a bit more difficult, although still do-able. This video by CorsairMemoryInc shows how to install RAM onto a MacBook Pro. Please excuse the 007 music. You can also refer to Apple's official guide for upgrading RAM on the MacBook Pro, found here.

    What's "Mac RAM"? Is there a difference?

    No, there is no difference between Mac RAM and normal RAM. You can buy any notebook RAM and it will work on the Mac notebook, as long as the MacBook or MacBook Pro supports its type and speed. To check what type and speed of RAM your Mac currently is using, open System Profiler and select the Memory section.

    How do I burn CDs and DVDs on my Mac?

    There are several ways; you can use Finder and you can also use software that you can purchase, such as Disco and the more powerful Toast Titanium. However, for most people that just burn CDs and DVDs for music or backup purposes, the Finder should suffice.

    To learn more about how to burn files onto a CD or DVD with Finder, please refer to this article by Apple.

    Remember though, the base model of the MacBook can only read and burn CDs and read DVDs. All the other models of the MacBook and the MacBook Pro can burn CDs and DVDs.

    Should I get AppleCare?

    For many cases, yes, you should get AppleCare for your Mac, considering it extends the warranty and phone support to three years, and notebooks are much more likely to have issues than desktops, as they are constantly moved around, subject to G forces and components are compacted more densely. With AppleCare, you can contact Apple at any time, for as many times as you wish with troubleshooting, questions regarding your Mac and more.

    In terms of the actual AppleCare service, the customer support is excellent. Apple's customer service is known to be among the best in the industry, with helpful and knowledgeable staff and straight-forward troubleshooting.

    Also, if you decide to sell your Mac in the future, potential buyers will be more confident in purchasing your Mac if it has warranty for three years. Yes, the AppleCare warranty follows the Mac, not the user, so it is transferable.

    I still want to learn a bit more about using OS X...any links?

    Of course! Here's my "trademark" Switch 101 and Mac 101 links ;). These articles will help in understanding how to move from Windows to OS X. There are more recommended articles and you can find them in the Recommended Guides & Links section.

    Which applications should I use on my new Mac?

    Eluzion created a fantastic list of free OS X software here. You can also refer to the Mac Utilities, Games & More thread for some other recommended applications. Or you can post a thread here on the Apple forum asking about applications for the task you're doing.

    Here I'll just quickly highlight some of the most common applications Mac users use. You can find more information about them in their individual websites:

    Quicksilver
    SMCFanControl
    iStat Pro (widget)
    Web browsers (Safari, Camino, Firefox, Shiira, OmniWeb, Opera, etc.)
    Mail applications (Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, etc.)
    Office suites (NeoOffice, iWork, Microsoft Office for Mac, etc.)
    Video players (VLC, Flip4Mac Add-on for Quicktime)

    My battery health is at 98%! Is there something wrong with it?

    Battery health indicators such as iStat Pro often are not 100% accurate, and also your battery health may not be accurately presented because the battery hasn't been calibrated lately. All in all, even if the battery health is seriously at 98%, we cannot tell if it is a defective battery yet. Keep watch of your battery; if you see the battery health drop below 85% within a few months and your amount of battery cycles has not passed 100 cycles, you should contact Apple.

    What type of maintenance do I need to conduct on OS X, and how often?

    Not much maintenance is required on OS X. Defragmenting the disk isn't necessary, and antivirus scans aren't necessary either. For now, most users will only need to Repair Disk Permissions (Disk Utility > Macintosh HD > Repair Disk Permissions) every once in a while (or if you start getting Kernel Panics), clear out internet caches and maybe clean up your Desktop every now and then ;).


    Windows on the Mac

    For many switchers, they've admired Mac OS X for years, but knew they couldn't get away from Windows completely, because of work restrictions or Windows-only software. Now that there are such convenient and widely accessible ways to run Windows on a Mac, more and more users are switching, or at least considering the switch to Mac.

    The Windows on a Mac guide will detail the different methods of running Windows and their advantages and disadvantages.
     
  5. Sam

    Sam Notebook Virtuoso

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    Troubleshooting

    Often new switchers will run into problems with their new Mac, mostly because they're still not used to the way OS X works. Here's a few common fixes to problems you may run into on your Mac.

    Ask your Mac!

    OS X has a built-in Help Viewer that is very helpful. In Spotlight, type in "Help" and open up Help Viewer. The Help Viewer has articles on troubleshooting, tutorials and guides for all sorts of OS X functions.

    Repair Disk Permissions

    In Disk Utility (you can easily find this using Spotlight), select your OS X hard drive and click Repair Disk Permissions.

    Reset your PRAM

    To reset your parameter RAM, turn on/restart your Mac and immediately hold down Command+Option+P+R, until you hear the OS X start-up sound a second time. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to this article.

    Deleting PList files

    Sometimes, applications or files don't respond because a preference is stuck. To fix the problem, often deleting the PList file will unlock it. A PList file stores your preferences in a particular application. Deleting it allows the application to create a new PList that is set to default settings. However, it is important that you consult with the community before running off to delete PLists; sometimes you may delete the wrong PList or it may not even be the PList causing the problem.

    Deleting the wrong PList will not damage your Mac, you will just have preferences for that particular application reset to default.

    Ask Us!

    Before you resort to re-installing OS X, it may be wise of you to post a thread about your issue here on the <noparse>Apple</noparse> forum. We may be able to help!

    Re-install OS X

    If none of the previous fixes worked, and we weren't able to help you with the issue, you can always re-install OS X with original OS X Installation Discs that were bundled with your Mac. You can choose to install over the current installation so files are preserved, or you can choose to Erase and Install OS X, basically completely reformatting OS X. If your previous OS X installation was an authorized computer for your iTunes tracks, remember to de-authorize the previous OS X install before re-installing OS X!

    Last Resort

    As a last resort, its time to call AppleCare or consult with the Geniuses at a local <noparse>Apple</noparse> Store.
     
  6. Sam

    Sam Notebook Virtuoso

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    Recommended Guides & Links

    These are some of the recommended links and guides for learning more about Apple, Mac OS X and your Mac:

    Apple Manuals

    <noparse>MacBook</noparse> User's Guide (PDF)
    <noparse>MacBook Pro</noparse> User's Guide (PDF)

    Apple Guides & Tutorials

    Apple's Switch 101
    Apple's Mac 101
    Apple's iLife Tutorials
    Apple's Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

    NBR's Apple Reviews Database

    Apple Notebook Reviews
    Apple <noparse>MacBook</noparse> Reviews
    Apple <noparse>MacBook Pro</noparse> Reviews

    NBR Articles

    Sam's Windows on a Mac Guide
    xbandaidx's Mac Users Guide
    xbandaidx's Mac Utilities, Games & More!
    Eluzion's Free OS X Software List

    MacRumors' Guides

    MacRumors Guides
    MacRumors' Mac Beginner's Guide
    MacRumors' Keyboard Shortcuts Guide
    MacRumors' Formatting An External HDD Guide
    MacRumors' MB Buyer's Guide
    MacRumors' MBP Buyer's Guide

    Other Guides

    BestMacSoftware.org's Recommended Applications
    Flernk's Guide for Switchers
    Mac For Beginners' Guide
    NakedTruth's Mac to PC Guide
    Ken Stone's Formatting/Partitioning Guide
    Mac OS X Hints
    MacFixIt

    Tracking New Application Releases

    Version Tracker
    MacUpdate

    Mac OS X Leopard Reviews

    Ars Technica's OS X Leopard Review
    Macworld's OS X Leopard Review
    AppleInsider's OS X Leopard Review
    Reg Hardware's OS X Leopard Review
    Gizmodo's Everything You'd Want To Know About OS X.5
    CNET's OS X Leopard Review
    CrunchGear's OS X Leopard Review
    LifeHacker's OS X Leopard, Windows Vista Side-by-Side Comparison
    Aelon's OS X Leopard Review
    ComputerWorld's OS X Leopard Review
    InfoWorld's OS X Leopard Review
    OS New's OS X Leopard Review

    Apple News Sites

    MacWorld
    MacRumors
    Ars Technica - Apple Section
    The Unofficial Apple Weblog
    MacNN
    MacDailyNews


    This guide will be updated regularly with new sections, updated information and/or corrections. If you would like to suggest or correct something, feel free to PM me!
     
  7. Xander

    Xander Paranoid Android

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  8. SaferSephiroth

    SaferSephiroth The calamity from within

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    Very nicely done, thanks for this!
     
  9. JM

    JM Mr. Misanthrope NBR Reviewer

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    Awesome work, Sam! :) Very good guide!!
     
  10. Night

    Night Notebook Consultant

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    Well done, this is perfect timing. I've got a 2.2 GHz MBP sitting right beside me unopened. Being the indecisive, worry wart that I am, I might need a bit more convincing. I'm a bit worried about the transition and this should definitely aid in my decision!

    Thanks Sam!
     
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