MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which I answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.
This week, readers wrote in with questions about Mac systems not booting to the installation DVD or any other alternate volume, iTunes not printing some information columns displayed onscreen, and how to print individual pictures from a collection in Preview. I welcome views from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!
Question: System will not boot to installation DVD
MacFixIt reader Grady asks:
I've got an old G4 that I had a dynamite SCSI card in, so I got two 74G 15K SCSI drives on eBay and hooked them up in RAID 0. I'm on a PPC G5 now, that I can't use my card in, and there's some stuff on the SCSI drives that I'd like to access. I had a total "spaced out" spell and when Startup Disc offered me the RAID pair, I went for it, forgetting for a moment that you can't boot off a RAID 0 array. I have tried every keystroke to direct startup off either an interior ATA drive, or the Mac OS X 10.5 DVD that I happened to have in the machine. Option gives me four icons, a "turnaround" arrow, my ATA drive, the DVD, and a forward (to the right) straight arrow. But instead of getting a usable pointer, I get the spinning wristwatch, which apparently does nothing when I try and use it to click on a startup selection.
I have taken all the SCSI equipment off the computer, including the card, and the computer still tries to start up with an oversized, overwide Apple, and when the spinning cursor stops, it goes to a black screen. Starting up this machine is the only way that I can see getting to the files that I have stored on these SCSI drives, and I've run out of things to try. I would indeed be grateful for any help someone could offer. I just feel like there's a way to force this computer to open with its internal ATA, probably involving verbose mode and the command line, but I don't know how to accomplish it.
Hold the "C" key to direct the system to boot from the DVD drive, without needing to use the boot menu.
Have you tried using the Startup Disk system preferences to select an alternate boot drive, or see if any (including your boot DVD) are recognized by the system as valid boot volumes?
The system's boot volume is set in the PRAM, so you also might try resetting the PRAM to see if you can then properly set the boot volume. To do this, reboot and hold Option-Command-P-R at the same time, and hold these keys until the system automatically resets. Then release the keys and allow the system to boot normally. After this, try selecting an alternate boot volume in the Startup Disk system preferences.
A final option you can try is to unplug all of your internal hard drives and then boot with the OS DVD in the drive, which should force the system to overlook all other options and use the only available boot volume. After doing this, try shutting down and reattaching the drives to see if you can continue to boot to your install DVD.
Question: iTunes not printing some information columns
MacFixIt reader Richard asks:
I am a dance club DJ and need to print out the playlist from iTunes. I have found iTunes will not export the BPM to .txt, and the Apple Store employees are baffled.
iTunes will only print out the categories that will fit on a page starting from the left. If you have additional categories that are too far to the right then they will be truncated and not included in the printout. Try dragging your BPM column to be farther to the left, and then try printing. Additionally, you can try narrowing the size of some of your columns to have more fit on a page. Lastly, when printing, you can choose Page Setup to increase page margins or print in landscape view to expand the horizontal printing area and include columns that would not otherwise fit.
Question: Printing individual pictures from a collection in Preview
MacFixIt reader Tom asks:
Since upgrading to Lion and Mountain Lion, whenever I open a folder of images in Preview, and select a specific image from the sidebar to print, the default print preference is to print the entire folder of images. If I forget, which I often do, to select the 'print selected image' button all the images in the folder go to the printer and it will try to print all of the images, sometimes over a hundred...I usually can't stop this once it happens as the printer spools all of the images and it's chaos after that. In the past Preview would only print the image in the window. So, is there a way to make the default print preference just the 'selected image' and not all the images in the folder?
There may be a hidden setting for this; however, at the moment I am not aware of what it is. Currently the default settings are to print all files in the current window, and the only way to change this is to remember to click the option for printing the selected image. You can create a print settings preset to include this as an option, but if you only need to change this one setting then creating and selecting a preset each time will be additional work; however, it could be part of a solution to change this setting among others you might regularly use.
Questions? Comments? Have a fix? Post them below or
Be sure to check us out on Twitter and the CNET Mac forums.