- Computers & Software
Mac Computers Suck - Problems with Mac Computers
Buying a Mac Computer
It's been a long time since I've used a Mac. We had one of the first generation Macintosh computers way back in the day, but since then, it's been PC all the way. When I started my job in 2008, the main computer was, and still is, a Mac. It had been a while since I'd used one, so I was excited to learn about Macs.
At one point I considered buying one because I thought it was what I wanted. Shortly after that thought, I decided a Mac at work was cool, but I still want my PC at home.
I found out that, I made the best choice. PC computers are more reliable. Granted, with a Mac you don't have to worry about internet viruses destroying your hard drive, but you do have to worry about a short lifespan and problems that you can't fix at home.
Now, if you do a lot of graphic design and web work, I'd go ahead and recommend getting the Mac computer, but if all you want is a machine to search the internet on, check your email, and perform basic operations, just stick with the PC. I hate to say it, but they're cheaper, last longer, and are overall more reliable.
In the time that I've been working with Macs, I've experienced about half of these problems, to include having to have a 4 to 5 year old Mac desktop replaced. I'm currently writing this on a MacBook Pro, that is also 'old' and considered glitchy by the Apple Fan that is the IT director at my job.
When doing research, and making the decision as to whether you want a new Mac or a PC, consider the following common problems with Mac computers.
While reading, please keep in mind that I only been working with Mac computers since 2008, but I am quite fluent with computers and technology. I'm not new to working with or fixing computers.
Common Problems with Mac Computers
- Booting up and starting difficulties
- Problems shutting down
- Problems starting the printer
- Difficulty with scanner
- Mouse functioning trouble
- Keyboard performance
- Driver Installation problems
- Clock can't keep time
- CD's won't eject
- Slow internet
- Problems with Spotlight searches
- Problems with email using webmail client
- Doesn't recognize devices in USB ports
- General problems with the iWorks programs
- Overall short lifespan
How to Fix Problems with Mac Computers
Depending on what specific problems you are experiencing, the following troubleshooting tips for Mac may or may not help you.
- Mouse problems
If you have the optical-style mouse that comes with most newer Mac computers, you'll find that they tend to work better as they don't have the rolling ball that likes to collect dust, but they must be used on a proper mouse pad, as they don't like reflective or glass surfaces. This should help if the mouse is jumping around a lot.
If the mouse isn't responding at all, you'll want to unplug it and plug it back in to check the connection. If it's a wireless mouse, check the batteries.
If the rolling ball at the top of the mouse isn't scrolling properly, try cleaning it out, as there may be dust and debris in it. If that doesn't work, you may have to replace it, as the top rolling ball is known to give out.
- Stuck CDs and DVDs
If your computer won't give the disk back, try one of four things to retrieve it.
- Quit the program that is using the disk. Then press Eject on the keyboard.
- Open the Finder window and click the Eject icon on the sidebar or drag the disc icon on the desktop to the Trash.
- Log out of your account and then press Eject on the keyboard
- Restart the computer while holding down the mouse button.
- Problems with the Clock
If the clock on your Mac computer is having trouble keeping the time and date, the internal battery may have some dust on it. Try replacing the battery, but if you are having trouble doing so, contact an Apple store or an authorized service provider to help you out.
- Can't Empty Trash
If you're having trouble
emptying your Trash, there may be many reasons the files won't erase;
common issues may include 1) the file may be open somewhere else, 2) you
may not have sufficient permission to delete, 2) the file is a
First off, check to make sure that the files you're trying to erase are not open anywhere on the computer. If everything is closed, and you have permission to delete the files, but they are locked files, you want to choose the file, click Get Info, and make sure to deselect the Locked check box, so that you can unlock the file and delete it.
Otherwise, try junking the files by holding down the Option key when you try to Empty Trash.
- Not Recognizing Devices Plugged into USB
You want to make sure that your firmware is up to date by checking the Software Update and the Apple Support Downloads page. If you see that you need to update your Mac, do that, but if the updates still don't fix the problem, try turning off the computer, unplug the power cable, disconnect all peripherals, and just let the computer sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before plugging everything back in and turning on the computer.
If you are still having problems getting your USB ports to register devices, try resetting the PRAM and NVRAM. Shut off the Mac; position your fingers over Command, Option, P, and R; turn the Mac on and immediately press the buttons on the keyboard before you see the gray screen; hold the buttons until the computer restarts again and you hear the start-up sound a second time. When the computer finishes the start-up, try the ports again.
If you are still having problems, reset the SMC or contact an Apple store or an authorized service provider to help you out.
- Old Age
If your Mac notebook, laptop, or mini, is at least 2 years old, you'll start experiencing problems. Mac computers do not last the typical lifespan of a PC, so you'll start noticing more errors and complications the longer you have it. Most Macs do not last any longer than about 5 years, but you may be one of the lucky ones who can keep a Mac for 7 years before having to have it replaced.
When a Mac gets old, not only will you start to experience more software and firmware complications and errors, you may even experience total shutdown. Some Mac computer models will just shut down or restart on their own when the firmware starts to age. This can be quite a pain when you're in the middle of something and the computer just shuts off.
Not all Mac computers are the same, so you may or may not experience these problems. In general, there are many common problems with Macs, that you just have to troubleshoot, deal with and work around, or find a replacement the overall machine. In some cases, the concerns can be fixed by a professional, but you must consider what you use the computer for, how much it will cost, how old the computer is, and is it worth it or should you just buy a new one.
Do you prefer Mac or PC
Buy a Cheap Mac
If you want a Mac really bad no matter the common problems and issues with the machines, consider checking out eBay and buying a cheap Mac instead of going all out and spending nearly $1000 or more on a brand new one.
Granted new is typically going to be better, which is where Amazon is the best place to find a new Mac computer, laptop, or Mac mini for the best price, but if you want lightly used, try searching eBay for the better deal.
Personally, when buying a computer, you generally want to get a new computer, but if you just want something for the internet, you may be able to find a good deal on a Mac on eBay.
Buy a New Mac Notebook, Destop, or Mini
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor; NVIDIA Graphics; 250GB Hard Drive; 8x Double-layer SuperDrive; 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 10 hour Battery Life; Glass Multi-Touch Trackpad
2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; 250 GB Hard Drive; 8x DVD/CD SuperDrive; 4GB DDR3 RAM; 1280-by-800 resolution; NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256 MB of shared memory; Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard Operating System
Buy a Good PC
If you want to purchase something more reliable, or you just don't want to by a Mac computer, there are tons of other PC options.
The more popular options include:
- Hewlett-Packard (HP)
Other options may include ASUS or Compaq computers.
1.66GHz Intel N450 Atom Processor; 1GB SD RAM; 160GB Hard Drive (5400RPM); 802.11 a/b/g Wireless Connectivity; 0.1" Display; Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150; Windows 7 Starter; Integrated 1.3mp Webcam; 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery