If you’ve upgraded to Mountain Lion and traded swift wifi and fast Safari for a flakey internet connection and sluggish browser, you are not alone. Widespread reports of problems with wifi, Safari and Mountain Lion have been mounting ever since July 25th. However, unlike the lengthy debacle with similar wifi problems experienced after the Lion upgrade last year, a lot of users are finding their problems can be solved by using one or more of the tips below.
1. Create a new location and renew the DHCP lease
OS X Daily have a step-by-step procedure here
that is proving hugely successful. Don’t forget to follow their second step about changing the MTU value while you’re at it.
2. Reset default system preferences
If that didn’t do it for you, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and enter Terminal! Open the Terminal.app from
and paste this command
then press ‘return’.
You will need to restart your mac to see if this has had any beneficial effect, so do that now.
3. Do PRAM & SMC resets
If you’re still suffering problems, it’s time for a couple of system resets. To do the SMC reset you will need to see what kind of mac you have, as the procedure is different for some models. Take a look here and follow the instructions for your model.
Before powering up after the SMC reset, also take the trouble to do a PRAM reset. To do that:
i. Ensure the machine is powered off.
ii. Locate the following keys on your keyboard in preparation for Step 4:
‘command’ – ‘option’ – ‘P’ – ‘R’
iii. Press the ‘power on’ button.
iv. Immediately – and before the grey screen appears – hold down ‘command-option-P-R’ all together.
v. Keep them held down until you’ve heard the start-up chime twice. After you release them you should hear it again, and hopefully your Mac will boot up without wifi/Safari issues.
4. Check Wifi connection
And if that doesn’t work? Time to check your wifi connection. See how strong your signal-to-noise ratio is. You need something in the order of 25 or higher. To find out whether you signal is strong enough, hold down the ‘option’ key and click on the wifi icon in the menu bar. Choose Open Wifi Diagnostics from the menu.
When you see the welcome screen, ignore the ‘Continue’ button and instead press ‘command-N’ on your keyboard.
Click wifi scan in the task bar and scroll to the right where you will see two numbers, ‘signal’ and ‘noise’. Ignore the minus ‘-’ signs, and subtract the signal number from the ‘noise’ number. Anything over 25 is a good enough signal, below that and the signal is too weak for a reliable connection. Over 40 is excellent (in the example below, you can see the SNR is 34, a pretty good signal for a home router located on the next floor).
If your SNR is lower than 25 you need to either move the computer closer to the router or find a better connection. If the ‘Noise’ shows a very low figure (equals more noise), you can try changing the channel on your router. Look at the other routers in the list and if they are using the same channel as yours, switch your router to something else between 1 and 11.
5. Reinstall OS X
If all else fails…some users are reporting that simply reinstalling OS X is solving the problem for them. Reinstalling doesn’t touch your Apps or user data, but its always wise to make sure you have a backup before undertaking such an operation.
To reinstall, restart the computer while also holding down ‘command-R’ on the keyboard. From the Utilities window that opens up, choose ‘Reinstall OS X’.
Still having problems? Let us know in the comments below.
featured picture: Internet by ~vagraine
A problem that seems to be affecting quite a few users after the Mountain Lion upgrade is loss of sound in iTunes, QuickTime and other apps. Some people are reporting that the Volume control is greyed out or won’t move.
The resolution here is to quit and resart the coreaudio process. To do so:
1. Open Activity Monitor.app (Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor.app)
2. Select ‘All Processes’ from the drop down menu next to the search bar (called ‘Filter:’) and type in ‘coreaudio’.
3. Select the process name and click the ‘Quit Process’ button at the top. Chose ‘Quit’ or ‘Force Quit’ from the resulting dialogue box.
The coreaudio process will automatically restart itself (if you look closely at the PID number in Activity Monitor you’ll notice it changes after you hit ‘Quit’) and your sound problems should be solved. However, if you find that this procedure only partially solves the problem or doesn’t work for you, also try this:
4. Open Terminal.app (Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) and copy/paste this command into the Terminal window
then press ‘return’ on your keyboard.
5. Restart your mac and test.
6. Still not working? Check your audio configuration here:
/Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI Setup.app.
Make sure the window has the title Audio Devices, and click ‘Built in Output’ in the sidebar. Are any of the boxes under ‘Mute’ in the main panel checked? If so, uncheck them. Is the format set to 44100.0hz? If not, change it so that it is.
Hope this helps!
Sometimes, Mail keeps asking you for a password that you know it already has. It asks if you want it to remember the password in the keychain, and you say Yes! And still, you keep getting those password requests…
If you look in Mail > Preferences… > Account Information, you may be surprised to find the password field blank. You may be even more surprised that when you enter it, click out of the tab and hit ‘Save’, the field is blank again the next time you look!
There are a couple of different solutions to this problem, and both revolve around the keychain. One solution is to try a keychain repair. If the repair indicates nothing is wrong, then you have a problem with the access controls. Let’s deal with each in the order you should do them.
Verify and Repair Keychain
1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Keychain.app and double-click to open it.
2. From the menubar, choose Keychain Access > Keychain First Aid
3. Type in your admin password in the field, and click Start to verify the keychain. If the keychain needs repairing, click the radio button for repair and click Start again. Run the ‘Verify’ task one more time.
Repair Access controls
If the above didn’t solve your problem, or the keychain verify/repair task indicated no problems, then you’re going to need to look at the access controls on each Mail keychain.
4. In the left-hand pane, click login in the top panel, and Passwords in the bottom panel.
5. Look for your Mail/imap keychains. Click on one of them, and then press command-i on your keyboard, or click the little ‘i‘ at the bottom of the Keychain window.
6. Click the Access Control tab in the window that pops up. Click ‘Confirm before allowing access’, and make sure Mail is in the list of apps in the window underneath that is always allowed access. Go and do the same for any other Mail/imap keychains in the window, and your problem should be fixed.
7. If the settings above were already configured correctly or they do not resolve the problem, click on the Attributes tab (next to the Access Control tab).
8. Click on the ‘Show password’ box. If everything is OK, you should get a request to put in your admin password. Chances are, though, if you’ve got to this stage you will instead get a message saying ‘Access is restricted’ and no option to do anything about it.
9. If you don’t get asked for the password, close the information box (red radio button, top-left), and control-click on your mail/imap keychain in the Keychain window. Choose ‘Delete <name of keychain)'. Do the same for any other keychain's exhibiting the same problem.
10. You can now go back to Mail, and enter your password in the Account preferences box.
iPads are so easy to use, why bother with the manual? The chances are though, that at some point you’re either going to find that an app freezes on your screen or your whole tablet becomes unresponsive. Don’t panic, the answer’s simple:
First, be sure that it’s connected to a power source. The most common reason for iPads not working is people don’t realise they’re out of battery! Otherwise try these:
If it’s just a particular App that’s frozen on your screen:
— Hold down the ‘sleep/wake’ button (top right, back edge) for about 5 seconds until the slider appears. Release the ‘sleep/wake’ button. Now hold down the ‘Home’ button (bottom front, centre) until you see your Home screen.
If your whole machine is unresponsive, then do a restart:
— Hold down the ‘sleep/wake’ button for about 5 seconds until the slider appears. Slide it to ‘Off’. Then hold it down again until the Apple logo appears showing that the iPad is restarting.
If that doesn’t work, do a hard reset:
— Hold down the ‘sleep/wake’ button AND the ‘Home’ button simultaneously for about 10 seconds or until the Apple logo appears.
*For more serious problems with your iPad, such as continual restarting or no home screen, have a look here.
featured picture: ice crystals by Typen
(This post continues from here on file permission problems.)
Did you know there are two levels of permissions on your mac? User level and system level. Most discussions of fixing permissions only discuss the latter, but you may also need to fix the former (also sometimes called ‘ACLs’) for some problems caused by upgrading Lion on top of Snow Leopard.
4. System Level Permissions
You can safely repair your system level permissions at any time, and doing it once in a while is a good maintenance activity even if you’re not experiencing any problems. It’s also the first thing to do as soon as you notice any problems with apps launching, file access problems, or your computer seems to be running unusually slow.
How to do it:
— 1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.app and double click the app to open it.
— 2. Click your HDD icon in the left column (if you have more than one, click the one that contains your startup disk).
— 3. If it is not already selected, click on the ‘First Aid’ tab. Choose the ‘Repair Disk Permissions’ button near the bottom of the window (see the larger of the two windows in the screenshot above).
— 4. Wait for the process to finish (it could take ten minutes or more), then quit Disk Utility. You can ignore most of the error messages that appear unless they’re in red.
5. User Level Permissions (ACLs)
These permissions apply only to your ‘Home’ folder and its contents, and if you have more than one user you will need to do this procedure for any user experiencing a problem. However, unlike system level permissions, repairing ACLs isn’t something you should do unless there is a specific issue to be solved. Problems that this repair might help with include permission conflicts inherited from an earlier Snow Leopard or Leopard installation, such as Finder always asking for your password when you try to delete, move or copy a file.
To reset the ACLs in Lion: (To reset the ACLs in Leopard/Snow Leopard have a look here.)
— 1. Remove the current ACLs by opening Terminal.app (Applications > Utilities > Terminal.app) and copy and pasting this command:
sudo chmod -RN ~
Press return. You’ll be asked for your password. Notice that when you type it in you won’t see anything on the screen. Press return again. If you get an error message, you probably didn’t type in your password correctly. Repeat this step till its accepted. It will take some time to complete. Then paste this command into Terminal also:
sudo chown -R `id -un` ~
and press return. Enter your password again if necessary.
— 2. Press the Power button on the computer and choose ‘Restart’. When the screen goes blank, hold down the ‘command’ and ‘R’ keys on the keyboard until you hear the start up chime. In the menu bar at the top, choose Utilities > Terminal
— 3. At the Terminal prompt type
Then hit ‘Return’
— 4. Forget about resetting your password; what you’re looking for is your hard disk icon at the top. Hit that, and then from the drop-down menu select your user account.
— 5. Go to the bottom of the dialogue window – leaving all password fields blank – and choose ‘Reset’ under ‘Reset Home Folder Permissions and ACLs’ (see the smaller of the two windows in the screenshot above, inside the red dotted line).
— 6. When the process finishes, quit everything and restart your Mac.
1. FileVault is turned on
Solution: either turn FileVault off, or put up with the behaviour.
2. If you are using an account with ‘Parental Controls’ enabled, the person who set up your account may have denied you permission to delete, modify or move some or all files.
Solution: Speak to mom!
If 1 and 2, aren’t your problem, then you may have some permissions errors.
3. Check Permissions on .Trash
— 1. Open a Terminal window (Applications >Utilities > Terminal.app) and check the permissions by typing/pasting in the following:
You should end up with a long list, among which will be the permissions for your .Trash folder. Mine looks like this:
drwx—— 2 SnowLpd staff 68 29 Nov 15:33 .Trash
— 2. What’s important here that the name after the series of ‘drwx’ letters is the same as your user name (my user name, as you can see, is ‘SnowLpd’). If it is, then ignore the rest of this post and go to the post Permissions Pt2.
If the name is not the same, then you need to type this command into Terminal:
sudo chown -R your_username .Trash
Where you replace your_username with (surprise…) your user name, which is also the name of your home folder (note there’s a space both before and after your_username). Thus, for example, if in the previous step it said ‘root’ instead of my username, then I’d type in ‘sudo chown -R SnowLpd .Trash’.
—3. Now press ‘Return’. You will be prompted for your admin password. Type it in, but notice that you won’t see anything as you type, so type carefully. Hit ‘Return’ again. You should be returned to the Terminal prompt pretty quickly. Quit Terminal.app and see if your problems are solved.
4. If your .Trash permissions were OK, then you may need to fix either system permissions or ACL permissions. To do that, go to the next post.
how to fix permissions (Permissions Pt 2)
‘delete’ doesn’t send files to Trash