February 28, 2021

When Your Mac Starts Having Problems

Picture of the Genius Bar in the Apple Store R...

Picture of the Genius Bar in the Apple Store Regent Street, London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The introduction of the laptop such as the MacBook and the tablet such as the iPad have made computers ever more portable, and you can find them almost everywhere–on planes, trains, and automobiles…and buses too! Such devices allow you to communicate with people all over the world no matter where you may happen to be.

Except when they don’t! Although Apple products are generally more reliable than the competition, they are not perfect, and they can develop problems over time that require troubleshooting.

The first step you should take if your Mac develops problems is to do some online research (assuming you can get online). One trick I like to use is to type in the exact wording of the error message that I am receiving into Google. Usually, this will bring up discussions of others who have had the same problem in the past and have hopefully resolve it.

If you’re having a problem with your online connection, on the other hand, you should try testing another computer, your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch on the same network. If a problem exists on multiple devices, the problem is likely related to your connection rather than to your system. If the problem turns out to be with your connection, you should call your Internet service provider.

I had a problem on my Mac in which sometimes sites would load but not others. I called Frontier and they sent out two technicians to resolve the problem. In a separate incident, the DSL modem gave out and had to be replaced.

If you have an issue that is related to your Mac or iPad, call Apple. All Apple hardware comes with a one-year limited warranty and 90 days of free telephone support. A pleasant, knowledgeable voice on the other end of the line can help calm your nerves when you’re ready to tear your hair out.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is to reinstall the operating system, and that is often the advice you will receive if other software troubleshooting procedures fail.

If the phone advisor can’t solve your problem, they may advise you to take your Apple product into the Genius Bar at the nearest Apple retail store. Not only can the experts at the Genius Bar fix a wide array of problems, they offer in-house repair facilities that can often provide same-day service..

While I don’t recommend extended warranties for most products, in the case of AppleCare, I make an exception. Not only does this cover hardware-related issues, but it also includes telephone tech support for the Apple software included with your device.

The hard drive on my last iMac failed twice (the first Mac I had owned that had experienced such a problem) and I got it fixed both times at the nearest Apple Genius Bar. Fortunately, the Mac was covered under AppleCare. The third time the hard drive failed, it was out of warranty, but it was nearly four years old by then.

An Apple authorized service center can open up your Mac, run necessary diagnostic checkups and replace malfunctioning components. They can install new hard drives and other components as well as reinstall Mac OS X for you.

If your Mac or iPad is under warranty, you will most likely get these services free of charge. If you have not purchased AppleCare, then you will have to pay for whatever work is done.

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