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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Common Mac Hardware Problems and Easy Ways to Fix Them

Is your Mac hardware faulty? The signs may vary from jittery trackpads to booting issues and more. There’s no need to panic because this troubleshooting guide will take you through the most common hardware problems and their fixes.

Mac isn’t Turning On or Charging

If your device isn’t booting, you must hold the power button until the screen goes blank. Then, let go of the power button and press it again.

If your device isn’t charging, you can reset the PRAM/NVRAM and SMC to fix charging issues. Also, check your system’s battery cycle count to determine whether you need to get a new battery. Alternatively, verify if the cable and power adapter is working and rule out power problems in your home by resetting the GFCI outlet or the power breaker.

If the problem is rooted in a faulty logic board, you must pay for a physical Mac repair and head to your nearest Apple service center.

The Device has Switched on With a Question Mark

Is there a folder with a flashing question mark on your screen after you have booted your Mac? If so, there might be something wrong with the startup disk. For example, the disk might be physically damaged, or your system is having trouble locating the macOS software.

The problem can be fixed by entering the macOS Recovery system. Hold Command + R at boot time to enter the recovery mode on an Intel-based Mac. If you are using an Apple silicon Mac, press the power button, select Options, and click Continue. Next, select Disk Utility from the Recovery options and click the First Aid option to scan your startup disk for errors.

In case there are no errors found, you might have to reinstall macOS in Recovery Mode.

Wi-Fi is Undetected

Wi-Fi: no hardware installed error is quite annoying, and if you are working from home, this message flashing across the screen can make you want to bang your laptop against the wall. This error of Mac not detecting Wi-Fi typically happens when the system returns from sleep. Restarting your device can solve the problem. Alternatively, you can run quick maintenance to resolve permission issues and enhance drive performance.

Audio Warnings or Flashing Power LED

A flashing power LED means faulty internal hardware. You can identify the culprit using Apple’s in-built hardware diagnostics. Press the D button while switching on the machine to access Apple’s diagnostics tests. When the test is finished, you will see whether the processor, battery, or something else is malfunctioning.

If your system is making loud noises during startup, it means the RAM has failed and did not pass an integrity check. The problem can be fixed by resetting individual RAM modules.

Screen Flickering, No Display Backlight, and Other Screen Problems

If your system’s display has a broken backlight, you won’t be able to see any pictures. However, you must first check if this is something as simple as the display brightness is turned down.

If you are encountering a flickering screen, boot your device into Safe Mode and revert to factory display settings by heading to System Preferences > Display and clicking the Default for Display option next to Resolution.

Does your external display support variable refresh rates? If so, you can select one of the fixed ones in the Refresh Rate menu and change the screen mirroring options to alleviate the problem.

The Device Restarts After a Kernel Panic

If your device displays a kernel panic screen, you must write down the time when this occurred. Then, restart your system. Kernel panics are a sign that your Mac has a problem.

After your device reboots, there must be a log file, and if you cannot find this file on the desktop, you must manually look for it by holding the Option key and clicking the Finder’s Go menu. Then, select Library and navigate to the Logs/DiagnosticReports subfolder. You will see the file with a .panic extension.

Peripherals are Not Functioning

Sometimes, peripherals might confuse your system. For example, some external devices plugged into the Thunderbolt or USB-C ports, like storage drives, printers, network appliances, or cameras, may have trouble. You can troubleshoot the issue by disconnecting and identifying the troublesome device.

After disconnecting each device or accessory, you must restart your computer to identify which one is interfering with your system’s functions. You can even change the settings on these peripheral devices to address the problem. Alternatively, test the peripherals in different ports with different cables to identify if the problem is with the accessories.

The Bottom Line

Mac hardware problems can disrupt your sleep and make you panic. However, the issues can be alleviated without much fuss. This guide shows you how to solve problems without frantically calling the technician.

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