In This Chapter
Mastering the scientific approach
Using troubleshooting techniques
Performing the radical solutions
Checking troubleshooting resources
Mac OS X Leopard is rugged, stable, and reliable — and as you can read in Chapter 7 of this mini‐book, practicing regular maintenance can help eliminate problems caused by everything from power failures to faulty software drivers to cats upon the keyboard. However, sooner or later you will encounter what I like to call
The Dark Moments …a blank screen, a locked Mac, or an external device that sits there uselessly like an expensive paperweight.
How you handle The Dark Moments defines you as a true Mac OS X power user because most folks seem to fall into one of two categories: Either you panic and beat your head against the wall (which really has little effect on the computer, when you think about it), or you set your brow in grim determination and follow the troubleshooting models that I provide in this chapter to locate (and hopefully fix) the source of the problem.
My friend, this is the first — and most important — rule of troubleshooting, and yet another of Mark's Maxims:
Whatever the problem, you can fix it.
Most computer owners seem to forget the idea that a hardware or software error can be fixed because they panic — they simply see The Problem, and somehow they feel that they'll never be able to use their computer again.
Although the situation might look grim, don't ignore these facts: