How to use the Mac’s mysterious startup keyboard combos


startup keyboard combos
Holding down the right key when you start up your Mac can fix all kinds of problems.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If your Mac is sick, the first step is to restart it. But did you know that there are several tricks you can perform while your Mac is starting up?

Many of these are advanced Mac diagnostic tools, which shouldn’t be used unless you really know what you’re doing. But some not-so-secret startup keyboard combos will remove a stuck disk (if your Mac is old enough to even have a disk inside), let you boot your Mac from a USB drive, or to turn your entire computer into one big storage disk to connect to another computer.

Whoops! Reconnect Your Bluetooth Keyboard And Mac After Logging Out [OS X Tips]



So, it happened that a friend of mine turned off Bluetooth on her Mac mini, and then turned it off for the evening. When she got up the next morning, her Bluetooth keyboard was on, as per usual, but she couldn’t log in on start up, as her Mac did not see her keyboard.

She was worried that she’d have to go borrow or buy a wired keyboard, plug it in, and enter her password, then turn Bluetooth on again to make her wireless keyboard work again.

Luckily, that’s not what had to happen. Here’s how we solved it.

Is Your iPhone 4 Warranty About To Expire? Here Are The Defects To Look Out For


iPhone 4 side promo

While many of us already have our eyes set on the new iPhone, which Apple will likely release this fall, there are still millions of people using the iPhone 4.

Released on June 24, 2010, the first round of iPhone 4’s are about to hit their two-year anniversary. This means that those who purchased an iPhone 4 along with the AppleCare protection plan, which effectively extends warranty protection to two years, are about to lose coverage.

If you bought an iPhone 4 in the summer of 2010 you should take some time to examine it in order to ensure that no part of it is showing signs of defect. Here’s what you need to know.

Mac IT Lessons From Microsoft’s Botched Office 2011 Update


The recent Office 2011 issues highlight the importance of testing all updates before deploying them
The recent Office 2011 issues highlight the importance of testing updates before deployment

Last week, Microsoft pulled its Service Pack 2 update for Office for Mac 2011. As we reported earlier in the week, the update could result in the corruption of the Office database and issues with Office identity files could make resolving the problem difficult. After initially posting advice about the update and its potential problems, Microsoft pulled it from the company’s update servers.

Microsoft has now re-released the update. In addition to not creating the problems that plagued the original update, the new version will also correct problems for users that had downloaded the initial.

The entire situation illustrates why most tech companies, including Apple, advise business customers to wait before rolling out any new updates.

How To Quickly Troubleshoot Your Jailbroken iPhone [Jailbreak]


Seeing this message a lot on your jailbroken iOS device?
Seeing this message a lot on your jailbroken iOS device?

Jailbreaking has its many benefits, but there’s always a risk that installing a certain tweak or app from Cydia will cause something in iOS to go haywire. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you want to be able to fix the problem without having to restore and lose your jailbreak.

Luckily, there’s a relatively easy way to troubleshoot your jailbroken iOS device and find out the exact tweak that’s causing the problem.

CUI Error? Here’s How To Fix Crashing Problems With OS X 10.7.3 Update



For a lot of people, yesterday’s 10.7.3 update for OS X Lion went without a hitch using Software Update, but for a sizable (and understandably annoyed) minority, the update resulted in the widescale crashing of apps and the replacement of stock Lion UI elements with a mysterious “CUI?” error.

If you’ve been bit by this error, you have our sympathies, but buck up! In most cases, it’s a pretty easy thing to fix the update and get Lion working as it was.

Troubleshooting Your iPhone 4S And iPad 2 Jailbreak


Screen Shot 2012-01-23 at 12.23.35 PM

The first jailbreak for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 became available to the public last week, and many are jailbreaking their A5-based iOS devices and trying out new tweaks from Cydia, the jailbreak equivalent of the App Store.

Whether you’re new to jailbreaking or an experienced veteran, it’s easy to run into problems. We’ve collected some useful tips and tricks for jailbreaking your iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

Horrible iPhone 4S Battery Life Is Caused By Software Not Hardware, Here’s The Proof



Photo: Apple

The iPhone 4S has some bodacious battery life problems and no one seems to know what’s going on. Apple themselves have released an iOS update, iOS 5.0.1, to fix the problems, to no avail. Meanwhile, some iPhone 4S owners find their batteries draining at a rate of 10% every ten minutes, while luckier customers can only report the same excellent battery life the iPhone 4 was known for.

What the heck is going on? Are some iPhone 4Ses just defective? Will Apple have to initiate a recall?

Thankfully, no. Although no one knows what the problem exactly is, it has at least been proven to be a software problem… not a hardware problem.

Possible Fix For iOS 5 And iPhone 4S Battery Life?



I’ve been a bit quiet lately while considering the possible reasons why my new iPhone 4S has the worst battery life of any iPhone I’ve ever owned. Normally by now I would have written some battery troubleshooting tips to share with all of you. However, this time around the problem is anything but normal and the usual tips aren’t helping. So I’ve been quiet about this.

I cannot say the same thing about Apple’s discussion forums since the conversation about battery life there is reaching epic proportions and the conversation is rather loud.

It might be about to get a lot quieter with this tip, which seems to be working for me.