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We all run into occasional problems, and most are easy to fix if you just follow a few basic steps.

Printer or mouse or ??? not responding? Check the cable connections. Plugs can work loose. Pets and people can accidentally snag a cable and dislodge it just enough that it’s not making proper contact. Oh, and that printer? Check both ends of the cable.

Cables a-ok? Quit and restart the program in use. If the program doesn’t respond, use the Option-Command-Escape key combination to bring up the Force Quit menu.

Still not working? Restart the computer. That cures a lot of problems. This also works for problems with iPads, iPhones, iPods and any other electronics you have. The act of shutting down and restarting gives the electronics in question a chance to dump cache files and clean up memory.

If you’ve done all that and you have a specific piece of software that is still causing problems, before going through the usual recommended reinstall, try switching to a clean identity ┬áto see if you still have the problem. Other software running in the background or that has installed extra components, can cause a conflict. If you can run the software in a clean identity, then there’s a good chance that you either have a conflict or a corrupt preference file, and a reinstall probably won’t fix it.

If the problem is with a cordless mouse or keyboard, double check the batteries. And on the subject of cordless keyboards, I’m still very happy with the Logitech solar powered K750 I wrote about a few weeks ago. Now all I need is a solar powered trackpad! Are you listening Logitech?

If you’re having a problem with something just updated, sometimes just rolling back to the prior version is the easiest thing to do. You do have a backup, don’t you? This is where Time Machines come in very handy. If you have a Time Machine backup, just open the folder that contains the program, highlight it, enter Time Machine from the menu bar, and go back to just before you installed the update. Hit the Restore button, and you should be okay. As standard procedure, you should be sure to do a full backup before installing any major updates or upgrades. Over the years, I’ve seen many updates released, only to be taken down within a few hours because of a problem not detected soon enough.

That’s it for this week. I’ll leave you with the latest music video from the MacGroup 5:


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3 Responses to Basic Troubleshooting Reminders

  1. Tom Mozgala says:

    Nice post I agree with what you just said. It totally makes sense.