Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a weekly feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers. We welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your own suggestions in the comments.

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.

This week people wrote in with questions about network router firmware upgrades not working, upgrading Mac Pro and iMac systems, and iPhoto refusing to import images after migrating to a new computer. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present answers here, we welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your own suggestions in the comments.

Question: Firmware upgrades on network routers not working
MacFixIt reader Alain asks:

A failed firmware upgrade bricked my Netgear Router WGT624. Netgear Help Desk claimed their software does not support the Mac OS and that I need to buy a new one (unlikely as it probably still incompatible with Mac OS).

Most routers are fully compatible with OS X. While some updater utilities for older routers might require Windows to run, the router itself should work just fine. As far as updating goes, most new routers have a built-in updater that will automatically download new firmware instead of relying on a computer to install it, so if your router is broken and you need to upgrade, you should be able to do so without having to worry about it being "Mac-compatible."

Question: Upgrading Mac Pro and iMac systems
MacFixIt reader Cam asks:

I want to buy a used Mac Pro. Which model and year is the best for continued upgradability of the CPU? Are they all upgradable or does this feature end over time with the switch to new chip achitecture or chip design. Are iMacs upgradable?

The Mac Pro is the most upgradable Mac system, because in addition to full PCI Express slots at least some have had standard lever-operated CPU clamps, whereas other systems have had CPUs soldered to their motherboards. I am not certain which specific models are best for upgrading, and what CPUs are compatible for them, but a great resource for looking this up is the Web site Xlr8YourMac.com, which has an extensive library of upgrade and compatibility reports, covering add-in cards, overclocking, and CPU upgrades.

By rooting around on that site you should be able to find the information you're looking for.

Question: iPhoto refusing to import images
MacFixIt reader Bill asks:

I just migrated all of my pix from a G5 iMac to a new i5 chip iMac. iPhoto opens OK, but will not accept any imports such as JPEGs. iPhoto will shut down and send pics to a library file.

This could be due to some corruption in your iPhoto library that happened when transferring to the new system. Try opening iPhoto and immediately holding the Command and Option keys on your keyboard after double-clicking the program file. When you do this a repair window will open in which you can check various details about the library that you can rebuild. Check all the options and click "Rebuild," and then see if new images will import properly.

If iPhoto still shows problems with importing, then try going to the user library and removing the preferences file for iPhoto, which may be corrupted. Press the Option key on the keyboard and choose the Library option from the Go menu in the Finder. Then go to the preferences folder and remove the file called "com.apple.iPhoto.plist."

Questions? Comments? Have a fix? Post them below or e-mail us!
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