System Stability

Checklist for Mac OS9

## A USEFUL TROUBLESHOOTING AND REPAIR TIP ##

Before you make changes (i.e. repairs) to your classic OS environment, backup everything you've got. Then create a bootable CD with anti-virus, file recovery and all other kinds of tools. Use this CD to bypass the Mac's own hard disk when making repairs.

STEP 1 - IF YOUR SYSTEM SOFTWARE HAS JUST CRASHED...

  • Try to Force Quit the Finder: Using the fabled three-finger salute, press the Option+Command+Esc keys simultaneously. A dialogue will hopefully appear asking you to confirm your request to quit the current application. Click the "Yes" button.
  • If this fails, you may want to interrupt the crashed application program and return to the Finder. This can be achieved by pressing the Command and Power button. An unfriendly-looking window should appear. Type "g finder" next to the >prompt, then press Enter to return to the Finder.
  • Please remember, your system software may be unstable after successfully typing "g finder" in the command prompt. Use it as an opportunity to save your work in other applications. Then restart your computer.

  • In the worse case scenario, if the above steps do not work, you may have to restart the Macintosh computer. Yes, we thought you would be pleased to hear this solution! Well, the fact that you cannot save your work in this rather extreme system instability situation means you might as well stick your tongue out and mention a couple of obscenities in the direction of your Macintosh computer. It should relieve a bit of tension.

    To force a restart of your Macintosh computer, press Control+Command+Power Key. On other (older) Macintosh computers, Command+PowerKey is all you need to press. On newer Macs having a USB keyboard, press the reset button on your Mac. Or, if you have the latest iMac, you may have to press on the Power On button for 5 seconds, or consider turning off the computer from a power outlet (so much easier no doubt). After a few seconds, turn it back on (thanks Apple for making this part easy). You should get back to the desktop/Finder.

  • The above steps should be enough to bring stability to your Macintosh computer. So if you repeat what you were doing before, you shouldn't get another system error. However, sometimes you may discover your computer is displaying an unusual number of system errors than before. If this is the case, the steps below may be helpful.

STEP 2 - BACKUP

  • Before doing any repairs, tune-ups or apply updates to your system software (including updating the hard disk driver), you should always backup your data. We cannot recommend this more strongly. Backing up your data is the most critical thing you can ever do (and you don't need to be an IT expert to know this). Because if you stuff around with your system software, you may not be able to boot up the next time you turn on your computer or, much worse, you could lose everything. Always be safe and backup at least your most critical data.

    If your computer happens to have a hard disk capacity of say around 20GB or thereabouts, three or four DVD-RW or DVD-R disks should be enough to backup everything. If you have one of those 80GB-120GB hard disks installed in your machine, this may be impractical except for storing your most critical files (usually your personal stuff). The applications themselves can always be reinstalled from the original installation disks.

    However, like most experts, reinstalling applications is time-consuming, messy to reorganise again, and takes up unnecessary hard disk space with tutorials, movies, help files, manuals and the works. You are best to purchase a backup disk of at least the same capacity as your own hard disk and backup the whole lot for pure speed and convenience. For example, if you have a 40GB hard disk, purchase a quality 40GB external backup disk for it. If its 120GB, get a backup disk of 120GB or more.

    Generally if you can afford to buy a backup disk with greater capacity than your current hard disk size, then purchase it. Or better still, get the same capacity but pay extra for quality features and manufacturing (e.g. dust-proof, shock-proof, great portability, security features etc). If you value the data on your hard disk, it is actually better to go for a higher quality and well-built backup unit of the same capacity as your hard disk than a mediocre unit having ridiculously high capacity rates.

    If you are looking for a tool to backup all your Mac data, you could use the free File Synchronisation control panel for basic backups. A more robust backup program, however, should be Retrospect 6.x for US$129. This tool has the ability to restore you hard drive to the way it looked on virtually any given day.

    An alternative backup tool is Impression 2.0. This one will backup and restore Mac OS X-based files with all the attributes (including permissions) preserved. Large backups are automatically segmented into individual archives designed to fit into the type of backup media you want to use. And the tool will archive your information on CDs/DVDs.

    Or for something simple and free for Macintosh, try BackupScript 2.1. This free Applescript requires you to change a few lines to match the folder you want backed up and it will schedule backups when you decide it is the best time to do so. The tool includes full error handling/messaging in case there is an error, and can backup data from networked Macs and PCs.

    Or why not try Disk Copy 6.3.3 in OS9 to create an image of your hard disk?

STEP 3 - CRITICAL CHECKS

  • Do you have multiple System Folders at the root level of your startup disk? Well, guess what? You should slap your wrist for being a naughty person. In the world of Macintosh, you have to remember only one System Folder is allowed at the root level. Keep the System Folder that has the symbol of a Macintosh computer clearly displayed on the System folder icon, and trash all other system folders. Restart your computer.
  • If you observe a folder called the Desktop Folder at the root level of your HD (i.e. at the same level as where your System Folder is located), trash the folder immediately. The system software will definitely freak out if it knew this folder existed. Why? Because there is a serious conflict between this folder and another one already created by the system in the same location, except that this second folder is invisible. Just get rid of the one you can see.
  • Perform a thorough virus check of all the files on your HD, including the system software. You need to do this first before tinkering with the innards of your system software. Otherwise a virus could be lurking around somewhere and this could corrupt any files you try to fix. When doing this job properly, use a CD (or non-writable) Emergency Startup Disk. The disk should contain the anti-virus program to help you clean your hard disk. McAfree's VirusScan, Symantec AntiVirus or other virus detection program is fine. Just make sure the virus definitions file is the very latest version to be effective.

    NOTE: If you need to startup your Macintosh computer using another hard disk or CD-ROM which contains system software (and any tools you'll need to fix something), hold down Command + Option + Shift + Delete before you see the "smiling computer" at startup. Let go after you see the "Welcome to Macintosh" message on the screen.

  • The next useful task to perform is an integrity check of your hard disk directory and files. We recommend using either Norton Disk Doctor 4.0.4 or higher (part of the Norton Utilities package), MicroMat TechTool Pro 2.5.5 or 3.0, or Alsoft Disk Warrior 2.1.1 or higher. If you do not have any of these tools, use Apple's Disk First Aid that came with your computer and for your particular system software version (see below for further details).

    If you have the money, do yourself a favour and get Alsoft Disk Warrior 2.1.1 or higher. This disk repair utility is an absolute gem. It will have the uncanny ability to get you out of almost every major disk problem imaginable on a Macintosh computer (even the most serious damage to the catalog files, boot blocks and hard disk drivers are usually no match against this simple, but highly effective utility). You will thank your lucky stars for having it.

  • Have to use the poor man's Apple Disk First Aid as your main tool for repairing files, volume structures, catalogs and the works (either because you are strapped for cash or you are whistling in the wind for thinking you can survive without a proper disk repair utility)? Make sure the Disk First Aid you are using is version 8.1 or higher for volumes with HFS+ (or HFS Plus, also called MacOS Extended format designed to make file sizes smaller and so fit more information on the same hard disk). All earlier versions of this tool should be okay for use on normal HFS systems. The same goes for Symantec's Norton Utilities program. If you are testing a hard disk with HFS+ format, Norton Utilities versions 3.5.2 and 3.5.3 will detect a MacOS Extended format drive. But if you want to repair the drive, use Norton Utilities 4.0 or higher. And be careful when using other disk utility and disk locking programs released before 1999 - they may be incompatible with HFS+.

    In fact, don't bother about trying out disk repair utilities from obscure developers. This is your data that you are dealing with and you need the best tools from the most trusted software companies to keep it safe. So don't muck around, get the best.

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  • When using Disk First Aid version 8.5.5 to 8.6.1 which came with your spanking new MacOS9 computer, don't use it to repair one of your old MacOS8.1 computers or a partition volume containing a copy of MacOS8.1 as it will apparently damage your system file and cause serious changes to the volume structure on the hard disk (perhaps because the utility thinks you are using HFS+ and/or a MacOS9 System file or whatever). If you do, you will have to use TechTool Pro or Disk Warrior to repair the damage and then replace the System, Finder and Enabler files, or worse still you will have to reinitialise the hard disk and reinstall all your software from scratch! Remember, backup all your files and applications and always have an Emergency Startup Disk ready should you need to repair the HD using Disk First Aid, TechTool Pro or Norton Disk Doctor.
  • Next, we recommend using Drive Setup utility (at least version 1.8.1 for all MacOS earlier than version 9, and version 2.0.7 or higher for MacOS9) to test your hard disk for block errors and update the hard disk driver to the latest version. You should find this utility on your system software installation disk, or download the latest version from the Support page on the Apple web site.

    You need to check for block errors because any file you try to replace when fixing something will immediately become corrupted. Actually some people may use this tool first before trying out the disk repair utilities such as Alsoft DiskWarrior. It all depends on the age and quality of your hard drive. If you've bought a low-quality hard drive or the hard drive you've got is old, you should use this tool first. If the hard drive is a super-dooper "whisper-quiet fluid-dynamic" or other fancy technology 100GB just-out-of-the-box and installed on your machine stuff, go straight for the disk repair utilities described above.

If the Disk Drive Setup utility finds an error (e.g. a block error), then you are in serious trouble! This is the time to back up everything if you haven't done so already and call for real technical assistance. If you have a copy of TechTool Pro, it may be possible for you to fix the error. But in all likelihood, you should be prepared for the possibility the error is permanent and unrepairable.

To see if this is the case, backup all your files and applications (i.e. the ones you can salvage) and reinitialise the hard disk. If all is well, hopefully the error will be repaired. But if not, you may have to buy a new hard drive.

NOTE: Make sure you back up your entire hard disk from time-to-time to minimise reinstallation hassles. To simplify the task, always buy a backup unit with at least the same capacity as your computer's hard drive. If the back up comes as a disk, make sure you have two (2) disks to backup up everything (i.e. a backup of the original and a copy of the backup).

STEP 4 - REMOVE CORRUPTED PREFERENCE FILES

  • Everything okay up to this point but still have a system error? Alright. It is time to do some spring-cleaning. We shall begin by moving the Finder and System Preference files from the Preference folder inside your System Folder into the Trachcan, and restart. It is possible these preference files are corrupted or damaged in some way. For OS9 users, send to the trash:

    (i) Finder Preferences

    (ii) Mac OS Preferences

    (iii) System Preferences.

  • You may also wish to locate inside the Preference Folder and move to the Trashcan the Apple Menu Options Prefs, AppleShare Prep, Display Preferences, General Controls Prefs, LaserWriter 8 Prefs, and User & Groups Data File and then restart the computer. Any of these files could be corrupt and might be the cause for your system instability problem. After your computer has restarted, you may delete the files in your Trashcan.

STEP 5 - REBUILD THE DESKTOP

  • If the problem still persists, the next step is to rebuild the desktop files. Desktop files are invisible files stored at the root level of every Macintosh volume (i.e. a hard disk, CD-ROM or Zip disk). They are designed to keep track of the files and applications stored on the volume and their icons. The desktop files should be automatically updated as files change and things move around. But if not and this is the reason for the system crash, then forcing an update to occur on the desktop files may help to solve your problem. To rebuild the desktop files, restart the Macintosh and press the Option and Command keys together until the computer displays a message asking you to confirm the rebuild process. Click OK. After that, you will see a slight increase in performance by the Finder and may even eliminate some system instability problems. NOTE: Rebuilding the desktop once every couple of months is a good idea for optimum performance and stability of your system/Finder software.

    NOTE 1: Want to rebuild the desktop without having to restart the computer? Hold down Option+Command+Esc. A dialogue box will appear asking you if you want to "Force the Finder to Quit". Click on the Force Quit button. As soon as the Finder Quits (you will see the icons on the desktop disappear), immediately press Command+Option keys and keep holding them down until you see another dialogue box. Click OK if you want to rebuild the desktop file.

    NOTE 2: When rebuilding the desktop, use the freeware utility called TechTool 1.1.1 or the original TechTool Pro utility. It will properly delete the old desktop database files and forces the Finder to build a new one from scratch.

    NOTE 3: If you should find at any time your Macintosh computer doing a desktop rebuild each time you boot up or if your Mac freezes soon after restart, disable the Macintosh Easy Open control panel using the Extensions Manager control panel (press down the spacebar key while restarting until the Extensions Manager appears on the screen). After the Macintosh Easy Open control panel is disabled, trash the Macintosh Easy Open preference file in the Preference folder. Enable Macintosh Easy Open control panel and restart once more. The problem should disppear.

STEP 6 - WEED OUT THE PROBLEMATIC EXTENSION(S) AND/OR CONTROL PANEL(S)

  • Still having a bad time with system problems? Start simplifying the number of extensions and control panels loaded up on your Macintosh as this may reveal some kind of conflict going on between them. When checking for this, always remember to start up your computer with Apple's original extensions and control panels and nothing else (use the Extensions Manager control panel to do this). Apple's original extensions and control panels have been properly tested (we hope, although one wonders about OS9!) in the factory for conflict issues and so should work well. If your problem is solved after restart, you will need to track down which extension(s) or control panel(s) is causing you strife.

    If the problem persists, restart your Macintosh with all extensions disabled. You can disable all extensions by pressing the Shift key immediately after hearing the chime at startup. Keep pressing the key until you see a message indicating all the extensions are disabled. Hopefully this should solve the problem. If so, track down the extension causing you the headaches and replace it with a clean version. It is likely the old version was corrupted. Or remove altogether.

    ## SPECIAL NOTE FOR OS 9 USERS ##

    The quality control work has deteriorated slightly from Apple Inc. (formerly Apple Computer, Inc.) with the advent of OS9 on PowerPC G3 computers. To solve these problems, click here.

  • Let's do a little spring-cleaning. Reduce the number of Apple-approved Control Panels, Extensions and System Enablers you don't need (NOTE: Under OS9, you may be forced to keep all Apple installed software and especially above a certain version in order to run smoothly). Also get rid of any rogue Apple extensions and control panels left behind after an uninstallation procedure. For example, ObjectSupport Lib in the Extensions folder is not required for MacOS8.0 or higher since it is already integrated into the system file. Any software installer that adds this extension to your system folder might be an old version and could cause system instability.

    For example, things you don't need:

    (i) Extra printer extensions:

    (ii) Certain communication tools if you don't have the hardware devices to use them:

    (iii) AppleScript (unless you need to run certain scripts within an application):

    (iv) Ethernet or TokenRing extensions if all you have to communicate on a network is LocalTalk:

    (v) Speech extensions and control panels:

    and so on. Consider placing unnecessary system extensions and control panels in the Extensions and/or Control Panels Disabled folders inside your System Folder, or remove them altogether.

  • Check to see whether you need to keep any non-standard or non-Apple Control Panels and Extensions. Almost all system (or application) instability problems stem from non-Apple software installed on your computer.
  • Want to know what an extension and control panel does? We recommend you download the rather useful shareware utility called Extensions Overload 5.7.1 by Teng Chou Ming. You can run it in the unregistered mode and gather plenty of information about your extensions and control panels. Once you've worked out what to keep, move the ones you don't need into either the Disabled Extensions or the Disabled Control Panels folder depending on whether you are moving an extension or control panel respectively. Otherwise trash them.

    Want to find those rogue extensions and control panels left behind after a software installation procedure? Use the freeware utility called Installer Observer 3.0.3 to record the original state of the hard disk. Next, reinstall the software you want to remove. Run the Installer Observer utility again to find out what has changed. Use the Delete button on the utility to remove all the installed software components on your hard disk (including the invisible files).

  • The aim of spring-cleaning is to minimise the number of files and applications on your hard disk. By doing so, the problem can become more easily identified and solved (and possibly fix up other problems). In other words, try to keep all the files on the hard disk simple and relevant to the task required by the machine to perform. The benefits of doing so will be a more responsive, speedier and stable Finder (after rebuilding the desktop files) in locating any file or application on your hard disk, and it will also free up extra space on your hard disk (unless you have one of those 100GB plus hard drives designed to store just about everything you can ever want).

    For example, do you need all your help files if you know how to use your computer and/or software? What about those 3 or 4GB worth of clip arts from Microsoft Office? Do you need to have them all? The same for tutorial files and any multi-gig multimedia movies explaining how wonderful your software or computer is. All these files are wasted space.

STEP 6 - DEFRAGING FILES

  • Regularly saving and deleting files? It is possible the information stored on your hard disk is getting increasingly fragmented over time. Although fragmented files don't cause damage to your other data or hard disk, it will slow down the speed of your hard disk. This problem can be fixed by defragging.

    Try defragmenting the HD using a software tool such as Norton Speed Disk and do another desktop rebuild (but only after you have tested your hard disk and files using Micromat TechTool Pro, Alsoft Disk Warrior, Norton Utilities or Apple's own Disk First Aid utility and you have found absolutely no problems). Norton Speed Disk does a better job of defragmenting files and the hard disk if you have limited hard disk space. Otherwise TechTool Pro and Norton Utilities both do an excellent job.

Consider defragmenting your hard disk once every month or so or when your disk is above 3 per cent fragmentation. It will help to prolong the life of your hard disk by reducing the wear-and-tear on the read/write heads moving about inside the hard drive as it gathers information between blocks of data on the disk, and will also increase the speed of your system software and applications.

STEP 7 - MEMORY PROBLEMS

  • Still having trouble with your system software? Boy, you're almost up-the-creek at this stage. Fortunately there is another source for system instability you should consider. The familiar "out-of-memory" problem could be the cause for the mischievous behaviour emanating from your system software. For example, when you have a number of applications loaded up in memory and your system software suddenly requires extra memory to perform certain important tasks in the background, usually you will notice the top right-hand icon in the menu bar flashing between the Finder and the application you are currently using. In the extreme case, you may have no warning of a problem until the system/finder suddenly freezes or crashes on you. In these circumstances, the best way to solve system problems is to give your system software adequate memory in reserve and not just what is loaded up into memory at startup. A trick you can try is to load up the System software as normal, then load up a small application like SimpleText, followed by your other applications, and as soon as the top right-hand icon flashes, switch to SimpleText and quit the application. You may then be able to switch to the Finder and click the "Try Again" button on the dialogue box and you will have the extra memory for the Finder and System to do its job while still running all your other applications. Or better still, try adjusting the memory requirements of all your applications (to automate this memory adjustment process, download the shareware control panel utility called The Reaper 1.3.2), or buy a larger hard disk size (for virtual memory) and/or RAM (for real physical memory). In fact, the more memory you can give to your system software and/or applications, the more stable and better they will run.
  • Increase the memory allocated to the Finder and System files. Use a tool like Finder Heap Fix 1.0 and increase the minimum memory size to perhaps 512K or more.
  • Find your Memory control panel. Open it up and set the Disk Cache in the Memory control panel to about 128K for older 680x0 Macs or 512K to 1024K for the newer PowerPC/G3 Macs. However, don't set the Disk Cache too high, no matter what you might have heard or read. Also, if it is applicable on your model of Macintosh, turn on 32-bit addressing for older Macs and the Modern Memory Manager in newer Macs in the Memory control panel.
  • If you have enough hard disk space, increase Virtual Memory in the Memory control panel. Try to set Virtual Memory to the same size as your RAM or greater. Don't have that much space on the hard disk? Try to free up at least 150MB of hard disk space for virtual memory in the classic environment OS7-9. Otherwise, buy extra physical RAM cards to increase the memory.
  • As another test, you may wish to try swapping your RAM card for a known good type. There is the slight possibility your RAM card is getting old and might be playing up. For details on how to swap RAM cards for your particular type of Macintosh computer, visit http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/ or read on.

STEP 8 - HARDWARE PROBLEMS

  • The next step is to disconnect all the SCSI and Universal/USB device(s) such as Zip drives, CD writers/readers, scanners and external hard drives from your computer. Before disconnecting SCSI devices, remember to shutdown your Macintosh computer and switch off power to all your device(s). Now restart the Macintosh and see what happens. If the SCSI device(s) is causing you problems, check the Hardware Stability page for information on what to do, or talk to the makers of your SCSI device to see what they can do for you (which is not much since SCSI hardware manufacturers are hard to come by these days). For USB devices, you shouldn't have a problem finding your hardware manufacturer online. Check under Support or Downloads on the web site for the location of any new driver updates.
  • If you notice the internal hard disk on your computer suddenly freeze for no apparent reason (i.e. the Norton Utilities Disk Light stays on continuously) while it is searching for something, or your computer is unable to startup properly because it thinks there is no functioning system software in the internal hard disk, the problem may be that the computer does not notice the existence of the hard drive itself because the hard disk connector is dirty or not making a clear connection to the motherboard. Check the Hardware Stability page for information on what to do.
  • Have you noticed signs of a mysterious line suddenly appearing on your flat-panel screen (e.g. the titanium laptop) under OS9 after an update or upgrade to the latest OSX (where it updates aspects of your OS9 software and firmware)? Sometimes restarting your computer may temporarily remove the coloured line (it looks like the transistors for turning on the red and yellow have turned off). But it will return. If this is happening to you, it is a good idea to reset the Mac's NVRAM:

    (i) Just as the computer is powering up from a shutdown (not from a restart), hold down Command-Option-P-R before the screen lights up.

    (ii) Let the Mac chime twice and let go of the key combination.

    (iii) Before the screen lights up again, hold down Command-Option-O-F. This will show the Open Firmware screen.

    (iv) Type the following:

    set-defaults [Return key]

    reset-nvram [Return key]

    reset-all [Return key]

    (v) After pressing the final Return key at the end of this line, the computer should restart. The line should disappear for good on reaching the OS9 desktop.

STEP 9 - ZAP THE PRAM

  • Another possible solution to your system software problem is to consider zapping the PRAM. On the surface of things, this may sound like infant cruelty, but zapping the PRAM is quite easy and safe to do. Stored away in every Macintosh computer is a piece of memory called Parameter RAM (hence the name PRAM — gee whiz we're glad to see you've understood it). It stores essential information about your computer such as the date and time, speaker volume, cursor flash rate, contrast and colour details of your screen, network details, and so on which is kept constantly "alive" by the motherboard battery. Occasionally, however, corrupt information can creep into the PRAM and cause instability problems to your system software and hardware-related components. Hence the technique of zapping the PRAM is particularly useful if you are having trouble, say, getting your computer to recognise new hardware devices. To zap the PRAM, press Command, Option, P and R at the same time within 5 seconds of startup (i.e. before the screen turns on, and immediately after hearing the startup chime). Make sure the Caps Lock key is not engaged. Keep pressing the keys (hell, try it with one hand and you'll realise what a great stretching exercise it is for your fingers!). The startup sound should repeat itself. Keep pressing the keys until you hear the startup chime sound three or four times. Then release all the keys. Or instead use a utility called MicroMat TechTool Lite 3.0.1 (a freeware application). It does a fairly thorough job of purging PRAM. For older PowerBooks, remove the battery for 5 minutes then replace it and reboot the machine. Then reset all the settings, including time, date, Appletalk network option etc.

    NOTE 1: Zapping the PRAM means restoring the PRAM settings to its default factory settings. So you may have to later change the settings using the control panels to your preferred settings after zapping the PRAM and restarting your computer.

    NOTE 2: There is a "Mega PRAM Zapping" facility called the CUDA switch found on most Macintosh computers. Because it is found on the motherboard, it is rarely used. The CUDA switch is only pressed if you have extra RAM installed or you've added a new processor upgrade, or other major hardware devices and your computer does not recognise it or won't startup, or if it does, your Macintosh seems to power down for no apparent reason. To learn where your CUDA switch is located on your model of computer (usually a red button located next to the PRAM battery), refer to Apple's Tech Info Library (TIL) at http://til.info.apple.com/.

STEP 10 - REINSTALL SYSTEM SOFTWARE AND DRIVERS

  • And as a final resort (it sounds like things are getting pretty serious at this stage), reinstall the system software from the original installation CD or floppy disks. Use Mac OS 8.6 for Power Mac 7100 and above (including all PowerPC G3 systems and some early model PowerPC G4 systems). For other G4 systems, you may have no choice but to use OSX. Use Mac OS 7.6.1 for Power Mac 6100 or lower (including 680x0-based laptops) and either System 7.1 or System 7.5.5 on the really old Macintosh IIcx or earlier models. For late model G4 systems and all G5 systems, use either OSX version 10.2.8 or go for the latest version 10.4.

    NOTE 1: Use a disk repair utility first to check for bad sector blocks and other disk problems before reinstalling the system software.

    NOTE 2: Your System software will eventually degrade on a magnetic media such as a hard disk after many years of regular use to the point where it will need replacing/reinstalling, either as a result of "old age" or from some sequence of events which causes irreversible damage to your OS (perhaps in this latter situation, you would be wise to turn on System Folder protection in the General control panel to minimise this kind of damage). Before going to the trouble of replacing/reinstalling your OS with a fresh copy, always try doing a quick check of your system files and storage media using Norton Utilities, Disk First Aid, Disk Warrior or TechTool Pro. If all else fails, then please go ahead and reinstall the system software, and/or get a new hard disk.

    NOTE 3: In older system software installation disks, a secret window appears allowing you to select the type of installation you want; when installing a fresh copy of your system software, choose "Install New System Folder" and click OK. To see this secret window, press COMMAND + SHIFT + K.

    NOTE 4: For a computer with fresh system software to be accessible on the network, the File Sharing control panel must have a name entered for the computer (e.g. "John Smith").

  • Still can't solve the system software problem? Check your hardware for faulty RAM cards and hard drive. Use Drive Setup 2.0.7 to check for block errors (again) on the hard disk, and replace the RAM cards with a known workable version.

STEP 11 - BLAME APPLE

  • Still having trouble? Whether it is because of poor quality controls, or Apple Inc. (formerly Apple Computer, Inc.) is trying to build obsolescence into their products (e.g. OS9 on G3 systems) and/or the company wants to make sure you are using legitimate software (because of the damage Disk First Aid 8.5.5 can do to MacOS8.1 systems) or to get you to upgrade/update all your software again and again (e.g. OSX version 10.0 to 10.4 by buying the original Apple OSX disk, not a copy version), we recommend that you stabilise the software you use now (with the exception of your virus definitions file). Unless you are loaded with so much money to update your software and computer regularly like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs can, you would be better off going back perhaps one version in your system software (or the one considered the most stable version). And choose only a handful of the best quality software for all the essential tasks you will ever need and stick to them. The more you fiddle around trying to upgrade and update your software and use the latest utilities, the more risk there is of damaging your software and/or forcing you to buy the latest computer, operating system, and various other software to get everything running smoothly again.

NOTE: Having a problem seeing the desktop on your monitor? If you want to switch your Macintosh computer's screen display from a monitor to a connected television set, hold down Command + Option + T + V during computer startup. Works only on AV Macintosh computers.