As far as maintenance, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Macs can read PC disks when they are in the right format. Using FAT 32 is your best bet.
Use the Archive and Install function to install an old version of OS X over a newer one.
Mac Maintenance, Installing Older Systems and Using PC disksCategories: My First Mac Q&A
Welcome to My First Mac's Q&A column. It is said that Macs are easier to use, but they are still complex in their own right. Here are a few questions we have received lately from readers like you. Sometimes we reformat the questions for clarity and presentation.
This week we have questions about Mac maintenance, reading PC disks and installing Panther over Tiger.
|I know there are utilities available, but what about the other ways to keep my new Mac always healthy?|
For the most part, Mac OS X does a pretty good job of keeping itself healthy. There is a lot of debate out there about the different utilities and techniques and their value. My recommendation is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I find that an occasional reboot to clear out any memory leaks and installing system updates is all you really need to do. The only utility I keep around is Alsoft's DiskWarrior should my hard drive develop any problems.
Why doesn't my Mac read my PC's external disk?
Macs have been able to read PC formats for a long while now. The only thing I can think of is that you're running a version of Mac OS prior to Leopard and are trying to read an NTFS-formatted drive. You can either upgrade to Leopard or re-format your PC disk to FAT32. Be sure to back up your data first. For more information, read One External Hard Drive For Your Mac and PC.
|I purchased a used G5 iMac last week. It had Tiger (10.4) on it when I took it to a Genius Bar to have an Airport Extreme card installed. The guy at the Genius Bar suggested that I should reinstall the OS to fix a bug it had when it booted up. That was fine but the CD-ROM I received with the iMac was Panther (10.3). I can't seem to get any new downloaded apps to run now. I am really lost and don't know where to start...|
It's hard to know exactly what occurred without asking some additional questions, but my guess is that you somehow installed Panther on top of Tiger. I'm guessing the person you bought it from installed Tiger, but didn't include the disk. You could go back and ask for it.
If not, your only option at this point is to either backup your data and do a "Erase & Install" of Panther, or head out to your local Apple store and pick up Leopard (you won't be disappointed).
You can send in your questions via the Contact page or email us at editor[AT]myfirstmac[DOT]com. Because of the volume of email we receive, we can't reply to each and every question personally. We read each question that comes in and reply to the ones that fit the scope of this column. We also save some questions for future columns.
If you need your specific question answered right away, try asking it in the Comments section of a related article or in the MFM Forums.