For Mac Eyes Only – Taming Mac Emergencies

Season 10, Episode 9 (#333)

On this episode of For Mac Eyes Only: Mike’s presentation to the Suburban Chicago Apple User Group on Mac Emergencies*. In this talk, Mike discusses things that can go wrong with a Mac that can be easily solved by the user. This talk was given on March 12, 2006.


> A CURRENT OS X boot drive (Requires 8GB Flash Drive)
> For Mac Eyes Only’s Guide to Creating OS X Boot Drive
> AppCleaner

Cloning Utilities
> Carbon Copy Cloner – Bombich
> SuperDuper! – Shirt Pocket Software

Backup and Syncing
> ChronoSync – Econ Technologies
> Data Rescue 4 – Data Recovery Tool ProSoft Engineering
> Drive Genius 4 – Storage Diagnostics tool ProSoft Engineering
> TechTool Pro 8 – Hardware diagnostics tool (fans, sensors, storage) Micromat

Disk Space Analyzers
> Disk Inventory X – Derlien
> Grand Perspective
> DaisyDisk – Software Ambience

Apple Links & Knowledge Base Articles

> Apple Support
> Apple’s Exchange and Repair Extension Program
> Using Activity Monitor
> Resetting the SMC
> Resetting NVRAM
> Mac Startup Key Combinations


> Suburban Chicago Apple User Group


> Meet TeamFMEO
> Contact Us

Play Now

or Download the show here!

Running Time: 59:44*

* Though this episode was recorded live during Mike’s presentation, some portions of the recording have been edited for time and/or content.


  1. lisa mclennan says

    Hi Mike – this was a really great show. That Chicago group seems awesome and your presentation was great. When I travel I unplug the desktop iMacs to make sure nothing could get to them and little did I know that this resets the SMC every time as I do just the steps you mentioned.
    So I have one question for you related to FLASH. I’m not really sure whether or not my browser leaves me open to the many vulnerabilities that always seem to crop up (23 I think fixed in version but what I really would like to know is this: WHAT HAPPENS IF I TURN OFF FLASH? Will major sites not work? Will I know that some video should be playing but isn’t? There are two of us at home a there is always some video we are seeing on a website or through a link. Appreciate any thoughts if you’ve pulled the plug on flash!
    One Other question related to external drives for clone and time machine – should one troll for firmware updates on those or just wait until there is some sign that DISK UTILITY is needed like you talked about on the show.
    4 months to Macstock! Can’t wait!

    • Hi there,

      Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed the talk!

      Disabling Flash works particularly well in Firefox (my primary browser) because I can instruct Firefox to prompt me to enable it on a site-by-site basis. SO if there’s a site where Flash is required to take advantage of all its functionality ( comes to mind), then I’m able to either enable it one time or remember that it should be enabled for that site only.

      To my knowledge, Chrome will not do that (Correct me if I’m wrong!) but Safari does offer that feature (Safari Preferences > Security > Plug-in Settings > Change Allow to Ask for Flash).

      With Flash disabled you’ll see an empty block with a “missing plugin” message (or in the case of Safari, “Flash blocked for this website”) And, like Firefox, you can then opt to trust the site and enable it.

      Hope that helps!

      re: HDD Firmware

      I’m not a big proponent of updating hardware firmware unless there’s a known issue that’s affecting you otherwise (a good reason to register your hardware with the manufacturer!). So my instinct would be to recommend that you merely use Disk Utility’s First Aid button on your external drives from time to time to check for problems. But I’d be eager to hear if others reading this have other thoughts on that!