Remember the original Mac’s “Crash Bomb”? It was that cute pop up window that told you your Mac crashed. It was cute, but not funny.
With Mac OS X crashes are rare, but happen. So what do you do when your Mac crashes?
It’s usually not a pretty site, and it’s becoming more rare as Mac OS X matures.
Sometimes, I’ll leave my Mac running for weeks at a time without rebooting.
A Mac application may die here and there, but Mac OS X keeps churning away, working fine.
Today’s Mac OS X crashes still give us a warning. Usually, it’s the multi-language message that simply says the obvious:
Notice that the message doesn’t even call it a Mac. It’s a computer. Macs run OK. Computers crash.
Crashes in Mac OS X are no fun because it means something is wrong, and whatever Mac apps you were running just crashed, too.
What do you do when Mac OS X crashes?
No, I mean besides dirty language, elevated heart rate, and high blood pressure.
I read Crash Reporter. Then I ask myself the same question: “What the hell does all that mean?”
There’s also a short list of applications that I use to check out my Mac’s health.
Mac applications can crash for a variety of reason; hardware and software related—so tracking down a problem can be a chore.
One utility that I use to check out my Mac is PrefCheck. Yes, it’s free. Hey, this is Alex doing the review. You know—the
PrefCheck checks your Mac’s preference files. Why is that important and what difference does it make?
Mac OS X is a complicated beast. Your Mac’s applications, utilities, and operating system have a stack of preferences to track.
Many of those preference files can become corrupt (for a variety of reasons), and that may cause crashes.
PrefCheck checks the preferences to make sure they’re formed correctly and provides a report.
So, when odd things begin to happen on your Mac—OS X crashes, applications and utilities crash or behave funny—check preferences.
It’s free, and it can’t hurt. But it’s only a first step in tracking down problems on your Mac.
Hardware problems are easier to track because there’s often a simple “process of elimination” effort. Unplug everything.
Plug everything back in, but one item at a time.
That’s tedious, but often successful at determining a problem with hardware.
Software is tougher to track down when a problem occurs. We usually have much more software than hardware components.
Checking your Mac’s crash logs can help, but they’re often cryptic in nature. HD Crash Reporter can help.
The “HD” stands for Humble Daisy, the developer, not “hard drive.” These are the same folks who develop the popular ProfCast.
Another good tool for developers but not end users is Smart Crash Reports from Unsanity.
Hey, I know it’s not Friday, but it’s a freebie, too. Consider it a blessing from the Mac Gods even though it won’t get you much.
Mac OS X crashes are rare, but occur. Same with most well developed Mac applications and utilities.
What’s your process and procedure when something goes wrong on your Mac? Do you have a special utility that helps you track the problem?
Do you simply reboot and pray that the crash doesn’t happen again? Share and share alike.