Basic Mac Troubleshooting Steps

A local member of the Mac User Group I belong was having an issue with his MacBook Pro. The issue was unique and it spawned the idea to share my basic troubleshooting steps I take when my Mac starts acting strange.

My first response to his request was to see if the model had a recall on it. Here is a list of current products sold by Apple with recalls. https://www.apple.com/support/exchange_repair/.

If that is not the issue the standard reset the PRAM/NVRAM, SMC (System Management Controller) Reset and starting in Safe Mode are my next steps.

All of the above explain things that each try to troubleshoot/resolve. I find these are helpful.

My next step in troubleshooting this issue would be to create a new user account on the mac. Below are links to Sierra, El Capitan, and Yosemite

Setting up a new user account may eliminate some unwanted user preferences that could be causing the issue. This is a tried and true step that is recommended by my favorite geeks at the Mac Geek Gab. This is the step I take before completing what is commonly referred as a “nuke and pave” approach.

Next I would simply complete a full restore or “nuke and pave” https://www.podfeet.com/blog/2016/03/nuke-pave/.  I set everything up from scratch with no other apps but the ones that come pre-installed in the OS. I run the device for a few days this way and then one by one install third party applications in hopes that either

I isolate the app that may be causing the issue or that the nuke and pave cleans things out that were causing the issue. With my iOS devices I compete DFU restore.  This article gives a good explanation of a DFU restore. https://www.engadget.com/2011/05/25/iphone-101-what-is-dfu-mode-and-whats-the-difference-from-rec/.  Note that at several Genius Bar appointments I have been given this advice. It has worked to help on several occasions, but that is iOS and we are talking Mac right now.

All of the above things are items that I note that I have tried, because the next step is to take it to an Apple Store or Authorized Repair Store. Telling the rep that you have tried all of the above will help save them some time, even though I find they will try them all anyway. A Genius Bar appointment doesn’t cost anything for them to diagnose hardware. In fact they may with some luck determine what the issue is and what the cost of repair will be.  If you are not close to a local Apple Store I believe Apple may be able to complete this scan over the phone.

Hopefully at some point you will get that unique issue out of the way so you can once again begin enjoying your Mac.

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JT Ray

My name is JT Ray and that’s just JT, no periods or spaces (read more About Me). I am the owner and operator of JT’s Blog. I have been blogging since 2004 and podcasting since 2005. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @therealjtray. Thank You for visiting and come back any time.

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