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Author Topic: A crash in Mac OS X can look quite scarey and mysterious!  (Read 796 times)

Tim Lookingbill

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A crash in Mac OS X can look quite scarey and mysterious!
« on: March 18, 2018, 05:21:42 PM »

Especially if you've never had a crash and don't know what it looks like.

I'll give it to Window's system they do let you know with the BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) that something has seriously gone wrong which is how I had to find out in a search on how to tell if my Mac Mini in OS 10.6.8 actually crashed or my processor's kernel was being hacked and forcing me to either shutdown or log in just from listening to Amazon's mp3 music samples while switching to YouTube page to hear the entire song both sites using HTML5 (No Flash).

Doing this for any length of time caused my Mac to get quite warm with the first occurrence flashing a gray square box in the center of my display as a gray curtain top to bottom role down dims my screen with a warning that my computer experienced bad things (or something like that in different languages) and that it is going to shut down. I thought I'ld been hacked and tricked into restarting and logging back in so my password could be recorded or that my aging computer just died where I'ld lose all my xmp edited Raw images.

Couldn't really tell. So I just hit the off switch on the Sentry power strip my Mac was plugged into, unplugged my Ethernet cable, rebooted, logged in and tossed my browser's cache and history just in case, connected Ethernet and restarted. All was fine.

After a week went back to Amazon/YouTube music sampling and this time my Administrator Login window I get when I first boot the Mac just popped on the middle of the screen. No shut down. Again, I just hit the off button on the power switch and did the same as stated above. All is fine.

I backed up my images between these two incidences so I'm safe if my aging Mac is going down for the count. Can't tell.

As said above in a google search on why this happens with Amazon/YouTube, a forum poster with a brand new and loaded Windows Lenova laptop had the BSOD while on those two sites sampling music/videos but didn't really offer any answers except a suggestion to update graphics and audio drivers. No feedback on whether this fixed the issue.

Appreciate any feedback on this especially if you've experienced the same whether on Mac or Windows.
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mediumcool

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Re: A crash in Mac OS X can look quite scarey and mysterious!
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2018, 12:35:12 PM »

Ever cleaned the dust and detritus from the miniís insides?
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BobShaw

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Re: A crash in Mac OS X can look quite scarey and mysterious!
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2018, 05:35:18 PM »

Well they are virtually a sealed box so they do get warm. As suggested clean the dust out. More RAM and an SSD makes them fly.
If you are the slightest bit worried about hackers then an operating system from the current decade may be an idea.

You don't say what type of Mac Mini you have but my 2010 mini server is running the latest High Sierra. I run 10.6 in a VMware window on an iMac running 10.12
Don't pull the pull out unless normal shut down or at worst holding in the power button doesn't work.
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: A crash in Mac OS X can look quite scarey and mysterious!
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 11:00:24 PM »

Appreciate the tips. I have a mid 2010 Mac Mini with 8GB of Ram.

I've cleaned the dust off the fan in the past but never got farther into taking it apart to clean other areas. There's never really that much dust on the fan or anywhere else just from examining the insides with the back off.

Besides, I really don't think dust is the problem considering this Amazon/YouTube issue happened with a brand new, loaded Lenova laptop running a current Windows system. Was looking for info on tips for browser prefs or any feedback on if it can be confirmed it's the websites causing this. I was thinking increasing my Firefox 48 browser cache.

And I'm not worried about hackers getting at my computer. I doubt in my 20 years online on Mac OS 8 to X, if it hasn't happened yet, it's probably not going to happen in my lifetime. I only stated the concern from not being able to distinguish a hack from a Mac OS X crash/freeze. Now I know it's a crash.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Joe Towner

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Re: A crash in Mac OS X can look quite scarey and mysterious!
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 10:56:46 AM »

HTML5 ads have been the worst - they seem to pull in 3rd party content and it can be a quick exploit away from wanting in to your system.  Are you using Safari, Chrome or Firefox?

I would greatly advise moving up to Sierra at the minimum, as the browser support for the older builds has ended.
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Kirk_C

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Re: A crash in Mac OS X can look quite scarey and mysterious!
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 09:51:10 PM »

If you are the slightest bit worried about hackers then an operating system from the current decade may be an idea.

And I'm not worried about hackers getting at my computer. I doubt in my 20 years online on Mac OS 8 to X, if it hasn't happened yet, it's probably not going to happen in my lifetime. I only stated the concern from not being able to distinguish a hack from a Mac OS X crash/freeze. Now I know it's a crash.

Snow leopard has been unsupported by Apple since 2014. Your presumption about the security of your Mac is nieve. In the last year of your lifetime there have been more risks to the Mac then in the 20 years prior, that you refer to, combined.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/11/new-security-update-fixes-macos-root-bug/

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/01/ios-and-macos-updates-available-now-address-spectre-vulnerabilities/

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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: A crash in Mac OS X can look quite scarey and mysterious!
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 12:49:25 AM »

Can someone tell me why what I experienced with Amazon/YouTube issue also happened on a brand new loaded Lenova laptop running a current Windows system?

Joe Towner offered a possible cause with HTML5's ad content shenanigans but I don't think a freeze/crash is a sign someone is trying to get into my system or a Windows OS. I could be wrong but the answers given by others don't address this. Anyone else have any ideas?

And to answer Kirk_C's links to Meltdown Spectre issues I had to tunnel down three links within the initial article (because of course they just don't want to get to the point) to find the symptoms such as crash/freeze (and found nothing) but did find this stated on the third page...

Quote
For typical desktop users, the risk is arguably less significant. While both Meltdown and Spectre can have value in expanding the scope of an existing flaw, neither one is sufficient on its own to, for example, break out of a Web browser.

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