Skip navigation

Apps will sometimes not launch

1450 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 6, 2013 1:48 AM by Steve Zodiac RSS
Steve Zodiac Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 29, 2013 9:36 AM

Hi.

 

Since Thursday (26th September) my 2011 MacBook Pro has been acting strangely.

 

Most of the time, all seems okay, but on Thursday, yesterday and again this afternoon, it seems to go into a sort of 'spasm', and refuses to launch any apps at all.

 

When this happens the app's dock icon just keeps bouncing in my dock, for about two or three minutes, and then when it stops bouncing there is no sign of the app's window anywhere on the screen and there is no little light below it on the dock shelf. If I click the dock icon again, it doesn't even start bouncing. Just nothing at all.

 

Once the computer goes into this 'state', it will not launch any Mac apps at all, either from the dock, from the apps folder or by double-clicking a file anywhere. I can't even open the System Prefs window to see what's happening.

 

Curiously though, (and rather annoyingly...), all my Windows programs still open and run perfectly normally under Parallels.

 

I cannot restart or shut down my computer via the Apple menu, because when I try to nothing happens, and so I find myself having to do a 'forced shutdown' by pressing in and holding down the physical power button on the computer. Once I've shut it down and restarted it, all seems normal again. Until it happens again.

 

All this is getting very irritating.

 

As I say, it started happening on 26th, and I updated to OS X 10.8.5 on the 25th. Could there be a connection? Is anyone else having similar problems?

MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2010), OS X Mountain Lion
  • Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (13,860 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 29, 2013 10:50 AM (in response to Steve Zodiac)

    Do a backup, using either Time Machine or a cloning program, to ensure files/data can be recovered. Two backups are better than one.

     

    Try setting up another admin user account to see if the same problem continues. If Back-to-My Mac is selected in System Preferences, the Guest account will not work. The intent is to see if it is specific to one account or a system wide problem. This account can be deleted later.

     

    Isolating an issue by using another user account

     

    If the problem is still there, try booting into the Safe Mode using your normal account.  Disconnect all peripherals except those needed for the test. Shut down the computer and then power it back up. Immediately after hearing the startup chime, hold down the shift key and continue to hold it until the gray Apple icon and a progress bar appear. The boot up is significantly slower than normal. This will reset some caches, forces a directory check, and disables all startup and login items, among other things. When you reboot normally, the initial reboot may be slower than normal. If the system operates normally, there may be 3rd party applications which are causing a problem. Try deleting/disabling the third party applications after a restart by using the application uninstaller. For each disable/delete, you will need to restart if you don't do them all at once.

                   

    Safe Mode

     

    Safe Mode - About

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,760 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 29, 2013 3:23 PM (in response to Steve Zodiac)

    When you next have the problem, note the exact time: hour, minute, second.

     

    If you have more than one user account, these instructions must be carried out as an administrator.

     

    Launch the Console application in any of the following ways:

     

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

     

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

     

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Console in the icon grid.

     

    Make sure the title of the Console window is All Messages. If it isn't, select All Messages from the SYSTEM LOG QUERIES menu on the left. If you don't see that menu, select

    View Show Log List

    from the menu bar.

    Scroll back in the log to the time you noted above. Select any messages timestamped from then until the end of the episode, or until they start to repeat. Copy them to the Clipboard (command-C). Paste into a reply to this message (command-V).

     

    When posting a log extract, be selective. In most cases, a few dozen lines are more than enough.

    Please do not indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into this discussion.

     

    Important: Some private information, such as your name, may appear in the log. Anonymize before posting.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,760 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 4, 2013 6:39 PM (in response to Steve Zodiac)

    Problems such as yours are sometimes caused by files that should belong to you but are locked or have wrong permissions. This procedure will check for such files. It makes no changes and therefore will not, in itself, solve your problem.

    First, empty the Trash.

    Triple-click anywhere in the line below on this page to select it, then copy the selected text to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C:

    find ~ $TMPDIR.. \( -flags +sappnd,schg,uappnd,uchg -o ! -user $UID -o ! -perm -600 -o -acl \) 2> /dev/null | wc -l

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

    Paste into the Terminal window (command-V). The command may take a noticeable amount of time to run. Wait for a new line ending in a dollar sign (“$”) to appear.

    The output of this command, on a line directly below what you entered, will be a number such as "41." Please post it in a reply.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,760 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 5, 2013 12:15 PM (in response to Steve Zodiac)

    Back up all data. Don't continue unless you're sure you can restore from a backup, even if you're unable to log in.

    This procedure will unlock all your user files (not system files) and reset their ownership and access-control lists to the default. If you've set special values for those attributes on any of your files, they will be reverted. In that case, either stop here, or be prepared to recreate the settings if necessary. Do so only after verifying that those settings didn't cause the problem. If none of this is meaningful to you, you don't need to worry about it.

     

    Step 1

    If you have more than one user account, and the one in question is not an administrator account, then temporarily promote it to administrator status in the Users & Groups preference pane. To do that, unlock the preference pane using the credentials of an administrator, check the box marked Allow user to administer this computer, then reboot. You can demote the problem account back to standard status when this step has been completed.

    Enter the following command in the Terminal window in the same way as before (triple-click, copy, and paste):

    { sudo chflags -R nouchg,nouappnd ~ $TMPDIR.. ; sudo chown -R $UID:staff ~ $_ ; sudo chmod -R u+rwX ~ $_ ; chmod -R -N ~ $_ ; } 2> /dev/null

    This time you'll be prompted for your login password, which won't be displayed when you type it. You may get a one-time warning to be careful. If you don’t have a login password, you’ll need to set one before you can run the command. If you see a message that your username "is not in the sudoers file," then you're not logged in as an administrator.

     

    The command will take a noticeable amount of time to run. Wait for a new line ending in a dollar sign (“$”) to appear, then quit Terminal.

    Step 2 (optional)

     

    Take this step only if you have trouble with Step 1 or if it doesn't solve the problem.

    Boot into Recovery. When the OS X Utilities screen appears, select

    Utilities Terminal

    from the menu bar. A Terminal window will open.

    In the Terminal window, type this:

    res

     

    Press the tab key. The partial command you typed will automatically be completed to this:

    resetpassword

     

    Press return. A Reset Password window will open. You’re not  going to reset a password.

    Select your boot volume ("Macintosh HD," unless you gave it a different name) if not already selected.

    Select your username from the menu labeled Select the user account if not already selected.

    Under Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs, click the Reset button.

    Select

    Restart

    from the menu bar.

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.