I seem to have been answering a lot of enquiries recently with the same answer: Download and run AppleJack. Perhaps it would be helpful if I documented this process for you?

Mac’s generally maintain themselves, you don’t need to do much with them at all. However, occasionally you’ll find your computer slowing down or some other niggly little issue that you can’t quite explain or understand. There is a utility freely available which does some deeper maintenance (that you could do manually if you wished, but this tool is quicker and easier) and solves many of these little issues for you. It won’t fix everything, but it’s a great way of ironing out any minor problems before having to call in experts that will charge you for their time.

Word of warning: we strongly recommend you make sure your Mac is backed up before running any maintenance software, and do not attempt this if you are unsure – call a professional (see here).

  1.  Firstly you need to download AppleJack. There are two versions of AppleJack currently available, and which one you need is based on the version of  Mac OS X you are running on the machine you have problems with (to find this out, click on the Apple in the top left of your screen and then About This Mac – the OS version is listed there). If you have versions 10.4 or higher, download v1.6 from here. If you have an OS prior to 10.4, get in touch with us and we’ll send you a link for the correct version of the software for you.
  2. Now you need to install the application; this is extremely easy. Open the dmg file you downloaded, and it will bring up a new window.
  3. Launch the AppleJack Distribution.mpkg by double clicking it. You’ll need to click Continue 3 times, then Agree to the license (read it if you wish,67 but there’s nothing to be concerned about).
  4. Click on Install, and enter your administration password when prompted, and the software is installed.
  5. To run the software, you need to boot into Single User Mode. To do this, firstly shutdown your Mac, and once it is fully powered off, hold down the Cmd and S keys before powering the machine back on. Continue to hold down the keys until you get a black screen.
  6. Once the text has finished scrolling, you can enter the following command: applejack AUTO restart (please note, the capitalisation is important).
  7. Walk away, have a cup of tea or coffee and let the utility do its work. Depending on the problems it finds, this can take 5 minutes or sometimes up to 45 minutes. When its finished, the machine will reboot normally and you can work as normal.

Hopefully this will have resolved most minor issues; if it doesn’t resolve yours, you will need to enlist the help of an expert.