Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Automatically Restart a Frozen Mac | Mac|Life

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How to Automatically Restart a Frozen Mac

Posted 11/23/2011 at 6:43am | by Cory Bohon
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I have a Mac mini that I use as a home file server, running Snow Leopard. Occasionally, the computer locks up, but since it’s headless (or running without a display attached), I don’t always realize it. Do you know of any software or web services that could run in the background, and if the machine freezes, alert me via email or text?

Some Macs have automatic restarting features built right in to System Preferences. One such preference, which many Macs have, is the ability to restart after a power outage. But another preference that fewer Macs have is the ability to restart after the computer freezes. (Curiously, Apple doesn’t say why some Macs can do this and some can’t in the Help documentation.)

Mac OS X Lion seems to implement this functionality across many different Mac models.

To see if your Mac has this feature, head to System Preferences > Energy Saver, and look at the checkboxes near the bottom of the screen. If your Mac supports the feature, you will see an option for “Restart automatically if the computer freezes.” We’ve noticed that this feature seems to be standard on most modern Macs running OS X Lion.

With this option checked, the OS will automatically restart the computer if it locks up or becomes unresponsive. It’s an especially nifty feature for servers without a display.


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