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iMac programs keep crashing

by hgjy / October 6, 2012 7:29 PM PDT

For the last few days my iMac (running version 10.5.8) hasn't been working properly, particularly the internet browsers. Every time I try to use Firefox, it crashes within 30 seconds or so and comes up with a crash reporter. The same happens when I try to use Safari, although Safari seems to last quite a bit longer before crashing. Other programs like Microsoft Word for Mac have also been crashing around every hour or two which is unusual.

I'm pretty clueless when it comes to computers so I'm not really sure what to do. Does anyone have any ideas of what could be wrong and what I could do? All of the software is up to date and I tried a Flashback removal program which says that I don't have any Flashback malware. I've had my computer since the start of 2009 so do you think it might just be a bit old?

Thanks in advance for any help

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by hgjy

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Could be a number of things,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 7, 2012 1:34 AM PDT

but to even attempt to get close to an answer we would need a lot more information about our iMac.

10.5.8 was the last version of the Mac OS X that supported the PPC processor. That said, the iMac G5 was the last of the iMac line to contain a PPC processor.
That line of iMacs was particularly prone, as were computers from all the other manufactures, to capacitor failure. This failure caused the iMac to behave in different ways. Some would not boot, some would boot and then shut down, others would boot nicely but cause applications to crash for no apparent reason.

Blown capacitors can easily be spotted, they are the ones with bulging tops (they should be flat) or with residue on them where they have leaked.
Depending on the model of your iMac, case removal ranges from simple to quite complicated.

Click on the Apple Menu, top left of screen, and choose About this Computer.
Tell us what processor your computer has, the model of iMac and serial number. As this machine is so old, giving out the serial number is not a problem.


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by hgjy / October 7, 2012 4:07 PM PDT

Ah okay, thanks very much for the reply I appreciate it a lot! Is this the kind of thing I should just take in somewhere to get them to have a look at what's going on? Do you think there's a risk of me losing any files and it might be worth being extra diligent with backing up files to my external hard drive?

The processor is 2.8 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo. The serial number is YM905026ZE7.
I'm not exactly sure where to find the model of iMac. Under model identifier it says iMac8,1 - hopefully that's enough information.

Thanks again!

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Well the good news is,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 7, 2012 9:40 PM PDT
In reply to: ..

that you do not have one of the problematic G5 machines,
the bad news is that now we have to start over.

First thing to try is zapping the PRAM.

Shut down the machine and find the Command + Option + P + R keys.
Practice pressing them all at once.

Now start the machine up and immediately hold down those 4 keys until you hear the third chime.

Then let go and allow the machine to boot fully.

Make any difference?


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by hgjy / October 8, 2012 5:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Well the good news is,

Oh wow, zapping the PRAM worked and everything seems completely fine now. I'm surprised it was such a simple solution!

Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it Grin

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Win some, lose some,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 8, 2012 5:10 AM PDT
In reply to: ..

and this time we have a winner.

Glad it worked for you


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re-install the app
by monica660 / October 22, 2013 4:23 PM PDT

You can have a try to unload the apps from your Mac and then re-install again.

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