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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Stability Issues since most recent update


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townsbg

 
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I run mountain lion and ever since the most recent update [10.8.3] I have had stability issues and frequent crashes which I'll list below. There have been 8 since the update on Apr 4th and today being the worst with 3. Today's seem to have been caused by InterCheck at least that's what one of the crash reports said. Also today I had issues with first SystemUIServer and the InterCheck high CPU utilization. SystemUIServer was actually maxing out both CPU and memory so I had to kill it. I ran memtest today for 3 passes with a clean report; I did an output to a file which I'll attach if needed. Unfortunately memtest isn't scanning all of the memory. Does anyone know why and how to fix it? I ran it in single user mode.

It's kind of frustrating because before the update I was able to go 90 days without a reboot at which time I performed the update. I have a mid-2010 iMac upgraded to 8 GB of ram with the 3.2 ghz processor. I don't do much resource intensive tasks. Mostly just light games, internet browsing, music, occasionally office and sometimes Windows on Vmware fusion 5. I am really good with Windows but I don't yet know enough about mac to know where to trouble shoot so any advise is appreciated.

FYI I spent 20 minutes typing out a more comprehensive post and when I submitted I was prompted to log back in so I lost the post. I've never had a forum do that to me before.

last | grep crash
*** console Sun Apr 28 19:45 - crash (01:43)
*** console Sun Apr 28 16:20 - crash (03:24)
*** console Sun Apr 28 13:54 - crash (01:58)
*** console Mon Apr 15 21:02 - crash (12+16:50)
*** console Mon Apr 15 18:55 - crash (02:05)
*** console Fri Apr 5 18:31 - crash (10+00:23)
*** console Fri Apr 5 00:03 - crash (18:26)
root console Thu Apr 4 23:54 - crash (00:05)
*** console Wed Dec 19 19:21 - crash (2+03:20)
*** console Tue Dec 18 22:44 - crash (20:36)
*** console Sat Dec 15 23:31 - crash (12:21)
*** console Mon Dec 3 23:01 - crash (1+18:41)
*** console Tue Nov 20 11:04 - crash (23:13)
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bobtomay

 
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Possible problem with the downloaded update.
1st thing I'd try would be to download and install the 10.8.3 combo update - link.



If you don't check the box to keep you logged in, the system will log you out after 30 minutes of inactivity.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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townsbg

 
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You think doing so might repair any damage? I've just completed the install. I'll let you know if there are any other issues.
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The system has crashed again. The report said InterCheck but there is also this.
Quote:
Kernel Extensions in backtrace:
com.sophos.kext.sav(8.0.4)[6A452B8C-3D82-4C84-AD03-D877507FA2A8]@0xffffff7f8b5d5000->0xffffff7f8b5d9fff
Does that mean that sophos is to blame?
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chas_m

 
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Yes. Uninstall it *using the uninstall instructions from the manufacturer* (don't just throw it in the trash). Yet ANOTHER Mac issue that's caused by so-called "protection" software. If I had a nickel ...

Uninstall Sophos and forget you ever owned it. It's not needed.
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I am not sure why Sophos is crashing Mountain Lion, but I do agree with Chas, Uninstall it and then see if you have any crashes.

I am running Mountain Lion 10.8.3 on a late 2007 iMac and so far it's been 100% stable and the snappiest this iMac has ever ran also! I do not use Sophos though so maybe that is the issue. Also is the Sophos up to date as if not maybe that is causing issues with the .3 update of ML!
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townsbg

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
Yes. Uninstall it *using the uninstall instructions from the manufacturer* (don't just throw it in the trash). Yet ANOTHER Mac issue that's caused by so-called "protection" software. If I had a nickel ...

Uninstall Sophos and forget you ever owned it. It's not needed.
Come on. I know enough to know that no OS is immune to viruses, or do you have proof otherwise. I was fed that when I went to the apple store and didn't believe it then just like I don't believe it now. When it comes to malware I'm not willing to take a chance. I'll check for an update though.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by townsbg View Post
Come on. I know enough to know that no OS is immune to viruses, or do you have proof otherwise. I was fed that when I went to the apple store and didn't believe it then just like I don't believe it now. When it comes to malware I'm not willing to take a chance. I'll check for an update though.
Well let me see if I can convince you otherwise..

Let's start with the basics of OS' (pardon me if I'm going over stuff you are already familiar with). Looking at Windows' origin from when it was an application that was started from the DOS prompt, there was no concept of a user or anything. As Windows evolved into more of a standalone OS in itself with Windows 95 and so on they added (more like tacked on) the concept of users into the system and that continued for a while.

Windows NT (really meant for an entirely different user base) had an entirely different user structure (very much more strict and more like Unix) that had hard delineation between a regular user and and administrator. Altering any part of the system usually required admin privs. However, there was no way to temporarily take admin privs back then, so you basically denoted a particular user (or set of users) to have admin privs and they could do what was needed. Traditionally, people would then have 2 users accounts on a NT-system, one with admin privs and one without, and would login/logout to do the necessary work..

Windows 2000/XP largely continued this trend but added subtle ways of doing things as admin and Windows 7 just made it easier to do just that and now Windows tends to popup a ton of windows whenever an application wants to install anything or modify system settings..the reason for this is that once again the user account has admin privs and it's trying to tell you that the system settings are being modified and if you didn't instigate it, then you should see why..

Looking at Unix from which we Mac OS and Linux are spawns..the user infrastructure is defined entirely differently. We have the concept of a Root user that can do anything and everything with little limitation and due to that power, you never run as Root user. You always run as a regular user with root privs. However, Unix/Linux/Mac OS does the smart thing of popping up a window to ask you for your password when you need to do any privileged thing (install application, modify system settings, and so on).

So at the user level there is protection for you in the Unix-based systems and finally in the latest versions of Windows as well..the onus is still on you as the smart, educated user to ensure that you do the right thing..

Now you downloading something and then installing it (with you admin privs) and it being some sort of malware that wreaks havoc on your machine is easy to avoid..just don't download random stuff..

However, the more likely situation is getting stuff into your system through your web browser. To that, we return to Windows for a moment. Microsoft create the Active-X technology and integrated it into Internet Explorer with the best of intentions because one of the things that Active-X did was to give access to the actual Windows system (including files/directories) to the browser. This really worked well when they used it on their own windowsupdate.com site to update your Windows installation.

Well, to make windowsupdate.com happy, you had to enable Active-X support and that gave any website out there access to your system and boom, a plethora of malware could be installed with you know about it...

To avoid this, an entire anti-virus/malware industry was born to deal with it..

Now in any non-Windows system, there is no Active-X and the browser is never given that kind of unprecedented access to the underlying OS to do whatever they wanted..

On my Windows VM, I don't have any sort of malware scanner running since I keep it for specific uses and visiting a couple of websites only that I know will not cause me problem..

But on my Linux machine back in the day and on my iMac now, I don't run any sort of malware or anything and I have had no problems at all with stability or performance issues.

A good thing to do is to grab a copy of ClamXav and run that on files you download as needed to ensure that the file is OK. You do not need to run any sort of active scanner that can take up all the available resources for no real reason..

I realize that it's VERY hard to break away from what you've always done and always heard. But educating yourself about how the system works will keep you much safer than blindly putting faith in any sort of anti-virus/malware software..

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townsbg

 
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I appreciate your advice and acknowledge your experience and expertise however it isn't worth the risk to me not to have anything. I agree that there are more viruses for windows and that common sense combined with the security controls that you described I shouldn't have any incidents however I prefer to have active scanning just in case. There are hackers out there who spend every waking moment writing malware to at the very least prove that they can. Of course there are other reasons for them to do so including financial ones. I am convinced that there either are or perhaps might be some who will spend the same amount of energy and time trying to write some viruses to attack unix based systems. A programmer knows that all software has bugs and security flaws. All it takes is a dedicated hacker to find and exploit a security hole and thereby ruin the day for many. Any of them that don't have scanning will have almost no hope of finding such infestations until it is way too late.

Consider this as an example. There are what tens of thousands of apps readily available through the app store. All it takes is a popular one with a well designed and hidden security flaw and those that downloaded that app have unknowingly opened up their system to an attacker that now has the ability to capture screenshots as well as record keystrokes. Such privacy threats are a risk that we all take by leaving our systems online sometimes 24 hours a day. With what I know I am convinced that the only truly impervious system is one that has no contact with the outside word. Now apple does a very good job (arguably better than the competitors who shall rename nameless) filtering the apps for threats but can they truly say that they have the time and resources to adequately scan and analyze every app submitted for review? What about every update for all of those applications? I highly doubt it.

I'll grant you no antivirus software is perfect and completely reliable but it is better than having nothing and no one can convince me that it is acceptable to have nothing; not my parents, my siblings, my boss, former professors, or any forum or technical support experts. We all owe it to ourselves and others to have our systems protected after all one of the major ways that viruses are spread is by an infected system. There has got to be a reason why Sophos currently has over 4.8 million signatures in their database.
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If you feel you need to run AV software on your Mac, then do so by all means. But it doesn't change the fact that currently there are no viruses in the wild that can infect your Mac. Malware yes, viruses no. Here's a web site that discusses viruses and malware for the Mac and which software is the most effective detecting malware. You might be interested in reading through it. It's a good site which the author keeps up to date.

LINK
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If nothing else, uninstall it and see if the crashes go away. If not, reinstall if you really feel the need for it.
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townsbg

 
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Thanks. I'll check out the site when I have time which isn't now. For now considering that I haven't had anymore crashes I'll leave it alone but I'll consider it if it starts crashing. At the very least I'll probably take this to the official Sophos forum. Thanks for your help.
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