the PDF version of the Tekserve Mac FAQ – 3rd Edition

Frequently Asked Questions
And Answers
by David Lerner
This work is Copyright 1998 by David Lerner and all rights are reserved. Short excerpts
may be quoted online or in publications and reviews if credit is given to “Tekserve’s FAQ.”
I have done my best to make sure that all information is accurate and up to date, but I and we
can accept no responsibility for errors, omissions, or actions resulting from this information,
and this document is provided without a warranty of any kind. Multiple backups, both on-site
and off-site are your best defense. Please send corrections, improvements, and additions to
David Lerner at Tekserve (or
Many thanks to my partner Dick Demenus, and fellow (or former) Tekservers James
Carpino, Nick Sklavounakis, Mike Slattery, and Dan Weiss for their contributions and
corrections. Special thanks to Tekserve alumnus Peter Stoller for his careful editing,
suggestions and other assistance, and for that huge “Tekserve, the Old Reliable Mac Service”
sign that he gave us as a parting gift a few years ago.
Recycling notice: this FAQ was printed on recycled paper. If you don’t need it, please pass it
along to a friend.
Design, layout, and production by Eugene James Daly.
August 1998
Apple, the Apple logo, Apple SuperDrive, AppleVision, Power Macintosh, ImageWriter, LaserWriter, Mac,
Macintosh, Macintosh Quadra, PowerBook, G3, and StyleWriter are registered trademarks of Apple Computer,
Inc. AppleCD, AppleDesign, Macintosh Centris, Macintosh Duo, MessagePad, Newton, Performa, PowerBook
Duo, QuickTime and TrueType are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Classic is a registered trademark
licensed to Apple Computer, Inc. Linotronic is a registered trademark of Linotype-Hell AG, Inc. PostScript is a
registered trademark and PageMaker, Illustrator and Photoshop are trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc.
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. AutoDoubler and DiskDoubler are or were
trademarks of Fifth Generation Systems, Inc. StuffIt and StuffIt Deluxe are trademarks of Raymond Lau and
Aladdin Systems, Inc. StuffIt SpaceSaver is a trademark of Aladdin Systems, Inc. More Disk Space is a
trademark of Alysis Software Corporation. Tekserve is registered trademark of Tekserve Corporation.
TimesTwo is a trademark of Golden Triangle Computers, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T.
PowerPC and the PowerPC logo are trademarks of IBM Corporation. Zip is a trademark of Iomega Inc. All
other tradenames are trademarks of their respective owners.
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
August 1998
Tekserve, New York’s Old Reliable Mac Service Shop
How to Avoid Coming to Tekserve in a Panic
Being Prepared
Crisis Situations
Formatting Hard Disk Drives, Cartridges & Defragmenting
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) Woes
The System
Bombs and Crashes
Memory and VRAM
PowerBook Specific Items
File Sharing
Upgrades, Accelerators and Power Macs
Communications and the Internet
Other Questions
Command Key Combinations
I got the Mac because I like menus and hate using command keys. But some Mac actions require
command keys. What are the common ones?
-option-shift-delete while booting
Ignore internal hard disk drive
Rebuild Desktop
-option (but read the question about this)
Zap PRAM—System 7.X
-option-P-R while booting
Zap PRAM—System 6
-option-shift while opening Control panel
Reset Applevision Display (v1.52 or later)
-option-A-V while booting
iMac hard reset (after a crash if any,
Use straightened paperclip in
hole behind
lose all unsaved work)
connector access door on the right side of iMac
Software reboot (lose all unsaved work)
-control-power on (the triangle button)
to restart after a crash on some Macs
Virus Alert
The “Autostart” worm virus is nasty and pervasive.You NEED to use and update Virex (or SAM/NAM)!
Disinfectant has been discontinued and is no longer sufficient.
Phone Numbers for Help and Support
Who do I call...?
Tekserve (
Apple Hardware & Software Support (
Apple Loan Program (borrow money to buy a Mac)
Apple Software Updates (
Apple Literature FaxBack service (
J&R Computer World Mac Dept.
NovaWorks Apple VAR, on-site service
MacConnection Mail-order
MacWarehouse Mail-order
New York Macusers’ Group (
212 929-3645
800-SOS-APPL (800 767-2775)
800-APPLE-LN (800 277-5356)
800 950-5382
800 510-2834
212 238-9110
212 685-2300
800 MAC-LISA (or 800-800-1111)
800 255-6227
212 473-1600 (BBS 212 220-4255)
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
August 1998
Tekserve, New York’s Old Reliable Mac Service Shop
What’s Tekserve?
We are electronic engineers who use Macs to design products such as robust public access
audio/video equipment, industrial controls and product simulators.When our Macs started
breaking, we were shocked by the repair costs, so we learned how to fix them.
Tekserve focuses on Macintosh service, repair and upgrade, both in and out of warranty.
We always give free estimates.Although we have a special emphasis on fast turnaround
PowerBook repair and upgrade (frequently while you wait), we work on all Macintosh models
(and clones too).We have a high success rate and reasonable prices for data recovery, and we
only charge if we succeed.We stock memory, modems, drives and service parts for nearly all
Macs, and we are also happy to install upgrades that you buy elsewhere.
We also stock new Macs, PowerBooks and printers at mail order prices, and we can
frequently custom configure and deliver them the same day.We are open 9 to 6 weekdays,
Tuesday evening until 8, and 10 to 4 on Saturdays, with free validated parking. No
appointment is needed, just come on by.
Isn’t one service place as good as another?
Every service shop is only as good as their
last repair. What we think sets Tekserve apart
is that service is our business. We sell Macs in
order to keep up with the latest stuff and to
satisfy customers who would rather trade-in a
dead Mac than fix it (and because we must
sell Macs in order to do authorized warranty
service). But our focus is on service, repair
and upgrade, not on selling new Macs. We
think that’s reflected in our shop—no
receptionist, no hidden service areas, just a
bunch of well-equipped workbenches and
technicians (and a huge inventory of parts).
Our motto, copied from an old Walker
Evans photo from the Library of Congress
that we made into a postcard, is “Honest
Weights, Square Dealings.” And we mean it.
If you are ever dissatisfied in any way with our
service, please let us know and we’ll make it
So do you really fix things, or just swap
We’ve been humbled a little on this one. We
started our business on the premise that we
would always fix the broken part, not just
swap it. When someone had a floppy drive
that was a little out of alignment, we aligned
it. If a capacitor on an analog board was bad,
we replaced it. But too many things came back
with further problems and what seemed like a
good policy backfired. People want their
repair right now, but careful repair and testing
takes time. So now we insist on swapping a
bad floppy drive for a refurbished one. In
many cases we do the refurbishment
ourselves, but it is a long involved process,
including complete disassembly of the drive,
cleaning, lubrication, replacing broken parts,
reassembly, alignment and testing. On analog
boards, we don’t just replace the broken part,
we replace many failure-prone parts with new
better ones, and then test.
So, yes, we actually fix things, but to get the
customer in and out quickly we usually swap
parts. We think it’s the best of both worlds,
because it allows us to stand behind all of our
work with a full one-year warranty, and it
reduces the need for people to use that
warranty. (Our Apple warranty repairs are
done with Apple Service Parts and carry a
three-month Apple warranty.)
Don’t most other dealers swap brand new
No. Service swap parts are guaranteed
(although usually only for three months) to
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
work the same as new ones, but Apple
prohibits dealers from claiming that service
parts are new. The parts are usually repaired
and refurbished at Apple’s depot.
Do you provide a messenger service to
pick-up and deliver stuff?
We’d love to, but the messenger services say
that picking up broken equipment is too risky
for them, because it’s hard to prove what was
already broken in the unlikely event that they
break something else. If you send us stuff by
messenger, please attach a note telling us who,
what, when and why.You’d be surprised at the
mystery parcels we receive.
Do you do corporate accounts?
Our low cost structure is geared toward
payment by cash, check or credit card when
the repair is completed. We are happy to
accept corporate credit cards, including
American Express & Diners Club. If your
company’s structure requires that you be
billed, ask to talk to David and we’ll send you
a credit application. It’s no problem for us to
bill Fortune 500 companies, governmental
entities and universities who issue a written
purchase order.
How to Avoid Coming to
Tekserve in a Panic
1 Save multiple copies of critical files on
multiple disks, cartridges or tapes. In
short, backup constantly and religiously,
especially when you are under deadline
pressure. Save early and often.
2 Don’t save the only version of an important
file on a floppy disk or a removable cart
(really you should never have only one
copy of an important file). Make multiple
copies. Don’t erase your last backup to
make a new one—you may be backing up
a corrupted file and will need the previous
3 At least one of your backups should be in a
different location (i.e. off-site).
August 1998
4 Install and use the latest version of your
preferred anti-viral software. Disinfectant
has been discontinued and is no longer
sufficient—you need to use one of the
commercial programs (we like Virex) and
update it monthly (really).
5 Run the latest Apple Disk First Aid on your
drives once a month or so (always backup
first), and also after your computer
6 If you own a current version of Norton
Utilities (3.53 came out in late 1997, 4.0 is
expected in September 1998) be sure to
install FileSaver and turn it on (but 3.53
can’t handle Mac OS 8.1’s Extended
Format, so if you use Extended Format you
MUST upgrade to 4.0).
7 Own the software you use, read the
manuals, keep the original program disks
in a safe place.
8 Minimize the number of gewgaws you add
to your System, and never add two
gewgaws with overlapping functions. (e.g.
don’t use SuperClock and the Apple menu
bar clock, don’t use Trashback and
Undelete).“Screen savers” are mostly
entertainment programs—by the time a
color screen burns-in, it will probably be
fuzzy too. To save your screen, dim the
monitor or turn it off. All new monitors
work with Apple’s Energy Saver control
panel to downshift to a dark low-power
mode after a certain idle time. Some
“screen savers” will interfere with that.
Being Prepared
Spend a little time getting ready to cope
with a problem before you have one. All recent
Macs come with a bootable CD-ROM with
System software—if so, keep it handy.
Otherwise, make a copy of the Apple Disk
Tools floppy that came with your computer
(or make one from the disk tools image on
your most recent System software CD).
If you own a copy of Norton Disk Doctor,
keep it up to date. If your hard drive is not an
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
original Apple drive, or you have reformatted
it with some other software (Drive7, FWB
Hard Disk ToolKit, CharisMac Anubis, La Cie
Silverlining, etc.), keep a copy of that
formatter/driver software handy, preferably
on a disk that will boot your Mac.
My hard drive has trouble getting going,
but it always starts after a few tries.
Should I bother backing it up?
No, your data is of no importance and you
can probably recreate it within a few months.
After all, you have lots of paper printouts to
recopy from and you’re a fast typist. Sorry to
be facetious, but we’ve had people come into
Tekserve for urgent data recoveries with this
story! If your computer or hard drive is doing
anything unusual—squeaking, chirping,
having trouble getting going, read/write
errors, missing or damaged files—take it as a
reminder to do a complete backup. Please!
Crisis Situations
I turned on my computer and just see a
little blinking picture of a floppy disk or a
question mark.
1 If you have one of the many Macs with an
IDE internal drive, this may be caused by
an older version of Drive Setup. Get Apple’s
Drive Setup 1.3.1 or later and follow the
instructions. The affected models are
Performa and Power Mac 5400, 5410, 5420,
5430, 5440, 5500, 6400, 6410, 6420, 6500,
6360 and Twentieth Anniversary
2 Try starting from a Disk Tools floppy disk
(or the CD-ROM that came with your
computer). If the floppy disk is ejected, you
may have a stuck button on your mouse or
trackball (or it isn’t really a Disk Tools
floppy and is lacking the software needed
to boot your computer). With the Mac
turned off, unplug the mouse or trackball
and see if it now starts okay from the
floppy disk or your hard disk. If so, the
August 1998
mouse or trackball is the culprit.
3 If it starts up okay from the floppy, and you
see your hard disk icon below the floppy
icon, the System on your hard drive may
have become damaged. If so, backup your
important files, run Disk First Aid to repair
any directory damage, and then restart
from the System CD-ROM (or Install Me
First System tools floppy disk) and reinstall
the System. If that doesn’t solve the
problem, try a “clean System install”
described in the next section.
4 If your hard disk drive icon doesn’t show
up under the CD or floppy icon, you can
try running Disk First Aid. (Warning: In
some instances repair programs will make
things worse. This is why we say to always
backup everything; so that, if a repair fails,
you have another recourse. If you have any
doubts or cannot afford to lose the files on
your hard drive, you may want to bring
your computer to Tekserve at this point. We
have ways of doing repairs without taking
chances.) If Disk First Aid sees your hard
drive, it may be able to fix problems in the
directory. If it finds things to fix, run it
again to be sure that everything is really
fixed. If it keeps saying it fixed the same
thing each time you run it, it’s lying to you.
5 If you own Norton Utilities or Tech Tool
Pro 2, you can try them now (but please
read the next question first).
6 If this didn’t solve your problem, call us.
Can I make things worse by doing repairs
with Norton Disk Doctor, MacTools, or
Disk First Aid?
Unfortunately, yes. In most instances these
programs are good tools that help solve
problems. But “repairing” certain problems
can leave you worse off than before—in some
cases, even take a disk from which a
professional could easily recover data to a
complete loss situation. Basically, when your
drive’s directory is scrambled, anything that
writes to the disk has the potential to do
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
harm. Running Norton Disk Doctor or Tech
Tool Pro 2 actually writes to the directory that
it’s fixing, so occasionally it does damage.
However, running a data recovery utility such
as Data Rescue, Norton’s Volume Recover or
Unerase should be fine, if you copy the
recovered files to a different drive. If you
recover the files onto the damaged drive, you
will be overwriting other data you wish to
recover, compounding existing directory
damage, and making things worse.
If you are well backed up you can use any
repair utility with confidence. If you are not
backed up and your data is essential to you,
consider getting professional help. We’re not
trying to scare you into always hiring us—
we’re trying to scare you into always making
lots of backups!
My keyboard doesn’t work, and I get little
beeps when I press a key.
You have probably accidentally enabled
Easy Access, a special Apple control panel to
help handicapped people use the Mac
keyboard. Open the Easy Access control panel
and turn off each of its features.
I turn on my computer and hear a series of
musical notes (or what sounds like a car
crash), or I get a picture of an unhappy
Mac on the screen with some numbers
under it.
This can happen if you have certain older
CD-ROMs in your drive when you boot, so
first try removing any CD-ROMs. If that
doesn’t cure it, read on:
Every time you start your Mac it does some
diagnostics on itself. With these symptoms,
the Mac is telling you that those diagnostics
1 Turn everything off, and disconnect any
external SCSI devices. These are things
such as scanners, hard drives and external
CD-ROM drives. Just unplug the cable
plugged into the SCSI connector (with the
diamond symbol) on the back of your Mac.
August 1998
On desktop and tower Macs you have to
unscrew the two thumbscrews first. (If
there is nothing plugged in there, skip this
step.) Now that your external SCSI chain is
disconnected, start the Mac and see if the
problem was caused by those external
2 Zap the PRAM. This is special parameter
memory that stores crucial startup settings
for your Mac and can become corrupted.
Zapping it means resetting it to the
original defaults. On newer Macs, hold
down -option-P-R while turning on the
Mac. Keep holding those keys down until
you hear the startup bong two or three
times. (On the PowerBook 190, 1400, 2300,
2400, 3400 and 5300, when you have
successfully zapped the PRAM the screen
may be blank and the green sleep LED may
be steadily lit, and you will need to then
press the reset button on the rear of the
computer.) If this didn’t help or didn’t
work, continue with the next step.
3 Restart holding down -shift-optiondelete.You have to hold down all four
buttons together, and then, while keeping
those buttons down, turn on the computer.
This tells the computer to ignore the
normal startup drive. If instead of getting
the sad tones or sad Mac you now get a
blinking picture of a floppy disk, then your
disk driver (or the System file) is probably
corrupted. The disk driver is special
information on your hard drive that tells
the Mac how to talk to the hard drive.
We’re getting into dangerous territory if
you aren’t backed up. If you are backed up,
or not concerned about anything on your
hard drive, try restarting from a System
CD-ROM or Disk Tools floppy while
holding down those four buttons. If that
works, run Apple Drive Setup and select
“Update driver” from the Functions
selection. Warning: Don’t click ”Initialize,”
that will wipe out everything on your
drive. If you have used a driver-level
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
compression program such as eDisk, Times
Two or Stacker, even updating the driver
can wipe out your drive.
If Apple Drive Setup says that “drive
selection failed” or “not supported,” see the
next big section further on about
formatting software.
4 If you recently added RAM to the
computer, you may want to try removing it
(if you are comfortable doing this and have
the right anti-static equipment).
5 If you still get the sad Mac tones, your
problems are more serious—either
memory, the motherboard, the hard drive,
or an add-on such as an accelerator, nuBus
or PCI card. At this point if you still have
trouble, you should probably bring the
computer in for service.
I pushed the Power-on button on the
keyboard, but my Mac won’t start up.
If you have an original Macintosh, SE, LC,
605, 610, 660, 6100, or one of several other
similar models, this is normal. Use the on/off
switch on the back or front of the computer.
On the Color Classic, MacTV and some
Performas, you must turn on the switch on
the back and then push the keyboard Poweron button.
If you have a 550, 575, 580, 5200, 5300,
6200, 6300 or another similar model, it is
possibly just a dead square alkaline battery
which is plugged into the motherboard and
attached with Velcro.
If you have a Mac II, IIx or IIfx, there are
lithium batteries on the logic board (under
the drive bracket) which are used by the
power-on circuit. After three to six years they
die. On later models they are user replaceable,
but on older models the batteries are soldered
to the logic board.
On the Mac IIcx and IIci, not turning on
can be due to a failure in the power supply.
There is a workaround that’s usually effective:
unplug the computer for five minutes, then
plug it back in. If you want to institutionalize
August 1998
this workaround instead of fixing the
computer, plug the computer into a switched
outlet strip and turn that off after you turn off
the computer.
My computer makes the normal bong, and
the green light on the monitor comes on,
but there is no picture.
This can be caused by a dead lithium
battery on the motherboard of a Mac LC,
Centris, Quadra or Performa 475, 605, 610,
660 or 61XX.
My Apple Color Plus Display is completely
dead, and the green light doesn’t come on.
This can be caused by a defective
component soldered to the monitor’s circuit
board. We can probably repair it for about
$75. More serious problems with 14 & 15 inch
monitors usually cost $175 to fix (and that
may be more than they’re worth).
My Mac Plus, SE or Classic smells funny, or
has a single white line down the screen, or
keeps turning off and bonging back on as
I work on it.
These are all different failures of the
“analog board” (the board with the Mac’s
power supply and video circuitry) which
occur with age and heat. We can fix it (but
your computer is probably ten years old, so it
might be time to buy a new one).
My mouse or trackball is acting weird.
Shut down the computer, remove the
bottom cover of the mouse (or the twist ring
on the trackball), clean the rollers with a Q-tip
and just a drop of alcohol. That black ring
around the center of the rollers is not a special
friction coating—it’s congealed dirt and junk.
On a PowerBook, here’s the key thing: after
cleaning, be certain that the little blue rollers
are perfectly centered on their steel shafts. If
they rub against one of the black walls on
either side, the trackball won’t move well in
that direction.You can nudge the rollers
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
sideways with your finger or a small
implement. Be gentle.
My desktop Power Macintosh 5200, 5300
or Performa 5200, 5215, 5300, 6200, 6205,
6214, 6216, 6218, 6220, 6230, 6290, 6300
freezes several times a day, the mouse
doesn’t move and the menu bar clock
stops. I have to reboot to use it again.
Apple has discovered problems with
certain components in these models that can
cause freezing, and if your Mac has those
specific component flaws, there is a free Apple
Repair Extension program to fix it. Freezing
can also be caused by software problems on
perfectly functioning hardware, so there is a
diagnostic program called “5xxx/6xxx tester”
available from the usual sources. Some 52xx
or 53xx models may also suffer from sudden
or intermittent changes in color hue. The
specific repairs covered under this program
are free. If your Mac has a little label on the
back that says REA or VID, you’ve already
gotten these repairs.
My mouse and keyboard stopped working.
Turn off the computer, and try plugging
only the mouse into the back of the computer
and restarting. If it works, your computer
itself is okay, but there is probably a bad
connection in the ADB jack in your keyboard.
If it doesn’t work, and particularly on Mac SE
and Mac II computers, there may be a blown
ADB fuse on the motherboard. This usually
occurs when you plug in a mouse or keyboard
while the computer is on. Don’t do that!
A disk is stuck in my Mac.
Don’t pull it out with pliers, that may
destroy the floppy drive. Try ejecting it by
pushing a straightened paper clip into the
little hole alongside the floppy drive.You may
have to push fairly hard on the paper clip. If
that doesn’t work, the Mac probably needs to
be disassembled to get the disk out, and the
drive may already be damaged.
August 1998
My computer starts normally, but then the
cursor freezes in the upper left corner of
the screen when the Finder loads.
This can be a bad mouse connection (see
previous question), or a software problem
(try starting from the CD that came with the
Mac), or a problem with a SCSI device (with
the power off, disconnect all external SCSI
devices), or a flaky Apple Desktop Mouse II
with a serial number beginning with “LC.” Not
all mice with that number are bad, but a few
can cause this problem. Try another mouse.
My trackpad is jumping around.
Brushing a second finger against the
trackpad can cause this, but trackpads
respond to the capacitance of your finger and
are affected by moisture. Try washing and
drying your hands. Apple has a “Trackpad
Climate Control” extension that may help, and
there are plastic overlays to reduce the
sensitivity of the trackpad.
My Mac froze up. Now what?
First check for simple stuff, like the mouse
connector came loose from the keyboard. If
it’s not that, you’ve probably lost all your work
since you last saved. If that’s okay with you,
restart with the power switch or the reset
button or press these three buttons together:
-control-Power-on (some Macs are without
a reset button).
If you have unsaved work, there is a very
slim chance of rescuing it. -option-escape
will let you quit the current program (the one
that froze) and you might be able to get to any
other programs and save your work in them
before quitting and restarting. But you will
lose what you’ve done in the current program.
When you restart, move the “rescued items”
folder out of the trash (if there is one). It
might contain temporary files used by your
crashed program, and your unsaved work
might be partly there.
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
I just spilled beer/tea/cough syrup on my
keyboard (well, my cat threw up on it).
Shut down, unplug the keyboard from the
computer, and turn it upside down. Wait a day
or few for it to dry. It may be all okay now. If
not, bring it for service. (Byte columnist Jerry
Pournelle says just take it in the shower with
you and rinse it thoroughly and then dry it for
a few days, but he’s also in favor of Star Wars
missile defenses.) If it’s a PowerBook, remove
the battery and the power cord and bring it in
for service immediately. Don’t turn it on! The
internal backup battery can cause electrolytic
corrosion and lead to an expensive
motherboard replacement.
Formatting Hard Disk Drives,
Cartridges & Defragmenting
SCSI Probe and some formatting
programs don’t see the drive in my Power
Mac/Performa/LC/Quadra 63X, 5xxx, 6xxx,
4400, G3, PowerBook G3, 150, 190, 1400,
2300, 2400, 3400, 3500, or 5300 series, now
The internal hard drive on these Macs is
not a SCSI drive, it is an IDE or EIDE
(enhanced integrated drive electronics, also
called ATA) drive, more popular in the PC
world than the Mac world. These are good
drives, just different. Use Apple’s Drive Setup
utility to format these drives and to check for
bad blocks. Recent versions of third party
driver software also support IDE drives. These
Macs still have SCSI ports on them for
external drives (and some have room for an
internal SCSI drive as well). Don’t worry, Disk
First Aid and Norton can still repair
directories and recover files on these drives. A
PowerBook Duo upgraded with a 2300 logic
board can use either a SCSI or an IDE internal
Should I partition my drives?
Maybe. Larger drives have larger minimum
file sizes. Even if a file has just one word in it,
August 1998
the larger the drive’s partition, the larger the
space that tiny file will occupy. For instance,
on a 250 Meg drive, the smallest file will take
up 4K. On a two-Gigabyte drive, the smallest
file will take up 64K. Partitioning the drive
reduces this minimum file size.
With Systems below 7.5, the largest
partition the Mac can recognize fully is two
Gigabytes. System 7.5 can handle partitions
up to four Gigabytes. 7.6 goes higher. Unless
you are dealing with large graphic, video or
sound files, it may be a good idea to partition
any drive over two Gig into several smaller
partitions. Each one will show up on the Mac
desktop as a separate disk icon.
Apple’s old HD SC Setup software doesn’t
allow you to put multiple Mac partitions on
drives, but Apple’s newer Drive Setup can
partition drives. Warning: changing partitions
will wipe out all data on your drive, so make
at least two backups first.
Apple’s OS 8.1 (and up) allows you to
reformat your drive with a new file system
(Mac OS Extended Format, also called HFS
plus) that solves the problem of wasted space
on larger drives without partitioning. Most
new Macs sold after June of 1998 will come
pre-formatted with Extended Format.
MacOS Extended Format gotcha: Norton
Utilities 3.51 and earlier don’t recognize
MacOS Extended Format and will try to “fix”
the drive, rendering it unusable. (Disk First
Aid 8.2, Symantec Tech Support or MicroMat’s
Tech Tool Pro 2 may help you recover from
this). Norton Utilities 3.52 and 3.53 will
recognize MacOS Extended Format volumes
and will basically ignore them. Norton
Utilities 4.0 should properly recognize and
work with Extended Format volumes.
I’m trying to update my hard disk driver,
but Apple Drive Setup or HD SC Setup says
“drive selection failed” or “no suitable
drive” or “unsupported drive.”
Apple’s formatting software is basic reliable
software that works on every drive that Apple
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
ships in their computers. Apple doesn’t
manufacture hard drives, so their drives
physically look like other Seagate, Quantum
and IBM (yes, really) brand hard drives, but
always with an Apple label on them and
special code in the drive’s ROM so Drive
Setup can tell that they are Apple drives. There
are so many types of drives out there that
Apple only wants their setup software to work
with drives it knows all about. (This mainly
applies to SCSI drives—Drive Setup supports
most non-Apple IDE drives, and versions
above 1.4 support many non-Apple SCSI
drives as well).
When we sell a drive at Tekserve that is not
supported by Apple Drive Setup, we provide
either FWB’s Hard Disk ToolKit PE,
CharisMac Anubis, Drive7 or LaCie’s
Silverlining. There are a number of other
popular programs with which we have had
good experiences, including recent versions of
APS PowerTools.
It’s always a good idea to have a floppy, zip
or CD-ROM disk or with your drive’s
formatting software that will boot your
computer (or that you can use along with a
bootable CD-ROM) in case of trouble. Recent
versions of FWB Hard Disk Toolkit come on a
bootable CD. Apple Drive Setup is on the CD
that comes with new Macs.
Here are the most popular “universal”
formatting programs, their latest version as of
June 1998, and any notes about them:
Silverlining (La Cie).Version 5.83
Silverlining Lite, 2.21
Hard Disk ToolKit (FWB).Version 2.52 is
current.Versions prior to 2 can cause
freezes with System 6 or lower without
Drive7 (Casa Blanca).Version 4.2. Most
willing to “take over” existing drivers. Says
“ProSoft” in Get Info. Handles sleep well on
5XX PowerBooks with Power PC upgrade.
No longer selling direct to end users, but
available from Tekserve.
Alliance Power Tools (APS).Version 4.1.
August 1998
This is a custom version of CharisMac’s
Anubis formatter.Version 3.x of APS Tools
was a custom version of Drive 7.
Anubis (CharisMac) Version 2.57
Anubis Plus (CharisMac), 3.01
What’s defragmenting, and should I
As files are written to your hard disk, they
are usually put in the first empty space that is
big enough for the whole file. If you open an
old file, make some changes, and save it, it
may not fit into its old space anymore, so the
System automatically saves part in the old
place and the rest in the next available empty
space. When you open the file the next time,
the System has to get those two “fragments” of
the file and put them back together.
Sometimes a file that you work on often can
get fragmented into three or more pieces. Disk
operations get slower the more fragmented
files you have. Defragmenting your drive puts
all the pieces back together. Defragmenting
involves moving all or most of the files on
your disk.You must backup before you
defragment! (Norton Utilities Speed Disk 3.0
has a bug that can lose all your files while
defragmenting your disk—be sure to get the
3.52 or later update (4.0 or later for Extended
Format drives), and still backup before
defragmenting). Copying all of your files to
another drive, erasing the first drive, and
copying them back will also completely
defragment them. But please have an extra
backup before you do this!
SCSI (Small Computer System
Interface) Woes
I just added a new hard drive/scanner/
optical drive to my SCSI chain, and the
computer won’t boot at all, or if it does I
don’t see the new drive.
SCSI has some seemingly simple rules:
1 Each device must have a unique ID
between 0 and 7. The Mac itself is always 7,
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
the Mac’s internal SCSI hard drive is
usually 0, and the Mac’s internal CD-ROM
is usually 3 (G3 Macs and PowerBooks use
IDE CD-ROM drives instead of SCSI). A
second internal hard drive or the hard
drive in a Duo Dock is usually ID 1. So
external devices should normally use the
numbers 2, 4, 5 & 6. The order of devices
doesn’t have to match the ID numbers.
Before adding any devices, use the free
SCSI Probe control panel to quickly
identify all the devices in your chain and
their ID numbers. Some Macs have two
SCSI buses, in which case SCSI Probe will
have a tiny pop-up menu to choose them.
Always make sure all devices, including the
Mac, are turned off before connecting or
disconnecting anything on the chain.
Failure to do so can result in serious
damage to your Mac’s logic board and any
other SCSI device.
All devices in the SCSI chain should be
turned on before you turn on the Mac, and
all devices should only be turned off after
you shut down the Mac.
There must be one terminator at each end
of the chain. Normally the hard drive
inside the Mac (or on the 900/950 and a
few others, the hard drive cable) is
terminated, so that’s one end. The only
other terminator should be on the very last
device on the chain. For long chains with
many devices it is sometimes necessary to
break the rules and put a third terminator
in the middle. A $59 voodoo marketing
terminator is in most cases no better than
a $29 active terminator. Both are much
better than a $12 passive terminator.
Always use an active terminator with
Power Macs and Quadras.
SCSI cable quality matters, and it is best to
use all matching SCSI cables. Thin SCSI
cables can cause trouble, thick SCSI cables
are better. The technical concepts are: the
wire should be 26 AWG, not thinner 28 or
30 AWG. All the wires should be in pairs
August 1998
(18 pairs total), fairly tightly twisted. There
should be a heavy foil shield with a braided
wire shield around it (double-shielded).
There are even rules about where certain
pairs should be within the cable. Apple,
FWB, APS, Granite and Tekserve SCSI
cables meet these rules. Many other cables,
particularly older ones, don’t.
6 The entire SCSI chain, including the
computer, should be no more than 18 feet
long. Each device has up to a foot of cable
within it, and that counts. Use the shortest
cables that are practical. We stock them in
lengths of 1, 2, 3 and 6 foot. Avoid the sixfoot cables if you can.
If you’ve followed all the rules above,
verified your connections and terminator,
used SCSI Probe to check IDs (sometimes the
switch on the drive is mislabeled), and it still
doesn’t work, you’re in SCSI voodoo land. First
try connecting only the new device directly to
the Mac to be sure that both are okay. Then
try anything—swap the location of two
devices, swap two SCSI cables, use a longer or
shorter cable, swap the two SCSI ports on the
back of the drive, replace the passive
terminator on the end with an active
terminator, add an active terminator in the
middle of the chain, and so on. A few Power
Macs have a bug that can cause trouble with
SCSI ID 5; System 7.5.3 and above fix that
What’s SCSI-2, Fast SCSI, SCSI-3 and
Ultra2 SCSI?
SCSI-2 is a protocol for communications,
but it also refers to a new type of high-density
50-pin connector sometimes used instead of
the more common “Centronics” 50-pin
connector. We stock SCSI-2 cables at Tekserve,
including PowerBook to SCSI-2 cables.
SCSI-2 “Fast” means that the drive
supports new software protocols that allow it
to work faster with computers (such as AV
Macs and Power Macs) that also support the
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
new standard. All currently manufactured
SCSI drives are “Fast” or “Ultra.” Apple’s SCSI
Manager 4.3 extension that comes with
System 7.5 gives many older Macs some of
these SCSI-2 features (and can sometimes
introduce new problems on older Macs). In
System 7.5.3 and up, this extension is built-in
to the System file.
SCSI-2 “wide” means the data bus is 16 bits
wide instead of 8 bits wide. Twice as wide
should move twice as much data in the same
time. Wide drives are recommended for audio
and video applications.You must add a wide
SCSI card to your Mac in order to take
advantage of a wide drive. Wide drives use
high-density 68-pin connectors.
SCSI differential means that each data
signal is on a balanced pair of wires, one
going negative when the other goes positive.
This increases immunity to interference and
allows very long SCSI cables (up to 50 feet),
but requires special drives and special cards.
SCSI-3 and Ultra SCSI are new marketing
terms that refer to various newly agreed SCSI
protocols.Yes, they are potentially faster, but
you usually need an accelerated SCSI card to
take advantage of their speed.
Ultra2 SCSI is the latest standard, and it
uses new LVD (low-voltage differential) SCSI
cards, drives and cables. Again, the differential
part means that you can have very long SCSI
chains. Most Ultra2 SCSI drives automatically
switch to Ultra SCSI (unbalanced)
connections if you connect them to a regular
SCSI bus. Although LVD uses standard 68-pin
wide SCSI connectors, it requires different
terminators and special cables built to more
rigid standards.
I just added a new CD-ROM to my SCSI
chain, and it doesn’t work.
You need to install “driver” software in your
Mac’s System folder in order to use a CDROM. Apple brand CD-ROM drives use the
Apple CD-ROM (or CD/DVD-ROM)
extension, along with a bunch of other
August 1998
extensions needed to deal with audio CDs and
odd types of data CDs (Those extra files are
Foreign File Access, Apple Photo Access,
Audio CD Access, High Sierra File Access, ISO
9660 File Access and on newer Macs, UDF
Access). Most versions of “Apple CD-ROM”
only support Apple brand drives, so if you
have a non-Apple drive, a third-party
program like FWB’s CD-ROM ToolKit or
Anubis CD-ROM should come with your
drive. Having both Apple’s driver and a thirdparty driver occasionally causes trouble, so
remove the one you don’t need.
The System
What’s the big deal about the System
System software is what makes your Mac
smile when you turn it on, allows it to run,
read and write floppies and hard drives, copy
files, run other programs, and all sorts of
other goodies (too many of them these days).
The Finder is part of the System software and
is usually the program that runs first when
the computer starts up. The System software
lives in a folder that is usually named “System
Folder” and which contains the critical files
“System” and “Finder” as well as many related
files. In System 7 and above, these related files
are mostly in folders in the System Folder,
such as “Extensions,” “Control Panels,”
“Preferences” and with System 7.1 and up,
If everyone just used the System Folder the
way it comes from Apple, there would be
many fewer crashes, bombs and conflicts. But
many programs add files or even folders to
the System Folder, and most of us have added
various system enhancements (“screen
savers” that are really eyewash, anti-virus
programs, security programs, font
management programs such as Suitcase,
FileSaver and so on).
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
What System should I use?
If you have any PowerPC with at least 32
Megs of RAM, we suggest that you use System
8.1 (with less RAM, use System 7.6.1). Both of
these Systems are more stable and reliable
than previous systems. System 8.5 is expected
in October 1998 with faster overall
performance, improved Find functions and
other enhancements. On older Macs, if your
System is stable and happy and you don’t
need any new features, stick with it.
I have a 68040 Mac—should I upgrade to
System 7.6 or OS 8?
If you have at least 32 Meg of real RAM, it
can’t hurt, but it isn’t essential.
I have an even older Mac, like an SE, LC, LC
II, LC III, Mac II/IIx/IIci/IIcx— should I
upgrade to System 7.6?
No, we suggest sticking to the oldest
System that supports the features and
software you need. Either System 6.08 or
System 7.0 should be fine. System 7.5 will run
on those systems but uses up a lot of RAM.
7.6 & OS8 are not supported on most of the
earliest Macs.
What’s a clean System install and how do I
do it?
As a System folder grows top heavy with
extra stuff, your System can become less
stable. Sometimes parts of the System files get
damaged or corrupted and you don’t know
exactly which ones are damaged. Many times
Apple, software vendors, or Tekserve will
insist that any problem you are having with
your computer is due to all the junk in your
System folder, and will suggest that you do “a
clean System install.” That means making a
brand new System folder just like Apple would
put on a new computer. This new folder will
be lacking all your added fonts, custom
doodads and preferences, including your
internet access setup, so after you solve your
problem you’ll need to “dirty” the new System
August 1998
folder again and hope that your problem stays
gone (which is why some people first try a
much simpler dirty install, which basically
means deleting only your Finder, System and
Finder Prefs file and then running the System
1 With System 7.6 and up, use the “options”
button in the main installer window to
bring up the choice of a clean install. With
System 7.5, when you get to the install
dialog, press -shift-K, and in the box that
comes up click “clean System install.” Your
old System Folder will be renamed
“Previous System Folder” and the new one
will be called just “System Folder.”
2 With Systems below 7.5 (or above if your
System file is damaged), it is a little more
complicated. We suggest that you take the
Finder out of your System Folder (put it on
the desktop) and then rename the System
folder “Old System Folder.” Then restart
your computer.You should get a blinking
disk or question mark icon, because there
is no System folder on the disk. If it starts
up anyway, you have an extra System folder
on your disk, and you need to find it (use
the Find command and look for
“Finder”—any folder with a System and a
Finder in it is a System Folder, no matter
what the folder is actually named).You
need to “unbless” that folder too by moving
the Finder somewhere else, like into the
Trash. Restart again to be sure all System
folders are gone. Remember that you want
it to fail to boot, to prove that you have
eliminated all old System Folders.
3 Now restart the computer with the Install
Me First disk from your System software,
and do an “Easy Install.” (If you have an
Apple brand CD-ROM drive you can
usually boot from the Apple System CDROM that came with your computer. The
System 7.5.3 and later upgrade CD-ROMs
are bootable, but the earlier System 7.5
upgrade CD-ROMs are not bootable—they
came with a bootable floppy disk with the
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
CD-ROM software on it, so you insert that
floppy, boot from it, and then insert the
CD-ROM and run the installer.
4 Now restart and thoroughly test to see if
your problems are solved.
5 If everything is okay, you can start dirtying
your new System with all your old fonts,
preferences, control panels and extensions.
It is always better to reinstall stuff like fax
software from the original floppy disks
rather than using the old versions.
However, you will want to move over any
fax folders and preferences, which contain
your address books, old faxes and so on.
You’ll also want to move folders such as
“Claris” and “Aldus” that various programs
may have placed in your System Folder.
We suggest doing this very slowly—move a
few items, restart and see if things are okay,
move a few more, and so on. This is a great
time to do housecleaning—anything you
don’t need or don’t recognize can be moved
into a holding folder until you are sure you
don’t need it. The point is that anything that
was freshly installed by the System install
should not be replaced—only move unique
stuff that you know you need from the old
System Folder to the new one. Remember that
less is more. More speed, more reliability,
more peace of mind.
Bombs and Crashes
My computer bombs whenever I launch
my MajorSoft WorksWellEnough
If your problems only occur with one
particular program or action, and are fairly
repeatable, they should be easy to fix.
1 Try giving the program more memory. Be
sure the program is not running, then,
click once on the icon of the program and
press -I (Get Info). Increase the
“preferred” memory size by 25-100% and
try the program again.
August 1998
2 Try starting without extensions. The
vendor will tell you to do this, so try it first.
Under System 7 and up, just hold down the
shift key while the Mac starts up. It should
say “Welcome to Macintosh (or MacOS),
Extensions disabled.” If you are running
System 6, you must manually remove
System Extensions and Control Panels
from the System folder by dragging them
to another folder—holding down shift
won’t do it. If the problem is gone, see the
next major question below.
3 Quit the program, delete any preferences
files used by the program (if they are
complicated preferences, copy them to
another folder or a floppy disk in case they
prove not to be the problem and you want
to restore them). The preferences file is
usually in the Preferences folder in the
System folder, but it could be somewhere
else, such as in the folder with the program
(or in the “Claris” or “Aldus” or “your
software brand name here” folder). Then
reinstall the program from the original
floppy disks.
4 Many problems can be traced to corrupted,
damaged or compressed fonts. Under
System 7.1 or greater, remove the Fonts
Folder from your System Folder (if you are
using Suitcase or MasterJuggler, also use it
to close all your fonts), restart the
computer, and see if the problem is solved.
If so, you need to work your way through
your fonts and see which one is the culprit.
Older versions of Suitcase came with a
utility called Font & Sound Valet to
compress, or “pack,” fonts. Fonts thus
compressed don’t work well with System 7
and up, so use the latest version of the
same program to “unpack” them.
5 If these steps don’t solve the problem,
contact the company that publishes the
program. Many vendors offer good free
tech support, and sometimes you will have
a standard problem that they can quickly
identify and tell you how to fix. Many
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
vendors also have support forums online.
This is especially useful for those vendors
that charge for telephone tech support, as
their online support is still free.You also
get the benefit of the input from other
users, who may have encountered the same
problems and have workarounds you can
use until the vendor fixes the bug. Some
companies also have decent support on
their web site.
My computer bombs whenever I turn it
Many bombs can be traced to extensions
and control panels that modify system
behavior (and sometimes each other’s
behavior). Under System 7 and up, holding
down the shift key while booting will disable
all of them. If that solves the problem, use
Extensions Manager (included in System 7.5
and up or freeware for use with earlier
Systems) to disable specific control panels
and extensions. The usual suggestion is to try
turning off half your extensions, and if the
problem doesn’t go away try the other half.
When you find the half that cause the
problem, disable half of those, and so on until
you isolate the problem.
There are commercial programs like
Conflict Catcher and Now Startup Manager
that automate extension troubleshooting, but
they can introduce their own problems.
If disabling extensions doesn’t solve the
problem, it may be a hardware or a System
problem. Try booting from a Disk Tools
floppy or CD. If that solves things, try a clean
System install.
My Power Mac is less stable since I
installed Microsoft Office 4.2x, or it
crashes when I shut down.
You need to use Microsoft Office 4.2.1 or
later, and you may need the extension “Office
4.2x Update For Power Mac,” version 1.0.1,
and version 4.2.1c of the Microsoft Office
Manager control panel. The updates came
August 1998
with Word 6.01. For stability, we prefer to
leave out all versions of the Microsoft Office
Manager control panel—the features it
provides are pretty minor compared to the
trouble it can cause. We actually like the
newer Microsoft Office 98 and suggest that
you upgrade, but be aware that it only runs on
PowerPC Macs, not on older 680X0 Macs.
All my icons are generic with folded
corners.Where are all the regular icons?
Your hidden “Desktop” files are damaged
or corrupted. See the next question.
I double-clicked on a file and the
computer said,“the application that
created it cannot be found.” Will
rebuilding the desktop help?
The invisible “Desktop” file(s) keep track of
which applications are used to open which
files. If that gets corrupted, these problems
occur, and the answer is to rebuild the
desktop. A few common extensions, such as
ATM (Adobe Type Manager) can interfere
with rebuilding the desktop, so this requires
fast work. Startup your Mac while holding
down the shift key. As soon as you see the
message “Extensions Disabled,” let go of the
shift key and press -option. When you see a
message saying “Are you sure you want to
rebuild the desktop,” say yes.
This is more complicated with System 7.5,
because Macintosh Easy Open needs to be
enabled when you rebuild the desktop, but
everything else needs to be disabled. Use the
Extensions Manager control panel to turn off
all extensions and control panels, then turn
on only Macintosh Easy Open (and
AutoDoubler or SpaceSaver if you use them).
Then restart the computer holding -option
and click “OK” when it asks about rebuilding
the desktop. Then go back to Extensions
Manager and turn your usual set of
extensions back on.
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
Memory and VRAM
My Mac has oodles of RAM installed, but
one program gives me “out of memory”
error messages.What’s wrong?
See the next question and answer.
I get out of memory errors in a certain
program, even though I just added more
memory to my computer. How do I get the
program to know about the extra
When you launch a program, it asks the
system only for the amount of RAM set as its
“Preferred Size.” You need to set the program
in question to ask for more RAM. To do this,
quit the program, and highlight the program
icon. Then select “Get Info” from the File
menu or type -I. At the bottom of the Info
window you should see a section called
“Memory Requirements.” (With OS 8.5, select
“Show: Memory” from the pop up first.) Then
increase the “Preferred Size” by 50 or 100%. If
it says 4096, try 8000 (or 8192 if you like
Before increasing a program’s preferred
memory setting, it’s a good idea to check
“About this Mac” or “About this Computer”
under the Apple menu in the Finder to check
how much “built-in” memory you have. This
will also show you how much memory is
being used by MacOS and other programs
that are running. Don’t set a single program to
use more memory than is available, and if you
want to be able to run several programs at one
time, be sure that the preferred memory of all
the programs you will run simultaneously,
plus the memory used by MacOS, is a little
less than the total built-in memory.
What’s composite memory and does it
Composite memory is manufactured with
more smaller chips and some “glue” logic to
equal fewer larger chips. Normal non-
August 1998
composite SIMMs have eight identical chips
on them (normal 8 & 32 Meg SIMMs are
“double-sided” and have eight identical chips
on each side). Extra chips draw more current,
load the bus differently, and may have timing
and other problems. Apple doesn’t support
What’s 4K refresh and 2K refresh?
This has to do with the inner workings of
the chips and how the data stored in them is
constantly “refreshed” (that’s the “dynamic”
part of dynamic random access memory or
DRAMs). This became an issue with 840avs
and Power Macs. We’ve found that 2K refresh
always works with Macs, and that 4K refresh
sometimes doesn’t. 4K refresh chips are
usually cheaper.
Suddenly my System is using up 15 Meg of
RAM.What happened?
With OS8 and lots of doodads, a 10 or 15
Meg RAM footprint for the System is normal.
On older Macs, this usually means that you
need to turn 32-bit addressing back on in the
Memory control panel and restart the
computer. If you don’t see that choice in the
Memory control panel, you may have a Mac
II, IIx, IIcx or SE/30. If so, you need to install a
free extension called MODE32 version 7.5 and
turn it on, then go to the Memory control
panel and turn on 32-bit addressing. Power
Macs always use 32-bit addressing, so this
may point to an excessive disk cache setting in
the Memory control panel. On newer Macs,
you may have set a large disk cache or RAM
disk in that same control panel.
I just put more RAM in my Power Mac
8100, and now when I turn it on it says
“the built-in memory test has detected an
Apple put “too good” a memory test into
these 8100s. Usually memory will pass all
other tests and work just fine even though
this message appears every time you boot.
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
The message is so annoying that we won’t sell
memory that causes this message, but Apple
says not to worry about it. 2K refresh SIMMs
rarely produce this message, 4K ones do.
What speed memory do I need for my
particular Mac, and how much can I add?
Should I add it in pairs?
This has become so complicated that we
suggest you call us or use one of the
references posted online (Apple’s Memory
Guide or NewerTech’s “GURU”). Before
calling, please check your exact Macintosh
model and also write down the memory
information shown in “About this Macintosh”
or “About this Computer” under the Apple
I just put new memory in my PowerBook
1400, and now when I turn it on it says
“the built-in memory test has detected an
Some early memory upgrades for these
computers cause this problem, particularly if
they are stacked. If more recent modules still
cause the problem, we can replace the factory
installed 4 or 8 Meg module under warranty
to solve it.
My PowerBook 190, 5300 or 3400
sometimes loses the extra memory I
In these PowerBooks it is possible for the
memory module to work loose. When we
install RAM at Tekserve we install a thin strip
of foam to hold it in place. Apple now has
official foam strips for this purpose and
instructs that they be put on the back of the
keyboard. Be certain that you don’t have foam
on both the keyboard and the RAM. Later
production 3400s come with the foam in
place already.
What’s the cache in the memory control
panel and how big should it be?
The computer uses a little bit of memory to
August 1998
save things it guesses you will soon need to
get from the hard drive. It’s faster to get it
from memory than from the hard drive. With
System 7.5.3 and up click the “Use Defaults”
button in the memory control panel and let
Apple set the cache size (that may also turn
on virtual memory, which you’ll probably
want to turn back off). With System 7.5 and
down, Set the cache to 128K or 256K and
leave it alone. When using Photoshop, Adobe
recommends setting the cache to its lowest
setting. On a Mac IIsi (and only a Mac IIsi)
you might get a little snappier performance by
setting the cache to 768K because of the way
that Mac uses video memory.
What’s a level 2 cache and do I need one?
Just like the disk cache which saves
frequently needed items in RAM to avoid
having to get them from the slower hard disk,
a level 2 cache saves frequently needed items
in special super-fast cache RAM to avoid
getting them from slower RAM or the hard
drive. G3 processors have the level 2 cache
tightly integrated with the processor. Older
PowerPCs become about 15% faster and feel
more responsive with a level 2 cache. Power
Mac 7500s are finicky and we recommend
only using Apple brand level 2 cache in 7500s.
If you upgrade a 7500-9600 series Mac with a
G3 processor, your old level 2 cache becomes a
level 3 cache, and if it’s less than 512k may
actually slow things down.
What’s virtual memory and how much
should I have?
Virtual memory uses some clever
programming and some hard drive space to
simulate more RAM than you really have. It’s
main virtue is that it’s free, and that PowerPC
programs load a little faster and require a
little less memory when virtual memory is
on. The downside is that it’s slower than real
RAM, uses up hard drive space and shortens
battery run time on PowerBooks. We prefer
adding real RAM and turning off virtual
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
memory. However, if you need to have three or
four programs open at once so you can jump
between them, virtual memory is okay.You’ll
get no benefit if you try to use virtual
memory to give one program more RAM than
you actually have physically installed, and
your computer will slow dramatically.
Photoshop is always faster with virtual
memory turned off.
What about RamDoubler from Connectix?
RamDoubler works sort of like virtual
memory, but it’s more clever (borrowing free
RAM from all over), so it is also faster. On a
Mac with less than 12 Meg of RAM,
RamDoubler will have to use the hard drive a
lot and will slow down quite a bit, so we don’t
recommend it. If you have at least sixteen Meg
of real RAM, RamDoubler won’t have much
speed impact and will let you open more
programs at the same time.
Bottom line: RAM upgrades are very
affordable.You will get much better
performance with more real RAM and
without RamDoubler.
Will more VRAM make my Mac faster?
No, except on a Power Mac 7200 which will
interleave VRAM if you add a second Meg.
Some Macs, including the IIsi, IIci and 630
series, use the regular RAM (DRAM) to store
information for the video display as well.
Other Macs have special dedicated “VRAM”
(Video RAM) or SGRAM (static graphics
RAM) for this purpose. On Macs with VRAM
or SGRAM, you can sometimes add more to
increase the number of different colors that
the computer can display. (8 bit, or 256 colors
is standard, 16 bit or thousands of colors is
more photo-realistic, and graphics
professionals preparing color items and
photos for reproduction insist on 24 bit, or
millions of colors). Adding VRAM or SGRAM
lets you set the Monitors control panel to
more colors. In some cases this will actually
slow the computer, as it must process more
August 1998
information to display all those colors.You
can spend a lot on a separate video card to
accelerate this.
PowerBook Specific Items
Should I get AppleCare for my
PowerBooks are manufactured to closer
tolerances, get rougher handling than desktop
computers and are expensive to fix. We think
that Apple’s own extended warranty program,
called AppleCare, is usually a good investment
for PowerBooks. Of course Apple is betting
that you won’t need it and that they’ll come
out ahead, but many of us would rather spend
$100-250 on insurance to avoid the chance of
a $400 or $1,400 repair. At Tekserve we sell
AppleCare at a discount, and if your computer
needs service, any authorized service provider
in the USA can fix it (or Apple will pay roundtrip shipping to their depot). It doesn’t cover
broken plastic or physical damage from
dropping or abuse. AppleCare is less
expensive if you purchase it before your
original warranty expires.You can only buy
AppleCare on products that are less than four
years old.
What’s the best replacement battery for a
We’ve found that Apple’s own batteries are
usually better than any third-party battery.
Sometimes the third-party batteries claim
higher capacities, but frequently it isn’t borne
out in actual use. An advantage of Apple’s
batteries is that if your PowerBook is under
warranty or covered by Applecare, so is the
battery, so any Apple service shop can swap it
if it does go bad.
Does a battery drain when not in use? Are
new batteries fully charged?
All batteries have some “self-discharge,”
usually 1% to 3% per day. That means that the
battery will be dead in a month or two sitting
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
on the shelf and will need a full charge. Brand
new batteries are always shipped without
much charge, and must be charged before use.
The PowerBook 500 series uses “intelligent”
batteries that can get dumb if left uncharged
for more than a month. This means that even
if you don’t use your PowerBook at all, you
should plug it in for at least 24 hours every
week or two so the batteries can charge. It’s
okay to leave your PowerBook plugged in all
the time.
Is it okay to run my PowerBook without a
If you have to, but it’s not recommended.
PowerBooks have an internal rechargeable
backup battery that saves your PRAM settings
(printer, AppleTalk, clock, etc.). If you leave a
PowerBook unplugged for a week or two
without a regular battery installed, that
internal battery will be depleted, your settings
will be lost, and you may have trouble booting
the computer. The regular battery also acts as
a ballast maintaining smooth voltages to run
your PowerBook.
G3 Series PowerBooks are designed to run
well on AC power without any battery, so you
can have a CD-ROM and a floppy drive (or
zip) installed at the same time. We’ve already
seen several customers who grabbed their
batteryless G3 PowerBook and wondered why
it didn’t work on the airplane, so if you usually
run with two drives and no battery, don’t
forget the battery when you travel.
Should I bother about “conditioning” my
Conditioning just means running the
battery all the way down and then fully
recharging it. Apple ships conditioning
software with the PowerBook 190, 5300 and
Duo type III batteries, as well as Intelligent
Battery Recondition for use with 500 series
batteries. On a PowerBook 500 series with two
batteries installed, you should also swap them
from left to right once a month.
August 1998
The lithium-ion batteries in newer
PowerBooks do not need conditioning.
PowerBook 100s use lead-acid batteries
and depleting them beyond a certain voltage
(or storing them without a charge for more
than a few months) will permanently damage
them. Don’t ever condition them!
For other PowerBooks and Duos, from the
140 on up, there is some “memory effect,”
which means that if you mostly use it on AC
the battery won’t last very long if you
suddenly try to use it. In that case
conditioning the battery can help.
Why does my Duo stop working with my
AppleTalk printer when I put it in the
The Duo alone has only one serial port, the
Printer/Modem port. But internally, it’s really
the modem port. When you use Open
Transport (System 7.6 and up), the AppleTalk
control panel sets AppleTalk to this modem
port. When you put the Duo in the Dock, you
are trying to use AppleTalk on the Printer
port, but it’s still set to the modem port.
Switch to the Printer port in the AppleTalk
control panel.You can also use Apple’s
Location Manager software to automate this.
What’s resetting the Power Manager, when
should I do it, and how?
The Power Manager is software in the
PowerBook that works to maximize battery
life. It stores some special information for
itself in the PRAM, and if that information
gets corrupted you may have trouble running
on batteries. When you have battery problems
it’s frequently a real problem with the battery
or the computer, but sometimes it’s just a
software problem with the Power Manager.
Here’s how to reset the Power Manager on
different PowerBooks:
PowerBook 100: Flip the battery switch on the
back down, and then hold down both the
reset and interrupt buttons (on the left
side) for 15 seconds.
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
PowerBook 140-180c (except 150): Unplug the
AC Adapter, take out the battery and leave
it alone unplugged for 5 minutes. That’s
probably all you need for the 160-180c. On
the 140, 145 and 170 (and just to be sure on
the 160-180c), then use two paper clips (or
one paper clip bent into a U shape) to hold
in both the interrupt and reset buttons on
the back for 10 seconds.
PowerBook 150: Disconnect AC adapter,
remove battery, use a paper clip to press
the recessed reset button on the back for 10
seconds. Then attach the AC adapter and
press that recessed reset button
momentarily—you will hear a small pop
from the speaker. Now use the regular
power button to turn on the unit. Insert the
battery and charge it for at least 8 hours
before trying to run on battery alone.
PowerBook Duo 200 Series: Remove power
and battery, then press and hold the
power/reset button on the back for 45
PowerBook 500 Series: Press -OptionControl-Power On all at once. If the
computer is on it will go off (losing all
unsaved work). If the computer is off you
won’t notice anything, but you have still
reset the Power Manager.
PowerBook 190, 1400, 2300, 2400, 3400, G3
and 5300: Shut down the PowerBook (Shut
Down, not restart). Then turn on the
PowerBook and immediately press Option-P-R. The Mac should chime once,
the screen will go dark, and the green sleep
light will be on steady. Now press the reset
button on the rear.You may then need to
use the regular Power-on button to turn
the machine on.
G3 Series PowerBooks: the key combo (shiftfn-ctrl-power-on) is printed on the back of
the machine.
What’s with the PowerBook 190 and 5300?
Are they reliable? The plastic housing at
the bottom of my display just broke, and I
August 1998
know I didn’t drop it or anything.
Apple discovered some design problems
(we hear that they were sold a bad batch of
plastic by an American conglomerate) in
these models, and they have a free Repair
Extension program to fix them. The problems
covered include failure of the plastic housing,
loose or inoperative DC power connector,
system hanging when using high-power PC
cards, and with 5300s only, problems
dropping off of AppleTalk networks or with
slower boot times when running on AC
compared to booting on battery. If you have
any of these problems, please backup your
computer and then bring it in so that we can
send it to Apple for service. PowerBooks
already repaired under this program have an
“AA” sticker at the end of the serial number
and a date stamp on the top and bottom foil
inside the battery compartment.
So is there a more reliable PowerBook
The PowerBook 1400, 2400c, 3400c and G3
series are very well made. The G3 Series is a
very fast computer and in many cases can act
as a desktop Mac replacement.
File Sharing
How do I use file sharing to transfer files
from my PowerBook (or roommate’s
computer) to mine, and back again?
Connect the two Macs together. The easiest
way is with a standard printer cable (Apple’s
M0197) between the printer port on each
Mac. That’s the same cable you use to connect
a StyleWriter printer. (Unless you are using
Open Transport, only the printer port works
for AppleTalk, you can’t use the modem port.
Other methods are with PhoneNet, ModuNet,
or Ethernet (the same cables you use to share
a printer among several Macs).
You have to “share” one computer so that
other computers on the network can see it. A
shared computer is also sometimes called a
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
personal file server. Although there are many
steps, you only have to do them once.
To share your computer:
1 In the Chooser (under the Apple menu),
turn on AppleTalk. (You also may need to
configure AppleTalk in either the AppleTalk
control panel or the Network control
2 In Control Panels (under the Apple menu
or in the System Folder), double-click on
Sharing Setup (in OS 8 and up it’s called
File Sharing). If you haven’t entered an
owner name, password, and Mac name, go
ahead. My owner name is David, my Mac’s
name is “David’s G3.” Let’s say my
password is “Backupmoreoften”. If you are
on a corporate or school network, be sure
to use a serious password, not “pass” or
“please” or “chocolate.”
3 Under file sharing, press the Start button. If
it says Stop, then file sharing is already on,
so leave it alone. Close the Sharing Setup
window by clicking in the close box. Don’t
worry about Program Linking — you can
leave it off.
4 Now you have to decide who can access
your Mac. If you never connect to a
network outside your home, it’s easiest to
open the Users and Groups control panel,
double-click on Guest and click on “Allow
guests to connect.” If you are on a public or
corporate network or just paranoid, while
in Users and Groups go to the File menu
and select New User. Name the new user
and give him or her a password. If it’s just
you, you’ve already given yourself a
password in File Sharing. When you are
done, close the Users and Groups control
5 Now you have to select what to share. If it’s
just you, or you and your loved ones, you
probably want to share your entire hard
drive. If you are on a network with many
other Macs, you want to retain control, so
you may want to make a new folder called
“Shared” and only share that.
August 1998
6 With OS 8.1 and down, click on the icon of
your hard drive or the folder you want to
share and highlight it. Go to the File menu
and select Sharing…, then check the top
box “Share this item and its contents.” You
can then adjust privileges for any users you
With OS 8.5, click on the icon of your hard
drive or the folder you want to share and
highlight it. Select “Get Info” from the File
Menu (or press -I), then in the Info
window select “Show: Sharing” from the
pop-up menu, and check the box “Share
this item and its contents.” You can then
adjust privileges for any users you created.
7 That was a lot of work, but you only had to
do it once. In the future you only need to
use the Sharing setup control panel (or the
control strip) to turn sharing on and off.
Now that you’ve shared a computer, you
can access it from any other computer
connected to the same network.
1 Go to one of those computers and open the
Chooser under the Apple menu. On the left
side should be a bunch of icons. Click on
the one that says AppleShare.
2 On the right side you should see a window
that says “Select a file server:”, and if you
have successfully shared and networked
your computer, you’ll see it listed there.
Highlight the name of the shared computer
and click OK.
3 If you took the trusting approach, click on
Guest, otherwise enter a user name and
password that you previously set on the
other computer. Then click OK. Next you’ll
see a list of the shared drives or folders on
the other computer (probably just one).
Highlight the one you want and click OK.
In a few seconds the icon of that drive or
folder should appear on your desktop.You
can copy files to and from it as though it
was another drive on your computer (but it
will be much slower).
4 To avoid ever having to repeat steps one to
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
three, click on the icon of the shared
volume and select Make Alias from the File
menu. Next time you want to “mount” that
shared volume on your Mac, just doubleclick on the alias.
What if I tried to follow these instructions
and didn’t find the control panels or
choices I expected?
You may not have installed all the file
sharing items when you installed the System
on your computer, or you may have used an
Extensions Manager to get some of them out
of the way because you didn’t need them. Find
your System installer disks or CD-ROM, open
the installer, select “Custom Install” from the
drop down menu, and install file sharing (on
recent Macs, install Open Transport).
Although you need System 7 or higher to
enable file sharing, you can access a shared
Mac from a computer running System 6—you
just need to use the System 6 installer disk to
install “AppleShare Client” software on the
System 6 Mac.
File sharing works well, but now my Mac is
very slow to start up and takes an awfully
long time to shut down after I tell it to.
If file sharing is turned on, your Mac goes
through an elaborate private ritual every time
it boots up, checking the sharing status of
every folder on your drive. When you shut
down, your computer carefully unshares every
folder on your drive before it will shut down.
So, when you aren’t using file sharing, turn it
off. If you have a control strip, there is an icon
for disabling file sharing. There’s also an icon
for AppleTalk, and if you turn off AppleTalk,
file sharing will go off too (unless you are
using Ethernet or AppleTalk remote access).
AppleTalk uses extra battery power, so it’s
good to leave it off when you are “on the road”
with your PowerBook.
How come it didn’t work when you asked
your wife to read this and follow your
August 1998
Because I use AppleTalk Remote Access on
my computer, my Network (or AppleTalk)
control panel was set to Remote Only instead
of LocalTalk Built-in. That meant that her
shared PowerBook didn’t show up in my
Chooser. It was very embarrassing and I
started pulling cables every which way before
I figured it out.
Upgrades,Accelerators and
Power Macs
Should I stick to my old Mac, or upgrade?
If your existing Mac does what you need it
to, is fast enough, and the software you use
now meets your needs, stick to it, even if you
are offered upgrades to newer and
presumably better versions of programs.
Upgrading is a spiral—if you get the latest
upgrades to all your programs, you will
probably find that your hard drive is too
small, that you need more RAM, and that it all
runs more slowly. More features usually
means less speed. If your Mac isn’t fast
enough, or won’t run software you need to be
compatible with co-workers or clients, by all
means get a new one, but plan on upgrading
your software too.
I do graphics for a living. Is a used Quadra
650 good enough?
If you will be competing in the world at
large, no. Graphics programs are some of the
greediest in terms of storage, RAM and speed,
and you usually need to use the latest versions
in order to be compatible (once you save a file
in the latest version of a program, you usually
cannot go back and open that file with an
older version). Get a G3 PowerPC. New G3s
are frequently better values than older used
Will Speed Doubler really make my Power
Mac twice as fast?
No, but Speed Doubler does noticeably
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
improve the speed of older “non-native”
programs running on Power Macs. Be sure to
update to the latest version—early versions
corrupted data when copying.Version 1.1 of
Speed Doubler’s Speed Copy can corrupt data
with certain AppleShare client software,
including System 7.5.3. For System 7.6.1, you
need version 2.03 or later, for OS 8 you need
Speed Doubler 8 (and a minor update for 8.1).
Speed Doubler must always be kept up to date
for compatibility.
I just upgraded to Word 6.01, and it is
unbearably slow on my Mac Quadra.
Word 6.01 is generally considered to be a
dog running on non-Power Macs. Microsoft
promised that Mac Office 98 would be great,
and we like it a lot, but it only runs on
PowerPCs. Microsoft has a free translator to
allow Word 5.1 to open Word 6 and Word 98
files. Word 6 and Word 98 allow you to save
files in Word 5.1 format.
Should I get an accelerator for my current
Mac, or buy a new one?
If you are using the Mac in a business, it
usually makes sense to plan on it lasting two
to three years for graphics and power
intensive uses, and three to five years for word
processing and simple database work. Again,
if your old software is good enough, stick to it.
But rather than sinking $6,000 into upgrades
to an old Mac over four years, it might make
more sense to buy a new Mac for $2,500 every
two years. Remember that computer prices
are constantly dropping (or performance is
increasing for the same cost). Newer
computers tend to be more reliable and have
fewer problems than older Macs (and come
with a one-year warranty, saving one year of
potential repair costs).
The downside of replacing your computer
instead of upgrading is that you may lose
most of your investment in RAM and
expansion cards, since the latest Power Macs
use a different type of RAM and a faster,
August 1998
better PCI bus instead of the old nuBus.
G3 Processor upgrades can be very costeffective for PCI Power Macs like the 7500 to
9600. We’re not so sure that upgrades for 6100,
7100 and 8100s are as cost effective, but they
will definitely give you a huge performance
boost. I’m writing this on my favorite
PowerBook, the 4.4 pound 2400c, and I’m
eager to add a G3 upgrade real soon now.
What do think about the iMac?
The iMac is a great home machine, a great
college dorm machine, and a great office
workstation for word processing, database,
internet, web browsing, etc. If you are
seriously into graphics or audio or video, you
need a more expandable machine like a G3
Desktop 266 or greater.
I keep getting “Coprocessor not installed”
messages on my Power Mac. I thought that
it had an FPU (floating point unit
The PowerPC chip includes an FPU that is
very fast on native PowerPC software. But the
68040 emulator actually emulates a 68LC040
without an FPU, so older software can bring
up this message.You can install the shareware
“SoftwareFPU” extension to fool your old
68040 programs into thinking that there is an
FPU, but it will be very slow. (The PowerPCnative version of SoftwareFPU is only
available when you register the software; the
version distributed online and at Tekserve is
the 680x0 version, which runs slowly on
Power Macs.) Also, try “zapping the PRAM.”
Why do I keep getting Type 11 errors on
my Power Mac?
Because you haven’t upgraded to System
7.6.1 or OS 8, which eliminate most Type 11
errors (in some cases they just gives more
accurate error messages, but only the
program you’re running crashes, not the
whole Mac, so you can save your work and
reboot safely).
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
I bought a Power Mac, but it won’t run
IBM (DOS,Windows) programs!?
Although IBM developed the PowerPC
chip with Motorola and Apple, it doesn’t
automatically run DOS or Windows
programs.Virtual PC 2.0 or SoftWindows let
you do this, but they’re fairly slow, so best for
occasional use. If you must frequently run
Mac and Windows or DOS programs,
consider adding a Pentium processor card to
your Mac (and then for more money you can
add real PC type parallel and serial ports).
Communications & the Internet
What is Open Transport and do I need it?
Open Transport is Apple’s networking
software for AppleTalk and Internet
(TCP/IP) connectivity.Versions 1.1.1 and
above are quite stable. Open Transport is
included in System 7.6 and up, and can also
be used with System 7.1 and up. We really like
Apple’s Open Transport PPP (OT/PPP) which
makes Internet connections very easy to set
up. Some people prefer FreePPP instead.You
can install both and choose between them in
the TCP/IP control panel (OT/PPP shows up
as “PPP,” FreePPP shows up as “MacPPP.”)
How do I save my Internet settings or
switch among different service providers?
Apple’s TCP/IP and PPP control panels
both have a “Configurations…” item under
the file menu. Once you have your Internet
stuff setup, go to each of these control panels
and export your current settings.You can also
name and save configurations for several
different Internet setups (one at home, one at
the office, one on the road) and use the
Configurations menu (or Apple’s Location
Manager) to easily switch among them.
Why did my MacTCP control panel
disappear or become invisible?
When Open Transport is active, the
Network and MacTCP control panels are
August 1998
disabled and made invisible.You use the
TCP/IP and AppleTalk control panels instead.
You may be able to use the “Network Software
Selector” to switch to “Classic” networking, in
which case those are hidden and the others
revealed. We prefer Open Transport, and it’s
the only choice if you are running System 7.6
or later.
What’s a good online service?
Too big a question. At Tekserve we have a
web page at and we
use the NYMUG BBS, Compuserve, AOL
(America Online), the Well, usenet news
groups on the internet (accessed through and via ISDN through,
and a few more. Local BBSses such as
NYMUG are much cheaper ($20-50 a year),
major national services such as AOL and
Compuserve have much more depth but cost
$10-30 a month, depending on usage. If you
just want a quick email address, America
Online is the easiest to setup, but their service
is average and slows down at peak times of
If you will be accessing the internet a lot
you may prefer an account with a local
internet service provider such as
or (and definitely try a cable modem
if your cable TV company offers it). If you
need Internet access while you travel, consider
one of the larger national service providers
like AT&T or Earthlink (or America Online).
CompuServe is reported to have the most
international access points.
What’s your favorite Macintosh site on the
Ric Ford’s Macintouch home page at, although he can
sometimes be a little cantankerous. O’Grady’s
Power Page at is great for
PowerBook information, and Ted Landau’s
MacFixit site ( is good for
keeping up with Mac support and
troubleshooting issues.
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
I think I have a virus.What should I do?
Buy the latest version of Virex (our
favorite) or Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh
and get the latest update for the program you
bought (updates are released online monthly,
new shrink-wrapped boxes are usually many
months old). Install the program, update it
and run it. Disinfectant, our former
recommendation, is no longer being updated,
and there are a number of very distracting
and damaging new viruses about.
Every five to thirty minutes my computer
slows way down and there is a lot of disk
activity.What’s wrong?
It could be the Autostart worm virus. See
the answer above.
Other Questions
I chose my Laser Printer in the Chooser,
and it forgot my choice.
The Chooser is counterintuitive, because
you can use it to make several simultaneous
choices (printer, network drives, etc.). As a
result, it doesn’t display what’s chosen. Once
you select a specific printer, it will remain
chosen until you select a different printer
(unless your backup battery is dead, see
below). To confirm what printer is chosen,
select “Page Setup” from the file menu—at the
top of the window that’s displayed you’ll see
the name of your printer.
Early Epson Stylus printer software can
cause the printer choice to be forgotten—
update to a more recent version.
To choose a different Laser printer (or
other AppleTalk printer) click on the
appropriate driver icon on the left side (such
as “LaserWriter” or “LaserWriter 8”).
Sometimes you have to scroll down to see the
correct icon. The specific LaserWriter you
have chosen will show up on the right side
August 1998
highlighted. If it’s not highlighted, you need to
click on the printer name on the right side to
choose it. If you are using LaserWriter 8 or
newer, there will be a little printer icon in
front of the printer’s name to show that you
have already “Setup” for that printer. If not,
after highlighting the printer click the “Setup”
button to select options for that printer. Then
close the Chooser with the close box in the
upper left corner. If you have a LaserWriter
IISC, choose “Personal LaserWriter SC” on the
left side and don’t look for anything in the
right side of the Chooser (but this printer is
not really compatible with System 8 and up).
If you have a Personal LaserWriter LS, you can
select “PLW 300”.
The clock on my computer keeps going
back to 1904, or 1956 or something.
This means that the backup battery on
your computer’s logic board needs
replacement. We stock the batteries. In most
flat-shaped Macs it is pretty easy to do it
yourself, in the Classic and IIci/cx and tower
Macs you should let a professional do it. If we
sell you a battery we install it for free.
What should I do about the year 2000
problem I keep reading about?
The Mac has no year 2000 problem—since
its inception it has properly handled dates
through February 2040, and System 7.6
extends that through 29,940 A.D. A few poorly
written applications may have trouble—to be
safe you should enter dates beyond 1999 with
all four digits for the year (enter 5/21/2003
rather than 5/21/03).
My mouse suddenly got slow.What now?
The Apple Mouse II has a different ratio
than older Mac mice, and when the computer
starts up it checks the mouse and adjusts
accordingly. Some software seems to confuse
it, and it “forgets” that a new mouse is
connected.You can either restart the
computer or use the shareware “Reset ADB”
Tekserve Macintosh FAQ
program to remind the computer which
mouse it is dealing with. If you unplug and
replug a mouse while the computer is on, you
may have the same sluggishness (and on older
Macs can cause hardware damage).
Why can’t I eject this disk or CD-ROM?
The CD-ROM eject button on the front of
newer Macs only works to open the tray when
there is no CD-ROM in it. If there is already a
CD in the drive, you eject it by dragging the
CD icon to the trash or highlighting it and
selecting put away (-Y) from the File menu.
If the computer is shared or the CD was
already inserted when File Sharing was
enabled, and you are running a System before
7.5.1, you won’t be able to eject it unless you
turn off file sharing.
Why can’t I rename this disk?
If file sharing is enabled you won’t be able
to rename disks. Turn off file sharing. If that
doesn’t solve it, run Apple’s Disk First Aid.
I got an error-XXX.What does it mean?
Frequently your Mac has gone through so
many gyrations before it put up the error
message that it may not be helpful at all. But
the shareware “System Errors” or “Apple Error
Codes” desk accessories can help answer the
question. For instance, –34 means your disk is
full. Bus Error and Type 11 errors can be
almost anything.
How do I save a file on a disk that a DOS
computer can read, or read a DOS disk on
the Mac?
With System 7.1 and down, the Apple File
Exchange program is included and will let you
copy files to and from DOS floppy disks.
System 7.5 and above make this easier by
including Apple’s PC Exchange control panel.
This allows the Finder to recognize and
mount (and even format) DOS and Windows
disks. For full compatibility, it’s best to format
interchange disks as PC disks on the Mac
August 1998
rather than on a PC.
To actually use Mac files on a PC, or PC
files on a Mac, you need a compatible
application (like similar Mac and PC versions
of WordPerfect or Excel) or else a file
translator. Many Claris and Microsoft
programs come with limited built-in
translators, but MacLink Plus is a good
universal translator (it’s bundled free with
some Macs and some System 7.5 upgrades).
Microsoft Office 98 on the Mac is file
compatible with Microsoft Office 97 for
How do I clean my screen?
Never spray anything onto the screen.
Spray a little Windex onto a lint free cloth and
use it to wipe the screen clean. Don’t drip
Windex down into the screen bezel. Don’t use
scratchy paper towels. My partner Dick thinks
that “Kleer Screen” is the greatest, so we sell it.
I have a Wintel machine.What’s Tekserve’s
equivalent on the dark side?
For the last six years we’ve asked people to
let us know when they find a good service
shop for Windows machines. Only one person
has ever called us back (we referred the next
two callers to that place, one was pleased and
one thought the place was dreadful). Either
there is no such place, or Wintel users are
inconsiderate folks who think everyone else
should have as much trouble as they do. If you
find a great place to service Wintel stuff,
please let us know.
Why didn’t you answer my most
important question?
Sorry, we ran out of room. Please email and we’ll try to help. If
you notice any errors in this FAQ, please send
us a note by mail or email. Thanks!
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