B.7. Where to Get Troubleshooting Help If the basic steps described in this chapter haven't helped, the universe is crawling with additional help sources. In general, this is the part in any Mac book where you're directed to Apple's help Web site
B.7. Where to Get Troubleshooting Help
If the basic steps described in this chapter haven't helped, the universe is crawling with
additional help sources.
In general, this is the part in any Mac book where you're directed to Apple's help Web
site, to various discussion forums, and so on—and, indeed, those help sources are listed
But the truth is, the mother of all troubleshooting resources is not any of those—it's
Google. You'll find more answers faster using Google than you ever will by starting at
any of the individual help sites below. That's because Google includes all of those help
sites in its search!
Suppose, for example, that you've just installed the 10.5.1 software update for Leopard,
and it's mysteriously turned all your accounts (including your own) into Standard
accounts. And without any Administrator account, you can't install new programs,
change network settings, add or edit other accounts, and so on.
You could go to one Web site after another, hunting for a fix, repeating your search— or
you could just type Leopard 10.5.1 standard accounts into Google and hit Enter. See
Figure B-4. Don't waste your time. Start any troubleshooting search at Google.
Leave out small words like "it," "the," "of," and so on; Google ignores them.
Bottom: Presto: Google's very first results link contains the answer.
B.7.1. Help Online
These Web sites contain nothing but troubleshooting discussions, tools, and help:
• Apple Discussion Groups (http://discussions.info.apple.com). The volume and
quality of question-and-answer activity here dwarfs any other free source. If you're
polite and concise, you can post questions to the multitudes here and get more
replies to them than you'll know what to do with.
• Apple's help site (www.apple.com/support). Apple's help Web site includes
downloadable manuals, software updates, frequently asked questions, and many
It also has a Search box, which may look mild-mannered but is actually the mother
of all troubleshooting resources: the Knowledge Base. This is the collection of
50,000 individual technical articles, organized in a searchable database, that the
Apple technicians themselves consult when you call for help. You can search it
either by typing in keywords or by using pop-up menus of question categories.
• MacFixIt (www.macfixit.com). The world's one-stop resource for Mac
troubleshooting advice; alas, you have to pay to access the good stuff.
B.7.2. Help by Telephone
Finally, consider contacting whoever sold you the component that's making your life
miserable: the printer company, scanner company, software company, or whatever.
If it's a Mac OS problem, you can call Apple at 800-275-2273 (that's 800-APL-CARE).
For the first 90 days following your purchase of Mac OS X (which, as far as Apple
knows, is the date of your first call), the technicians will answer your questions for free.
After that, unless you've paid for AppleCare for your Mac (a three-year extended
warranty program), Apple will charge you to answer your questions. Fortunately, if the
problem turns out to be Apple's fault, they won't charge you.