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Excel 2004 continually crashes OS 10.6

24187 Views 61 Replies Latest reply: Mar 9, 2010 2:44 PM by Ash435 RSS
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WD Stephens Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 31, 2009 3:37 PM
On 9 separate occasions, Excel has crashed my MacBook Pro running 10.6. The crashes have occurred when simply entering data. The screen goes blue for a second and then returns to my desktop with all applications closed. The dialogue box that typical appears after a crash is not triggered. However, in the console under Diagnostic Information --> System Diagnostic Reports. The issue seems to be related to WindowServer process. A portion of the log output is below. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Process: WindowServer [1920]
Path: /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/ CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources/WindowServer
Identifier: WindowServer
Version: ??? (???)
Code Type: X86-64 (Native)
Parent Process: launchd [1]

Date/Time: 2009-08-31 15:23:07.863 -0700
OS Version: Mac OS X 10.6 (10A432)
Report Version: 6

Exception Codes: KERNINVALIDADDRESS at 0x00000001918a6860
Crashed Thread: 0 Dispatch queue:

Thread 0 Crashed: Dispatch queue:
0 ...ple.CoreServices.CarbonCore 0x00007fff87d732a6 UCKeyTranslate + 464
1 0x00007fff82c32d79 CGSUniCodeForKeyAndFlags + 161
2 0x00007fff82ca888b CGXCheckForHotKey + 3184
3 0x00007fff82b180b9 sPostContinuation + 1808
4 0x00007fff82b612a2 postAfterTapID + 277
5 0x00007fff82b17149 CGXFilterEvent + 88
6 0x00007fff82b175b3 CGXProcessHIDEvent + 164
7 0x00007fff82b1739c sHIDContinuation + 528
8 0x00007fff82b1713a CGXFilterEvent + 73
9 0x00007fff82b16ee5 CGXGetNextEvent + 133
10 0x00007fff82b16e48 CGXRunOneEventPass + 36
11 0x00007fff82b19758 eventNotificationHandler + 80
12 0x00007fff82b196c1 CGXPostPortData + 175
13 0x00007fff82b194cb CGXRunOneServerPass + 451
14 0x00007fff82b167e6 CGXRunOneServicesPass + 357
15 0x00007fff82b1f3ea CGXServerLoop + 139
16 0x00007fff82aeabd6 CGXGetRootAdminCredentials + 0
17 WindowServer 0x0000000100000f29 main + 9
18 WindowServer 0x0000000100000f18 start + 52
MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • MichaeltheAdventurer Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 2, 2009 7:23 AM (in response to WD Stephens)
    I too am having this problem, except that when Excel crashes for me it takes me to the Login screen. This must be fixed, the keystroke problem that was endemic under 10.5 was enough of a hassle, but this is ridiculous.

    Numbers is not an adequate replacement for Excel, it just doesn't have enough of the power user features....aside from the interface being rather "clunky" for anyone trying to convert.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • datacrown Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 2, 2009 12:55 PM (in response to WD Stephens)
    Me too. And iCal doesn't work properly either. I assume that it's because excel 2004 is not a native intel program but Apple are beginning to really annoy me. These are serious problems for professional people - excel and the PIM - I can't believe that they have released such a major upgrade without proper testing. Perhaps they just don't care anymore
    Macbook 13", Mac OS X (10.6)
  • StreetScience Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 3, 2009 10:35 AM (in response to WD Stephens)
    Yes, I'm seeing this as well.

    I'm a power user in excel. Have always been a bit frustrated when using it on my mac vs. my desktop windows pc. (I have both platforms on my desk at work.) I've been forced to copy files from my mac to my windows pc so I can get work done.

    Apple, this is really bad. I run technology at my company and am the strongest Mac advocate. The implications are fairly obvious.
    MacBook, iMac 2.8Ghz, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • spleenventer Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 3, 2009 11:43 AM (in response to StreetScience)
    Add another Excel 2004 user to the crashee list. And another power user, too; so Numbers not good enough.

    I get blue screen, then back to login. Several times this afternoon.

    It's probably Rosetta. Now do I upgrade to Office 2008, or battle through to Outlook for the Mac in 2010?
    MacPro 8-core, Mac OS X (10.6), Big, gnarly 30" Cinema Display
  • Jeremy M. Zander Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 4, 2009 11:12 AM (in response to spleenventer)
    Add another to the list
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.6), 2.16 Ghz Core 2, 2GB RAM
  • crabuback Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 4, 2009 2:52 PM (in response to Jeremy M. Zander)
    I had the problem where Excel would crash to the blue screen (since updating to SL) after enter a few cells worth of data. Using Font Book, I discovered there were copies of the Wingbats font and a "normal" and "regular" copy of the Tahoma font, which Font Book flagged as errors. I deleted the extra copies and so far, Excel has not crashed since.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • David Hoerl Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2009 8:27 AM (in response to WD Stephens)
    Well, I've got good news (sort of) and bad news (lots of it).

    The good news is that this is a known problem. Many bugs have been reported to Apple (here is a public site with one):

    Also, a good description of the problem is here: -in-leopard

    The bad news is this problem has been around for a long time - at least two years - and its related to Rosetta (the technology that lets you run PPC apps on Intel). If Apple was going to fix it, they probably would have by now, and since Rosetta will almost certainly disappear in 10.7, it sure seems unlikely.

    I have found no workaround or cause. Funny, for me, I've used Eudora for decades and never had a Window Server crash. Now I get them twice a day. For sure, I changed something, but I don't know what. If I ever do figure it out I'll post here. It happens to me using my MacBook Pro in closed lid with external keyboard and monitor as well as with it in "laptop" mode.

    What can you do? Well, get a free apple developer account, then use and enter a bug report, and dup it to the number you see in the link above. That, or if you happen to be personal friends with Steve Jobs, you could ask him to prod development. Failing that, upgrade Excel to an Intel version. The Eudora community has no such option

    iMac G5 250G drive 1G memory
  • ErikFromCanada Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 7, 2009 5:43 PM (in response to WD Stephens)
    This is happening for me too. Simply entering text in a worksheet cell can cause the whole OS to crash and put me back to the login screen. It's happened about 8 times today.

    Very annoying! Contemplating going to get Office 2008 just because of this.

    Do you guys think that's the way to go? Or could it be a config setting, and something messed up with Rosetta?

    Macbook Pro 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • fblackburn Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 8, 2009 8:51 AM (in response to crabuback)
    I tried checking my fonts with fontbook and found 36 some odd "suspect" fonts. I pulled them all out, restarted my Mac Pro, and so far have been able to use Excel 2004 without the sudden crash/log out problem. I've only been using Excel off and on for an hour or so, though, but so far, so good. It may really be some stupid font issue.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Hbarber Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 8, 2009 12:55 PM (in response to fblackburn)
    I have the same office 2004 issue. Did your find make a permanent repair to your problem with Office 2004 crashing? Your post said it had worked for only 1 1/2 hours.


    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Stuart Duel Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 8, 2009 5:22 PM (in response to Hbarber)
    Firstly, I don't think it is fair to blame Apple for a 5 year old third party application misbehaving. Surely it's up to Microsoft to test their own software and make users aware of issues and solutions.

    Office 2004 (Word and Excel) work normally for me. Below is the process I followed. Hopefully the solution is fairly straight forward for most people, if perhaps a little cumbersome if you have to go the 'start from scratch' route I did.

    My upgrade from Leopard to SL didn't go happily, so I did a clean install of SL and restored the user accounts from my Time Machine overnight.

    I then set about reinstalling and updating my software (always a frustratingly long and tedious process for Adobe CS2... urgh!). Anyway, Office 2004 would not allow a custom install, hanging at the registration screen where you put in your name, address, phone etc (the screen after you click "I Agree") so I did the drag and drop install instead. Upon launching Word or Excel, once again it would hang at the same screen.


    I downloaded the latest update (dated June 2009) for Office 2004 from the Microsoft Mactopia site, ran the updater and then launched one of the Office apps (Word). This time the registration progressed normally and the application launched without issue.
    I've done some limited testing of different functions in Excel and Word 2004 (the only Office apps I use) opening existing and creating new documents, editing, saving and closing them without issue. In fact, the MS Office apps seem much more snappy.

    You mightn't need to do a clean install of either SL or Office 2004, try installing the update first. If that doesn't work, try doing a clean install of Office 2004 and then the update.

    I hope this helps.
    MacBookPro3,1 C2D 2.2GHz, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • David Hoerl Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 9, 2009 6:46 PM (in response to WD Stephens)
    I posted earlier on how this probably relates to the Eudora problem I'm having. Well, I've got a lot more information. It seems it happens with several Carbon apps. Please note that Apple did NOT disable Carbon apps - they are still suppose to run. What I've found is a way to detect the symptom, but not offer a cure.

    Most of the crashes to date have occurred in a routine called UCKeyTranslate. Anyone can with ease determine if this is where your crash occurred. When you get the blue screen, open the Console App (in Utilities), make sure you have the list of files to examine on the left (Make sure toolbar button "Show Log List" is clicked on. Open the "System Diagnostic Reports" list, and see if there is a WIndowServer... entry at the bottom - if so click on it. About to lines down you should see something like this:

    Thread 0 Crashed: Dispatch queue:
    0 ...ple.CoreServices.CarbonCore 0x00007fff8735d2a6 UCKeyTranslate + 464

    The first line after "Crashed" is the key - here you can see the UCKeyTranslate. Now, I know this is where the windowserver crashed.

    If you see that. now click on system.log - its under the FILES container in the left list. In the search field enter UCKeyTranslate - if you see many entries, then you have this Carbon problem. I have a friend who runs the same app with no problem, so no idea what is different on my system. However, what I did was a fresh Snow Leopard install on a new partition, then I used Migration Assistant to move my apps from the Leopard partition to Snow Leopard.

    I'm an old time UNIX programmer, so what I did was write a small shell program to monitor system.log all the time, and to beep when this UCKeyTranslate error happens - so I can try and figure out what I do that is causing it. Unfortunately, it happens at random times and with no apparent pattern. But do note that I've gotten Excel 2004 and TextWrangler to cause these errors in addition to Eudora (which I use all the time). I infer from this that the problem is Carbon related, not Rosetta.

    I'm not sure how fonts could be related to this, but for sure they could be.

    If you're having blue screens with Excel, look at the cause, and help interested parties determine if its this or some other persistent error causing the crashes.
    iMac G5 250G drive 1G memory
  • David Hoerl Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 10, 2009 3:17 PM (in response to WD Stephens)
    Good news! Apple just contacted me - this is a "known issue" and "we're working on it"!
    iMac G5 250G drive 1G memory
  • nnojj Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2009 8:12 PM (in response to WD Stephens)
    Add me to the list!! I get the blue screen and then the login window. No work is saved. At least it doesn't take long to recover from the crash...
    iMac, Mac OS X (10.6)
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