Fix 32-bit application crashes in OS X with a Safe Boot

A potential cache corruption may prevent applications from launching after certain OS X updates.

A rare but potentially frustrating issue you might run into after upgrading to OS X 10.8 or after applying an update such as the most recent 10.8.2 release is that a number of applications in the system may start crashing when launched. This does not happen to all programs, and those affected may appear to be a bit random; however, it is likely they share common ground in all being 32-bit programs.

If this happens to you, a potentially quick way to manage it is to reboot the system into Safe Mode by holding the Shift key at startup, followed by restarting normally. While the specific cause of the problem is unknown, it does appear to be cleared by some of the maintenance routines performed by loading the system in Safe Mode, which include the dynamic loader that is responsible for mapping libraries that a program needs into the memory space it is using.

It is very possible a problem in the "dyld" shared cache could result in it mishandling the loading of libraries for 32-bit code, and clearing this out should help resolve the issue.

In addition to or instead of booting to Safe Mode, you should also be able to tackle this problem using a third-party tool like OnyX that can access and remove the dyld shared cache and perform other maintenance routines on the system.

If Safe Mode does not appear to help, or if you cannot easily boot to Safe Mode because you have a firmware password or FileVault enabled on the system, then you can use this utility or a similar one to clear the cache and hopefully fix the problem.



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About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.

     

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