Today’s Macs may be the best ever for capability and durability. It does not happen as often as it did back in the day, but even today’s sophisticated and powerful Macs can get all wonky and cause us a little grief and for a variety of reasons.
From power supply to CPU, from RAM to motherboard, and all the parts in between, today’s Macs are complicated, complex beasts of burden, and when something goes wrong and a touch of wonky sets in, there are certain basic steps every Mac user needs to take. Check the system. Find the problem. Fix the problem.
A step I’ve added to my Mac troubleshooting recently comes by way of a free app called EtreCheck. Use it first and use it regularly because what it does is what all the geniuses, tech support personnel, IT folks, and nosy neighbors need to know.
EtreCheck scans your Mac’s system top to bottom and displays the important details that tech support personnel need to know to provide you with the right kind of assistance. Double click to open and start EtreCheck and it scans your Mac’s hardware, software, and various systems.
When the scan is complete EtreCheck displays a very detailed list of your Mac’s entire system– hardware, software, system software– ready to be copied, saved, uploaded to support personnel so they know about your Mac what you may not even know about your Mac.
Even better, EtreCheck automatically removes any personally identifiable information from the output (serial numbers, etc.).
Here’s what the detailed scan and analysis look like in Step Two:
All those details can be copied to the Mac’s clipboard and saved, emailed, uploaded, or shared. That makes it easier for tech support personnel to diagnose a problem. Since most systems don’t change too often, it’s wise to run EtreCheck regularly or after every new app is installed or the system is upgraded and save the information in a safe but accessible location.
EtreCheck is free and valuable for anyone who troubleshoots a wonky Mac. What I would like to see is an automated, scheduled scan that saves the details by date and automatically store the results to iCloud so they’re not stored on your Mac. That way you could automate the whole process and get to a recent scan even if your Mac doesn’t start up. The Genius Bar folks will love you for the added detail.
One more thing: The EtreCheck website has a wonderful list of Tips For A Healthy Mac, a useful list of how to handle security issues, malware, and the like. Very handy.