Thinking about switching to a Mac? Think again

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ArthurDaley, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. ArthurDaley macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    After suffering at the hands of Windows XP for far too long, I could not take all the disk thrashing, freezes, slow hibernates, shutdowns, M$ updates that break the machine, driver battles Etc.

    So thinking the Mac would be better i ordered a MBP.

    Yesterday I got going and first thing was wireless seems stuffed. From a Google around the Web it seems that if you don't use an Apple router you are likely to have problems which is ridiculous.

    I have a DrayTek 2910 (350USD). I use WP2 and no PC has ever had a problem with it. But with the new MBP, I type in the SSID, then selectin "WPA2 Personal" and type in the password then "Add". After that in the list of networks it is listed as "WPA Personal". It seems to be deciding to switch from WPA2 to WPA as soon as I click Add.

    If I switch off the security (!) the Airport bar shows weak signal strength even though machine is in same room as router. The internet is also rather slow compared to a PC using the same connection.

    That was yesterday.

    Today on a deadline I needed to burn a DVD with some data to make the post. No chance with the Mac. Once inserted it would not show in Finder and would not eject without rebooting and holding mouse button. I tried a different brand, same problem. Pre-recorded DVDs eject no problem and show in finder but not blanks. Same goes with audio - pre-recorded ones eject no problem but it seems if I leave a blank audio CD in for more than 30 seconds, it will not eject.

    So far my experience with switching to a MBP from an XP machine has been that it suffers badly in terms of wireless connectivity and can not even eject a disc, let alone burn one.

    Someone tell me "It Just Works"?
  2. mcavjame macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    phased to this universe
    It just works.

    I would say that there must be some issue with your new machine if you cannot handle these simple tasks. I have three macs and a PC connected to my home wireless and throughput is fantastic. Was downloading at 200K last night (cable ISP).

    You might want to check if you have DVDs showing as your default action for insertion of media. See the screen grab below from Finder preferences.

    Attached Files:

  3. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Sounds like you're still sorting things out. I've never had any of those problems with my Macs. Can you elaborate on precisely what you did for those two things? For example, did you create a burn folder, or were you using Toast or some such?
  4. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008

    I never had any trouble with Macs (especially not getting such basic stuff to work). I suspect you got a faulty machine.

    It's the same with cars. Even though you buy the same brand, same model and same production time as your neighbor, yours just won't work and sees the mechanic more often than you. Your neighbor's car is just fine.

    I suggest you get your MBP changed. I think it'll solve a lot of this stuff.

    Only my 2 cents.
  5. ArthurDaley thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    Hi guys

    Thanks for the replies.

    I've been super mad. This is simply because I'd lost my temper with XP more than 200%. I was going to go to Ubuntu but could not be bothered with the hardware issues (mouse scroll wheels, video cards and all that on laptops). So decided OSX was the way. From the little I see i love it, but I must get the fundamentals working - i.e. wireless and being able to eject discs and some smaller things.

    I really hope I can get these things worked out as even from a little play I see great things in the "feel" of OSX and the operation of it compared to XP.

    The good news is i got the wireless to work be "fecking" around. It was set to B+G and this was not a problem for any PC but I knocked it to B only and changed the Channel (it was 13 which if I recall is unusual, as if memory serves me correct only UK access points have that channel). The connection went within minutes but i clicked Assist and it said it was OK. Then it happened again and I did the same, but since then it has been stable.

    So lets hope the wireless issue is out the way.

    On the inserting blank media front, still no way forwards. i think i will take it to a service shop tomorrow. It fails most of the time to eject any blank media be it DVDs or CDs, no matter what trick I use except to boot holding the left button. But it does not show the media on desktop/finder so i can not even burn anything. So today i missed my post deadline which greatly aggrevated me. I could not take XP causing me delays and now it seems this machine is. But I have hope that if I get this major issue fixed I will be on my way.

    The only other grievance i have is finder is leagues behind what I used on the PC - Directory Opus. I need a dual-pane viewer so I am trialling ForkLift right now. I also have not found a diff utility (GUI) as good as Beyond Compare on the PC, so open to suggestions.

    Thanks again!
  6. WhiteNoiseMaker macrumors regular


    Apr 22, 2007
    Are you trying to burn a CD/DVD using the Windows method? If you want to burn a disc in OS X try and create a "Burn Folder" on your desktop. Then drag the files you want to burn into that folder, insert the blank disc and then press the Burn button! It doesn't work the same ways as Windows so you'll not be seeing the blank disc on your desktop or in the finder to drag files to... At least i've never seen it on my Mac using Tiger or Leopard!
  7. kepner macrumors 6502

    Sep 7, 2003
    Yes, you can do it that way if you want. Why create a burn folder if you're never going to burn it again? Just pop a disc in and drag files to it.
  8. WhiteNoiseMaker macrumors regular


    Apr 22, 2007
    Because same problem (which i never viewed as a problem before now!) as the OP! I do not see the blank disc represented anywhere in OSX. I only see burnt disc's and retail CD's & DVD's, I've never seen a blank disc show up anywhere! The only time i'd know there was a blank disc in there is when the Burn button becomes enabled.
  9. asmallchild macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    This is not an acceptable solution for me because I primarily use my laptop in 2 places.

    One is at home where I can "futz" around with the router settings. (I have the godawful WRT54G Linksys router. I have yet to encounter a device in the house that doesn't have an issue with it. Even the PS3 was causing routine crashes. So yes, that I'm willing to blame on the router and am willing to either reconfigure the router or purchase a new one altogether)

    But I don't have control to the wireless routers on campus. We happen to use LEAP and WPA2 encryption. The LEAP network is slowly falling to pieces (which is why I needed a new computer to begin with so I could connect to the WPA2 network) and it makes little sense to splurge $2000+ on a new computer that's just going to suffer from nearly identical lapses in wireless connectivity.
  10. revisionA macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    Look into Toast.

    Its a great program for burning CDs and Dvds.

    You can drag your files into toast's window and then the burn process should be less painful. I never had this problem because I used Toast from the beginning - having been used to using Nero in Xp.

  11. closeupman macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2008
    The advantage of the folder method is you can make sure you have all the files you want to burn. Everything is all organized in one place. If you just drag files you may forget one or two. And who knows, maybe you'll need to burn it again sometime in the near future. Then the folder method is even better!

    It's a personal preference too.
  12. WhiteNoiseMaker macrumors regular


    Apr 22, 2007
    I've found the answer to the blank disc's not showing in finder! (not that i had a problem with it :))
    Open Settings > CD's & DVD's

    Then select:

    When you insert blank CD: Open Finder
    When you insert blank DVD: Open Finder

    Mine was set to ignore for some reason, maybe yours is too!
  13. WhiteNoiseMaker macrumors regular


    Apr 22, 2007
    Already have Toast 9 installed! :apple:
  14. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Just to be sure, you are pressing the F12 "Eject" key to try and eject the discs right? Otherwise look in the CD/DVD System Preferences. If everything looks fine then something is simply broken. It happens.
  15. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    I use the freeware Burn to burn CDs/DVDs. You can save a disc (to burn it again later) as a descriptive file (so you need to have the files in place when you re-open it) or as image.

    A small and lightweight app which gets the job done.

    Burn folders are nice as long as you only burn DVDs/CDs containing data.

  16. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    For the first I'm I noticed a blank DVD in the Finder sidebar with a burn icon next to it. I just dragged/dropped the files I wanted to burn onto it then the clicked the burn icon. It couldn't have been easier. Nice to not have used Toast either. Again, as mentioned, check your default CD/DVD settings in System Prefs.

    To the OP. Did you just press and release the eject button or press and hold the eject button? The latter is how you eject.
  17. ArthurDaley thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    On the eject side - yes I pressed every right button and tried it from the menus and yes it is set to Open Finder on blank DVDs or CDs.

    On the wireless side - bad news. Every hour or so it drops. And there is only one way I can get it back. Open Safari as that is the only browser that seems to auto kick in a diagnostic tool, which then asks if I need help, it then says everything is good (like what the hell am I talking about saying I need help type stuff), and from that point on it is good for an hour or so again.

    Quite simply I am not impressed. I doubt bad wireless and bad eject and bad skype can all be down to one machine rather than Leopard as a whole but I will be at the Mac fixing place in the next hour and will report back. All I know is that out the box it will not eject blanks (DVDs or CDs) and the wireless is terrible.

    Maybe the new MBPs are bad that came out a couple weeks back?
  18. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Sounds like you got a bum MBP. I haven't had either of those problems. Mine works great with a 3 year old wireless modem supplied by Qwest.
  19. design-is macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    London / U.K.
    Mine works perfectly.

    I think the time to contact Apple was when you thought about writing here ... why delay getting Apple to fix your shoddy machine?
  20. asmallchild macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
    What about all those other posters?

    I mean, this thread is nearly 200 posters long.

    That's pretty worrisome.
  21. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    Hmm....My MacBook works just as good with my sisters D-Link router as with my AirPort...It even gets stronger signal than her PCs, go figure. But my old LinkSys router was an entirely different story.
  22. ArthurDaley thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 29, 2008
    OK I said I would post back.

    I went to the Apple Fix it place today. He could not get the machine to eject blank media no matter what he did in Leopard, so he booted off an external drive with his 10.5 Leopard on it. Disc ejection was no problem. So he told me to reinstall the Leopard. I did that and it fixed the disc eject problem. Very crazy since the machine was new out the box and disc eject did not work (but only for blank media!).

    As for the bad WiFi - he said that he would order a new AirPort card and fit it next week. I doubt that is the problem but lets see. He said the antenae design on the Macs was poor compared to PCs (I complained about the weaker signal strength). He said the antenae (3) were at the end of the keyboard below the screen and that the aluminium helped eat some signal. Whereas my Vaio has the antenna's vertically on the side of the screen (hidden of course).

    I am wondering if it is not the Airport card but rather the antenna's - poor connection between them internally and the AirPort card? I am sitting very close to my DrayTek 2910 router which has the extended size antenna's fitted and the MBP shows medium signal strength.

    All I can say is that if Mac's just do normally work, I've had terrible luck with my first. But I will push on becuase if I can get the basics to work, it looks a superb machine/environment.
  23. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008

    thanks for sharing your experiences. I still think you made the right choice going for a Mac. This stuff will be fixed and you'll have a superb computer to work with.

    Keep it up and don't let a hardware error get you down.

  24. Dustman macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    uhm.. i dont know where you got your information but i bought the cheapest wireless router i could find at radioshack and it works just fine with my 2 macs and both PCs

    One mac's a G3 even. Take the MBP back if your having so many problems.

    P.S, Why is everything so grey today? its making my brain hurt.
  25. SDDave2007 macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2007
    Hopefully a new Airport card will fix your problem....

    I can say this. I bought a MacPro [desktop] 8 months ago, switching from 25+ years with Mico$soft.. I was so pleased I just switched my wife from Win to OSX with a new MBP.... Had it on a Linksys router at first... no problems... then switched to a TimeCapsule and it works flawlessly.

    And now I have a stack of PC towers collecting dust in the corner of my office.

    So please don't let this experience dissuade you from Apple. Like someone else said. No company is 100% perfect.... but at least Apple is close to 99% and you happened to hit that other 1%

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