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News and events from

Published: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 09:17:17 -0500

Last Build Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 09:17:33 -0500


The key to good (and fast) Macintosh service

Thu, 27 Nov 2008 09:17:17 -0500

Everybody loves a good Mac service mystery. I had one yesterday.

A new client stopped by the Millersville Mac Lab yesterday. He had been to the Apple Store, where our friends at Apple thought he needed a new Superdrive. It was not surprising to hear that, because when you rocked the machine back and forth the Superdrive made the craziest noise ever. It sounded like the drive had just fallen apart, and there was a part that had come unhinged inside the unit. The unit was only 2 weeks old, and the unit’s owner was in a hurry, so the Annapolis Apple Store sent him to us for a possible faster service option. (Thanks Annapolis Apple Store folks!)

A Western Digital firmware update issue goes very wrong on a Mac Mini

Thu, 27 Nov 2008 09:16:21 -0500

I just got off the phone with a client who has a Mac Mini and four external hard drives. Three Western Digital and one Seagate. Based on our brief conversation it sound like one of the Western Digital MyBook drives might have had an issue which triggered an unfortunate series of events. I frequently see problems in the shop with these WD MyBook drive cases.

MacBook Pro Unibody case carnage

Thu, 27 Nov 2008 09:15:29 -0500

I certainly got quite a jolt today when I went to sell one of the super fine new Unibody MacBook Pro’s. I had just recorded the serial number and was preparing to upgrade the RAM before selling it at MacMedics Millersville today when we noticed a MAJOR problem. This unit’s retail box was factory sealed, and it’s outside shipping box had been in good shape (we watch them very carefully for shipping damage). The pictures tell the tale, but how did this happen? We have no idea. It’s ugly, so prepare yourself for ultimate Unibody case carnage.

Fri, 16 Nov 2007 23:22:00 -0500

Find us on your iPhone! iPhone Friendly MacMedics Directions & Contact Info

MacMedics turns 18 years old!

Sat, 03 Nov 2007 13:38:01 -0400

We’re pleased to announce our 18th anniversary. MacMedics was founded in November 1989 to provide cost effective repairs for Macintosh computers. Thank you to all of our clients, friends and loyal employees for 18 great years!

Installing Apple's OS 10.5 Leopard

Fri, 26 Oct 2007 20:39:18 -0400

Leopard will be released tonight. It’s an exciting upgrade, and everyone will be anxious to get it installed to start taking advantage of all of the 300+ new features. Before you take the leap, please read our webpage on system upgrades and software updates for advice on how to perform an upgrade with the least amount of risk.

Apple's amazing new iPod line-up

Wed, 05 Sep 2007 22:41:35 -0400

Apple announced a new line-up of its iPod family today. The news was amazing. The very popular iPhone plunged in price by $200, and now is $399 for the 8GB model. Apple added the iPod touch an iPod inspired by the iPhone’s interface. It is available for $299 for the 8GB and $399 for the 16GB. The iPod Video got a make over too, and is now the iPod classic, available in an all-metal black or silver case with 80GB for $249, or 160GB for an amazing $349. The Nano was also in the mix, it now plays video on a new larger and brighter screen and is available in a range of colors in 4GB for $149, or 8GB for $199. The iPod shuffle also got four new color choices in blue, green, purple, and red. See for all the details.

Bad FireWire cable in some Western Digital hard drives

Sat, 27 Oct 2007 08:49:25 -0400

Some Western Digital MyBook hard drives were released into the channel with defective FireWire cables. Using included cables will cause damage to computer’s FireWire ports, as well as to your other connected FireWire devices. We’ve heard that Western Digital is paying for repairs and replacing cables.

Mac Medics: Help wanted! We're hiring in Washington DC Area

Thu, 28 Jun 2007 18:53:49 -0400

MacMedics is hiring On-Site Macintosh Engineers for the Washington DC area. Hit us at to learn more.

Custom built external hard drives from MacMedics

Fri, 22 Jun 2007 16:06:00 -0400

For the last year or so, MacMedics has been providing our clients with built-to-order external hard drives. Before you buy a drive off the shelf at Best Buy or Office Depot, be sure you know what you’re getting. Almost all external hard drives come with a 1-year warranty. Why go with only 1-year when you have 3 or 5 years. When you buy a drive that is pre-made you often won’t know what type of drive is inside or where it came from. With a MacMedics drive, you’ll know what brand and type of drive is installed inside the case, and you’ll receive a high quality metal case. Does it cost extra? Maybe a little bit, but not by much. If you need a new back-up drive, give us a shout, and we’ll send a quote to you.

This week’s Mac headlines

Fri, 22 Jun 2007 16:04:52 -0400

• iPhone to be released on June 29th (next Friday). See for more info.


Sat, 27 Oct 2007 08:49:43 -0400

• 10.4.10 Update – Yellow Light! Apple recommends this update for PowerPC and Intel-based Mac computers currently running Mac OS X Tiger. This update was just released, so we’re being cautious about installing it. There have been a number of reports on-line about some issues with it. MacMedics suggests holding off on installing it for the time being.
• Safari 3 Public Beta – Red Light! We’re excited to see a new release of Safari, but this is still Beta software. We seen a number of issues in our testing, and there are numerous on-line reports of issues associated with this release.
• Max OS X Update 10.4.9 - Green Light! MacMedics is installing this update, but there are risks when installing a major update like this one. We’re only installing it on Macs that have been completely serviced.

• Security Update 2007-005 1.1(Universal & PPC) – Yellow Light! Read the description of this update at this address: This is an update that we suggest running as it addresses multiple security issues, but reports of problems regarding this update are still ongoing.
• AirPort Base Station Update 2007-001 – Yellow Light! (Downgraded from last week) After this firmware update was released a number of problems have popped up.

Note: If you install software updates yourself, and you’re not sure of the risks, visit our webpage for tips and advice.

MacMedics weekly newletter 6-8-07

Sat, 09 Jun 2007 08:56:49 -0400

• Max OS X Update 10.4.9 - Green Light! We’ve begun installing this major update for MacMedics clients. There are risks when installing a major update like this one, and MacMedics is only installing it on Macs that have been completely serviced. If you have questions about this update, talk to your MacMedics consultant, and read our web page at the bottom of this article on running updates.

• Security Update 2007-005 1.1(Universal & PPC) – Yellow Light! Read the description of this update at this address: This is an update that we suggest running as it addresses multiple security issues, but reports of problems regarding this update are still ongoing.
• Security Update (QuickTime 7.1.6) Green Light!
• iTunes 7.2 Green Light! We feel this is safe to install, but if you’re a heavy iTunes user, you might want to hold off, as there have been some reported issues.
• AirPort Base Station Update 2007-001 for Mac Green Light! This update was just released today, so you may want to hold off for a few days before installing

Note: If you install software updates yourself, and you’re not sure of the risks, visit our webpage for tips and advice.

• Apple has released Boot Camp 1.3 beta, a significant update to the dual-boot solution for running Windows Vista and XP on Intel-based Macs.

Get a free copy of DivX Pro for a limited time

Sat, 09 Jun 2007 08:53:12 -0400

DivX Pro is available for free download for a limited time. Normally it’s $20. DivX Pro for Mac will give you full versions of the DivX Converter and the DivX Pro Codec; two things that let you easily create DivX videos. It also includes a DivX video player.

Read more about DivX Pro here:

Do you have the free MacMedics remote control and utility software installed?

Sat, 27 Oct 2007 08:49:54 -0400

If you have not downloaded a free copy of Mac Helpmate from yet, we strongly encourage it. Mac Helpmate is a great tool for dumping cache files and font trash. It’s also very useful as it allows MacMedics Engineers to connect to your computer over the Internet when you need support. Please read our remote access web page for more info, and to download your copy.

Apple announces new MacBook Pro lineup

Sat, 09 Jun 2007 08:51:18 -0400

Apple has announced speed and memory upgrades to its MacBook Pro line. The MacBook 15-inch now comes with a processor speed of 2.2 or 2.4 GHz; the 17-inch model is now at 2.4 GHz. All MacBook Pros now come with a base installation of 2GB of RAM, which is now expandable to 4GB (instead of 3GB). All models now come standard with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT video processor. The 15-inch models now come with a new mercury-free, power-efficient LED-backlit display and the 17-inch model now has an optional 1920-by-1200 pixel display. All models now also come with 802.11n wireless standard. Prices are: $1999 for the entry-level 15-inch machine, $2499 for the high end 15-inch machine, and $2799 for the 17-inch machine.

MacMedics weekly newsletter and Mac headlines

Fri, 25 May 2007 13:24:22 -0400

Apple released a security update for Mac OS X 10.3.9 [Panther] and Mac OS X 10.4.9 [Tiger], fixing numerous security holes in both system versions. The update includes patches for Alias Manager, BIND, CoreGraphics, crontabs, fetchmail, file, iChat, mDNSResponder, PPP, ruby, screen, texinfo, and VPN. After installing this update, your Mac might take a few minutes to re-boot.
Adobe announced a re-release of a Macintosh version of Premiere, a high-end video-editing program aimed at professionals.

iPod data recovery from

Thu, 24 May 2007 17:59:55 -0400

As experts in Macintosh Data Recovery, MacMedics has the ability to recover data that has been accidentally erased or restored on all types of iPods. Today we were able to recover about 2000 songs off an iPod that had been accidentally overwritten. In most cases, we can recover your missing music, videos, and photos, and put them right back on your iPod or onto a separate hard drive. Prices for this service range from $100 to $250. Losing music off a manually synced iPod can be a major problem, since each song generally represents $1. Since iPods have grown in size, more and more people have been manually managing their music, which means they only store it on their iPod to free up space on their laptop’s hard drive. A good solution to this problem is to buy a small size hard drive, and tell iTunes to store your iTunes library there, and not on your primary hard drive. That setting is in the iTunes preferences under “Advanced”. Get in touch with us at MacMedics or to discuss your iPod data recovery situation.

Suitcase Fusion now works with CS3 applications

Tue, 22 May 2007 15:32:10 -0400

Extensis has announced that Suitcase Fusion (v 12.1.3) has been tested and is compatible with Adobe CS3 applications. The current version of Suitcase Fusion can manage and manually activate fonts while using any CS3 product.

In addition, a new font auto-activation plug-in for Adobe Illustrator CS3 is available for download now. This Font Sense™ equipped plug-in ensures accurate font matching and auto-activation of fonts when opening your Illustrator CS3 documents.

The plug-in update is available free-of-charge to registered Suitcase Fusion users. It is recommended that you use the current version of Suitcase Fusion (v 12.1.3) in coordination with this new plug-in.

Need to upgrade to the latest version of Suitcase Fusion? Call your nearest MacMedics office to order an upgrade.

Don't erase that data yet!

Tue, 22 May 2007 09:59:18 -0400

Everyone has lots of data, and now with the size of hard drives getting larger, and prices going lower then ever, we all seem to have more, and more data stored locally. Here’s a lesson you don’t want to learn the hard way: If you've decided it’s time to move up to next largest back up hard drive size, WAIT before you erase your older, smaller hard drive. When we see hard drives fail, we see them die at three different times. They can fail as soon as they are installed (or within 30 days), at the end of their duty cycle (several years after they were deployed), or at some random time. Today we helped a client who moved from a 200-gigabyte drive to a 500-gigabyte drive. He deleted the data off his old drive, and as soon as he did that, the new drive died. We’re still working on getting the data back. I’ll keep you posted. Also, you never want to have all of your data in one place. Even if you have an archive drive, you need to have two archive drives. If you don’t have two archive drives, you need to back up to tape, or to CDs or DVDs. Please be careful with that data!

Why wait in line at the Apple Store?

Sun, 20 May 2007 12:32:37 -0400

I happened to be at the Annapolis Mall this morning, and saw a cluster of folks waiting for the Apple Store to open. Four or five people had sick Macs with them, and rushed into the store to meet with the first available Genius to check their Mac in for repair. Why lug your Mac though the Mall, fight your fellow Mac users for the first Genius, and have to wait to do so? Just bring your sick or broken Mac to MacMedics, Annapolis’ and Anne Arundel county’s oldest and largest Apple Authorized Service Provider. You can pull up outside of our office and walk less then ten steps to get to our counter. Come in and get one of our MacMedics, and we’ll even carry your injured Mac in for repair. Ready for the VIM (Very Important Mac) treatment? Call us to discuss, or just stop by. No appointment is required. 1-866-MAC-MEDICS or

This week’s Mac headlines

Sat, 19 May 2007 11:07:49 -0400

The FCC approved Apple’s iPhone for sale. Apple is still on track to deliver unit by last June. There was a nasty rumor it was delayed until October, which caused Apple’s stock to drop briefly.

Adobe has ended development for Freehand. This means that in Intel version will ever be made available.

MacBooks got a speed bump this week. 1.83 GHz is now 2.0 GHz (now with 1 GB of RAM), 2.0 GHz is now 2.16 GHz, and the black MacBook that was 2.0 GHz is now also 2.16 GHz.

Don't store files on your desktop!

Sat, 19 May 2007 11:06:57 -0400

Don’t store files on your desktop. There are a number of reasons, but files on your desktop are more likely to be unintentually moved or erased, or accidentally replaced by a newer or older version. Also, a recent tip that’s making it’s way around the forums says, that storing files on the desktop uses up finder resources. Having all the files inside a folder will help reduce risk, system load, and clutter. Consider changing your default download location from your desktop to a folder that located somewhere else.

Summer is coming. Is your computer protected?

Sat, 12 May 2007 06:55:02 -0400

A recent report from a well-known data recovery company states that hard drive recoveries “spike” by 20% during summer months. It is thought that the brownouts caused by air conditioning units harm the motors in hard drives. We feel that alls Macs should be protected, and for about $150 you can have UPS protection as well as filtered, constant power, and a $25,000 connected equipment warranty. (Need a system to protect your investment? Drop us a line to request a quote.) Read the report here:

What’s your back up plan?

Sat, 12 May 2007 06:59:05 -0400

With hard drive prices continuing to drop, all of us here at MacMedics would like to encourage you to install an automated back-up system. Just yesterday we had to inform a new client that all of his data was lost. His hard drive had physically failed (see our article about air conditioning). Everyone has dragged-n-dropped data to back it up, but folks often to forget to do that or accidentally drag it to the wrong place and overwrite the wrong files. To be truly protected, your back up needs to be automated and checked regularly to ensure your data is fully protected. Call us, and we’ll quote you a customized system for your situation and machine type.

iPod reapirs and battery service by

Sat, 24 Feb 2007 14:20:47 -0500

Is your iPod sick, tired, or just plain busted?

Before you sent your iPod away to the West Coast or who knows where (maybe someone’s basement), bring it (or ship it) to (a division of MacMedics) Washington DC & Baltimore’s leading Mac and iPod repair shop (See pictures of our shop here). We fix all kinds of problems with iPods. From cracked iPod screens, to a busted headphone jacks, or jacked up hard drives, we’ve seen all kinds of problems. We’ve fixed wet iPods that have gone through the washing machine, been in fist fights, involved in dog bites (I guess music does not always agree with dogs), as well as units that have just been dropped or have stopped holding a charge from over charging.

Send your iPod to the company that revolutionized on-site Macintosh service. We take delight in learning WHY your unit has a problem and formulating a repair plan that starts with the basics and works it’s way up to actual parts replacement. Just because your iPod is sick, does not necessarily mean you need a new part installed.

We stock all iPod parts and batteries, so we can complete repairs quickly (usually in 24 hours). We’ll test your iPod and find out what’s wrong with it before we recommend a new part replacement. We thrive on word of mouth referrals, so the less we charge you, the happier you’ll be, and hopefully you’ll tell your friends about

Stop by our website for more details at:

Or call our office at 1-866-MAC-MEDICS

Is your data "lost" or just in "limbo"

Sat, 17 Feb 2007 11:02:52 -0500

When it comes to Macintosh Data Recovery, the first step is to find out if the data is “lost” or just in “limbo”. If your data is missing and you’re looking for answers, we strongly encourage you to bring your situation into MacMedics. If you send your hard drive away for data recovery, chances are you’ll end up paying data recovery prices for a drive that’s just in “limbo”. Read our latest testimonial that tells just such a story.

MacMedics Service Contracts

Thu, 25 Jan 2007 10:01:17 -0500

So you have a mission critical Macintosh or an entire network of Macs that you need working and making you money no matter what. Make a New Year’s resolution to get them enrolled in the MacMedics Service Partner Program. Maybe you’ve heard about our program, or received a quote for your Macs, or even have equipment already enrolled in the program. We’ve lowered our prices across the board, and we’re now offering significant discounts for computers still under Apple’s warranty or AppleCare. Our service program offers some big benefits that AppleCare can’t touch. 1. Free loaner equipment – If your unit goes down, and has to come in for service, we’ll provide you a free loaner for the duration of the repair. 2. Guaranteed response time – We’ll be at your location within 6 business hours or less to respond to your Mac emergency. 3. Free parts and labor – For any hardware repair, you’ll get the part and the labor at no additional cost. We’re also offering coverage for Apple servers with loaner protection now. Drop us line and we’ll work up a quote for you. Our clients tell us it’s well worth the expense, and now with our lower prices it’s more attractive than ever.

Is your iPod sick or broken? Is your battery running out?

Thu, 25 Jan 2007 10:00:32 -0500

MacMedics started fixing our client’s iPods last year. We have seen a ton come through the door in the last few months. We’ve fixed broken screens, replaced hard drives, and installed hundreds of new batteries. Out of all the iPods we’ve seen almost all of them had been misdiagnosed with a major problem. Just because your iPod is clicking it does not mean that you automatically have a bad hard drive. Some iPods cost upwards to $400, so when it breaks you don’t have to accept a $300 repair from Apple, nor do you need to run out and buy a new one. If we’ve worked our MacMedics magic on your Mac, and you’ve got a sick iPod, let us have a shot at it. If you’re a MacMedics client we’re happy to give your iPod a check up. Call our Baltimore office for more info on iPod repairs, service, and battery upgrades or check our webpage for more info.

MacMedics is an Apple Authorized Service Provider

Thu, 25 Jan 2007 09:56:59 -0500

Did you know that MacMedics is an Apple Authorized Service Provider? MacMedics can honor your new Apple equipment warranty, AppleCare, or Apple’s global service warranty. So if your computer is feeling ill, or is part of an Apple Repair Extension Problem, you can have us take care of the issue free of charge. If you have an out of warranty computer, we can also supply Apple Authorized service on your computer. So, no need to make an appointment, just bring the unit to either our Lanham or Millersville location for warranty service.

Back up your data!

Thu, 25 Jan 2007 09:56:59 -0500

A New Year is a great time to turn over a new leaf. Many folks make resolutions to eat better, exercise more, and generally take better care of themselves. We hear you; our resolution is to drink less coffee. The point here is don’t forget your computer when making plans for the New Year. Nothing breaks our heart more than to tell someone that his or her data is gone. If you don’t have a back up in place now, this is great time to get one. It does not have to be expensive, complicated, or hard to understand. Simple fact is that hard drives die, it’s not a matter of if, and it’s a matter of when. When your drive checks out, make sure your precious data is backed up. We can install an extra hard drive so you can always ensure your data is in two places for as little as $99. Having a simple automated back up is great way to go, but you can take simple steps on your own as well. For example, when you import photos into iPhoto take the time to turn around and burn that data right to a CD-ROM right then and there. Don’t wait for enough photos to accumulate so you can fill a CD. Media is cheap, and isn’t it worth a dollar to make sure you have your photos backed up. While you’re at it take a moment to back up your e-mail data to a DVD or CD. It’s even helpful just to duplicate your e-mail data and move it to another part of your hard drive. E-mail data is frequently corrupted and often overlooked as data that is important and needed to be included in your everyday back up.