DIY Mac Repair

Here are a few tips and tricks to fix your own Mac computer

Apple is known for having great customer service but if you’re no longer under warranty that expertise doesn’t come cheap. You can easily pay several hundred pounds for anything more than a minor problem! 
 
You can try troubleshooting your own Mac first next time.. Here’s are some tips
 
1: Start with a Backup
At London PC Fix, we always recommend that client’s backup their machines before upgrading operating systems or undertaking any repairs to the machines, especially when you are not totally sure of what you are doing! The integrity of your data is paramount and 
 You should and wait for it to complete 
 
2. Virus Scan and Check for all Updates
There is a misconception that Macs do not get viruses, think again.. viruses and even more common, adware, can affect your Mac. We suggest Adware Medic to look specifically for adware
Once you’ve scanned your machine, ensure that everything on your computer is up to date. Your operating system (OS), apps, and any firmware on attached peripherals. To do so, you can select: Apple menu > App Store to check for updates for all detected programs and peripherals.
 
Any apps that you didn’t download via the App Store, you’ll need to check them by opening them individually or using an app like AppFresh to find out which ones need to be updated.
After you’ve run your updates and some scans, restart your computer and see if the problem is still there.
 
3. Diagnose the Problem
If the problem goes on, you’ll need to figure out what’s causing it. First thing to figure out is if you’re having a hardware or software related problem. To check your hardware, use Apple Diagnostics or the Apple Hardware Test, depending on the age of your Mac, using the following instructions:
 
Shut down your Mac and disconnect all peripherals except a power chord, your mouse & keyboard and Ethernet connector.
 
1. Press the power button.
2. Hold down the D key until Apple Diagnostics starts.
3. Select your language and press enter.
4. If using a pre-2013 Mac, tick “Perform extended testing” and then click the Test button.
 
Once complete, the diagnostic prog will run. It can take a while to finish, so be patient. Once it’s finished, you’ll get a report with some basic info. Make a note of these things, then restart your Mac.
 
Using OS X’s Disk Utility, which comes bundled with your Mac, can also help diagnose the problem. 
If nothing comes up when you run the diagnostic tool, you’ll have to try using another method. Apple’s “Isolating issues in Mac OS X” support document provides a lot of good advice on figuring out what triggers the issue. If you know what the problem is, when it happens and can remember when it starts, you’ll probably be able to use documentation or a forum online to figure out how to fix it.
When you know what the problem is, you can take steps to fix it. If you’re still not sure, start working through the steps below.
 
4. Troubleshoot Software
Fixing software is relatively easy, so we’ll start there.
 
Repair permissions 
Permissions issues can often cause problems that are difficult to explain, and fixing those permissions is one of the most common ways to solve weird problems on your computer. Just open up Disk Utility (from Applications > Utilities) and click Verify Disk Permissions.
 
You’ll likely see a number of permissions that need fixing. Once the verification stops running, click the Repair Disk Permissions button. If there are a lot of permissions that need to be repaired, this can take a while, so again be patient.
 
Reset the PRAM and SMC
The parameter random-access memory (PRAM) and system management controller (SMC) are in charge of a lot of important things on your computer. To reset the PRAM, take these steps:
 
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Press the power button.
3. Before the grey screen appears, press the Command, Option, P, and R keys at the same time.
4. Hold the keys until your computer restarts and you hear the startup sound a second time.
5. Release the keys.
 
Resetting the SMC depends on the type of computer you’re using. For a MacBook with a removable battery:
(By all means, youtube for a video on your mac model to help provide some clarity on how best to do these steps)
 
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Unplug the power adapter.
3. Remove the battery.
4. Press and hold the power button for five seconds.
5. Replace the battery.
6. Plug in the power adapter.
7. Turn on the computer.
 
For a MacBook without a removable battery:
 
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Plug in the power adapter.
3. On the built-in keyboard, press the Shift, Control, and Option keys on the left side and the power button, all at the same time.
4. Release all three keys at the same time.
5. Turn on the computer.
 
For a Mac Pro, Intel-based iMac, Intel-based Mac mini, or Intel-based Xserve:
 
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Unplug the power cord.
3. Wait fifteen seconds.
4. Plug in the power cord.
5. Turn on the computer.
 
Remove problem software
If the above steps don’t work, and there’s a specific app that seems to be causing the problem, your best bet is to uninstall it and see if your computer starts working better. If it does, you can try reinstalling it — sometimes that’s all you need to get everything working properly again. If you still have problems, though, you’ll have to try a few more things.
Reinstall OS X
 
We’re getting to rather drastic measures now. If there’s a problem in your operating system, the solution is often backing up and reinstalling your OS This is why you backed up your Mac at the start of the article.
 
Once you’ve done that, you can reinstall OS X. If you’re using OS X Yosemite (and you should be, after running updates), you can use these steps:
 
1. Restart your Mac.
2. Once it restarts and you see a grey screen, hold down Command + R.
3. When the option becomes available, select “Reinstall OS X.”
Then, follow the onscreen instructions and restart your computer. See if the problem persists.
5. Troubleshoot Hardware
If you’re having hardware problems, and you want to troubleshoot them yourself, there are a number of resources that you can use to get the information you need. Diagnosing a hardware issue can be difficult, but if Apple Diagnostics or Apple Hardware Test gave you a useful answer (or if it’s obvious, like your screen doesn’t work), you can take a crack at it yourself.
 
Gather Information
Before you get started, make sure you know what you’re doing. There are plenty of places where you can find tutorials and instructions online on how to fix the hardware in your Mac. If you’re looking for tutorials on fixing your machine, start with iFixIt, Instructables, or YouTube. Familiarise yourself with the procedure before you get started.
You can also take advantage of forums and other sites where you can get in touch with other users to get more information on how to fix your problem.
 
Get the Tools
Unfortunately, fixing a computer takes more than the tools that you have in your home toolbox. 
You can search Amazon and eBay for these tools and you might be able to get good prices on eBay, as there are likely people who bought the tools, made the repair, and then found they didn’t need them anymore.
 
Secure Extra Parts
eBay is also a great place to find replacement parts for your Mac, from circuit boards to monitors. You can also buy broken Macs on eBay and other second-hand sites that you can cannibalize for parts (this is often a better idea if you think you’ll need more parts in the future).
Again, make sure that you know exactly what you need so you don’t end up getting a part that’s incompatible or not quite the right size. If you’re not sure what sort of component you have in your computer, go to Apple menu > About this Mac > System Report and look up the piece you’re planning on replacing.
 
Give It a Go!
Once you know what you’re supposed to do, have the tools, and have the parts, you’re ready to take a shot at repairing your Mac’s hardware. Review all of the instructions again, make sure that there’s no risk of electrocution (or reduce that risk as much as possible), and go for it.
Just be aware that taking apart your computer is a very delicate procedure; there are a lot of small, fragile parts involved, many of which can be affected by static electricity. Be extra careful if you’re working close to a battery or transistor!!
 
Becoming a Troubleshooting Pro
Troubleshooting your Mac — while it takes time, patience, and sometimes money — is a very gratifying experience, especially if it’s a problem that’s been bothering you for a while. And if you’re feeling brave enough to take on a hardware problem, and you successfully solve it, you’ll be counted among a select group.
 
But it’s also important to remember that there’s a reason why people go through training to become Mac repair techs. It’s complicated, and it can be very difficult. If it looks like you have a serious problem with your Mac that you can’t fix, take it to a professional. Realising when you’re in over your head is a valuable skill, and especially valuable in computer troubleshooting.

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