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Old 12-07-2005, 01:40 PM   #1
ElyseC
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Default G5 '04, Adobe CSPrem, other apps troubles

Sorry this is so long, but I don't know any other way to lay out the situation. <sigh>

Help! My G5 tower, Dual 1.8, 2GB RAM, dual 255 hard drives, bought directly from Apple (every bit of it, nothing third party!) in October of 2004, is the wonkiest machine I've ever owned. Why does it have such tummy aches when my other two machines bought at the very same time (G4 Powerbook and G5 iMac) have hummed along nicely without incident the entire time???

One of the hard drives failed earlier this year and was replaced (thank heaven for AppleCare!) in September. I hoped that would solve the problems, but no. After the replacement I reinstalled everything from scratch (of course, since the drive was empty), running all OS updaters found via Software Update, then putting in all the apps in the order and per instructions discussed here months back. Between each updater and installer I faithfully rebooted from the OS install disk and repaired permissions. Thought, hoped, I was now on the right path. Cranked up Safari (hadn't yet installed Firefox on the then-new drive) and went to one page that had repeatedly caused Safari to unexpectedly quit, at the (my hunch) moment that a pop-up ad should've appeared. (Weather.com frequently has pop-up ads. <sigh>) The site behaves just fine on our other two machines, but has frequently been a problem on the G5 tower. Well, right on cue it unexpectedly quit. Lovely. Clean install, no less.

I've also had the weirdest behavior, even before the hard drive replacement, in Adobe CS Premium apps. It doesn't come, near as I can tell, in any predictable way, nor am I working with any unusual or unusually large files -- most are only a couple of MB and the largest ones average 17MB. Nothing bizarre at all. I've spent a lot of time in AI lately, but some in ID, Acrobat and PS, and have experienced the weirdness in them all.

The weirdness: working along, say, drawing a path in AI, I'll command-S save (like I've been doing all along), and suddenly am told "a file error has occurred" and the file doesn't save. Okaaaaaay, so let's try a Save As... Here's what happened, one of the typical misbehaviors:

First I get presented with an Illustrator error window/message (got the flower in it, so must be generated by AI):
"A file error occurred. (OK button)"

I click "OK" then get a MacOS error message/window with the stop sign & hand saying:
"Can't save preview, but all other information was saved successfully. The file couldn't be found.
ID = -43"

and no file was saved.

Tried multiple times saving to file's original directory, then to other directories and my second internal hard drive. Same exact error messages and results -- no file.

Then copied the path, typed command-N for a new AI file to paste into and was immediately told in an AI error window:

"Acrobat PDF File Format is having difficulties. A file error has occurred."

AI then went ahead and presented me with the usual New file setup options. I tried to change the format of the newly-being created blank file from CMYK to RGB via the radio button and got the "Acrobat PDF File Format is having difficulties. A file error has occurred." error again -- just clicking the radio button! Clicked OK and the new file opened on screen. Path would paste, but trying to save the new files got me the above round of AI then OS -43 errors again.

Knowing the path should still be in my clipboard, because I'd just pasted it into the new AI file, I tried to switch to Photoshop to create new doc there, thinking I'd try pasting the AI path into a new PS path to preserve my hard work. The moment I clicked to switch to Photoshop (already open) I got a message about the clipboard not being able to be saved due to program error! Sure enough nothing would paste into the new, blank Photoshop file I specced (yes, I went to the paths palette and asked for a "new path" first).

Okaaaay, so I tried to save the original AI file again, then closed it. Immediately clicked on the file in the Finder window to open it again, but got above "Acrobat PDF FIle Format...." error and no opening of file.

Okaaay, FINE!, I say aloud. I command-Q quit AI, planning to restart it and got told by the OS that AI "...has unexpectedly quit" !! What?? Noooo, I told it to quit and it looked like it was putting itself away orderly as usual, but apparently not, because the OS reported otherwise. <GRUMP grumble gritch!>

Fine! I'll quit everything else and log out/log in try again. Photoshop quit without fuss. Ditto InDesign which was also open.

Logged out and back in, reopened file been working in -- which actually showed a change timestamp of the last time I tried saving the file just before I quit AI. None of my changes were there -- all trace of my changes were gone.

When everything starts going wonky in an app I try to save what I can and quit/restart the app. I'm pretty well guaranteed the "unexpectedly quit" message if so, but sometimes other apps I have open -- which may not have been misbehaving -- will also, out of the blue, when I command-Q quit them be reported as having "unexpectedly quit." What the heck???

And another odd thing: Another symptom of app weirdness has been when Saving As or whatever to get a PDF file from AI or ID. Especially with a Save As, the file's existing name should come up as is in the Save File dialog box, ready for you to keep as is (to save over the top of the existing file or save to another location), but sometimes it comes up with the last bunch of characters before the filename extension as a combo of letters and numbers, almost as though they were hexidecimal [sp?] code! I've learned that if I go ahead with the save or PDF export and simply correct the filename to what it should be, the PDF won't open, it's bad.

Just as a test at the request of the AppleCare phone techs, I created a brand new admin account for testing, logged on with it to see if I could duplicate any of this and can indeed, but nothing's predictable, like after a certain period of time or after certain operations or activities. In the new admin account I also had a new weird thing, just dragging two small (as in under 200K each) image files to the Photoshop (not running at the time) icon in the Dock to launch the app and view the images caused Finder to freeze up mid-drag and the rainbow wheel just sat spinning and spinning for ages. I walked away and came back much later to find nothing had changed, so I had to force quit Finder, at which point I also went ahead and restarted the machine.

Sorry this is so long, but I don't know how to describe what I'm plagued with and keep it short. <SIGH> Does anyone have any thoughts beyond tossing my .plist files for Adobe apps (which I've done multiple times). Help, please??

   
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Old 12-07-2005, 02:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElyseC
Does anyone have any thoughts …
Sounds wretched. Dunno if I have any helpful ideas, but thought I would say that I too have some weird problems with CS 2 apps, especially Illustrator. For example: If it is open when I want to restart, it often refuses to quit so I have to use force quit. And then I too sometimes get the Illustrator quit unexpectably message. I often wonder if there is something not entirely right with those apps.

But in your case I wonder if the problem is systemic (and that maybe you would have problems with other apps if you used them as heavily as you use Adobe software).

Like maybe some sick RAM. Or perhaps some ailment on the logic board.

The only times I had wholesale wacky problems on a Mac, it turned out to be one of those things.

Best thought I can offer.

   
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:21 PM   #3
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I don't have a clue--particularly since I'm pc based--but I wonder if it could be that it's overheating????

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Old 12-08-2005, 08:30 AM   #4
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I was having different, but similar odd behavior. Turned out to be a bad stick of RAM out of the two. But then, I still have Acrobat open, then close, then have to be reopened to have it run. I've not, knock on wood, had such major problems with AI and PS as you, but I did have save errors while the RAM was slowly going south.

   
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Old 12-08-2005, 01:12 PM   #5
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What a pain up the bottom that must be. I concur with Kathleen: RAM and/or motherboard. If you have AppleCare, how about seeing if you can get the RAM modules changed first, then the board?

If you can show that the same combination of software behaves properly on your other Macs, Apple should really agree that there's a hardware hiccup on that machine.

Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:00 AM   #6
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Hi ElyseC,

did you try saving on an external Firewire or USB2 drive?
Maybe this does make a difference? If it does make a difference (= no problem) maybe you should check drive, cable, formatting of drive (which format is used?), driver...

best regards
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Old 12-09-2005, 10:27 AM   #7
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I've been wondering about RAM and possibly even the power supply. Not sure why I have a suspicious eye on the p.s., but I just do.

   
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Old 12-09-2005, 10:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie
I don't have a clue--particularly since I'm pc based--but I wonder if it could be that it's overheating????
Highly unlikely, given that this machine is on our lower level and the temp down here is only in the mid-60s tops right now. Heck, even in summer the temps on the lower level stay in the 70s.

   
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Old 12-09-2005, 10:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristen Gillespie
I was having different, but similar odd behavior. Turned out to be a bad stick of RAM out of the two. But then, I still have Acrobat open, then close, then have to be reopened to have it run. I've not, knock on wood, had such major problems with AI and PS as you, but I did have save errors while the RAM was slowly going south.
Aha! Another vote for bad RAM! OK, I think I'll try contacting AppleCare yet again (even though they've informed me I absolutely must haul this heavy beast into the shop 30 minutes away) and see if they'll ship me new RAM to try just as a test. Maybe I'll get someone reasonable this time, someone who will take pity on me and send out the RAM instead of making me lug this machine with my bad shoulder, neck and back up one flight of stairs, through the house, then back down the garage stairs to the car. I'll plead my case (again) against driving on wintry roads for 30+ minutes one way.

   
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Old 12-09-2005, 10:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Springall
What a pain up the bottom that must be. I concur with Kathleen: RAM and/or motherboard. If you have AppleCare, how about seeing if you can get the RAM modules changed first, then the board?

If you can show that the same combination of software behaves properly on your other Macs, Apple should really agree that there's a hardware hiccup on that machine.

Good luck!
Well, given how touchy these apps have been and the fact that I have licenses for them for only one machine, I'm not wild about installing them on machines that work well without them -- one being my husband's (he'd be very unhappy if I screwed up his machine) and the other, this PB, being my online lifeline.

I think I will try pleading my case again with AppleCare to send me the RAM to swap out and test.

   
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