Weird global force quits

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Policar, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    I'm experiencing some weird problems with my mac pro 3,1 under 10.6.1.

    Often, and with increasing frequency, I'll be using photoshop or final cut or something and suddenly the screen will fade to blue (the same blue you see before start up), all open apps (including finder) will suddenly force quit, and I'll be back at the desktop--no error messages or anything. The weird part is that all icons except safari and finder will be gone from the dock and I'll have to add them again manually. This is kind of a pain, especially since I lose all my work each time and it can happen in ten-minute intervals.

    Oh, and this may or may not be related: I installed some third-party ram (only at 4gb now, but I'll upgrade soon) and I used to have extremely frequent kernel panics until I reseated the ram. I don't have kernel panics anymore, but I may try reseating the ram, anyway.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    What you're describing sounds like a loginwindow crash, plus Dock corruption on top of it. When loginwindow goes down, everything in that particular login goes with it, and you get dropped back to the login screen after a fade to blue. Normally you'd need to login again at that point, but I'm guessing maybe you have auto-login set and it's doing that instead. As for the Dock, presumably its preference file is getting eaten in the process.

    The loginwindow crash problem has been reported to consistently happen for some small percentage of Snow Leopard users, according to posts I've read here, at MacInTouch, and at MacFixIt. I've never had it happen myself, nor do most people, but those who do generally say it appears to have something to do with heavy-resource-using programs and/or those that use Rosetta.

    I notice you're only on 10.6.1; you might try downloading the 10.6.2 combo update and running that, to see if it helps--there's a decent chance it's fixed in that update. Others reported success reinstalling Rosetta from the SL install DVD and then running the most recent combo update. Can't really hurt to try as an initial troubleshooting method.

    If none of that works, then I'd start to suspect hardware problems--any ECC errors, or are you using non-ECC RAM?
  3. Policar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    That's a very, very helpful reply, thank you. I think you got it exactly right, which is pretty impressive given my rather ambiguous wording. I've had this problem for a while, but I was actually using photoshop in rosetta (to try out an old plug in) when it got so bad I decided to post about it. And I do have auto-login, yes.

    I'm using ECC ram but am planning to upgrade to non-ECC in the future. Heh.

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