Apps suddenly quitting

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by annk, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. annk Administrator

    annk

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    #1
    I'm working on a paper where I need Word and Wenlin (a program for translating Chinese) open at the same time. I've worked with these two programs for years with no problem. Suddenly today, they will quit - both of them - at intervals of 10 - 60 minutes. I have to restart in order to open them (and the docs I need to have open in each) again. Simply trying to reopen the programs and docs results in nothing - it's as if the computer is ignoring my clicking.

    I'm running Leopard with the latest update on a 17 inch Powerbook. I've got Word 2004 and the latest version of Wenlin.

    I recently upgraded my RAM (Crucial), but everything else works fine, so I don't think it's the RAM.

    Any ideas? This paper is important, I have to get it done in the next few days, and this is REALLY slowing me down. :(
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    That's annoying. :(

    Would you be able to work form a fresh user account for a while. If it happen there too, then we can be sure the problem isn't within your original account's Home folder. :)
     
  3. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

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    #3
    Considering you recently upgraded it and weren't experiencing this problem before I would still try removing the new stick if possible to see if the problem persists.

    Also you could make sure that the new RAM is seated properly in the slot.
     
  4. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #4
    I'll try the new user account first, thanks - shoulda thought of that. :eek:

    I've checked that the RAM is in the slots, and "About this Mac" consistently shows 2 gigs. But if a new account doesn't work, I'll put the old RAM back in and see if that solves the problem.
     
  5. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #5
    Ok, update (sorry about the double post, I'll merge them later):

    I've made a new account and have been using it for this particular task, with no shut-downs. So, two questions:

    1 Is this confirmation that it's not bad RAM?

    2 Is there a way I can fix my old, regular account, or do I have to migrate everything to the new account and delete the old one? (And if I have to do the latter, can someone point me to a step-by-step list, so I don't bork something up and lose data from my old account? :eek:)

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

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    #6

    It is strong evidence that the RAM probably isn't the cause. I reckon we can write it off as the cause for now. :)



    I don't use Wenlin so can't be too much help, but maybe try deleting its preference file as a start (on the original account). Since I can't really say anything conclusive, it might be safer to finish your project in the new account for now, and then worry about getting the old account back to normal.
     
  7. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #7
    I suppose if trashing the plist file for Wenlin doesn't work, I can do the same for Word - before I have to consider what to do about the accounts. And you're right, I should finish my paper first. :p

    Thanks! :cool:
     
  8. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #8
    Okay, update.

    Word and now Text Edit won't open docs at all. The app appears to open, but won't open a new doc, or open saved docs.

    On the extra account I made, things more or less open, but not consistently.

    Disk Utility won't let me run repair permissions or verify disc. When I ran verify permissions, this is what I got.

    Picture 1.png

    Any ideas? I would REALLY like to avoid having to do a clean install, but I'm afraid I might have to.

    I've tried trashing the relevant .plist files, to no avail. :(
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

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    #9
    Disk Utility should let you repair the permissions but it's normal for it to not allow you to repair the drive. You can't repair the drive you've booted from. Instead, you must boot from the OSX discs and use that version of Disk Utility to repair the drive (if necessary). Don't worry about the permission errors for now. :)
     
  10. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #10
    Ok, thanks, that's good to know. But I can't even repair permissions - it just goes forever, says there's less than one minute left, but I end up quitting the process after 10 minutes have gone by. The fans go like crazy. Do you think I should just let it go, and if so, for how long?

    Or - maybe not being able to repair permissions is a sign I should boot from the disc and repair the disk? :confused:
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

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    #11
    Repair the disk first of all. It could be an underlying problem that is causing all of this. Even if it's not, a slow or unresponsive Disk Utility is the least of your worries. Hopefully it's just a matter of running the disk repair a couple of times and having everything back to normal. :)
     
  12. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #12
    Thanks, I will try this tomorrow or on the weekend, and report back. :)
     
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    No worries. Remember that if the repair needs to make any changes, run it again. Run it until no changes are necessary. :)
     
  14. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #14
    Thanks, I didn't know that.

    Like your sig, I didn't know anyone other than Americans play duck duck goose. :D

    Edit: I ran Disk Utility from the Leopard DVD, and the HD "appears to be fine". So then I ran repair permissions, since that just got stuck when I did it from the Utilities menu, and it ran through, and gave me a list of "Warning: SUID .... have been changed...will not be repaired". I couldn't take a screenshot after having booted up the way I did, but I suspect the list is the same I posted in this thread a ways back.

    Another thing - my first attempt to boot from the Leopard DVD resulted in a kernel panic.

    What do I do now? I have at least three apps that, while they'll appear to be open (they show on the menu bar at the top as open), won't allow me to open any old docs or create any new ones. The apps are Word 2004, Text Edit, and my Chinese translating program, Wenlin. Something is definitely weird. The machine runs a bit slowly, too, which is odd, since I just upgraded to 2 GB RAM from 1 GB.

    Is there anything else I can try, before I have to wipe the thing and start from scratch?
     
  15. mad jew Moderator emeritus

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    #15
    No need to apologise. It's perfectly legitimate to post again with updated information. However, if I subscribed to threads I'm pretty sure my email provider CEO would personally come over and slap me! :D

    It really is sounding like a hardware issue. Try running the Apple Hardware Test from the Leopard disc (boot holding D). Don't reinstall the OS because I really don't think that'll help. Hopefully the diagnostics will turn something up, but there's no guaranty. Unfortunately, even if they come back with no errors, there may still be something wrong. Maybe it's time to go back to the old RAM... Can you replicate kernel panics in any way, or are they completely random? :)
     
  16. netnothing macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Just thought I'd mention that the Apple Hardware Test won't be on a retail copy of Leopard. It is only on the DVD's that came with the system. So if you bought the system with Leopard on it, then it will be there.

    Only reason I say this is because he mentioned he's running a Powerbook (although I didn't think they made a 17 inch version edit: wikipedia says they did...huh. you learn something new every day).

    Anyhoo....I just recently found out that the AHT is only on the DVD's that shipped with your system....in my case, my original Tiger DVD's.

    -Kevin
     
  17. mad jew Moderator emeritus

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    #17
    Yeah, thanks for clearing that up kbmb. I'm glad someone's on the ball! :)

    It may even be on a separate disc, in which case you need to boot form that one holding C. It should all be labelled on the actual disc though.
     
  18. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

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    #18
    Well, you could always go ahead and try swapping out that new RAM for your old stick as I suggested way back. I think Mad Jew's suggestion of running the AHT is also excellent advice except that as he said it might show no problems at all when there is one.

    If you stick your old RAM back in and the problems magically dissappear I think it is pretty strong evidence that the new RAM is related to the problem in some way.

    Finally, it only takes a few minutes to swap RAM out so it's a painless test.

    It might not be the RAM at all but at this point you may want to rule it out officially. :)
     
  19. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #19
    I was away all weekend, am just reading this now.

    I'm running Leopard, but it's a retail copy - my PB came with Panther, which I since updated to Tiger. I've still got the original Panther discs - is there any point trying to run the AHT from them? Will my system even accept the Panther discs for this?

    I've given away one of my RAM sticks, but still have the other, so I can still switch out one of the new ones at a time, and see if that's the problem. But since absolutely all other apps run fine, I'm banking on it not being the RAM.
     
  20. netnothing macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Yup....your hardware hasn't changed so the Panther discs will run the AHT just fine.

    Here's an Apple Support doc on running the AHT on a 17" Powerbook:
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86287

    -Kevin
     
  21. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #21
    Ok, I ran the AHT, no problems turned up, everything passed. My remaining old RAM stick is at my office, so I won't be able to get at it until tomorrow. But I have a hard time believing it's a RAM problem. I installed the new RAM when I was in the States over Christmas, and used Word and Text Edit extensively during the last four days of my stay - AFTER I installed the new RAM. The problem didn't turn up until about a week later.

    And, to answer MJ's earlier question - the kernel panics seemed random. There were two.

    Edit: My Wenlin program will suddenly allow me to open a new document, AND to open old docs.

    Edit nr 2: And now Word and TE will also let me open things again. WTF?? I'm happy about this, but all I've done is run diagnostics. :confused: Can running diagnostics cure problems?
     
  22. mad jew Moderator emeritus

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    #22

    Not really, although it's possible one of the restarts or changing the boot volume momentarily has brought something else back into line... Nevertheless, keep an eye on things.

    I agree it doesn't sound like a RAM issue but bad memory can behave in strange ways, and doesn't always exhibit any symptoms straight away. Nevertheless, if you're all good now then I guess you'll just have to get back to work! Haha!

    Keep everything backed up and record down any strange behaviour. Your machine's been acting pretty weirdly lately judging by your threads here, so keep us up-to-date. :)
     
  23. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Yeah, if it ain't broke... :p

    If it reoccurs I would just try swapping the RAM as a way to rule it out as a possible culprit. That is the only way you can diagnose any computer problem: you narrow it down step by step.

    If you've got two sticks of new RAM in the machine and it starts acting up again you might even try just using one of those at a time to see if it changes anything.

    But hopefully whatever gremlins you had have now left your machine for good. :)
     
  24. annk thread starter Administrator

    annk

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    #24
    Thanks, guys. For now, I'm just relieved - I was afraid the PB was dying, so the fact that AHT showed no problems is a huge relief. And as long as my apps behave, I'm happy. But I usually back up my home folder about once a month, and mail copies of important docs created in the meantime to my gmail account, so if it does suddenly die, my only problem is how to afford a new computer.

    I'll make a note of all future wonky behaviour.
     

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