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Unmapped Memory Exception?

Posted on 1998-07-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
My email software, MS Outlook Express 4.01 Mac, is crashing upon launching with the error message, "Unmapped Memory Exception."  What does this mean?

I don't think there were any changes in hardware or software that brought this on.  Yesterday it worked, today it crashes.  What gives?

-Kenneth
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Question by:archken
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by:archken
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Oh, BTW, I'm using:

PM9500/ OS8.1/ OT1.3/ 144MbSys/ +2MbOE/ FinderPop1.6.2/ AliasMenu2.0/ InternetExplorer4.01

Norton3.5.1 detects nothing wrong, Memory cache at default, VM off, plenty of RAM allocation to OE.
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by:jkjung
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Try using GURU or RAMometer (part of the Guage Series), both by Newer Technology, to test your memory.

If there's nothing wrong with your memory, you may want to try to reinstall a fresh copy of Outlook Express.  You may be missing an extension or something.

I hope this helps.

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:archken
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GURU did not detect anything.  Recently, in fact, I installed another 64Mb DIMM and interleaved it with the other four DIMMs.  However, after RAM installation everything ran fine for over two weeks!  It was slightly faster than before interleaving, too!

The "unmapped memory exception" error is also coming up when the Finder crashes.  Yes -- the Finder is crashing, too!  Mostly upon shut-down.  I haven't bothered anymore launching OE -- I'm using Netcape Communicator for now.  (Lost some email messages in between).

Any further ideas?
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by:archken
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I was just browsing other questions and noticed an earlier question also regarding "unmapped memory exception (or exemption)."  TheHub offered the possibility of a virex with symptoms of a "Desktop Print Spooler" message -- well, this symptom has not shown up yet, but I'll be watching for it.

My problems are not as severe as the other case, but it is recurring more and more often it seems.  If it *is* a virus, which anti-viral can I take?  Virex 5.6.7 and Disinfectant 3.7.1 detects nothing.  The errors are caught by Norton Crashguard.
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by:jkjung
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So, in other words, you have two 64MB DIMMs and two 8MB DIMMs interleaved, right?  Make sure that when you interleave the memory, the 64MB DIMM matches with the other one, and same with the 8MB.  In other words, the 64MB DIMMs are installed in slots 1 and 7, and the 8MB DIMMs are installed in slots 2 and 8, right?

Now that you get the error with the Finder also, you may just have a corrupt system.  Try doing a clean install from your system CD, and see if that fixes the problem.  Then, reinstall Outlook Express.

I don't think that this is a virus problem, since you scanned with Virex, and IMHO, it is the best thing out there.  Just make sure that you have the most recent definitions.

I hope this helps.

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:archken
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Okay, I may just have to re-install the System afterall.  About a month ago it took me a long time to migrate all my stuff to a new hardrive, and I thought I had a very clean and efficient setup.  Formatting was done with FWB 2.0.  Regular maintainance with Norton 3.5.1.  Optimized last week after installing Virtual PC.

This morning I felt clever enough again to launch OE, but it crashed again after getting some mail with a new error message, "Bus error, invalid memory reference."  What does this mean?  I have to extract my email with MS Word!

After restarting and after file-sharing settled in, MiniCAD also had a crash with the same error message, "Bus error, invalid memory reference."  Bummer!

BTW, I have downloaded Eradicator 1.0.1 and ran it -- it seemed to look specifically for the virus that corrupts the Desktop Print Spooler -- it found nothing.

For OE, I've found that if I first delete the OE-Users Cache files, it will launch without crashing.  There isn't any equivalent MiniCAD cache file to delete.  Is there some equivalent Finder cache to delete?

Could this point back to a hardware problem -- specifically, RAM?

Yes, my DIMMs are 8+8+64+64.  I followed the GURU guidelines for interleaving, and the motherboard had clear markings for 1A, 2A, 3A, etc., 1B, 2B, 3B, etc.  It runs fine so far with Photoshop, MS Word, Timbuktu Pro.  Netscape Communicator 4.05 actually had a crash with same error message.

Any further ideas?
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by:jkjung
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Wait a minute...Did you say that you are using Norton Utilities 3.5.1 with OS 8.1?  That can lead to tragic results.  You should use 3.5.2 on OS 8.1 w/HFS+.

You can download the latest version from Symantec's FTP site (ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/products/norton_utilities/ver3.5_mac/updates/352_fat_update_package.sea.hqx).

Using this patched version, rescan your drive.

I hope this helps.

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:archken
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Okay, I'll give that download a try...

BTW, Norton 3.5.1 was the earliest version that worked with OS8.1 right after I upgraded from OS8.0.  I have not, however, formatted with HFS+ formatting, so those reports of the new Norton corrupting in disguise does not apply to my hardrive.  (Wheww!)  I also thought it was Norton 3.5.2 that does it?

Some recent crashes are occurring upon start-up -- everything starts up fine including the desktop picture right before the desktop icons appear.  It freezes at that point, then I have to use Control-Command-Power -- and sometimes with NO extensions first followed by rebooting again.  This type of crash may not be related to "unmapped memory extension", but it occurred right after I had crashed OE again.  (I tested again it without the shareware AliasMenu 2.0 -- but same crash error message).

Any other tests I can try on the DIMMS?  I could not find RAMometer at NewerTech's web site.
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by:jkjung
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I believe that NDD 3.5.2 can scan but not fix problems with HFS+ drives, though I've not tried it.  I'm installing OS 8.1 w/HFS+ as we speak.

By the way, can you reproduce the crash/error with extensions off?  (It should have been the first thing I asked.)  I'm leaning in the direction that you have a bad system, because of the extent of your problems.  That may be the only way to resolve it.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the memory.  GURU works just as well as RAMometer.  In fact, they're the same thing, except in GURU, the memory tester is integrated into the program.  RAMometer can be found at (http://www.newertech.com/software/newertools.html).  You need to download the entire Guage Series to get it, but it's really not that big of a download.

I hope this helps.

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:archken
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NDD 3.5.2 was downloaded and run.  It tried to fix all it can fix, but it ran very much like NDD 3.5.1 on my **not HFS+** drives.

With extensions off, the crash becomes "Type 2" instead of "Unmapped Memory Exception" -- probably due to lacking Norton's Crashguard extension.

The startup freeze is almost solved -- it may have nothing to do with the "memory exception" crash.  This seems to be a conflict between Pyro! screen saver and FWB 2.0.  I've deleted Pyro! and installed Berkeley's AfterDark, which is also having problems running.  I previously could not initialize my new hard disk with Apple DriveSetup 1.3.1 (I had to use FWB), so I'm not ready to try that yet.

The OE crashing is still occurring -- it's crashing after email retrieval and prior to mail filtering.  It seems to be a mail filtering bug with my OE settings.  I have sent a query to MS OE.

The most peculiar thing, however, is that after I log off and run my non-dialup apps, my non-dialup apps also sometime crash with the same "unmapped memory exception" error message.  These other apps are MiniCAD7 and the Finder.  And once with Netscape Communicator 4.05.

Any further ideas?  I'd like to reopen this question to other experts.
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by:jkjung
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Why could you not initialize with Drive Setup?  Are you using a non-Apple hard drive?  By the way, the current version is 1.5, downloadable from Apple's FTP site.  (1.4 comes on the latest OS 8.1 CD.)  Also, After Dark 4.04 is the latest, but 4.03 is OS 8 compatible.

You say that it crashes ONLY AFTER you have disconnected from the Internet, right?  So, before dialing up, you have no problems?  I would, then, be inclined to think that one or more of your extensions (related to giving a network connection) has problems.  Try reinstalling Open Transport 1.3 and OT/PPP (or FreePPP, if you're using that).

With that said, I hope this helps.  Please feel free to reject my answer, as our discussion no longer relates to my proposed answer.  I will post again, if I think of anything.

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:archken
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Thank you.  I would definitely welcome any other ideas!

Yes, it's a non-Apple hard drive -- Quantum Viking 4.5Gb 50-pin plug-n-play (after initializing with FWB).  I've heard that I would need FWB 2.5 instead of 2.0 to work in OS8.1.  But so far, really only these crashes -- I've learned to disable SCSI probe and startup with FWB Tools.  It seems minor, but I'm beginning to think the startup freeze is a different issue from the OE crashes with "unmapped memory exception."  With FWB Tools scanning at startup, the freeze is gone... for now.

As far as OE and some other apps crashing, it does not matter whether I'm connected or not.  My dialer, PPPop 1.6.1, first connects, then triggers IE, ICQ and OE.  OE was set to receive all mail upon startup.  And it had mail filtering -- which I'm beginning to think is the culprit for the "unmapped memory exception," "Type 2" and "bus error, invalid memory reference" errors.  I'm still not sure, but I am guessing that it's one of the "mailing list" items that's causing the crash.  It will take some time to test over at least a month of receiving mail with different headers.  I still don't understand how mail headers can cause a crash.

However, after it crashes and after I disconnect, it often causes my other applications to crash with the same error message!   Weird!  Or is this normal?  After several hours, MiniCAD7 would crash and the Finder would crash -- or it would crash upon shut-down.  These non-dialup crashes occur after I have fully disconnected and quit all internet apps.

My inclination is not a corrupt OT/PPP since the other dial-up apps do not initiate the crash.  The other apps including IE, ICQ, Netscape Comm 4.05, Fetch, Chatnet and Claris Emailer Lite are as stable as before.  I dunno.

Also, I am not yet convinced that it will help to re-install the System.  It took a lot of effort last time to restore all my hundreds of settings and preferences.

Any further ideas welcomed.
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by:jkjung
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Just do a clean install.  You're not going to lose anything by doing that.  The old System Folder will just be called "Previous System Folder".

If it's still causing problems, then, the solution is not a corrupt system.

Yes, I feel the same way with my 6100.  I own a copy of OS 8 as well as OS 8.1, but the 6100 is still running 7.5.5.  I have so many preferences that I would have to reconfigure to make it as stable as it is now.  I'll do it one of these weeks in the summer.

I hope this helps.

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:jkjung
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By the way, you can reenable the old System Folder by disabling the new one first, then trashing it, then opening the old one up.  The old one should rectify and take its position.

I hope this helps.

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:paulvaneykelen
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I have not read every single message, but it seems that if the computer "freezes" up at the end of the start up it is looking for your TCP/IP information.

TCP/IP corruptions also cause MS outlook to crash. especially when you force quit the startup sequence.

Open TCP/IP. Read the information.
Then delete the TCP/IP pref file
Restart (should end the wait at the end).
You now don't have a TCP/IP configuration.
Create a new TCP/IP configuration and try again.
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by:archken
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Well, it's not TCP/IP.  I've deleted prefs, etc.

The OE crashing has stopped for some reason -- I think it was the deleting and remaking of the Cache folder, LDAP cache and Mail Rules for filtering.  It probably has to do with some miscellaneous incoming email I get that uses a different "From" address than it's titled.  Something may still come any day and trigger the crashing.

Nevertheless, the "unmapped memory exception" error still occurrs for other non-dialup apps every so often.  For example, Artlantis 3.0 (a rendering program) would crash while trying to open a DXF file -- same error message.  The Finder sometimes crash at shut-down with same error message.

Dunno.
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by:jefe01
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I may have the reason for your problem, I had the same one. You gave me a clue when you said you optimized your hard drive. When you do this you move all your files on the drive, sometimes the programs do not realize this when they try and look for their prefs or inits, they look in an unmapped memory section of your drive. The solution that worked for me was deleting all of the preference files for the programs which had the problem. It becomes time consuming but a good place to start would be your extension manager, it usually has the worst problem with finding where the extensions ans control panels went.
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by:archken
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jefe01, you may have something.  I've been deleting the preferences for programs that's crashing, and it seems to help the next time up.  It may be especially relevant because I had initialized my hardrive using FWB, and I'm running an ATI graphics card.

This may close the question.
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by:timeline
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I, too, have had almost the EXACT same problems since upgrading my HD to the Quantum Viking 4.5gb, formatted with FWB 2.5.2...and while the earlier proposed solutions got me looking around for virii and TCP problems...I finally narrowed my particular problems (unmapped memory exception when launching almost any program, even Simpletext, but strangely, not when I launch anything that didn't require font access, like a CD rom game) to one culprit

Adobe Type Reunion 2.0.3.

Even though Conflict Catcher never gave me that option...I did a manual check one extension at a time...and I now have every extension running except type reunion, and all is well.  It seems to me that the problem lies somewhere between ATR and FWB formatting software, as I ran all the extensions including ATR earlier today on an Apple formatted 500mb drive.

Give it a shot...I know it worked for me..and good luck


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by:archken
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Yes, Adobe Type Reunion 1.2 is definitely a factor!

To what extent, I'm still not sure.  I've also noticed that ATR conflicts with Display Preferences and ATI Display Preferences (I have two ATI Xclaim video cards) after I have Norton defragment or optimize my Quantum Viking 4.5Gb (which was formatted with FWB 2.0).

The most peculiar aspect of this startup freeze is that when these two Prefs files are deleted and the Monitor & Sounds control panel is reset for screen arrangement (are you also running two monitors, Timeline?), the next startup is *fine* with the ATR extension included!  It will, however, freeze up again during the subsequent restart!  So I've learned to restart without ATR.  The more peculiar thing is, after opening and running a few other apps (presumably to settle up the Display prefs?), the ATR extension can be *included* again and it'll run just fine!  This is ATR 1.2, not the commercial 2.0 version.  Go figure!

So currently, everything is booting up fine with ATR after the above procedures.

I suspect, nevetheless, that this is unrelated to the topic of my initial question -- "unmapped memory exception".  I was given some more clues that it has something to do with an app's handling of memory allocation during its regular processing.  Perhaps it's still related somehow?  I haven't crashed any apps since fixing this startup freeze...   Knock on wood.
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by:timeline
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Actually, I've only had problems with crashing apps with "unmapped memory exception" while using ATR Deluxe...I reverted to ATR 1.2 and everything seems to run fine now, and I'm running 8.1 with a huge bunch of startup extensions on a PMAC 7100/66

Oh well...best of luck with your quest for a solution
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by:archken
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Well, this most peculiar -- ATR 1.2 more stable for you than ATR 2.0.3?  I was just about to consider purchasing the upgrade hoping it'll solve one of these problems for good.

I'll try running without ATR to see if it affects "unmapped memory exception".  Have you read <http://developer.apple.com/qa/me/me05.html> ?

Thanks for the comments.  This question may be dwindling down to a stalemate.
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by:archken
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Since the proposed answer by Paul did not work, I'm going to reopen the question.  (Sorry, Paul -- but thanks for the idea).

The most recent hints I'm getting regarding this "unmapped memory exception" error point to my DIMMs.

My trusty ol' MS Excel 4.0 has also been crashing with the error message and with "Bus Error Exception."  I noticed it's occurring when I have several other apps in the background -- but only beyond a certain level.  I've got 8+8+64+64 DIMMs, the last one installed only a month ago.  I've gotten used to 80Mb, so the crash seems to be occurring when the memory blocks leave only the last DIMM to be accessed.  Am I even close?  The DIMM's are interleaved on my PM9500.  I'll try un-interleaving, but the ADDITIONAL clue is that apps run real **slow** when I'm close to maxing out the memory at 144Mb -- sometimes.

This seems to point to a faulty 64Mb DIMM?

But GURU 2.6 checked it out okay.  I'm not really sure.  Any other ideas appreciated.
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TheHub earned 150 total points
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Add more RAM to your machine (its cheap)
Run Fix Purgeable WDEF's
Upgrade to Navigator 4.0.5 or 4.5.x
Upgrade to FreePPP 2.5.3 (Internet Config not as stable)
Turn off all non-essential extensions (microsoft extensions are particularly buggy)
Trash Norton Crash Guard
Trash Finder prefs
Rebuild the desktop file with TechTool

ftp://ftp.netscape.com/pub/communicator/
ftp://users.aol.com/freepppgrp/FreePPP2.5v3.sit.hqx
http://www.macfixit.com/library/tul/FixPurgeableWDEFs.sit.hqx
http://www.micromat.com/

-Good Luck
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by:Brains080398
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Ah-HA!!

<Brains jumps up and down wildly, pointing at MS Excel 4>

There's the culprit this time around. There is an acknowledged glitch with MS Excel and large gobs of RAM. It doesn't like large gobs of RAM. If you're going to run Excel 4 under your current, well-endowed system, ensure it is the *first* program you launch after a restart/reboot. Also, if you're going to up its memory allocation, make sure that the meory you give it is a multiple of 256, plus a bit. (How much is the "bit?" Do a Get Info on the Excel app, look at the "Suggested" size. Delete multiples of 256 until you can't delete any more, the number left is the "bit"). Its all to do with page boundaries ...

Another tip: for me, the last stable version of FWB HDT was 2.0.6 (the one before the jump to 2.5).

Another tip: I've a collection of nifty font utils from someone whose name escapes me for the nonce, but one of them was a tiny extensions called "Adobe Type Disunion". The author of this little init had discovered that ATR (v1.2) would often corrupt the Type Reunion Datafile, so he wrote an extension to delete it on startup, forcing ATR to make a new one (which id does quite quickly and happily). End result = eradication of *one* source of spurious crashes when engaging in serious DTP work.

Thought: you're now suffering problems with apps in "high" RAM. The OS keeps things up there, so does ATM (amongst others) so if this wasn't working correctly your whole computer would be as stable as Scary Spice in a church (i.e. not). You could' however, have the wrong _type_ of RAM installed. Were you supplied EDO or FPM RAM?


Brains


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by:jkjung
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Comment to TheHub:
  Adding more memory?  144MB isn't enough?  Wow, I've only got 24MB on my 6100, though I was wanting to upgrade it to 136MB.  (No, I'm not dilerious--the 6100 HAS broken the 72MB limit.)

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:archken
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Thanks for the Excel 4.0 tips.  The mem allocation, in fact,  shows a suggested size of 2048 -- a perfect multiple of 256.  So no "bit" left over.  I had the Preferred setting at 4048, but I'll change it to 4096 for ongoing tests.

In fact I was considering upgrading with another pair of 64 DIMMs!  But perhaps overkill...

Yes, FWB definitely seems to be one of the factors.  I have regular 2.0, so I'll look for 2.0.6 to use for ongoing tests.  I assume it still makes a difference after the drive has been formatted and already in use?  I notice that when I launch with the FWB Tools extension, the scanning at startup helps prevent *some* bootup freezes.  The more severe crashes require running Norton, etc., deleting the ATI Display prefs, Dispaly prefs and ATR.

If I reboot from my old hardrive (still in there at SCSI 6), can I simply re-initialize my hardrive with Drive Setup 1.4 and *copy back* over the entire folders for System, applications and utilities without going through all those installation processes?  This may still be possible right now before I fill up the main hardrive with any more stuff.

I couldn't find Adobe Type Disunion on the Internet.  Is it a privately developed utility?  It may definitely help me because Adobe Type Reunion is yet another sure factor in the bootup freeze.

I've been testing the RAM by loading up to 135Mb or so of the 144Mb capacity.  Lately, the ongoing tests show no slowdowns!  I think it's just the missing Excel 4.0 that you mentioned.  No, I haven't yet un-interleaved them just to test the difference (it's so darn time-consuming on a PowerMac 9500!).  So maybe my DIMMs are not defective.

What is FPM?  I'm not sure whether it's EDO or whatnot.  I got it from Bottomline, described as 60ns lifetime warranty.  Should I open up the Mac and read the tiny labels on the DIMM?  It runs fine for most of the time when the above-mentioned conflicts settles down.  Hmmm....

Also, thanks to TheHub for the link to FixPurgeableWDEFs.  I've run it several times -- I hope it helps against future crashing.  I'll let you know.
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by:Brains080398
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If you would like a copy of this Type Disunion init (I think my copy came from an AMUG CD about 3 years ago), mail me at gpeters@staff.pulteney.sa.edu.au, I'll forward it to you.

Same goes for the FWB 2.0.x -> 2.0.6 updaters if you can't find them on FWB's web site.

And yes, you can boot fro the old HD, Drive Setup the new one and copy everything back. I use that approach often (install everything to my satisfaction, then do a back-up of theinstyalled set).


Brains

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by:jkjung
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>What is FPM?  I'm not sure whether it's EDO or whatnot.  I got it from
>Bottomline, described as 60ns
>      lifetime warranty.  Should I open up the Mac and read the tiny labels on
>the DIMM?  It runs fine for most of
>      the time when the above-mentioned conflicts settles down.  Hmmm....

Oh, NO!  Bottom Line is not such a good company!  Please read MY story/posting about this on the macwiz mailing list:

======

About Bottom Line Distribution:
(The bad part is indicated between the **.)

I bought an acclerator for my 6100 from them, because the price was cheap, and seemed like the best deal (~$50 plus $20 rebate or PowerFPU).  When I got it, it LOOKED cheap.  In fact, the manuals were PHOTOCOPIES!

I followed the instructions in the manual TO THE LETTER, because I was working with the oscillator chip on my logic board.  I installed it.  The instructions told me that if it was installed correctly, the indication light would come on.

Surely, it did when I turned it on.  I adjusted the clocking speed as suggested by the manual.  When I turned it on again, there was no light.  I thought I had, accidentally, misaligned the accelerator, and I would need to reseat it.

So, I CAREFULLY try to remove the accelerator, but it was tightly clamping the oscillator chip.  There were no instructions in the manual on removing the thing!  What could I do!?!  My Mac wouldn't boot with it installed.  So, I decided to try wiggling it loose.

Guess what?!  The accelerator came off the board, but it took along the oscillator chip!  Now I REALLY had a Mac that didn't boot.

** Bottom Line was UNWILLING to help me get it fixed or even accept the return of their product.  After a month or so of investigation, I found out that their company has gone bankrupt before and left their customers out in the cold.  Also, they have changed their company name a couple of times in the process of earning more money.  **

After a credit card company investigation, they were willing to accept their product's return.  I STILL had a Mac that couldn't boot!  I had to pay an outside party to resolder the component to the board, since I prefer not to do soldering.  Luckily, I found a nice company that would do it for a small price, versus other companies that would only replace the entire logic board.

======

To make the long story short, it COULD be a memory problem.  I hope this helps someone.

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:TheHub
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jkjung,

I missed the ref to RAM. Sux 2b me.
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by:jkjung
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Comment to TheHub:
  Oh, well.  I don't catch everything all the time, either.
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by:archken
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Well, I've tried every relevant suggestion by TheHub, and they all do not have any effect on the initial question regarding "unmapped memory exception," which was seemingly solved after dumping the prefs.  (Although some occasional hiccups remain).

However, the recent (perhaps related?) problem of startup freezes are still occurring.  I think I've isolated the culprits: ATM, ATR, ATI prefs, Display prefs and FWB hardrive.  Whether the latest versions of these would work with the others is unknown because I don't have the resources to test them.  Whether one of these is the genuine culprit (possibly FWB) is also unknown because I haven't the money to purchase the upgrade version just to test.

So... unfortunately I am tempted to throw up any grade to close out this question.
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by:jkjung
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Well, you shouldn't just blindly grade a possibly-incorrect answer.  People who pay points to look at your accepted answer will be angry, and that will reflect badly on your reputation.  Accept answers/Give points to those who have GIVEN the correct answer (whether it is submitted as a Proposed Answer or Comment).

If the answer is not correct, then reject it--simple.  Just don't let a Propsed Answer just sit there, because it will be auto-graded with a possible, incorrect answer.  You can, later, ask a specific expert to submit his/her CORRECT answer that you have tried and grade it then.

--MikroData (jkjung)
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by:TheHub
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When you attempt re-installation of the MacOS, be sure to install MacOS componants only (Data Vis Translator is not MacOS, Cyberdog is not MacOS, etc.), install the Universal (For Any Macintosh), use HFS (standard format).

After the universal install, reboot from the HD with Extensions ON. This allows the cleanup script to execute and do the final assembly on the MacOS.

Reboot from the Norton Utils CD, Run DiskDoctor and Speed Disk. Speed Disk at this stage keeps the file called "System" from being corrupted.

Use Stuffit to Archive the virgin System that you have just created before you ruin it with more installations. Next time you need to re-install the MacOS, unstuffit.

Reboot from the MacOS CD, install another componant (if any) and reboot from the HD with Extensions ON. Repeat.

After you have installed all everything that you want, extract the files called "System" and "Finder" and replace the ones that were used during installation. Some installers (tactfully, I am not mentioning microsoft since they would never do anything wrong [ yeah, right ]) diddle the System and Finder resources, trash the Finder Prefs, run Disk Doctor and Speed Disk and rebuild the Desktop with TechTool.

-good luck
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by:archken
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Thanks, Experts, for being as persistent as I am for this problem!

A System re-install would be my final and ultimate recourse.  I would probably do it after reformatting the hardrive -- perhaps with Apple Drive Setup for a change (if it works).  It's a tremendous amount of work for me because I have a ton of apps and utilities and settings.  In fact, in keeping track of most of my installations and additions, the itemized list of software installed has gone over 115 procedures to date, each with several reboots to properly configure and troubleshoot.  If I do it, it would be no less than several solid weeks of ongoing work if I'm efficient; therefore, it's got to be my final and ultimate recourse.

But, yes, I would take the plunge if there are no other clues regarding ATM, ATR, ATI Prefs, Display Prefs and FWB.
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