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Sudden Onset of Frequent Crashes

pvanevery

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May 29, 2019
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macOS 10.13 High Sierra
Five days ago I began having frequent computer crashes while using Lightroom Classic, latest version available through CC. I had never had any trouble running LR or PS on this machine, a 2012 mac mini with 16 gig ram, fusion drive, running High Sierra. In fact I've never had any trouble on this machine at all until now. The initial crash occurred while keywording batches of images. Most of the crashes begin with Lightroom hanging up, unable to load from a preview, gray boxes where some images should be, spinning beach ball while selecting multiple preview images. But some occur while Lightroom is running but not active. Sometimes Lightroom crashes without taking down the computer and in those cases I get a message that Lightroom is having problems reading from the preview cache and must quit. But most of the time, it goes directly into a full fledged computer crash/restart. Sometimes it will restart multiple times. Chat support from Adobe has failed to solve the problem. Adobe support removed and reinstalled the Creative Cloud desktop apps, reset permissions and did some tinkering in preferences including turning off graphics processor, to no avail. Nothing new has been installed on the machine since the latest version of LRClassic in April, except for those CC desktop aps that were reinstalled and update themselves. No new external drives have been added and no changes in the system have occurred on my end. Apple utilities do not indicate a hardware problem. I am looking for other ideas I can try.
 

Jimmsp

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How large is your fusion drive?
How full is it?
You might have just passed a critical limit after you loaded new photos.

One thing that might be worth trying is to move all your photos except a few that you are currently working on to an outboard drive. Put them all in one folder that will be easy to relink to.
See if that frees up enough free space on the drive that makes LR happy.
 

pvanevery

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Thanks for trying to help! Fusion drive is set up however it came from the factory, I didn't fiddle with it myself. I don't see any way to determine what is on it. My limited understanding was that it swapped stuff out according to tasks. The literature says it pairs a 1 TB hard drive with 24 GB fast flash.

ALL my photos are on external drives. Only the program, catalog and associated program files are on the HD. The HD, as it shows up on the About My Mac, shows 527 GB available of the 1.11 total. So to my inexpert eye, it appears I have plenty of room. Both the externals where the images are stored have free space too.
 

Jimmsp

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The HD, as it shows up on the About My Mac, shows 527 GB available of the 1.11 total.
Yes, that should be just fine.
Despite the utilities - it sure sounds like a hardware issue.
 

pvanevery

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The main drive and the external drives where the photos are stored are passing hardware tests by both the built in Apple utilities and another proprietary utility.
 

Hal P Anderson

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How about memory? Taking the whole system down requires some assistance from faulty hardware or drivers.
 

minnie

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Memory is passing tests too. 16 g ram that’s been in there since the machine was built. I’m no expert on what is involved in crashes, never had them till now.
 

Jimmsp

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Sometimes Lightroom crashes without taking down the computer and in those cases I get a message that Lightroom is having problems reading from the preview cache and must quit. But most of the time, it goes directly into a full fledged computer crash/restart
A full fledged computer crash is not good. I am not an expert with macs, but this could go as deep as the motherboard starting to fail.
What if you load Photoshop first, and let that operate on a series of photos. Do some cpu intensive work, such as make a smart object out of multiple layers. If you get no crashes, then load Lightroom. It will use a different part of memory than if you load it first. Then use it for a while.
I'm just suggesting ways to exercise the machine and see if it still fails.
 

Hal P Anderson

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Also, here's a program that will stress-test your computer like no other:
It's meant to search for very large prime numbers, but it has a stress test function that works your memory and CPU very hard, indeed. It's worth a try.
 

minnie

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A full fledged computer crash is not good. I am not an expert with macs, but this could go as deep as the motherboard starting to fail.
What if you load Photoshop first, and let that operate on a series of photos. Do some cpu intensive work, such as make a smart object out of multiple layers. If you get no crashes, then load Lightroom. It will use a different part of memory than if you load it first. Then use it for a while.
I'm just suggesting ways to exercise the machine and see if it still fails.
I am away from home on a photo shoot for a few days but will try your suggestion when I get back. I do understand what you’re getting at. If I can’t rule out hidden hardware trouble, and can’t find a software solution, I will break down and take it to the Apple store and have them deep test it.

One suspicion I have is that the preview cache is corrupted. (Spinning beach ball for several minutes when trying to load an image from a preview, lots of gray boxes where previews should be, wrong image displaying, etc). I have not yet addressed that, but when I get home I will look into that. I don’t know if a corrupted preview cache could cause all this trouble, but perhaps it could have become corrupted because of all these troubles and may now be adding to the original trouble. ??
 

minnie

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Also, here's a program that will stress-test your computer like no other:
It's meant to search for very large prime numbers, but it has a stress test function that works your memory and CPU very hard, indeed. It's worth a try.
Thank you so much, I had not heard of this. I know the Apple store has done this kind of testing on my prior computer to look for a hardware problem. I’m away from home for a few days but will look into this when I get back. I’ll continue to follow the thread while I’m on the road.
 

Hal P Anderson

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One suspicion I have is that the preview cache is corrupted.
It's easy enough to fix a bad preview cache. Rename it or move it out of the folder that the catalogue is in. It's probably named <cataloguename>.Previews.lrdata. If lightroom can't find it, it will rebuild it as you browse, or you can issue the menu command: Library->Previews->Build Standard Sized Previews to rebuild them all. This might take a few hours, depending on the number of images in the catalogue.
 

minnie

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It is my intent to do the rebuild when I get home! I have a very large catalog, so I know it’ll take some time. I’m worried about the effect if the machine crashes while doing the rebuild.
 

Jimmsp

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As Hal said, simply back it up and rename it before you rebuild.
If LR crashes the pc during the rebuild - it is not due to a bad cache.
 

LouieSherwin

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Hi,

This sounds like either some intermittent bad RAM or an intermittent HD failure. These are very difficult to identify until they fail completely.

If your system has more than one RAM SIM you can removing one of them and run for a while to see if the problem continues. If the problem goes away try swapping them out to see if the problem comes back. If the crashes continue regardless then it is probably not the RAM.

Intermittent HD failures are more difficult to debug. The easiest strategy is to clone your system drive to a spare external drive and then reboot from that external drive and see how things run.

If you haven't already backup, backup and backup everything and repeat frequently until you find the source of your crashes.

Good luck.

-louie
 

PhilBurton

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Hi,

This sounds like either some intermittent bad RAM or an intermittent HD failure. These are very difficult to identify until they fail completely.

If your system has more than one RAM SIM you can removing one of them and run for a while to see if the problem continues. If the problem goes away try swapping them out to see if the problem comes back. If the crashes continue regardless then it is probably not the RAM.

Intermittent HD failures are more difficult to debug. The easiest strategy is to clone your system drive to a spare external drive and then reboot from that external drive and see how things run.

If you haven't already backup, backup and backup everything and repeat frequently until you find the source of your crashes.

Good luck.

-louie
This memory test program is very good. It is self-booting, meaning that it doesn't need MacOSX (or Windows). MemTest86 - Official Site of the x86 Memory Testing Tool I've used it several times to identify memory issues.
 

Jimmsp

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minnie

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Update and more questions:
The mini has spent four days in the Apple Store Hospital and the head tech ran every diagnostic they have. He could find no problem with hardware, memory, OS, or anything else. Before I took it in I ran disk utility on my external drives and one of them, where my Lightroom photos live, failed. I have now replaced it. The tech thinks the failing external drive could have triggered the repeated crashes as LR tried to load the photos or the failing drive tried to mount or dismount.

The only thing I’m left with in the crash logs now is Adobe Updater Startup Utility which crashes every time the machine is booted though it doesn’t usually take the whole machine down with it. Does anyone have any suggestion for solving this? I spent many hours with Adobe tech trying to solve this to no avail. Search results reveal that there are quite a few angry people who have this trouble, but I have yet to find a solution.

Thanks to all of you!
 

Jimmsp

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Does this mean that Lightroom has stopped crashing while it is being used?

re Adobe Updater - in Windows, I have a couple of programs that will delay the start of some apps. Norton will do that, and I think CCleaner will do that.

Is there something comparable in the Mac environment?
 

pvanevery

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May 29, 2019
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So far, only the Updater app crashes and it is not taking Lightroom with it. At the worst of this event sequence, it was a chain reaction: Updater, then LR, then the whole machine in short order. Time will tell if things escalate. I am wondering if Adobe Updater is a necessity or if I can log in manually and accomplish the same thing.
 

Victoria Bampton

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If you go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items tab, you may be able to remove it. If it the updater is listed there, it may be from other older Adobe apps, as it's not listed in mine.
 

pvanevery

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May 29, 2019
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Thank you for your response! The Updater Startup Utility is not listed in the Login Items. It is found in Applications/Utilities/AdobeApplicationManager/UWA/UpdaterStartupUtility. It crashes whenever the computer is turned on. I don't know if it is a necessary file but if it's not I sure do want to get rid of it. I don't know if it's one of those files that will reproduce itself, either. Any advice appreciated! The good news is the computer is not being taken down by these application crashes. It's an odd looking thing, I attached a screenshot.
 

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Jimmsp

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I'd try either renaming it, or taking it out of its current folder, and placing it somewhere else.
Then I'd restart the system and see if it still fails, or if it is fine without this file.
In the worst case, you would have to put it back.
But I'll bet the system will be fine without it.
 
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