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 optical media not ejecting from the system, Firefox suddenly not opening, how to disable Safari-only mode in Lion, a missing Mac App Store option in OS X, and desktop backgrounds changing after waking from sleep. 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 suggestions in the comments.

Question: CD not ejecting from the system
MacFixIt reader rlhbond asks:

I tried to download software from a CD for a Canon MP830 printer. The software wouldn't download and now I can't get the CD to eject.

If the CD does not eject after restarting the computer, then try restarting the system with the mouse button held down, which should force the system to eject the CD.

Question: Firefox suddenly not opening
MacFixIt reader Kristen asks:

I recently have been having problems with Firefox. I have a MacBook Pro 10.6.8. Outta the blue it just froze and then refused to open. I would click the app in my dock and it wouldn't even bounce, it just sat there with the blue light under it and my finder told me it wasn't responding so i force-quit it. Then I updated to the lastest version and replaced it with 9.0.2 i believe, and it still does the same no-response problem. Help!

Try going to the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder and removing the file called "org.mozilla.firefox.plist." Then try relaunching Firefox. If this doesn't work, then try removing the folder called "Firefox" from the /username/Application Support/ folder and launching Firefox again. These files and folders contain the local configuration for Firefox, which may have become corrupted.

Question: Disabling Lion's Safari-only mode
MacFixIt reader Jesse asks:

Is there a way to disable the Safari Only mode so kids can't access it? My concern is that they can simply reboot the computer into Safari Only mode and bypass any Internet protection (i.e. Safeyes) that I have installed on it. Even if "Find My Mac" is off, I think it would be easy for them to go in and change that before rebooting into Safari Only mode.

Is this feature something that can be restricted in the Parental Controls panel, or can I delete the "Recovery HD" partition, or something? I would really like to avoid having to enter a password every time they install software or log in to their account (both of which would require the user password). Clearly my preference would be that they could still be the system administrator yet not have access to Safari Only mode. Is there any way at all that this is possible?

Go to the General section of the Security & Privacy system preferences and check the box for the option to "Disable restarting to Safari when screen is locked." This will prevent the special Safari-only Guest account from appearing.

Question: Mac App Store missing from an OS X installation
MacFixIt reader John asks:

I am running OS X 10.6.8 on both a Mac Mini and an iMac. The iMac gives me the App Store from the Apple logo drop-down menu, the Mac Mini does not? Software Update does not help, I still do not have the capability to access the App Store from the Mac Mini.

Is the App Store application present in the Applications folders for both systems? For the App Store to work and be present in the Apple menu, the system will need to have the App Store application installed and present in the Applications folder. In case the application has been removed on your Mac Mini, try downloading and reinstalling the OS X 10.6.8 update, which should include the App Store. The update is available here.

Question: Desktop background changing after waking from sleep
MacFixIt reader Richard asks:

My wallpaper goes to gray half the time when my iMac sleeps. What's happening?

Do you have the wallpapers stored on your main boot drive? If not, then the system may fail to load them when it wakes from sleep or restarts, and instead resort to one of the internal default backgrounds (a gray screen being one of them). Try placing your desired wallpaper image in a specific area on your local hard drive, such as in your Pictures folder, and then specify it as the one to use for your backgrounds. Then try sleeping your system again to see if the problem persists.

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