Common Mac Problems and What They Could Mean
by Duncan McNabb, on May 3, 2019 2:54:51 PM
Our highly-certified service department wants to ensure that your Macs are running at their best. We've seen it all over the years, and we typically see much of the same stuff time and time again. Often businesses have a dedicated IT person who specializes in either Apple IT or PC IT, but rarely both. So we thought it would be helpful to create a list of the most common problems we see, what they usually mean, and how you can fix them, even if you don't have a dedicated Apple specialist running your businesses IT department.
"My Mac won’t start."
A lot of people call or come in with the complaint that after awhile their Mac won’t start. You’ve probably tried everything, holding the start button, yelling at your computer, swearing, praying, and none of it works. When a Mac won’t boot it could very well be the hard drive. A simple diagnostic test will detect if your hard drive is healthy or not. If it does need repairs, you can work with an Apple Authorized Service Provider (like us) to get your repair done right.
"My Mac keeps freezing!"
Having a Mac that freezes repeatedly is one of the top five most annoying things in the world and one of the top causes of migraines (I don’t know, but it sounds scientific). When a computer keeps freezing it could very well be a corrupted operating system (OS) is to blame. Your OS can get corrupted from a number of things - a corrupt file, losing power to your Mac, you can even do everything correctly on your computer and still somehow have your OS get corrupted (like washing your hands but still getting a cold). Our technicians usually fix a corrupted OS with one of their magical programs or by wiping the machine clean and doing a reinstall.
"My Mac is running slow."
When you first unboxed your brand new computer it ran so fast, but fast forward a few years in and you’re seeing the rainbow wheel more often than not. Having a computer running slow can be very frustrating - sometimes you sit there just waiting to hear the dial-up tone from the 90’s. When your Mac is running slow it could be that you just need a RAM upgrade. What's that you ask? Think of RAM as the short-term memory for your computer. Every time you visit a website, or update a program your RAM is storing all of that information. Eventually your RAM will get overwhelmed with all the information it is storing, and this will cause your computer to run slower. The more you multitask on your computer, the more RAM you need. A RAM upgrade is simple enough and is something our technicians can do to get your computer back to running the way it should be. Unfortunately, RAM upgrades cannot be performed on machines other than iMac and MacBook Pro devices because on other Macs, the RAM is built into the logic board. It’s something you may want to keep in mind when buying your next computer - more RAM, less problems!
Another reason your computer may be running slow is if you need a hard drive upgrade. Many computers now have switched to SSD because it is superior to a hard drive. Unlike a hard drive, an SSD has no moving parts and your information is stored in microchips, which is what makes it so much faster than a hard drive. If your computer or laptop has a hard drive, upgrading that to an SSD will make your machine run faster.
Sometimes a simple software upgrade can help your machine get back to running just like new. With the release of a new OS, there are usually minimum software requirements for your computer so that your machine still operates at its best. The safest bet is to have an expert assess your computer, to see if your machine can handle the new update.
"My Mac is too hot!"
While your laptop getting hot is completely normal, a machine that burns you when you touch it is not normal. If this is happening it’s best to bring your machine in, as it could be overheating for a number of reasons. Dust or a clogged fan, programs running over time even when they shouldn’t be, and faulty parts can all contribute to your machine overheating.
"My Mac has liquid damage."
Ah you were studying for your test late at night and as you drifted asleep, your elbow knocked your water glass, spilling it all over your MacBook. All hope is lost and now you must drop out of college and disappoint your parents! Kidding, kidding! Firstly, calm down. Second, your computer may be okay. If the liquid didn’t completely saturate the entire logic board, but simply one part, then that part is easily replaceable. If, however, it did get to the board, your computer can be sent out to be completely refurbished, this is not always the most cost-effective option, although it is a possibility. If you decide to have the computer sent out, you can always get a loaner computer (we do this for all of our contract clients) so that you can continue to do your work.
The good news is that whatever computer problem you’re having, chances are we have seen it. Whether it’s something as simple as a forgotten password, or as complicated as your computer not turning on, our technicians can help you out. When researching for this article, I talked with our technicians to see common problems they see and how they fix them (what is RAM? That football team? Didn't they move to LA?). When I asked what the most important thing people should do, the three, normally quiet technicians all turned to me and shouted “BACK UP THEIR DATA!” It’s important to continually back up your machine before there ever is a problem. So if something ever does happen, you can breathe easy knowing that you have all of your important information stored. Not sure how to back up data on your own? Me neither -- you can ask an expert for the different ways to do this and check for backups.
Don't want to think about any of this yourself (you're busy running a business or doing your actual job duties!)? Our techs can handle it for you and your team!
Contact us today to make sure the Macs at your business are being managed properly!