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Chapter 4. Task and Setting Index > Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Force quit an application that's stuck?

Option--Escape opens a window showing all of the running applications. Select the troublesome application, and click the Force Quit button.

Option-click the application's icon in the Dock. A pop-up window will appear next to the icon with the Force Quit option; move the mouse over and release it on that option.

Applications → Utilities → Process Viewer → select the process that's causing the problem → Processes → Quit Process

Restart my computer automatically after a power failure?

System Preferences → Energy Saver → Options pane → select the checkbox next to "Restart automatically after a power failure"

Turn on crash reporting so I can see why an application crashed?

Applications → Utilities → Console → Preferences → Crashes panel → select both options. Now when an application crashes, the Console application automatically launches and displays the cause of the crash.

Where are crash logs kept?

It is kept in ~/Library/Logs.

Fix a disk that won't mount?

Applications → Utilities → Disk Utility → select the disk that won't mount → First Aid.

Restart my system when it has completely frozen?

Hold down the Shift-Option- keys, and press the Power-On button.

Make sure that my system is okay after it has completely frozen?

Follow these steps:

  1. Do a hard restart of your system by pressing Control--Power-On (or Eject).

  2. Log back into your system.

  3. Launch the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities).

  4. Enter the following command and hit Return:

    [macchuck:~] chuck% sudo shutdown now

    This forces an automatic shutdown of your system and takes you into single-user mode. Your screen will go black and you'll be faced with a text prompt.

  5. At the prompt, enter the following command:

    sh-2.05a# fsck -y

The fsck command will perform a filesystem check and will report back its findings:

bootstrap_look_up(  ) failed (ip/send) invalid destination port
bootstrap_look_up(  ) failed (ip/send) invalid destination port
bootstrap_look_up(  ) failed (ip/send) invalid destination port
** /dev/rdisk0s2
** Root file system
** Checking HFS Plus volume.
** Checking Extents Overflow file.
** Checking Catalog file.
** Checking multi-linked files.
** Checking Catalog hierarchy.
** Checking volume bitmap.
** Checking volume information.
** The volume MacChuck appears to be OK.

If fsck -y reports that the disk has been modified, you need to run the command again until the filesystem checks out OK.

If everything is fine, enter reboot at the command prompt and hit Return to reboot your system.

Access command-line mode and bypass Aqua?

There are three ways you can access the command-line interface:

  1. Hold down -S when starting up the system; this is known as single-user mode.

  2. At the login window, type >console as the username, don't enter a password, and click on the Login button. This is known as multiuser mode and is just like being in the Terminal, except that your entire screen is the Terminal.

  3. From the Terminal, type sudo shutdown now, and hit Return; this also places you in single-user mode.

When you've finished diagnosing your system, type reboot and press Return to reboot your system into Aqua.

Rebuild Classic's Desktop?

System Preferences → Classic → Advanced panel. There is no need to rebuild Mac OS X's Desktop; holding down Option- keys at startup is futile.

All of the icons on my system look funny. Is there an easy way to fix this problem?

Even though Mac OS X is more reliable than earlier versions of the Mac OS, icons and such can still go haywire. The quick fix for this problem is to delete the three "LS" files (LSApplications, LSClaimedTypes, and LSSchemes) in ~/Library/Preferences.

There is a question mark icon in the Dock. What is this?

A question mark icon in the Dock or in one of the toolbars means that the application, folder, or file that the original icon related to has been deleted from your system. Just drag the question mark icon away from the Dock or toolbar to make it disappear.

I have a dual-processor G4 machine. Can I see how efficiently the processors are distributing the workload?

Applications → Utilities → CPU Monitor; each processor will have its own meter bar.

View a log of software updates?

System Preferences → Software Update → Show Log

Connect an external monitor or projector to my PowerBook without restarting?

Select → Sleep to put your laptop to sleep, plug in and turn on the display, and then hit the Escape key to wake your system and the display. You can then use the Display System Preference (System Preferences → Display) to turn display mirroring on or off as needed.

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