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This chapter is from the book

Quick Fixes

This final section includes a variety of troubleshooting tips and fixes that fit within the scope of this chapter but did not conveniently fit in any of the preceding sections.

Files do not open in Mac OS 9

Occasionally, when you're booted in Mac OS 9, if you try to open a document for an application that exists in separate Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X versions, you will get an error message that says you need to be running Mac OS X to open the document. Or you may get a more general error message that indicates that the file could not be opened.


"Launching applications" and "Clippings files in Mac OS 9 vs. X," in Chapter 9, for more details on these problems.

Can't copy and paste from Classic to Mac OS X

At least some versions of Mac OS X have a bug that prevents you from pasting a Clipboard selection from an application running in Classic to a Mac OS X application. In the lesser form of this problem, you may have to copy and paste multiple times before the procedure works; in the more annoying form, it never succeeds. You may even get a persistent spinning pointer when you attempt to paste the item. Following are some workarounds for this symptom. Try each fix in turn until one work.

  • Update to the latest version of Mac OS X. It may fix this bug.

  • Quit and relaunch Classic via the Classic System Preferences window.

  • Deselect the option titled Start up Classic on Login to This Computer, if it is selected. This change should prevent the problem in the future.

  • Quit Classic, and delete the following two files from the Classic System Folder: Classic (located at the root level of the System Folder) and Classic RAVE (located in the Extensions folder of the System Folder). When you relaunch Classic, Mac OS X will ask you whether it can add files to the System Folder to replace the two you just removed; allow it to do so.

  • Log in as root, and delete Finder preferences (such as /Users/username/Library/Preferences/ Then log out and log in again in your normal account.

Date & Time settings

The Date & Time System Preferences window allows you to set the date and time. If you want to change the format of the date and time (such as a 12-hour vs. a 24-hour clock), you need to access the Date and Time tabs of the International System Preferences window.

Figure 6.50Figure 6.50 Time settings in (top) Date & Time and (bottom) the International System Preferences window.

Can't select window

If you click a window in the background and it does not become the foreground active window, try clicking the header portion of the window. This method typically does the trick.


CD Burning Burning basics

Mac OS X makes burning a CD especially easy. You have several options:

Burn a CD via the Finder. When you insert a CD-R or CD-RW into a CD-RW drive, a message should appear:"This disk needs to be prepared for burning. Do you want to prepare this disc?" The message window contains several options. To burn the CD, follow these steps:

  1. Select a format: Standard (for data), MP3 CD, or iTunes (Audio), which is the format you use if you want to play the CD in a standard audio CD player.

    Most often, you will be doing data copies from the Finder, whereas MP3 and audio CD burning will be done from iTunes.

  2. Click the Prepare button.

    If you do not want to burn the CD at this point, click Eject to eject the disc. Or to leave the disc in the drive, for possible use in another application, click Ignore. (You may have to click Continue in yet another message window that appears.)

  3. After clicking Prepare, an icon for the CD will appear.

  4. Drag the files you want to burn to the CD icon.

  5. Drag the icon of the CD to the Trash.

    The Trash icon will turn to the icon used to indicate burning a CD. Completing the drag will initiate the burning of the CD.

Burn a CD via iTunes. To burn a CD via iTunes, follow these steps:

  1. Choose New Playlist from the File menu.

  2. Add the desired songs to the playlist—either by dragging MP3 files already in the iTunes Library to the playlist or by adding new files from audio CDs via iTunes' Import option.

  3. Click the playlist name in the left column.

  4. Click the Burn CD button in the top-right corner.

  5. Insert a blank CD.

    You will create a music CD that can be played in a standard audio CD player.

Burn a CD via Disk Copy. To burn a CD via Disk Copy, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Burn Image command from the Image menu.

  2. Select an image (.img or .dmg) file in the window that appears.

  3. Insert a disc.

  4. Click the Burn button.


Disk Copy is the only method you can use to create a bootable copy of a bootable CD (such as the Mac OS X Install CD). See "Take Note: Create a Bootable CD" in Chapter 3 for more information.

Third-party software. You can also burn CDs with third-party software, such as Toast Titanium.

Troubleshooting CD burning

In most cases, burning a CD will work without hassles—especially if you have an internal CD-RW drive that shipped with your Mac. If problems do occur, consider the following:

CD drive not compatible. This is probably the most common CD-burning problem. After you insert a blank CD, the Finder (or other software) does not appear to recognize that a CD has been inserted. You may have an external CD-RW drive that is not compatible with Mac OS X.

To check for this situation, first go to the list of compatible drives that Apple maintains on its Web site ( If your drive is listed, make sure that you are using the latest version of Mac OS X . Also make sure that you have the latest firmware update for the drive. (Check with the drive vendor for help.)

External drive not connected properly. If drive compatibility does not appear to be an issue, but you are still having problems getting the CD-RW drive to work, launch Apple System Profiler and select the Devices and Volumes tab. See whether the drive is listed in the relevant section (USB or FireWire).

If the drive is not listed, make sure that all cables to the drive are connected properly (including power cables). Make sure that the drive is on. If you are using a USB or FireWire hub, try bypassing the hub and connecting the drive directly to the Mac.

If the drive is listed in Apple System Profiler, restart the Mac with the drive already on.

Burn fails. You may get to the point where you can click a Burn button and the burn is initiated, but the resulting CD-R disc does not mount or play as expected. In this case, try again with a new CD-R, making sure to keep other CPU activity to a minimum. (Do not try to play a QuickTime movie while burning a CD, for example.) If you are using software that allows you to adjust the burn speed, make sure that you use a speed that does not exceed the maximum needed to make a successful copy. (Toast Titanium has a feature that allows you to test the maximum speed.) Also, set Energy Saver to disable any sleep that might occur during a burn.

Recover space after an interrupted burn. If a burn was interrupted, such as due to a power failure, run Disk Utility (from the Mac OS X Install CD), and repair the Mac OS X volume. This technique will reclaim disk space that was reserved for temporary files needed to burn the CD.

Figure 6.51Figure 6.51 Message that appears in the Finder when you insert a blank CD.

Figure 6.52Figure 6.52 Burn CD features of iTunes and Disk Copy.

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