Sunday, January 6, 2008

Mac Check-up

Sorry PC users, this one's for Macs.

Have you repaired your permissions lately? Even if you have no idea what that means or does, you really need to do it. At least once a month. If you have a Mac, do it now, and also add it to your iCal scheduler, repeat it monthly, and set an alarm to alert you with a message on that day. If you want, add this URL: to the notes so you can find these instructions again.

Macs start acting up for fewer reasons than PCs, in my experience, but if you use a Mac for enough hours, you start to recognize when it's "not quite right." But even if you think it's running well, do some housecleaning anyway.

Repair Permissions
The tool to use is on your Mac. It's called Disk Utility. You can find it on your start-up drive, usually at Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilites > Disk
Whether yours displays with the ".app" after it is a matter left to your personal Finder preferences.

The Procedure is Simple
Open the Disk Utility application, and click on the name of your start-up drive:

Next, press the button at the lower left of the right-hand pane... the button that says Repair Permissions. (Click the picture at left, for a larger view).

Now sit back and watch the progress bar at the bottom. (2 to 6 minutes, depending on number of repairs to make.

This is so easy, there are actually no decisions to make, no questions to answer. "Set it and forget it."

When you're done, the "Report" shown in the window should look just like mine -- no errors. If you see any more text than that, run it again. If you see no more additional text when you're done, you have successfully helped your computer be well. If you see a LOT more than that, be glad you read this.

Repeat the procedure if the report is not "clean" like mine.

When You Should Repair Permissions
  • Once a month
  • Immediately after you install any Apple Updates
  • Immediately after you install any Apple Software
  • Immediately after you add any third party enhancements
  • Whenever your computer starts acting strangely.
  • After System Software upgrades, like from Tiger to Leopard.

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