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Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt covers how to install alternate Wi-Fi adapters, and other questions.

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

This week readers wrote in with questions about enabling TRIM on third-party replacement solid-state drive (SSD) devices, installing alternate Wi-Fi adapters to work around problems with the built-in adapter, using the Lion version of Quicken 2007 on older systems, and using a Time Machine drive for dual use as a storage drive. We welcome alternative approaches and views from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, post them in the comments!

Question: Enabling TRIM on third-party SSD devices
MacFixIt reader S.T.Tor asks:

I have an MBP (mid-2010). I have swapped the HDD for a Samsung SSD. Any way of enabling trim in OSX Lion, other than using the TRIM enabler?

No. The manual methods would do the same thing as TRIM Enabler, which is a more stable approach that will prevent errors. Apple currently does not support the TRIM command on non-Apple branded devices.

Question: Installing alternate Wi-Fi adapters
MacFixIt reader Stephen asks:

I was wondering, as a way to sidestep my iMac Wi-Fi issue(s), could I use a USB wireless adapter? If so, could you tell me should I disable the semi-working built-in Wi-Fi on my iMac and how I'd go about doing so? Thanks.

You can try using a USB Wi-Fi adapter. If it is Mac-compatible then it should automatically appear in the Network system preferences when you attach it, and you can then configure it accordingly. You can also select the built-in Wi-Fi adapter and turn it off in these system preferences. Optionally, you can use the Locations menu at the top of the network system preferences to create a new network configuration, and then use the plus/minus buttons to add or remove connection ports. With this you can set up a configuration that only uses your USB Wi-Fi connection, and can then easily switch between it and your other location setups using the Locations submenu in the Apple menu.

Question: Using updated Quicken 2007 on older operating systems
MacFixIt reader David asks:

Will "Lion-compatible Quicken 2007" run on Leopard, Snow Leopard, or a PPC system?

It should run on older systems, but is intended to be run on Lion. If you have an older system, then Intuit recommends you use the older versions of Quicken 2007 for that system. The new version doesn't offer any different features, and only includes code to allow it to run on Lion without Rosetta available.

Question: Using a Time Machine drive for dual use
MacFixIt reader Primal asks:

I have an NTFS external hard drive with files in it. I have installed Mac Fuse and NTFS -3G so my Mac can read/write files. Now I want to use that same external hard drive with Time Machine to back up my files in Mac. What should I do so that I can use Time Machine with my NTFS external hard drive without losing any files? I would also like to use that same external hard drive in Windows.

Time Machine requires a special hard-drive format and partition, specifically the GUID partition with Apple's Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) formatting. In order to set up Time Machine on the drive you will need to format it as such. Optionally, you can partition the drive and have one volume be NTFS and the other be Mac OS X Extended for Time Machine, but the drive would still need to be partitioned with the GUID partition scheme.

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