Episode #782

January 27, 2024

Last week my computer began prompting me to sign in to FaceTime every time it started up.



I tried to sign into FaceTime, but the sign-in routine just spun and spun, finally failing to log in.

Also, I noticed that I was only receiving SMS text messages in the Mac Messages app. No iMessages appeared.

I signed out of iMessages, but when I tried to sign back in the login routine spun and spun and failed, just like FaceTime. Now, iMessages did not work at all. The error was an inability to contact the FaceTime server. It seems that iMessages and FaceTime share the same FaceTime server.

Strangely, I was signed in to my iCloud account for everything else, like Mail, Notes, Contacts and Calendar and all that worked. So I was connected to my account at Apple’s server farm.

Being an Apple consultant taught me to troubleshoot from least invasive to most invasive. So I shut down the computer and restarted it. It did not help.

Since the error seemed to be server related, I shut down my router and network, then started it back up. Still no go.

Some head scratching reminded me of a procedure from decades ago. Macs used to have PRAM (Parameter Random Access Memory).

PRAM is non volatile RAM which stores settings from shutdown to startup. These are typically settings like “where are the mouse, keyboard and printer.” Other peripherals also used PRAM. This PRAM was constantly written to and read from while using the computer. Consequently, some PRAM data can and did become corrupted.

And so, back in the day, we Zapped the PRAM to reset it. This did not require a screwdriver, replacing a battery or opening up the computer. It was a non-invasive keyboard command.

The procedure was to shut down the computer, then start it up whilst holding down the OPTION + COMMAND + P + R keys on the keyboard. The computer would chime twice, the user would let go of the keys and the computer would start up normally. This erased PRAM and set it back to factory settings. The computer would then write preferences that you set to the PRAM. This would usually solve problems with printing, volume, time zone, display settings, startup disc selection, other peripherals, etc.

Modern Macs have NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory). NVRAM holds all the data formerly on PRAM, plus network port navigation and permissions.

I zapped the NVRAM.

OPTION + COMMAND + P + R (same as PRAM).

I was able to sign into iMessages.
I was able to sign into FaceTime.

Sometimes a blast from the past is a solution for the present.
Take that, network port settings! ZAP!


“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.

Follow Ricki T Thues on Amazon HERE.

“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.
The ebook version of “Technically Human” is also available on Kobo. Click HERE.
For you Barnes and Noble Nook readers it is available for Nook. Click HERE.
The “Technically Human” ebook is also available on Apple Books . Click HERE.




  1. Jeff Laun January 26, 2024
    • Rick Thues January 26, 2024
  2. Danielle L BARLOW January 26, 2024
  3. Victor Spindler January 26, 2024
  4. Carol+Ross January 26, 2024
  5. Mark January 27, 2024
  6. Chela Cowden January 27, 2024
  7. Susie January 27, 2024

Leave a Reply