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Can I Merge Mac User Accounts After a Time Machine Restore? [Ask MacRx]

Time Machine User Accounts

Ask MacRx took a hiatus for a few weeks in December but we’re back for 2012 and here to help try and answer more of your Mac and iDevice questions. Today we hear from a reader who has more user accounts than desired after restoring from a Time Machine backup:

I recently replaced the drive in my Macbook, upgrading to a larger capacity drive. For the first time I used Time Machine to restore my applications, settings and data files. I was surprised to find that I had to name the restoration differently than the account named on the destination drive. I followed the on-screen prompts and successfully transferred the data from my old drive to the new one.

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My MacBook Crashed And Now I Can’t Reboot The Computer [Ask MacRx]

Computer Angst

A crashed computer is one of life’s annoyances. A crashed computer that you can’t subsequently reboot becomes a bigger headache. Sometimes the battery in a laptop can be the culprit:

My Macbook froze out of nowhere. I have only had it for a few months. I purchased it new. I tried pushing the restart button and option/command/esc (what it says in the manual to do) but none of that works. My mac is totally unresponsive. What should I do?

Thanks in advance,
Andrea

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How Do I Install an iOS App No Longer Available on the App Store? [Ask MacRx]

App Store No Longer

Apple Giveth, and Apple Taketh Away. The Walled Garden approach Apple has taken with its App Store means that not everything you once bought is still available. However, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options for installing software that was previously downloaded:

Hello, I got the iTether app yesterday before Apple pulled it out, but my daughter didn’t get the chance to download it. How will I install it to my daughter’s iPhone? I back up my phone to my PC and I have the app in my file. Please help.

Rodante

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How Do I Get Rid Of The “Other” Data Stored On My iPad Or iPhone? [Ask MacRx]

iPad Other Data

Along with music, movies and photos, many people have some mysterious “other” data on their iDevices, which seems to increase over time. One reader is wondering how to get rid of this data and free up space:

When I look at my iTunes summary of my iPad it shows that there is 2.9GB of “Other” stored on my device. I haven’t put much stuff on my iPad and have no idea what is taking up so much space. I only have a 16GB iPad and like to put movies on it for when I travel, so space is a premium. How do I find out what is taking up so much space, and what is the best way to maximize storage space on my iPad?

Thanks, Kyle

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Can I Use iTunes Home Sharing Across the Internet? [Ask MacRx]

ITunes Home Sharing Internet

iTunes Home Sharing has been around for a few years and is a handy way to access your media between devices. One reader wonders about trying to use this service while traveling:

My setup is Apple based i.e. iPad/iphone/appletv2/airport extreme/imac. The iTunes Home Sharing works brilliantly. Is there a way by which I can retain the home sharing function remotely? In other words if I am on 3g and still use the be able to see the iTunes media as I would on the same wifi? I have seen various articles referring to vpn and then indicating that iTunes is not available through the vpn tunnel or through the airport extreme etc.

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How Can I Transfer Contacts from my Old iPad to a New Mac? [Ask MacRx]

Sync via cloud

Sometimes when moving to a newer computer, you realize only after the old system is gone that you’re missing some data. With the proliferation of iPhones and iPads, cloud based services can help transfer things like Contacts and Calendars if incomplete:

My old Mac Pro was running OS X 10.4.11 and my new MacBook Pro came with Snow Leopard. Using Migration assistant just about everything except Contacts transferred correctly. Now the Mac Pro is across the country in NV and I am near DC. The only thing that has my old Contacts is my iPad. How do I transfer my old Contacts from the iPad to the new MacBook Pro without losing them when I sync?

Clint

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iTunes Match Can Replace DRM Protected Audio Files with Unprotected Versions [Ask MacRx]

ITunes Match DRM

The new iTunes Match service is a handy way to share music among all your computers and iDevices. One reader is wondering if this feature can also be used to replace older 128kbps DRM encoded tracks with their higher bitrate, unencumbered iTunes Plus versions:

Just wondering something about iTunes Match. I’ve got a bunch of songs on iTunes that I purchased early in the game, and they are in .m4p format, so they have the DRM locks and can’t easily be converted to .mp3 format. They are only at 128kbps, which is the only thing iTunes offered back in the day. If I sign up for iTunes Match, will these songs be updated to their new DRM-free 256kbps versions, or do I have to pay for the iTunes Plus service first?

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Why Does iTunes Keep Restarting When I Quit the Program? [Ask MacRx]

ITunes Won t Quit

Software can be a cantankerous thing. Sometimes programs won’t launch when you need them, and other times they won’t go away when you’re done! One reader is having a problem with iTunes refusing to quit when asked:

I have some questions related to 10.5 iTunes. When I quit iTunes it goes about the process normally and then starts back up. iTunes is using 80-100% CPU usage when running. Could this be related to a third-party plug-in? Very frustrating and have to force restart my mini as iTunes cancels the shutdown process.

Thanks, Tim

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How Do I Remove Data From My Old Mac Before Passing It Along? [Ask MacRx]

Erase and Install

So you’ve upgraded to the latest and greatest, and it’s time to give your old Mac to a new owner. But how do you get rid of all your old data and software before making the handoff?

I just pulled the trigger on ordering a new iMac, a nice new 21.5’ i7 quad core. Needless to say I can’t wait, even though it will be my first venture with OS X Lion. I get doing a full backup from my current iMac on my Time Capsule to load up my new iMac when it arrives, but I am wondering what is the best step by step way to prep my old iMac running Snow Leopard, to make it clean and ready to gift to the Grandkids’ family.

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Can I Restrict Airport Networks to Specific Mac User Accounts? [Ask MacRx]

WiFi Networks

Apple likes to make things as easy as possible to join WiFi networks, especially when the network isn’t password protected. However in one reader’s case this isn’t a good thing but rather a major headache:

Is there a way to RESTRICT joining certain wifi networks to certain OS X user accounts?
When using my MacBook Pro, I have two basic OS X logins. One for known SECURE wifi networks, and one for INSECURE wifi networks. The problem is that Airport settings always remember the INSECURE network, and almost always tries to connect my SECURE OSX login to the INSECURE wifi, at which point Mail (or other apps) start up and shoot my logs/passes across the air for all to see.

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