Open your hard disk and scroll down to the folder labeled Users:
Open it and you will see a folder with an icon that looks like a house.
Select that folder and do a Get Info by going under the File icon at the top left of the page.
The page that comes up should have a Size listed which is the size of all of your personal data. This folder contains your mail, your web urls, settings for all of your programs, and all of your personal files. It is all that must be saved to protect yourself. As I said, it should be less than 8 gb. (Buy one that rotates or something and not one with a plastic cap that will get lost or put it in a plastic sandwich bag after loading it for physical protection. Time Machine is only necessary for those who worry about losing the last two hours of computer use.)
The suggestion of a flash drive is great IF you can fit all you want to save on one. They come in different memory sizes and are extremely portable (about the size of a pack of gum). Just bear in mind they are more expensize per GB in the larger sizes than a typical hard drive. I would get your geek friend to help you determine how much space you need for the backup and from there decide what's the best option for you. While I haven't tried it, you might be able to setup a flash drive as the target drive in Time Machine, which would be convenient.
The size and type of drive depends upon the needs of the user.
I do not save tv shows or movies on my computer. I own some dvds instead. My spouse and I recently flew to another city for a family get together and we took her laptop with a clone of my entire hard drive with us using the rugged, portable drive that I mentioned. If my house had burned down, the data would have been safe with me. (I also left a clone of the laptop at home on an external 200 gigabyte drive.) So the one terabyte is temporarily useful for data collectors and probably not for permanent storage.
I recommend checking the size of your computer hard drive and determining whether or not you have extra data that needs to be saved (such as movies). I also recommend deciding whether you require a portable data receptacle.
I agree with Beth, get nothing less than a 1TB drive, 2TB is you can afford it. While a lot of pictures can eat up some space, the real size monsters are audio and video files like songs and movies/tv shows. They can be huge and total size balloons very fast.
I use a SATA drive dock on my system. It looks like a little black box with a slot on top where you insert a SATA drive, either desktop or laptop form factors. I just stick in a drive and it mounts and is usable. The dock goes for like $25 and the bare drives are $60 for a 1TB drive and $80 for 2TB, etc. Prices vary, the above are round figures from Newegg.com (what a great online store, love it).
OUCH!! Not sure I can do that for awhile. Will save links.
But, thank you.
The 750 gb drive in the link is $90 plus about 10 for shipping (or also buy a thumb drive for 10 and get shipping free like I did). The 500 gb drive that I have had for a while is $73 and should be sufficient capacity for most people.
In my area, the 9% sales tax means that on-line is about the same price as Best Buy for these items.
If your Mac User file is less than 8 gigabytes, then copy it to a $10, 8 gigabyte thumb drive. This saves all of your personal information leaving your applications behind.
A USB2 hard drive costs between one and two hundred dollars for a Macintosh from a reputable online store such as Mac Connection or where-ever. Any such drive should be reformatted as they normally come set up for a pc. This is done with the appropriately named "Disk Utility" in your Applications/Utilities subfolder.
Beth, I think she had multiple SMTP accounts setup, probably similar but with bad passwords which would account for the multiple entires in the keychain. The screen shots were very hard to read due to the size, but one showed the SMTP server as "(offline)"... I think. If that list were dropped down, it might have shown multiple similar entries and I think that's what she cleaned up.
Suzi, thank you. It's been a busy day, but there's other stuff that's keeping me even busier. This is a volunteer customer-to-customer help forum, and I have only so much time.
The settings you have look okay, so it looks like something else must be happening. That's why Joel asked about a router and firewall. That's getting out of my areas of expertise.
Did we see what happened when you tried to connect to the Comcast server from Mac Mail? And then tried Window > Connection Doctor? Mine looks like this:
Another thing to check is whether there is some file that Mac Mail isn't reading cleanly from the Comcast server. If you could log in to SmartZone and move all the messages that are in your InBox into a folder and then send yourself a message, do you then get it? If that works, move messages into your InBox from the folder.
If that didn't work, you can try what Joel suggested. If you have a cable modem connected to a router connected to your Mac, let's try to take the router out to try to narrow down where the problem is. To do that, turn everything off, and remove the cable coming from the cable modem to the router from the router. Connect that cable to the Mac instead. Then, turn on the cable modem. Let the signal settle. Then turn on the Mac and let it boot and settle. Then log in and get totally logged in. Then launch your web browser and see that you can get to the internet. Then launch Mail.
Please report back what you see. The other guys can jump in here to help.
can you please let us know if your Mac is connected directly to a cable modem, or if there is a router between your Mac and the modem. If so, we may need to remove the router from the equation until we get this figured out. If not, then disregard.
One more question, is your firewall (System Preferences>>Security>>Firewall) turned On, or do you have any 3rd-party firwewalls (i.e. Little Snitch) active that could be blocking Mail's ability to pass data?
I can't read the pictures. It looks like you chose "small" when including them here. But they are uploaded.
And you figured out how to make them big. Good. But I'm going to bed. More in morning.
You can reply to my message, click the tree icon, and use the Choose From Uploaded Images tab as shown below. Click on the itty-bitty image. It will appear bigger. Leave the images full size. Click Insert Image.
At least we're making progress. Maybe. I understand about spouses getting frustrated with computer problems. These machines should just work.
I'm still thinking the problem with Mail is something really obvious that we are overlooking.
You could get into SmartZone and see your email. Could you go there, and move all the mail that is in your InBox into a folder? Then can you send yourself an email and see if it gets to you in Mac Mail? If that works, you can slowly put messages into the InBox.
My thinking is that there's a message that is stuck. Perhaps the Comcast person who helped you at first when you asked about your bill had you do something (I'm not sure what) that changed something about your file settings and what would be recognized. The problem with the screen shots might have been another symptom.
Hmmm. I posted that without checking whether I have such a preferences file. It turns out that I don't and you may not either.
It may be easiest to try to find it using the column view of the Finder window. Whenever I go into preferences, I grab the little expander bars at the bottom of the scroll to make the righmost column wider. So the area I was looking in looked like this:
When you take a screenshot, a file should be left on your desktop with a name that starts with Screen shot 2011-05-....png.
It sounds like something weird is happening on your machine. Someone in the Apple discussion lists suggests this:
Usually means your preferences are mucked up. Move the com.apple.screencapture.plist from
username/Library/Preferences/ folder onto the Desktop, restart, and try doing a screen capture.
If that fixes things, delete the moved file. If not, report back.
Could you please let us know what Mac you have, what OS you are running, and which web browser you are using? You can find the first two under the grey/black Apple at far upper left of the screen and About This Mac. Thank you.
It sounds as if you are somehow entering incorrect information in one of the account setup dialogs. The easiest way we can help here is if we see what you have configured. What I recommend is you take screenshots of each of the dialogs you used to enter information and post them here in a reply. Do you by chance know how to take a screen shot on your Mac? If not see this link. Pay particular attention to Command-Shift-4 as all wee need at the dialogs in question, not the whole desktop each time. Once you have the images, click on the little Tree icon when you reply here and provide the filename of where you saved the image, insert them one at a time.
Please read your private messages (the little red envelope at near the top of the forum...).
To reiterate what Baric said, if you have messages in Mac Mail that you want to save, just edit the information for the existing account rather than delete and add a new account. This way, your messages will be saved. When following the instructions, read them carefully and do one step at a time. If you're confused, read through the instruction more than once and look at the accompanying photo. The appropriate settings are circled so you know what info goes where.
You can't select ON MY MAC in the left hand pane, all the top level items are gray. When you click on the + in the lower left hand corner to create a new Mailbox, just make sure it says On My Mac in the Location field.
But if there's nothing you need to save, then just go ahead and delete the account.