Exploring Int… Oh, Wait, Safari’s Hung Again

Exploring Int… Oh, Wait, Safari’s Hung Again 1

I will allow you, dear reader, to imagine what was going to be posted in today’s Backstage entry, “Exploring International iTunes Stores.”


You’ll have to imagine it, because this entry—focused on some of the interesting differences between Apple’s many iTunes Stores—was entirely lost due to what I’ll call “yet another Safari hang-crash.” During one of these crashes, Safari randomly locks up, putting a spinning beach ball on the screen and just sitting there until the program is forced to quit. An inspection of Activity Monitor doesn’t yield clues as to what’s wrong. Trying Flash Player upgrades to the latest version doesn’t seem to have helped. And having virtually nothing else running doesn’t seem to make things better, either.



As I have said before, I love my Macs. Love them. I buy extra ones for fun. But these crashes in Leopard, like the graphics glitches and external monitor issues shown above, are just killing me. I never thought I’d see the day when I would consider going back to a Windows PC, yet every one of these hangs, crashes, and bugs makes me think about it, if only for a moment. Is the solution a retrograde to Tiger? Or something else?

  1. I like when 1% of the people have a problem but they act like it effects everyone. I have never seen or even heard of the above mentioned problems. I work 8 + hours a day as a web designer and never seen these problems. So your going to switch back to windows cause a small bug happen to happen to you?

    I bought a CD that had a broken case last week. Maybe I should never buy a CD again and tell everyone else not to either.

    More than likely the problems come from installing hacks upon hacks like Devon mentioned in his post.

  2. Don’t let whatever that is stop you!

    I’d really like to hear your perspective on browsing international iTunes Stores!

    Personally, I find checking what’s at the top of the iTunes charts in the UK store a really great way to discover great music.

    I always leave wondering why their music costs more, and why they have more EPs/singles/exclusives, and why certain things that are available here aren’t available there and vice versa.

    Also, does anyone know how I can purchase UK iTunes gift cards?

  3. Florian: Many of them, and in different variations. Some within a Finder window. Some taking up the entire screen. Started with 10.5.2 and the related Leopard Graphics Update.

    Bob: I will now.

    Devon: It does seem to happen with multiple tabs open, but I’m honestly not sure what the cause is. I go through the crash logs hunting for explanations but can’t make much of them. Probably 25% of the Safari crashes I have these days posit (via dialog boxes) that Flash Player has a problem with Safari (or, perhaps more accurately, that Safari now has some issue with Flash Player), but the other crashes don’t blame anything specific. They’re mostly hangs. No input managers installed, at all.

    Nosedive51: I have zero hacks installed. No crazy applications running in the background. Maybe because it’s I work 14 hours a day on my Mac — perhaps the crashes only happen during those extra 6 hours. (…sigh…) Or maybe it’s because I’m not the only one with these sorts of issues. Try reading the many discussion threads out there where other people are experiencing the same things and struggling for solutions. In any case, congrats on having a completely stable system; my guess is that you’re using either a desktop Mac or a PPC one.

    JeremyJK: I will see about retyping it tomorrow. My screengrab of the crash only caught the last few sentences.

  4. Galley: I hope those tabs are spread across a few windows. 🙂

    The pictures are, as mentioned in the piece, from separate video issues. When Safari has problems, it just beachballs or crashes with a dialog box.

  5. Camino, baby! Ever controversial Safari 3.1 may be very stable and pretty on Windows, but it’s an old dog with missing teeth on a Mac oddly enough. Camino is just as simplified and streamlined (more so, imo) but without all the memory leakage and holes. I just wish they’d get it compiled for Linux…

  6. I’m glad, in a way, it’s not just me. Safari 3 is just as crashy on my new Penryn MacBook as it was on my PowerBook G4. I use Safari only because I need to sync bookmarks with my iPhone, but if I’m after faster, crash-free browsing I always use Firefox 3 – even in beta, it’s streets ahead of Safari 3.

  7. I get that all the time too. It seems to happen when there’s a few tabs or more open and it’s completely annoying because when you have like 8 tabs open there’s a reason you have them open, and when it crashes you lose all of what you’re doing. I thought it was the various input managers I had installed which included Safari Adblock and Inquisition but after deleting them it still crashes.

    Looking at the crash log you can see that a bunch of threads are deadlocking(look for sem_wait on every thread). This means that every thread is waiting for every other thread to complete but none are completing so the app hangs. I can’t figure out what the problem is but for now I’ve actually switched to Firefox for some stuff because this is getting ridiculous.

  8. I have never had said problem and suggest it’s probably some software you’ve installed, something of an enhancer, plug-in or system or browser utility and not Safari or Leopard.

  9. Have the same issues on a 3.0 Mac Pro with 10.5(.2) installed. Switched to Webkit as my browser (http://webkit.org). It’s a really nice replacement for Safari, as it just works with the same bookmarks etc. It’s also much faster than Safari, and I routinely have it open with 60-70 tabs, no problems in 99% of the cases. Some sites still do make it crash, but that is a rarity as opposed to very common with Safari. On my iMac G4 (yes, I also have a varied collection of useable Macs around my desk), running 10.4.11, Safari 3.1 just crashes on start-up. Disappointing. As for the screen artifacts, I don’t know what machine/graphics card you are running, but mine is the ATI X1900XT, and I would get those artifacts on occasion too (although not as bad as shown above) on my Mac Pro. Seems Leopard makes the graphics card work much harder than Tiger (where the same machine never had any issues). Problem apparently is in some versions of the card, that run hot, and create the artifacts. In addition, on my machine, when that occurs, there is a tendency for the USB connections, which are located just below the graphics card, to cause a kernel panic. I have spoken to Apple Support the day before yesterday, and after going through the routine of checking the firmware on the card (there is an X1900XT firmware upgrade on the Apple website(http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/apple/firmware_hardware/atiradeonx1900xtfirmwareupdate.html)), and checking that the card was dust-free, they decided to ship me a replacement card. I cannot say yet whether that will help, as I haven’t received it yet. The USB issues are probably related to the graphics card issues, but again, that awaits arrival of the replacement card.

  10. Steven: I have seen small USB issues and bigger ExpressCard issues since Leopard as well. My video card is a GeForce 8600M GT. I might be wrong but am willing to bet that the replacement card doesn’t make a difference. The most likely issue is that there is a bug in the video drivers, one of Leopard’s rendering technologies, or the system’s bus management software, possibly all three.

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