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Troubleshooting Basics

Before you start testing:

  1. First make sure you are updated. Many problems are solved by simply updating. Make sure you are using the latest versions for the OS and Microsoft Office.
  2. Restart your Mac. This often fixes many problems.
  3. Running Repair Permissions is another standard tool used to repair problems.
  4. If you shut down your computer overnight, you need to run the cron jobs that Apple has set to run at 3AM. There are several applications to help with this task. i.e. Macaroni, MacJanitor. Visit Version Tracker for downloads.
  5. One of the first steps many troubleshooters take when experiencing issues is to delete cache files and/or to check preference files for damage using a tool such as Preferential Treatment. Other troubleshooting tools are listed here.

For additional help:

Apple KB 25392: Isolating issues in Mac OS X

Apple KB 25398: Mac OS X: How to troubleshoot a software issue


The first thing you need to do is determine where the problem is located so you can take the appropriate steps to correct the problem.

Testing in a new User will quickly tell you if the problem is system wide or if it's your User's folder that contains the problem.

  1. Troubleshooting Entourage in a New User Account
  2. Troubleshooting Your User Account for a Problem