Mac Network Troubleshooting Support Tips

Mac IT Support

Apple Mac network troubleshooting support in this discussion centers around things you can do before and after an Mac technical issue occurs; and the preparation involved before you go attack any issue.  This post will prevent catastrophe and perhaps provide optimization of your Apple Mac.  We will discuss Apple Mac Network IT support once you get through the basics below.

 

Backup and Optimization of your Mac

 

 

  1. Step one: Backup – ALWAYS back up a users machine prior to performing any maintenance. You don’t know what could be lurking, and a loss of user data could be a loss of a job for you.
    1. Option 1: Local NAS Backup
      1. In the Apple world this device is known as Time Capsule and software on the Mac is called Apple Time Machine. In our case, we had a third party NAS that offers a lot more nerdy flexibility.  The NAS or Network Attached Storage is called Synology DiskStation and it as does Time Capsule, connects to the local network. This option provides a lot of available space and a fast data transfer rates over the network when “hard wired” to the LAN.     Otherwise, WiFi tends to be hit or miss but obviously better as you are closer to the Access Point.
      2. Full backup – If time permits, and the number of files and applications suggests that a full backup be performed, the Time Machine software embedded in the Mac OS X can be easily synced to the computer. Follow the graphical directions here to perform a full backup to a DiskStation – . NOTE: The Synology software is setup to streamline a Time Machine backup. To use this, you must use a shared folder. A user folder will not work.

Time Machine Quota

  • Partial Backup – Due to the Synology DiskStation being capable of reading/writing for multiple file systems, we can also perform partial backups.
    1. For example, this user was primarily concerned with her photos. Since iPhoto uses metadata to organize photos, we want to be sure to use the Export tool in iPhoto to back up the files. This can be found in iPhoto under File>Export. The option that is selected “Transfer File” is automatically set to move the entire database. When you click “Select Disk,” the DiskStation should appear as a shared device, and you will need to log in to select a shared folder to copy to.
    2. The rest of the data (documents, movies, etc.) can be dragged and dropped from one window to the DiskStation. I recommend making a list of important Applications and ensuring that they can either be downloaded or the install media is available.

 

  1. Option 2: External Hard Drive (EHD)
    1. If you have an EHD, you can do a full or partial backup with a few things in mind:
      1. Size: make sure you have enough room for all the files on the drive.
      2. Format: make sure you have the drive formatted to support the file system type that you are backing up. In this case, we had a drive with enough space, but it was formatted to NTFS and not Mac OS Extended (Journal).
    2. Full backup:

Mac Network Troubleshooting support

Start optimizing the Apple Mac

Many users don’t realize there is a folder structure to organizing their data.  You can capture a glimpse of that folder structure by clicking the Mac HD icon sometimes found on the desktop.   Click the side pain called “devices” once the hard drive is selected.  Select the Macintosh HD and it will reveal the operating system folder structure. /users/user name/  The goal of this lesson is to move excess data on the desktop or other random locations and move them to the right folder locations.  Eliminating excessive data off the desktop improves speed of the computer and load time.

a.

  • Pictures – /users/user name/pictures – Click with two fingers “photo library” and click “show package contents”.  Typically, users stash their photos on to the computer via the application “iphoto”  The raw data or original photos can be found in the “originals” when you click “show package contents.  Add any additional scattered pics to this location under a new folder name description.  Alternatively, drag and drop scattered photos into the iPhoto application itself.
  1. Documents – /users/user name/documents – Drag all Word and PDF documents to this location and organize in their appropriate folders.
  2. Startup items – Remove items from startup that have no practical use

 

  1. Optimize with Apple Mac OS utility DVD and 3rd party utilities
    1. Snow Leopard was the last physical DVD produced. Boot with the correct (holding down the C key) key stroke  to run the hard drive utility.
    2. Onyx doesn’t boot, the software utility must be downloaded and install while running your regular desktop session. It has a slew of options to run or simply execute them all.
  • Malware Malbytes release a Apple version of their popular malware removal product for the PC.
  1. Wipe the OS
    1. Unlike Windows, a refresh of the complete Operating System is very rarely needed. Please perform the backup as mentioned in step one and find your product keys for reinstall.   Alternatively, it can also be located within this file path.  /Users/account/library/application support/preferences/com.microsoft.office.plist

 

Mac Network Troubleshooting Support for Business Unraveled

Pealing the layers back and understanding what all encompasses Mac network troubleshooting support for a apple network is pretty difficult topic to grasp.  We will reference other posts to help guide you through the process of not only understanding the Mac product line but perhaps introducing you to cheaper alternatives.

 

WiFi and Storage

Apple Airport Express–  Apple Airport allows for WiFi connectivity in your home or office.  The standard term without the marketing lingo is called an Access Point.   Additional Airport Express features includes:

  • Airplay – Attached to your stereo system and play music from your iPod
  • Very basic router functionality
  • Printer sharing

Apple Airport Extreme – The Airport Express is good for an apartment but large house and organizations need a web of Access Points to span the building.  The Apple Airport Extreme is the WiFi Controller for managing all Apple Airport Express.

Apple Airport Time Capsule  – Limited storage space on your Apple Mac can not only prevent you from being productivity it can also potential ruin you if you don’t have backup.  Time Machine allows for on-site backup.  The Apple Airport Time Capsule helps provide a complete backup of your system.  However, I don’t believe Time Capsule has a backup to the cloud feature

Centralized Administration

Mac OSX server supports LDAP out-of-the-box (Microsoft’s product is called Active Directory, Apple’s version is called Open Directory). You could configure users in OpenDirectory and then configure LDAP authentication on the DiskStation.

The majority of organizations on both Mac and PC do not utilize under 25 users.  However, Mac network troubleshooting support issues multiply as they organization grows and centralized administration through the use of Open Directory for Mac and Active Directory for Windows.

Mac Network Troubleshooting Support for Connectivity Issues

Any networking device these days works the way whether they are a smart phone, smart TV, Mac, PC, etc.   They all use TCP/IP.  Understanding what IP you have obtained and being able to ping, arp, and tracert devices around you or around the world will bring you a lot closer to resolving most of your Mac network support connectivity issues.

 

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