Category Archives: OSX

QUICK FIX : MacOS Freezing at Login – how to resolve quickly

After upgrading to macOS 10.12.1 my 2010 MBP would freeze after the first login. Searching the internet I discovered some similar issues and potential resolutions. Most revolved around rebuilding the LaunchServices database – using Onyx I tried that and it sometimes worked, but I still had the issue recur.

I would also occasionally get the message :

"The version of HandsOff.kext is not compatible with your version of OSX. Please contact the developer for updates."

I used to have HandsOff installed but had uninstalled it a while back. Frustrated I was not able to enjoy a stable OS environment, I figured the best way would be to backtrack and remove all the errors and see if anything made a difference – and removing this offending kext file seemed a good start.

Most kext files are found in the /System/Library/Extensions folder – however I could not find the HandsOff file, either in this or any other location.

To resolve the issue, I installed EasyFind and searched for “HandsOff” and found some other files (plist was certainly one file type) and deleted them directly from EasyFinder. I then re-ran Onyx to rebuild the LaunchServices, rebooted and hey-presto! No more login freezes!

UPDATE:
I ran a Malwarebytes scan and found a few nasties - removing those also seemed to help with the smoothness of things

MacBook running hot after installing OSX Lion – Fix here

After installing OSX Mountain Lion I noticed that my Mac Book Pro was getting extremely hot and battery life was poor at best. Seems I was not alone.

After googling (if that’s a verb), I discovered one of several solutions:

  1. You’ve got a Citrix type client installed which is running in the background (see this thread)
  2. You have Office 2008 or 2011 and Spotlight is having an issue with indexing (see this thread)
  3. You need to reset your SMC (see this Apple KB item) – this is not as likely as the others.

I have gone through all three and so far it seems to have cooled the laptop. I’ve also noticed that Flash/Shockwave sometimes hangs with high CPU – with the new changes I need to evaluate if that’s still a problem, but figured in the meantime I’d share how to potentially fix your Lion woes.

Update 1: After performing steps 1-3 I noticed improvement in battery life – until I started to use Chrome with a site using Flash and suddenly Shockwave was going crazy with CPU and memory usage. Again, it’s not just me. If anyone has ideas please comment below.

Technology is great until it fails! How to back up your pictures and other files

In this age where almost everyone has some form of capturing the moment digitally; whether you have a full-on Digital SLR camera, point and click, iPod, iPhone, Android, etc. at some point you’re going to amass lots of pictures and videos.

So what would happen if the device they were on right now failed? Would you lose all your treasured files? What options do you have to backup?

Backing up your PC / Mac

There are so many options here to consider; here’s a brief run-down of the main ones:

Data Transfer Speed Cost to Implement Typically Stored Risk of Failure Comments
Optical Media (CD/DVD) Slow $ On Site Low Long term storage option; Size limitations per Disc (e.g. Single Layer DVD is 4.7GB)
Attached Portable Disk Fast $ On Site Moderate Good for quick archival; risk of disk failure
(in unit) RAID array (non-NAS) Fast $$ On Site Low Provides protection, but risk to data if the entire unit is affected
Single NAS drive Medium * $ On Site Moderate Central location for everyone on a home network to backup to; risk of single disk failure
RAID NAS Drive Medium * $$ On Site Low Central location for everyone on a home network to backup to; risk should the location catch fire, etc.
Free Cloud Offerings Medium * Cloud Low Space is typically limited; very little options in syncing files
Paid Cloud Offerings Medium * $$$ Cloud Low Best compromise  of accessibility, speed, risk and flexibility; Most expensive option long term

Some terminology while we’re here:

NAS = Network Attached Storage; think of it like a portable hard drive that you can put in your home network and anyone on your network can see it

RAID = Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks; most home PCs have one hard drive. if that fails then it’s game over. Some PCs are configured to allow other hard drives to be added which mirror the main hard drive. This doesn’t increase your hard drive space – instead, if the main hard drive fails, you have at least one disk with a backup of your data which you can run from. To read more about RAID, check this wiki article out.

Backing up isn’t just once and done

Backups typically are one of three types. When you are looking to backup your files, you might want to think about using backup software to help automate it, and so you’ll need to consider the following

  • Full – A complete backup of all files is taken each time
  • Incremental – A full backup is taken and then only changes are backed up after that point, resulting in multiple incremental sets of backups
  • Differential – A full backup is taken and then only changes are taken; each time a backup occurs it overwrites the last differential backup and takes all files updated since the full backup. This results in only two backup files being present at any one time.

Many backup services offer a variety of these. To me, differential seems the one I’d pick because in the event of a disk failure, I’m only having to work with two files, otherwise I’m maintaining many files with incremental (unless I’m on the ball with when I do a full backup).

The Need for Speed

When you’re backing up gigabytes of files you want it to happen fairly quickly – if you’re using something like a DVD or slow internet connection it’s going to take a while. That could be a PITA.

What’s the best option for me?

Generally using Cloud for backups is the best compromise – if all you’re doing is backing up and don’t want others to have access to the files. Otherwise, a NAS RAID drive might suit better. Both have pros and cons – think about speed, access, cost and finally – if you’re house were to catch on fire, would you save your RAID NAS drive?

Here’s a comparison of Cloud services to consider. Carbonite, Mozy and Backblaze are typically the most popular premium services, so also check out this.

What about my cell / mobile phone backups?

iPhones have iCloud and iTunes to help with that. You can sync your files to either / both and take care of it.

Android has a slightly different set of options; You can sync your contacts and pictures with Google directly (including Google Picassa) or you can buy some of the apps out there for it. TechHive has a great article on this very topic.

Conclusion

We all need to consider our backup strategy – and have one in place. It also goes hand in hand with being able to organise your files so that if you need to refer back to them, you can. How many times have you seen the folder “DCIM” with image names such as “IMAGE0012.JPG”? Technology still has to solve the ability to catalogue digital images effectively!

So, what do you use for backups?

Renew IP address on Mac OSX using the command line

I’m still discovering things with the Macbook – particularly the differences between OSX and Windows.

One thing that’s happened a couple of times now is that I’ll start my Mac from a sleep state and it reports that another device has the same IP address as it had previously been assigned.

As every device I use is connected via Wireless including the Macbook, first thing I did was go to the Airport Network Preferences, disconnect Airport then reconnect. After that didn’t work I removed my wireless config from Airport then added it again – still with no luck.

With Windows it’s pretty simple – open a command prompt and type ‘

ipconfig /release

then

ipconfig /renew

….but OSX has a different trick.

One article suggested I open a command prompt (in OSX) and type

sudo ifconfig en0 down
sudo ifconfig en0 up

This resolved the issue. However my noggin told me this would be weird as in theory en0 should be the ethernet port and en1 the wireless. Sure enough, doing a

netstat -i

proved this to be the case. So whilst I resolved the issue, I’m a bit puzzled why releasing the ethernet adaptor would help resolve this… if anyone knows please comment!