MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed from our readers. This week we have questions on SUID file errors when fixing permissions, options for ejecting optical drives, problems with optical drives immediately ejecting, and the lack of a track joining option for audio books in iTunes 10. While we continually answer e-mail questions and present a few here, we certainly welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.
Question: SUID File errors when fixing permissions
MacFixIt reader "Ian" asks:
When I do a Permissions Repair with Disc Utility I get the following warning:
Warning: SUID file "System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/MacOS/ARDAgent" has been modified and will not be repaired.
Who has modified ARDAgent? Is it a hacking attempt? Should I be concerned or am I just being paranoid?
You can safely ignore these messages. All they mean is the application has been modified (from an update) and the permissions database has not been updated when this modification has occurred. The ARDAgent is the "Apple Remote Desktop Agent" background process, which runs the OS X screen sharing feature (set up in the Sharing system preferences). The software was patched a while ago to fix a security hole, and Apple likely did not update the installer "receipt" that is used to determine the default file permissions.
Question: Ejecting optical drives
MacFixIt reader "Alex" asks:
Is there any way to unmount optical drives in OS X (10.6.4)? I am either missing something obvious, or it is not possible?
In the OS you can right-click the disc in the Finder and choose "Eject", or select the disc and choose the eject option from the "File" menu. Another way is to select the disc and press Command-E to eject it, or drag it to the trash. Lastly, in some Finder window views you might see a small up-arrow "eject" button next to the disc.
There is also an Eject key at the top-right of most Mac keyboards, which should eject the disc if you hold it down for two seconds, but if none of these options work then try restarting the system and immediately hold the mouse button down at bootup, which should eject the disc before the OS loads.
Question: Optical discs immediately ejecting
MacFixIt reader "Rich" asks:
The optical drive in my iMac rejects all discs, blank or burned, immediately after insertion. It does pull the disc in. All parameters look okay. Cannot, of course, reload the driver from the application CD.
This is a common problem with optical drives that, when it happens, is likely because the drive itself is malfunctioning and will need to be replaced or otherwise serviced; however, before doing so try booting into Safe Mode (hold shift at startup) to see if you can load CDs when in that mode. If the disc does load in Safe Mode, then you may need to reinstall the OS (which should be relatively painless in OS X) or have to root through your installed extensions and troubleshoot them by disabling them one-by-one (remove them from the extensions folder and restart) to see which is contributing to the problem.
Question: Joining tracks for audio books in iTunes 10
MacFixIt reader "Kay" asks:
I downloaded iTunes 10 and now I can no longer join tracks when I am importing audio books. Join tracks stays dimmed. Is there a fix?
Unless the tracks are from a CD, then I am not sure iTunes will support joining them (I have never done this for non-CD tracks). If this feature was working and now is not, you can try sending feedback to Apple at its feedback page or at the bug report Web site (this requires you to create a free "developer" ID).
One option may be to import the tracks, create a playlist and burn it to CD. Then re-import it and use the "Join CD Tracks" option from there, or just play them from the playlists.