O'Reilly logo

MacBook Air Portable Genius, 4th Edition by Paul McFedries

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Preparing for Trouble

You should assume that, at some point, your MacBook Air will have a serious problem, so you should prepare to handle it. Performing regular backups, as I discuss later in this chapter, is a great start, but I also believe you need to do three other things: Create a secondary user account with default settings, create an OS X Recovery disk, and create a secondary boot device.

Creating a secondary user account

MacBook Air lets you define multiple accounts, but if you’re the sole user of the computer, you don’t need another account, right? True, but having a secondary account around is actually a useful troubleshooting device, as long as you don’t customize, tweak, or in any way hack MacBook Air using that account. The idea is that you want the other user account to be pure. That is, an account that uses only the default settings. This way, if MacBook Air starts acting up, you can log in to the secondary account and see if the problem persists. If it doesn’t, you know that the problem is almost certainly related to user-specific settings you applied in your main account.

Here are the steps to follow to set up a secondary user account on MacBook Air:

1. Click System Preferences in the Dock. The System Preferences window appears.

2. Click the Users & Groups icon. The Users & Groups preferences appear.

3. Click the lock icon, type MacBook Air’s administrator credentials, and then click OK.

4. Click the Add a user account button (+).

5. In the New Account list, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required