Applications keep uninstalling themeselves?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mrjamie101, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. mrjamie101 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm hoping someone could shed some light on an odd issue that I'm experiencing.

    Several applications on my mac keep uninstalling themselves, even whilst In use. For example:

    I was using firefox, then navigation bar seemed to lock up, so I quit Firefox, then it removed itself from the dock bar - I looked in my applications folder and it was no longer there? Had to download and reinstall to get it working again.

    Was using photoshop CS4, click 'save for web' and a popup told me it was unable to export as file didn't exist? So I saved my file i was working on, quit photoshop, looked in my applications folder and the entire CS4 package was missing?!

    To restore this, I opened Time Machine, and found that it had been missing for 3 hours, so restored the Adobe suite (7gb) and it now works again.

    This has happened to about 8 applications now, cyberduck, carbon copy cloner, adium, appzapper, automater, firefox, adobe?

    I've ran a disk check on my hard drive and all seems fine, no errors found.

    I'm also experiencing complete freezes every so often where I'm forced to hold the power button down to turn my mac off and then reboot it - all since this error started happening.

    I have a Macbook Pro, 17" 2.4ghz, 4gm ram running OS X 10.5.7

    Does anyone have any idea what might be going on?

    Thanks in advance, J.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    That's officially the oddest problem of the day. While it's the easy way out of most problems, I suggest doing an archive & install from your computer's restore disks. If you enable the "preserve users and network settings" option, everything will be as it was before the reinstall... except hopefully the applications will stay put.

    One other thought... do you have any sort of antivirus, firewall, or security software installed?
     
  3. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    that is quite strange. .


    I'd suggest a re-install aswell. Either format it and do a fresh install or "Archive & Install" to preserve your user account.


    Also, is that a Legit copy of Photoshop CS4? There was a thing saying CS4 on torrent sites had an OS X Trojan. Not sure if uninstalling apps is what Trojans normally do, but I thought I'd let you know just in case it is from a torrent site.
     
  4. mrjamie101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #4
    Thanks for the quick replies.

    Yes all my software is legit, I run a web design company so can't run the risk of pirated software.

    I've just purchased a new hdd and running carbon copy cloner (that I had to reinstall as it was missing! ) and I'll see if that makes a difference.

    I've not got any anti-virus installed, but I can't think of a trojan / virus for macs that would completely remove an application?

    As i side note, when I reinstalled cyberduck / firefox the settings remained (plugins, bookmarks etc) so the user cache / library does not get removed.

    Is there an online virus scan that you know of?
     
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #5
    are you installing applications the correct way? have a look at the Guides section here on installing.
     
  6. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    Sarcasmville.
    #6
    This might sound stupid, but is there someone that is accessing your computer and just deleting stuff?
     
  7. mrjamie101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #7
    yup, all installed correctly :) The programs have been working fine since they were installed up to 18 months ago.

    The macbook pro in question does not have any shared files, or even File Sharing enabled.
     
  8. fpar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #8
    This is definitely one of those issues that warrants a reinstallation of the OS. If that doesn't work then it may be a hardware issue but i don't see how that is possible.
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #9
    How about physically accessing it? :p
     
  10. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    Sarcasmville.
    #10
    Are you saying that the OP has a split personality playing practical jokes on him?
     
  11. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

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    Canada
    #11
    That's what I was thinking via a trojan, but if he doesn't run pirated software there should not be one on there.

    I've never really heard of apps just deleting themselves, especially when they're running. Something has to be going on, either unauthorized access over the net or over a network, or some problem with software.


    If a fresh install doesn't fix it, then either it is something the user is running, or unauthorized access to the computer.
     
  12. mrjamie101 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #12
    Just finished a clone with CCC - It found a few critical errors with the previous HDD - so maybe there were some dodgy read issues?

    I've installed the new hdd into the macbook now and it's booted ok.

    Give you another update in a few hours to see if the issue has been resolved, if not, I guess it's time to reinstall!
     
  13. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

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    Ontario, Canada
    #13
    Don't even try this stuff. This is where a lot of people start getting into trouble. As far as I know there isn't any online programs that can scan any computer. They would have to be installed...
     
  14. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #14
    Im quite sure you are not if the apps have been installed for a while but you are not running them from disk images are you?
    If the image is closed then the app will 'disappear'.
     
  15. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

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    #15
    But you can't dismount a disk image if the program is running can you? I would imagine it would say something along the lines of "no".


    It seems his programs kinda vanish while he's got them open
     
  16. mrjamie101 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #16
    Yeah, not running apps from the disk images LOL, I'm a bit of a clean desktop nazi, so don't like single files on the desktop, let alone a disk image!
     
  17. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #17
    Have you

    Repaired Permission
    Verify Disk
    Repair Disk
     
  18. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #18
    Me too. :D Not one icon on my desktop! :cool:

    Well I'm all out of ideas.
     
  19. mrjamie101 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 16, 2009
    #19
    yes, yes and yes.... no irregularities flagged during this process.

    I've also done this now, after I've cloned the hdd to a new drive - I'm going to switch off airport for 24 hours, just in case there's a remote trojan at play.
     
  20. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #20
    I would do a clean install. Sounds like something is messed up, not the usual behavior.

    It's highly unlikely to be trojans. Those things have other purposes then to announce their presence to you.

    How to check for Trojans
    http://www.macworld.com/article/60823/2007/10/trojanhorse.html

    Giz Explains: Why OS X Shrugs Off Viruses Better Than Windows
    http://i.gizmodo.com/5101337/giz-explains-why-os-x-shrugs-off-viruses-better-than-windows

    The Mac Malware Myth
    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2009/01/29/the-mac-malware-myth/

    The Unavoidable Malware Myth
    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/...-apple-wont-inherit-microsofts-malware-crown/

    Market Share Myth
    http://blogs.bellinghamherald.com/i...uter_virus_record_straig&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
     
  21. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #21
    I can tell you a few things it's not:

    1) It's not a failing hard drive. If an application were on a corrupted part of the drive, it would appear but fail to start. It wouldn't fail while running and it certainly wouldn't disappear. If there were bad sectors at the beginning of the drive, which is the only way an extant file would disappear without being deleted, the system simply wouldn't boot at all.

    2) It's not an unauthorized user unless they managed to get their hands on a privileged account (in sudoers). Only the super user could delete a running application.

    3) If it's a trojan, it wouldn't need to connect to the internet, so disconnecting won't help there. Also, like in #2, it would require you to enter an admin password before it could delete running applications.

    4) It's not physical access because the apps are being deleted while you're using them, and I think you'd know if there were someone else in front of the computer at the same time while you're doing stuff. :D
     
  22. Farfooz macrumors member

    Farfooz

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #22
    This is the first i see this problem on the mac, but this occured on my brothers iPhone and all his app data was lost. Strange, we couldn't figure out what happened
     
  23. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #23
    Hey, one other thought. It's kinda grasping at straws, but next time an application disappears, open Terminal and run:

    ls -a /Applications

    and see if the missing program is listed. You could also try a Spotlight search for the application in case it's being moved rather than deleted.
     
  24. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #24
    I'm surprised nobody suggested a Spotlight search. It's found things that I swore I had placed in directory X, only to find they were in directory Y. Just to see if you find the apps, any Library entries (Application Support), pref files, etc.

    Definitely worth a search to see if anything is left, and where. As mentioned earlier, repairing permissions is actually a good idea (even though it's offered as a joke most times ;)). I don't remember Time Machine being mentioned, but not only will it save your bacon in instances like that, it'll also tell you approximately when these apps disappeared by the last time/date of them in the TM history.
     
  25. mrjamie101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #25
    Hi all...

    thaks for your replies! Back again... I replaced the HDD and ran a brand new install....

    today about a week or so later, iCal and Address Book vanished in the same way as before... I hit CMD+Space and ran a quick search and no programs were found.. so as before, I entered timemachine, found the programs installed about 4 or 5 hours before and restored them.

    So, after thinking all was well and good, I'm back to square one :(

    Stumped.
     

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