1 2 Previous Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2013 5:36 AM by Wouter Konings
luke00001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My iMac (late 2009) has been crashing randomly every couple of weeks (sometimes more oftern) for possibly up to a year now. It's a weird crash... it just stops, as in I'll be doing something random (eg: from searching the web to Photoshop) and the whole computer will stop responding. I can't change desktop, I can't click anything, the beachball doesn't even show up. It just stops. The music keeps playing until the end of the song, then that stops too. I have to hold the power button and then start up again to recover it - loosing all my unsaved stuff.

 

It had a hard drive failure last week. I figured this problem was probably related, so when the HD was replaced (on Tuesday) I figured the problem would be fixed. I started afresh, no backup restored.

 

However, today I was using Safari and my computer froze the same way as before. So knowing it's not the HD, why is my computer failing? I get no error messages, and sometimes the computer freezes when I'm doing really non-memory-hogging things.

 

I have 2x 2GB extra RAM (from the Apple online store, just over 1 year ago) which I asked the guys at the Apple store to check out when I had the HD replaced, but they said they were good. The Apple store also ran a 'long diagnostic check' on the Mac, and said it was all good after the HD replacement, just 4 days ago. I have hardly any apps installed, and only CandyBar installed from outside the App Store.

 

Does anyone know what's up? It's driving me mad!


iMac (21.5-inch Late 2009), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3), It had 2x 2GB extra RAM from Apple
  • 1. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (116,480 points)

    Hello,

     

    What all is plugged in at home that wasn't while it was at Apple?

     

    External Drive(s), Ethernet, Printers, cables?

     

    Open console in Applications>Utilities, check the system log for the date/time of the last problem  & the Startup right after that for clues.

     

    One way to test is to Safe Boot from the HD, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, Test for problem in Safe Mode...

     

    PS. Safe boot may stay on the gray radian for a long time, let it go, it's trying to repair the Hard Drive

     

    Reboot, test again.

     

    If it only does it in Regular Boot, then it could be some hardware problem like Video card, (Quartz is turned off in Safe Mode), or Airport, or some USB or Firewire device, or 3rd party add-on, Check System Preferences>Accounts (Users & Groups in later OSX versions)>Login Items window to see if it or something relevant is listed.

     

    Check the System Preferences>Other Row, for 3rd party Pref Panes.

     

    Also look in these if they exist, some are invisible...

     

    /private/var/run/StartupItems

     

    /Library/StartupItems

     

    /System/Library/StartupItems

     

    /System/Library/LaunchDaemons

     

    /Library/LaunchDaemons

  • 2. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,430 points)

    After you force your Mac to restart, does it present a dialog box like the following:

     

    Your computer restarted because of a problem.png

    If it does, click the Report button, then copy and paste the text in a reply.

     

    In addition to BDAqua's excellent suggestions, a report of system modifications that may be contributing to the problem can be easily determined by running the following free utility:


    Apple Support Communities contributor etresoft wrote a very useful app to quickly gather certain system information that may help point to a cause of this problem. Go to his website, download and run EtreCheck:

     

    http://www.etresoft.com/etrecheck

     

    Etrecheck will be in your Downloads folder. Open it from there. You may see the following dialog box:

    Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 2.26.25 PM.png

    Click Open - etresoft contributes to this forum frequently and can be considered a trustworthy developer.

     

    It will take a moment to run as it collects its data.

     

    Copy and paste its output in a reply.

     

    Do not be concerned about anything that says "Problem" or "failed".

     

    EtreCheck was designed to remove any personal information (such as your computer's name and serial numbers) but if you see anything that looks like an email address or any other personal information that should not be divulged to others, please delete or obscure that information when you post the reply.

     

    When you are finished with EtreCheck, quit the program. It occupies very little space, and you can keep it or drag it to the Trash as you wish.


    The symptoms you describe seem to implicate a memory problem. The memory test performed by Apple Hardware Test is fairly cursory. You can also perform an extensive test of system memory by using the donationware utility Rember.

  • 3. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (116,480 points)

    Great John, was thinking possibly RAM, but hadn't got to it yet... thanks!

  • 4. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    luke00001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sometimes it comes up with the problem dialog box, but not always, and it didn't last night. Next time the box comes up I will paste the contents here, but I'm not sure when that will be as they happen randomly.

     

    This is what Etresoft said:

     

    Hardware Information:

              iMac - model: iMac10,1

              1 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU: 2 cores

              8 GB RAM

     

    Video Information:

              ATI Radeon HD 4670 - VRAM: 256 MB

     

    System Software:

              OS X 10.8.3 (12D78) - Uptime: 0 days 1:30

     

    Disk Information:

              ST31000528AS disk0 : (1 TB)

                        disk0s1 (disk0s1) <not mounted>: 209.7 MB

                        Macintosh HD (disk0s2) /: 999.35 GB (951.31 GB free)

                        Recovery HD (disk0s3) <not mounted>: 650 MB

     

              OPTIARC DVD RW AD-5680H 

     

    USB Information:

              SanDisk Cruzer 4.01 GB

                        NO NAME (disk1s1) /Volumes/NO NAME: 4.01 GB (4 GB free)

              Apple Inc. Built-in iSight

              Apple Internal Memory Card Reader

              Apple Inc. iPod 15.8 GB

                        disk2s1 (disk2s1) <not mounted>: 254 KB

                        Luke O' Sullivan’s iPod (disk2s2) /Volumes/Luke O' Sullivan’s iPod: 15.8 GB (12.65 GB free)

              Toshiba External USB 3.0 1 TB

                        disk3s1 (disk3s1) <not mounted>: 209.7 MB

                        BACK-UP (disk3s2) /Volumes/BACK-UP: 999.86 GB (955.72 GB free)

              Apple Computer, Inc. IR Receiver

              Apple Inc. BRCM2046 Hub

                        Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller

     

    FireWire Information:

     

    Kernel Extensions:

     

    Problem System Launch Daemons:

     

    Problem System Launch Agents:

                     [failed] com.apple.mrt.uiagent.plist

     

    Launch Daemons:

                     [loaded] com.adobe.fpsaud.plist

                     [loaded] com.adobe.SwitchBoard.plist

     

    Launch Agents:

                 [not loaded] com.adobe.AAM.Updater-1.0.plist

     

    User Launch Agents:

                     [loaded] com.adobe.AAM.Updater-1.0.plist

     

    User Login Items:

              iTunesHelper

              PopClip

              BetterSnapTool

     

    3rd Party Preference Panes:

              Flash Player

     

    Internet Plug-ins:

              Flash Player.plugin

              FlashPlayer-10.6.plugin

              iPhotoPhotocast.plugin

              JavaAppletPlugin.plugin

              QuickTime Plugin.plugin

     

    User Internet Plug-ins:

     

    Bad Fonts:

              None

     

    Top Processes by CPU:

                   8%          WebProcess

                   2%          WindowServer

                   1%          EtreCheck

                   1%          fontd

                   0%          mds

                   0%          coreservicesd

                   0%          Safari

                   0%          iTunes

                   0%          ps

                   0%          CoreServicesUIAgent

     

     

    Top Processes by Memory:

              188 MB          WebProcess

              82 MB          iTunes

              74 MB          Safari

              66 MB          mds

              57 MB          WindowServer

              49 MB          Dock

              41 MB          Console

              25 MB          CalendarAgent

              16 MB          com.apple.dock.extra

              16 MB          PopClip

  • 5. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    luke00001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I found the time where I had to force restart my computer, and have pasted the 10 minutes previous (there's lots of things that say 'failed':

     

    26/04/2013 21:23:48.563 WindowServer[95]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    26/04/2013 21:24:58.623 com.apple.quicklook.satellite[1289]: bootstrap_look_up2 failed with 0x44c

    26/04/2013 21:24:59.000 kernel[0]: Sandbox: sandboxd(1290) deny mach-lookup com.apple.coresymbolicationd

    26/04/2013 21:25:06.114 WindowServer[95]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    26/04/2013 21:25:07.021 sandboxd[1290]: ([1289]) QuickLookSatelli(1289) deny mach-lookup com.apple.PowerManagement.control

    26/04/2013 21:26:15.649 WindowServer[95]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    26/04/2013 21:26:28.713 WindowServer[95]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    26/04/2013 21:26:30.777 WindowServer[95]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    26/04/2013 21:26:49.120 com.apple.usbmuxd[44]: _heartbeat_failed heartbeat detected detach for device 0x26-192.168.1.64:0!

    26/04/2013 21:28:36.000 kernel[0]: (default pager): [KERNEL]: ps_allocate_cluster - send HI_WAT_ALERT

    26/04/2013 21:28:36.000 kernel[0]: macx_swapon SUCCESS

    26/04/2013 21:29:24.890 mDNSResponder[56]:  72: Could not write data to clientPID[-1]()  because of error - aborting connection

    26/04/2013 21:29:24.894 mDNSResponder[56]:  72: DNSServiceGetAddrInfo      v4v6 a1505.dspl.akamai.net. PID[-1]()

    26/04/2013 21:29:24.895 mDNSResponder[56]:  73: Could not write data to clientPID[-1]()  because of error - aborting connection

    26/04/2013 21:29:24.898 mDNSResponder[56]:  73: DNSServiceGetAddrInfo      v4v6 a1505.dspl.akamai.net. PID[-1]()

    26/04/2013 21:29:24.898 mDNSResponder[56]:  74: Could not write data to clientPID[-1]()  because of error - aborting connection

    26/04/2013 21:29:24.903 mDNSResponder[56]:  74: DNSServiceGetAddrInfo      v4v6 a1505.dspl.akamai.net. PID[-1]()

    26/04/2013 21:30:20.293 com.apple.usbmuxd[44]: _heartbeat_failed heartbeat detected detach for device 0x28-192.168.1.90:0!

    26/04/2013 21:30:21.000 kernel[0]: Sandbox: sandboxd(1310) deny mach-lookup com.apple.coresymbolicationd

    26/04/2013 21:30:22.759 sandboxd[1310]: ([191]) WebProcess(191) deny file-read-data /Users/Luke/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ServicesMenu.Services.plist

    26/04/2013 21:30:22.773 sandboxd[1310]: ([191]) WebProcess(191) deny mach-lookup com.apple.pbs.fetch_services

    26/04/2013 21:30:35.457 AddressBookSourceSync[1312]: *** -[IADomainCache init]: IA domains cache couldn't be read.

    26/04/2013 21:30:42.121 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Starting automatic backup

    26/04/2013 21:30:42.187 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Backing up to: /Volumes/BACK-UP/Backups.backupdb

    26/04/2013 21:30:45.709 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Using file event preflight for Macintosh HD

    26/04/2013 21:30:46.124 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Will copy (14.6 MB) from Macintosh HD

    26/04/2013 21:30:46.133 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Found 487 files (27.7 MB) needing backup

    26/04/2013 21:30:46.138 com.apple.backupd[1318]: 620.8 MB required (including padding), 955.88 GB available

    26/04/2013 21:31:01.379 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Copied 1769 files (30.4 MB) from volume Macintosh HD.

    26/04/2013 21:31:01.393 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Using file event preflight for Macintosh HD

    26/04/2013 21:31:01.402 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Will copy (17 KB) from Macintosh HD

    26/04/2013 21:31:01.403 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Found 26 files (17 KB) needing backup

    26/04/2013 21:31:01.404 com.apple.backupd[1318]: 587.6 MB required (including padding), 955.85 GB available

    26/04/2013 21:31:03.903 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Copied 428 files (17 KB) from volume Macintosh HD.

    26/04/2013 21:31:03.968 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Created new backup: 2013-04-26-213103

    26/04/2013 21:31:04.826 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Starting post-backup thinning

    26/04/2013 21:31:06.225 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Deleted /Volumes/BACK-UP/Backups.backupdb/Luke’s iMac/2013-04-25-205656 (12.9 MB)

    26/04/2013 21:31:06.227 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Post-back up thinning complete: 1 expired backups removed

    26/04/2013 21:31:06.264 com.apple.backupd[1318]: Backup completed successfully.

    26/04/2013 21:33:07.844 Dock[147]: no information back from LS about running process

    26/04/2013 21:33:12.100 WindowServer[95]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    26/04/2013 21:33:40.643 WindowServer[95]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

     

    This is where it froze, I kept the computer on to see whether the music would keep playing past the current song, which it didn't, so I turned it off. It then goes on to boot:

     

    26/04/2013 21:40:15.000 bootlog[0]: BOOT_TIME 1367008815 0

     

    ...

     

    I can paste the rest of startup as well if it helps?

     

    I will repair disk permissions but it may be worth pointing out that I usually do this every month anyway - even in the months leading up to the hard-drive failure.

     

    It might also be worth pointing out that I haven't ever had a backup drive plugged in at the time of a crash before.

  • 6. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,430 points)

    Shut down your Mac and disconnect the SanDisk Cruzer and iPod. Start your iMac normally, then using Disk Utility, repair the backup volume on your Toshiba drive. You will be using the "Repair Disk" button - not "Repair Disk Permissions".

     

    It is normal for the repair to take a long time.

     

    If Disk Utility finds any errors indicated in red, copy the text exactly as it appears and report it.

     

    None of this explains why the Mac simply freezes. That should never happen outside of a hardware fault, but that includes faulty USB-connected hardware. See if the problem remains after those external devices are disconnected.

  • 7. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    luke00001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No errors were found when repairing the disk. I also didn't have the backup drive plugged in ever before when the computer crashed. I wouldn't have thought the SanDisk Cruzer memory stick would have caused the crash, but that is the only thing that was plugged in that could potentially have been plugged in every time the computer has crashed.

     

    I used Rember to test the RAM and it reported no errors.

  • 8. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,430 points)

    ... I also didn't have the backup drive plugged in ever before when the computer crashed.

     

    Thanks; I had interpreted the opposite.

     

    BDAqua's suggestions still remain - Safe Boot, and add to the list creating a temporary account to isolate user-specific problems: Isolating an issue by using another user account

     

    CandyBar should be considered suspicious as well - read: http://www.panic.com/blog/2012/08/candybar-mountain-lion-and-beyond/

     

    I don't know how it does what it does. It's obviously a system modification and as such, has unknown potential effects. Such system hacks often do not survive a simple OS X update and it's clear the developer is aware that it could cause problems. When in doubt, remove such things.

  • 9. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    luke00001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay, I've reset everything CandyBar changed and uninstalled it (I found a more reliable way to change the ugly Finder icon without messing with any code). I'll call that solved unless it pops up again, since this is the only explanation I can think of (I didn't know CandyBar was unsupported and unstable).

     

    Thanks for your help!!!

     

    Luke

  • 10. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    luke00001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Plus, I'm not sure creating a temporary account would help as the account I am using now is new - I didn't restore it from a backup. That's why I reckon it must be CandyBar.

  • 11. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    Bereanone Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Don't think it could have anything to do with a hard drive since in the last 2 days, my Macbook Air has crashed completely a half a dozen times.  That is more then it has ever crashed in total prior to that (If it ever did).  My Macbook Air has not hard drive, only solid state.  These crashes have occured when I am watching a video.  The screen will freeze, maybe run jerky for a fraction of a second, and the next thing I see is the gray screen announcing a total crash.  Reboot is very rapid, faster then a normal reboot, like it is loading back the state it was just in and most programs open seem to come back nearly to where they were before the crash.  What is going on?  It has NEVER been this unstable ever.  Did something change on the OS?  I work through an Airport Extreme Router which has hard drives attached to it, but that is not new.  The router periodically loses touch with the drives and I find the Airport Extreme not a very reilable device because of that.  It seemed to get a little better with the last firmware upgrade, but over all, I am thinking of getting a dedicated server for my extra drives and simply taking the task of management away from the Airport Extreme.  Maybe if I demote it to be just a simple router, this will get better.  I had hoped to stay with All-Apple devices.  I thought they should play well together, but this crashing is for the birds......

  • 13. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    luke00001 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Bad news... it crashed again. And it didn't give me an error message or anything to identify the problem.

     

    uTorrent, Photoshop, QuickTime, iTunes, Mail and many Safari tabs were open - but the computer was running fast with no signs of a lack of memory. I was in Safari at the time of the crash: the following is taken from Console, and shows the last actions before the crash:

     

    --------

     

    16/05/2013 22:39:56.630 Safari[235]: Top Hit URL autocompleted in combined field

    com.apple.message.domain: com.apple.Safari.URL

    com.apple.message.signature: TopHitAutocompleted

    com.apple.message.summarize: YES

     

     

    16/05/2013 22:39:56.632 Safari[235]: URL entered in combined field

    com.apple.message.domain: com.apple.Safari.URL

    com.apple.message.signature: CombinedField

    com.apple.message.summarize: YES

     

     

    16/05/2013 22:39:58.023 Safari[235]: Web Page visited

    com.apple.message.domain: com.apple.Safari.PageVisited

    com.apple.message.summarize: YES

     

    --------

     

    I have a feeling I may have been in Safari every time it has crashed, but can't be sure. CandyBar is uninstalled. uTorrent and Photoshop were the only things running from outside of the App Store.

     

    More from console just before the time of the crash:

     

    ---------

     

    16/05/2013 22:24:51.615 com.apple.backupd[2270]: Created new backup: 2013-05-16-222451

    16/05/2013 22:24:51.721 com.apple.backupd[2270]: Starting post-backup thinning

    16/05/2013 22:25:01.670 com.apple.backupd[2270]: Deleted /Volumes/BACK-UP/Backups.backupdb/Luke’s iMac/2013-05-15-220838 (44.9 MB)

    16/05/2013 22:25:01.670 com.apple.backupd[2270]: Post-back up thinning complete: 1 expired backups removed

    16/05/2013 22:25:01.740 com.apple.backupd[2270]: Backup completed successfully.

    16/05/2013 22:26:14.244 WindowServer[93]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    16/05/2013 22:26:14.809 WindowServer[93]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

     

    [the previous line was then repeated many times]

     

    16/05/2013 22:29:55.998 com.apple.usbmuxd[41]: _heartbeat_failed heartbeat detected detach for device 0xab-192.168.1.64:0!

    16/05/2013 22:37:36.000 kernel[0]: en1: BSSID changed to 80:b6:86:db:af:0d

    16/05/2013 22:37:36.000 kernel[0]: en1::IO80211Interface::postMessage bssid changed

    16/05/2013 22:37:36.000 kernel[0]: AirPort: RSN handshake complete on en1

    16/05/2013 22:39:52.589 WindowServer[93]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    16/05/2013 22:39:53.765 WindowServer[93]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    16/05/2013 22:39:54.171 WindowServer[93]: CGXRegisterWindowWithSystemStatusBar: window b already registered

    16/05/2013 22:41:19.647 com.apple.usbmuxd[41]: _heartbeat_failed heartbeat detected detach for device 0xb2-192.168.1.64:0!

     

    [crash]

     

    ------------

     

     

    I have NO idea what it could be now. Safari and iTunes are the only things in common with all of the crashes as far as I am aware. It is even a brand new HD (that wasn't even restored from a back-up) from the first time it crashed around a year ago.

     

    Unless it ran out of RAM? But surely it would just force quit something or take logical actions rather than just locking up?

  • 14. Re: Mac crashes randomly
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,430 points)

    uTorrent, Photoshop, QuickTime, iTunes, Mail and many Safari tabs were open -

     

    Any software downloaded using a torrent client is likely to be illegitimate and is probably unsafe to use. It is anyone's guess what you downloaded and its resulting effects on your system.

     

    It's your Mac, do with it as you please, but if it were mine I would completely erase it and rebuild the system from the ground up, given the uncertainty of having downloaded and installed illegitimate software.

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