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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Video Crashes Bring Down Whole System

Video Crashes Bring Down Whole System
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selowitch
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Jun 28, 2011, 12:09 PM
 
Under Snow Leopard, I am getting intermittent but somewhat frequent crashes of both VLC and QuickTime movies (and sometimes Flash) that generally freeze the whole system, sometimes with the audio stream intact, which is weird. I'm sitting there staring at a frozen screen, no keyboard or mouse control, but the audio of whatever video I'm watching often keeps going. I have to Restart. I'm reasonably computer-savvy and would like to start examining the Console logs for clues as the cause, but it is really hard to find good tutorials (or even a book) on that subject that will help me intelligently and thoroughly troubleshoot this.

I'm running SL on an October 2006 white Intel iMac.

If I had to state my suspicions, it would be the embedded video card, the ATI Radeon X1600. I have some horizontal weirdly colored lines occasionally, too.

Very frustrating. Any insights?
     
Big Mac
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Jun 28, 2011, 03:49 PM
 
Turn on Remote Login (SSH), found in the middle of the sharing list items in the Sharing pane of System Preferences. Then practice logging in with one of your other computers using an SSH client. When you experience a video freeze, try to log in using SSH. If you can get in, use the kill command on the offending app.

I'll agree with you that that symptom doesn't sound good from a hardware perspective, but it could also be based in software.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
selowitch  (op)
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Jun 28, 2011, 05:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Turn on Remote Login (SSH), found in the middle of the sharing list items in the Sharing pane of System Preferences. Then practice logging in with one of your other computers using an SSH client. When you experience a video freeze, try to log in using SSH. If you can get in, use the kill command on the offending app.
An excellent idea. Maybe I can do that via my iPad and some kind of Terminal emulator app. Oh, how I wish the graphics card could be removed and replaced! But that's not what the iMac was built for, alas.

Although the SSH technique may help me identify the problem, on a routine basis simply restarting is probably sufficient.
( Last edited by selowitch; Jun 28, 2011 at 05:52 PM. )
     
wdehning
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Jun 28, 2011, 07:16 PM
 
I've been dealing with the same thing! Thought I was crazy.

For me it generally manifests as a "slowdown" effect ... mouse takes 10 seconds to catch up to movement, etc. that ultimately brings down the whole system. Am on a new iMac so speed is not the issue.

While I initially noticed it during video playback, I've also found that just opening iTunes can have a similar effect.
     
   
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