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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Spontaneous logouts, need some advice.

Spontaneous logouts, need some advice.
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LisaJill
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Feb 22, 2005, 10:19 PM
 
Hey everyone,

A few days ago my powerbook started to randomly log me out. Sometimes it happened every few minutes, and sometimes not for hours. I've been attempting to troubleshoot this.

The steps that I took were to repair permissions (3 times ), trying different combinations of apps and using a new user.

Now, when I used a different user account, these logouts didn't occur, so I started trying to eliminate programs on my main account. I had running a bunch of utility programs: Growl, Quicksilver, MenuMeters, wClock. My standard apps also included Firefox, mail.app, AdiumX and NetNewsWire. Nothing extraordinary there.

So, first I stopped any apps from running at start up, and slowly added programs to the list. I went back to using Safari and iChat to see if that would help - and it has. If I run just Safari and iChat I'm good to go. I haven't tried Firefox or Adium since, however I when I started loading mail.app again the random logouts started. So... I think that it's something with mail.app.

I haven't yet tried loading all the utility programs, AdiumX or Firefox again. I'm not sure that I should, since it really does appear to be mail.app, at least to me.

After doing a search here I went to the system log and found many, many instances of this:

Feb 22 20:47:48 Namrah last message repeated 12 times
Feb 22 20:48:08 Namrah kernel: AppleLMUController: setLEDFade - Fade to brightness level: 0x00000000.
Feb 22 20:48:22 Namrah crashdump: Started writing crash report to: /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/loginwindow.crash.log
Feb 22 20:48:22 Namrah crashdump: Finished writing crash report to: /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/loginwindow.crash.log
Feb 22 20:48:23 Namrah /Library/StartupItems/SideTrack/sidetrackd: SideTrackConsoleUser: No user on console.
Feb 22 20:48:23 Namrah automount[291]: logout notification received.
Feb 22 20:48:23 Namrah automount[291]: requesting logout processing.
Feb 22 20:48:23 Namrah automount[277]: logout notification received.
Feb 22 20:48:23 Namrah automount[277]: requesting logout processing.
Feb 22 20:48:23 Namrah /Library/StartupItems/SideTrack/sidetrackd: SideTrackConfigPush: Setting driver to loginwindow defau
lts.
Feb 22 20:48:23 Namrah automount[291]: handle_deferred_requests: user logged out.
Feb 22 20:48:23 Namrah automount[277]: handle_deferred_requests: user logged out.
p
This is a fair representation of what appears to happen on every crash. From MY end it's not consistent, sometimes I'm watching tv and see it go to the login window, sometimes I'm interacting, sometimes typing, sometimes moving the mouse, ad nauseum.

Just as a note, the actual symptoms of these random logouts are very odd to me. When it logs out - no matter what apps are running, it just goes to a blue screen and then to the login screen. No warning about closing windows, no confirmation, just back out there. Then when I log back in, things are back to the way the last time there was a state save, ie: finder window setup from hours ago, Adium logs gone, etc. As if I hadn't used the Powerbook in that time!

According to other posts here, these crash logs are consistent with what could cause this, I think - WindowsServerUI crash or some such? It looks like the loginwindow is going away, to me at least.

Now, I had a look at this article and am hesitant to run it. One of the Geniuses, when I first got my powerbook, told me that clearing caches should never be necessary (should I believe that? ), and my OSX disks are 2.5 hours away, at the moment. I'm on OSX 10.3.8, fully updated. The powerbook was purchased in August, so is quite new, still. 512meg RAM, 1.5 processor, etc.

Anyway, now that I've quit using mail.app and the crashes have stopped, I've been considering switching to a diff. mail program but I really love mail.app - so I'm hopeful that some people here can offer some advice in fixing this, within the limitations that I have. Should I clear out mail.app's plists? Backup the mailboxes and blow the whole thing away? Plus, leaving the Powerbook in this "broken state" is contrary to my nature.

Anyway, let me know if there's any more information that I can provide. I really appreciate everyone's help. =)
     
TETENAL
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Feb 22, 2005, 10:30 PM
 
Post the loginwindow.crash.log please.
     
LisaJill  (op)
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Feb 22, 2005, 10:47 PM
 
Here is a link, ti's rather lengthy crashlog.

It just happened again as I quit mail.app, so it was quite easy to grab that instance of it.
     
TETENAL
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Feb 22, 2005, 11:01 PM
 
I can't tell what's wrong from the crash log. An expert needs to have a look at it.

Till then I would first try removing everything from <yourhome>/Library/InputManagers/ restart and see if that fixes the problem.

If not trashing <yourhome>/Library/Preferences/loginwindow.plist and restart may also be worth a try since that's what crashes.
     
LisaJill  (op)
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Feb 22, 2005, 11:50 PM
 
Well I did a few things. I killed everything out of startup items, including sidetrack (which was in the error logs), and I did both things that were T suggested - removing everything from input managers, and the plist.

I did this in two stages, first the sidetrack stuff. I crashed a few minutes after sidetrack was removed. and the input manager folder was cleaned. So now I'm just waiting to see if cleaning loginwindow.plist helped at all.

Will report back, though it can often take quite awhile to find out.... so if anyone has other suggestions, let me know.

Thank you, Tetenal. =)

Thank you. =)
     
Turnpike
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Feb 23, 2005, 12:15 AM
 
LoginWindow pref sounds good to me, but I can't be sure.

It might be good to run all of your normal programs on a fresh user. If the fresh user + old programs works fine, you can pretty much limit it to something in your ~/Library folder.

Alternatively, if it isn't the login window pref, you could back up your Library folder and start removing things (or remove things then start adding them back... specifically preference files, inputmanagers (I doubt this is it, but maybe...), and application data (if you believe it to be related to a certain application).


Also, just throwing this out there.. perhaps it has something to do with Keychain? I don't know where Keychain would be involved with LoginWindow, but it would certainly be active while certain programs (Mail, Adium) were running... could a logout on quit of mail indicate perhaps keychain does something funny when mail stops using it?
     
LisaJill  (op)
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Feb 23, 2005, 12:22 AM
 
Well the loginwindow.plist didn't help, I went to shower and came back to a login window. Ghosts...

Slowly adkding programs back to the routine is what brought me to the tentative conclusion that mail.app is to blame. It still seems to hold true. I can run hours but the moment I load mai.app, instability is.

I haven't, on that note, tried running Adium since all of this. Only really iChat, Safari and mail.app; and of course terminal =) It seems/seemed prudent to try to limit myself to pre-loaded stuff for the time being, until I can figure out what the heck is going on. =)

Sorry for the typos, my cat is climbing on me.... keychain isn't something that had occurred to me. I use that to store extra passwords, as well, in an auxilary chain.

I'm thinking, at this point, of reloading the mail.app application and seeing if that helps. Much of the problem is that I really don't know how these things interact, so while I can go by the standard process of elimination - reading logs doesn't really help, and knowing what to eliminate first is chancy.

Just as a note, I did run Adium as a new user and it didn't crash. I did NOT, however, run mail.app. I was only running Safari and Adium on that user. Since I think mail.app is the problem, I'm going to go switch over there now and try to run it for the rest of the night.

Here's to hoping. =)

Thanks, all!
     
Big Mac
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Feb 23, 2005, 12:41 AM
 
Well, diagnosing this problem is beyond me, but since it says that Thread 0 is the one that crashed, that's the one I would think to focus on:

Thread 0 Crashed:
0 libSystem.B.dylib 0x90003484 szone_malloc + 0x744
1 libSystem.B.dylib 0x90001054 malloc_zone_malloc + 0x94
2 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x901a03f8 __CFBinaryPlistWriteToStream + 0x168
3 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x901b981c __CFXNotificationSendToServer + 0x108
4 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x901aefac _CFXNotificationPostNotification + 0x31c
5 com.apple.Foundation 0x90a5db10 -[NSDistributedNotificationCenter postNotificationName:object:userI
nfo:options:] + 0x78
6 com.apple.DisplayServices 0x0054d75c VideoID + 0x2ddc
7 com.apple.DisplayServices 0x0054d680 VideoID + 0x2d00
8 com.apple.Foundation 0x909f30e4 __NSFireTimer + 0x68
9 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x90194618 __CFRunLoopDoTimer + 0xf4
10 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x90191978 __CFRunLoopRun + 0x5c8
11 com.apple.CoreFoundation 0x90195e8c CFRunLoopRunSpecific + 0x148
12 com.apple.HIToolbox 0x927d5f60 RunCurrentEventLoopInMode + 0xac
13 com.apple.HIToolbox 0x927dc6c8 ReceiveNextEventCommon + 0x17c
14 com.apple.HIToolbox 0x927fe6a0 BlockUntilNextEventMatchingListInMode + 0x60
15 com.apple.AppKit 0x92dd2e44 _DPSNextEvent + 0x180
16 com.apple.AppKit 0x92de98c8 -[NSApplication nextEventMatchingMask:untilDate:inMode:dequeue:] +
0x74
17 com.apple.AppKit 0x92dfdc30 -[NSApplication run] + 0x21c
18 com.apple.loginwindow 0x0000db54 0x1000 + 0xcb54
19 com.apple.loginwindow 0x0000a65c 0x1000 + 0x965c
20 com.apple.loginwindow 0x0000a4d0 0x1000 + 0x94d0

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
chabig
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Feb 23, 2005, 12:59 AM
 
Are you running any third-party extensions, like APEs?
     
LisaJill  (op)
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Feb 23, 2005, 01:06 AM
 
chabig: I was running APE, I uninstalled it after the crashing began. Other than that, the utility programs that I listed are all that I was running.


Big Mac: I see what you're saying about Thread 0 says; unfortunately, it means absoluty nothing to me, so I can't troubleshoot it. =)

So far I've been on another user account running Adium, Mail and Safari for the last hour, with no crashes. Now, that was entirely possible on the main account - but unlikely. We'll see, but I tend to agree that it's something specific to the library for the main account.

I guess what I have to decide, if that turns out to be the case, is if I want to troubleshoot it, or just move the files to this account and blow the other one to bits.

Still, it bugs me to no end having a problem I can't fix, so if anyone sees anything there, please chime in. =)

Thank you!
     
Disgruntled Head of C-3PO
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Feb 23, 2005, 02:52 AM
 
I also had that problem quite a bit and was also running APE. Got rid of it and since 10.3.x it hasn't happened again.

I'd toss APE if I were you
"Curse my metal body, I wasn't fast enough!"
     
LisaJill  (op)
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Feb 23, 2005, 02:54 AM
 
I was running APE, I uninstalled it after the crashing began
It was one of the first things I removed. It didn't resolve the issue. So yes, I wish it were that easy to fix, but in my case it hasn't been.

That said, I'm going on about 4 hours on the other account without a crash, so time to move important documents over and kill the other account.
     
Turnpike
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Feb 23, 2005, 03:11 AM
 
look at your mail prefs and all the other mail data... back them up and start fresh on your main account, see if that works. Way easier to pull the good stuff out of there and replace it than it is to pull everything over to a new account.
     
Turnpike
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Feb 23, 2005, 03:17 AM
 
and re: trusting the Apple genius...

if he says something shouldn't HAVE to be done, don't necessarily trust him, although don't distrust him for no reason.

if he says something shouldn't BE done because it could harm something, I'd definitely stay on the safe side and trust him unless you are fairly certain he's wrong.

They generally know what is going on, but computers (especially when it comes to the little details that cause the strange one in a thousand oddities everyone comes across at one point or another) are extremely complex and there is no way they know everything. They certainly have more passion for and knowledge of Macs than the guy at CompUSA, but they aren't perfect.

Hell, I'll bet if you came up with 10 relatively obscure problems and presented them to an apple engineer, they'd get a solution for you to about 3 or 4 of them (although if they all have logs, that number will probably go up)... the others they'll miss, but afterwards be like "oh, yeah... that makes sense, but I wouldn't have guessed."
     
LisaJill  (op)
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Feb 23, 2005, 01:04 PM
 
Turnpike,

I'll try that. It's interesting though, the new account runs 100x faster than the old; well maybe not - I wonder how much I've munged up with installing/un-installing software since I purchased this. It's my first mac and I have a software fetish (I had to rebuild my pc constantly because of random software install mess-ups ) so I'm not sure if I should just move things over and let it stand.

But I'll definitely try that thing with the mail. Do you have any idea what the prefs are that should be disposed of? ie: if I wanted to keep my mailboxes, can I just back up all the .mbox files and trash the rest? Will mail.app rebuild that stuff when I load it?

Thank you =)

(this ran overnight on the new accouont and didn't crash, so definitely something "over there"
     
   
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