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I want to know when I should reset the SMC on a Mac. I have a very quirky G5 and was wondering if resetting the SMC would fix some of its problems.

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Impossible to tell. But since it's so easy and quick to do always worth a try. –  bdecaf Jan 30 '12 at 20:05

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SMC is short for System Management Controller.

The SMC manages hardware conditions related to temperatures and power consumption. Therefore a reset can only help in problems that are related to such.

Possible cases where an SMC Reset could be necessary include (according to Apple):

  • fans running fast but should not
  • keyboard backlight, battery indicator light, display backlight or magsafe LED behaves incorrectly
  • power button does not respond
  • closing/opening the lid does not work properly
  • battery not charging properly
  • system unusually slow
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Ok, thanks!! This is really helpful. –  daviesgeek Jan 31 '12 at 5:57

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