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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 readers wrote in with questions on restoring a missing Mail application in OS X, photos in iPhoto not uploading to Facebook, fixing a non-booting iMac without the installation DVD, and movie files requiring QuickTime 7 to run. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present a few answers here, we welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.

Question: Restoring a missing Mail application on OS X
MacFixIt reader "Randel" asks:

Hi, I have a G5 dc 2.0 running 10.5.8; the previous owner removed and threw away the Mail app; I don't have an install disc; what is the best way to put Mail back on this machine so I can get my email on this machine. Do I have to re-install the entire OS? Or is there a way to just put Mail 3.6 on there?

Currently I am using my old G4 w/ 10.4.11 to write to you. Can I use both machines to get my email or should I choose one or the other?

You will need a version of Mail that came with OS X 10.5. One option you can try is to download the last Combo updater for OS X 10.5.8 and apply that, though I am not sure if it contains the full Mail application. The updater will likely contain the application, but only the files within it that have been updated since the initial 10.5.0 release; however, there is the possibility that enough has changed for the entire application to have been included in the final Combo update.

If that does not work, then besides reinstalling from an OS X 10.5 DVD you would have to copy the application from another OS X 10.5 system (any version, provided you run the OS X Combo updater afterwards and then run a Permissions Fix on the boot drive using Disk Utility). If you do find a 10.5 install disc, you do not need to use the disc's installer to install the lost Mail program. Instead, you can use a tool like Pacifist to extract only the desired files (the Mail application) from the installer and install them.

Installation discs are universal, so you will not have to find one specifically for Intel or PowerPC or any other hardware; however, if you are running the installer off one of Apple's gray system-restore disks then it will need to be matched to your system.

An alternative way to at least use e-mail on your OS X 10.5 machine is to download Thunderbird or another e-mail client.

Question: Photos in iPhoto are not uploading to Facebook
MacFixIt reader "Cindy" asks:

I've been using iPhoto on my Mac since 2009, using it to upload lots of photos to Facebook but just last week noticed [it no longer does this]. It neither says time out, nor shows any errors? I have iPhoto version 8.1.2. Is there a fix or something i can do?

Try re-entering your Facebook account information in iPhoto to see if this helps (delete the account and then add it again). Also try going to the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder and removing the file "" and then relaunch the program. Doing this should hopefully reset the interaction with Facebook and get the account working again. One issue might be the various changes that Facebook has recently made to the site, which may be interfering with the iPhoto Facebook export function.

Question: Fixing a non-booting iMac without the install DVD
MacFixIt reader "Claudio" asks:

I have an aluminum iMac (mid2007) and my internal HD crashed and I replaced it with a 1.5TB. I recovered data off my Time Machine and it succeeded. Now it doesn't boot, it's stuck on the white screen with Apple logo and the wheel keeps on turning. I tried everything I could find on the net. Fsck, repair disk, single user mode, safe mode. And the new disk is ok. I don't have the install disk anymore so that's a bummer (the only I have is the one of my MacBook but that doesn't work). The problem also is, I installed OS X Lion on the iMac but I bought that as everyone through the app store so that's gone as well.

You mention you have a MacBook, and if this Mac is running Snow Leopard or Lion then you can use it to re-download Lion from the Mac App Store (press and hold the Option key when selecting "Purchases" in the Mac App Store to re-download the installer). When you do this, the Lion installer will be placed in your Applications folder. From here, you can create a Lion install DVD by following these instructions.

This DVD should boot your iMac just fine, and allow you to reinstall OS X and repair the system.

Question: Movies requiring QuickTime 7 to run
MacFixIt reader "Marcelo" asks:

I have Mac OS X Lion and QuickTime Player 10.1 (501) and I'm trying to watch some videos but a message always appears saying that QuickTime must be installed and when I click the link, it leads me to Apple site to install QuickTime Player 7. What`s happening and how could I tell the system QuickTime is already installed?

Some files may require QuickTime 7 (the older QuickTime player) in order to play properly. You can try opening them from within the QuickTime 10.1 program, or if that does not work then you can try going ahead with the QuickTime 7 installation, which will install the older player alongside the QuickTime version that ships with current OS X versions. Alternatively, you can try a different media player like VLC or MPlayer OSX Extended to play the files.

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