Macbook Pro Random Crashing

Michael Vermillion
Michael Vermillion used Ask the Experts™
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I have a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013 model) that is currently running macOS Mojave (10.14.2) that is experiencing random crashes. This issue has been occurring for about a year now but has increased in frequency over the last month. When the issue first occurred it was only when it was removed from the power charger, now it is occurring on power or on battery. I have spoken with Apple Care about this and all they can suggest is that I take it into an apple store (unfortunately the nearest store is 100+ miles away). I have tried replicating the issue however I am unable to narrow down one specific action that causes the crashes - sometimes it is browsing the internet, sometimes it is typing a document in Word, sometimes it is editing a PDF, and sometimes it occurs when I just leave it sit for 30+ minutes.

Initially through online research I thought this was related to a battery issue. I opened the case and the LiPos were expanded so I replaced the battery. Unfortunately that did not resolve the issue. I have also tried resetting the PRAM and the SMC to no avail. Additionally I have tried booting into safemode but even in safemode I experienced a crash. There also does not appear to be any consistency to how frequently it reboots, some days I can go an entire day with only 1-2 crashes, other days it crashes every 10 minutes. I also wanted to note that this issue has occurred over the previous 2 OSX installations so it is not Mojave specific.

I have previous experience troubleshooting in Windows but I am not as familiar with the troubleshooting tools on MacOS to even know where to look or how to read crash reports to begin trying to narrow down what might be causing the crashes.
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The first step in any Mac troubleshooting is to reset the SMC and the PRAM.  These 2 procedures are very quick and it never hurts to try it before anything else.

Macbook Pro SMC reset
  • Turn off Macbook Pro
  • Plug in Power
  • Press land hold left
  • shift control option
  • keys.
  • Press and hold powrer button
  • Release after a few seconds

PRAM reset
  • Turn on computer
  • Press and hold
  • command option p r
  • Hold until you hear 3 chimes (or on newer systems watch for the screen to cycle 3 times)
  • Release

Once those are done if it works, you're done.  If not then you do other steps.

Author

Commented:
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29133244/Macbook-Pro-Random-Crashing.html#a42781019

Thanks for the suggestion. However, as I mentioned in my post, I have already tried both of the steps you mentioned and neither solved the issues.

Commented:
I can't help but wonder if this is an issue with the latest release of Mojave? I am experience a similar slew of freezes (crashes) since the last Mojave update. In my case, the computer simply stops responding to keyboard, but the mouse can move, but clicks are not registered. I too have reset everything as serialband suggests and that made no difference.

I am trying to find what is causing it to crash. If I catch it, I will post it here.
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Run the Apple Hardware test.  Hold d when you start and see if there's some hardware issue.
The Apple Store has many more Mac tools on their network, so if you really can't find it with the standard tools, you really have to take it to the store and boot from their network boot tool disk images.

Author

Commented:
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29133244/Macbook-Pro-Random-Crashing.html#a42781058

serialband, I tried as you suggested and held d while the machine booted up. Is this supposed to generate a report or anything for me to view? I did it and it just booted to my desktop like normal.
It's supposed to boot into a Diagnostic screen.  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202731

Author

Commented:
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29133244/Macbook-Pro-Random-Crashing.html#a42782691

Thanks for providing that link. I was able to get it to boot into diagnostic mode. After it ran its test it returned the result: No Issues Found - Reference Code: ADP000.
Then, I suggest backing up the data, then reinstalling the OS.

If you have another Mac, you can put this Mac into target mode and connect the USB-C Thunderbolt 3 cable.  The target disk mode Mac will look like and external disk.  You can copy the data files that way or create a disk image onto another external disk.

Once your data is backed up, you can then boot into Recovery mode. ( https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314 )  As long as you don't erase the disk you can recover all the OS system files without erasing the user data.  You should still back up the data in case something fails.  This should restore any kernel or system files that may have become corrupt.  This should take about 30 minutes on a typical SSD Mac.

Author

Commented:
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29133244/Macbook-Pro-Random-Crashing.html#a42782781

Seriaband, I backed up all of my data and reinstalled the OS via the Recovery mode steps you provided. Unfortunately I am still experiencing crashes after the reinstall.
Open the console.app and check the logs to see what happens around the time of the crash.

Commented:
What version of MacOS? When you did the recovery, did you then allow updates to the latest OS? The current version has stopped crashing for me.

I still wonder if you had the same crashing I had.

That aside, does it just randomly crash, or are you doing something? If so, what are you doing when it crashes?

Author

Commented:
Serialband - I will check the console.app today once I experience the next crash.

Owen Rubin - I am currently running macOS Mojave version 10.14.3 which I was running prior to the recovery. Since my machine was fully up-to-date before running the recovery there were no updates available after running the recovery. Regarding the specifics of the crashes it appears completely random. Sometimes it is when I am browsing sites through Google Chrome, sometimes I am checking emails in Outlook, and yesterday it crashed after closing Spotify - there seems to be no pattern to the crashes.

Commented:
Thanks. A little harder to find safly.

Is the machine getting really hot when this happens? I have seen overheating problems because the fan vents get full of dust oranunak for. That could cause this problem.

An intermittent hardware error would typically not show up in the diagnostic mode every time. So you may need to run that more times to see if it catches anything.

I have seen loose memory cause this problem. But that would show up if you bumped or moved the computer.

Serialband makes a good point. Check the consol log for errors around the crash time. Typically an OS exception gives that dark screen of death with the reboot message (Apple's equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death in Windows). If there is nothing deterministic there, it tends to point to a hardware error.

Like I said before. most common is a loose memory board. Second is an overheating problem due to circulation issues. And as stated, older MacBookPros had a graphics chip failure. That was around 2012 for a number of years, so yours could be effected. Here is one of many links to that graphics chip issue. Google "MacBookPro graphics chip problem" to find others. http://www.tomsguide.com/faq/id-3678804/fix-macbook-pro-graphics-card-issues.html
That article says "2011 saw a well-documented and widely criticized graphics card failure on the MacBook Pro. It affected almost all computers sold between Feb 2011 and Dec 2013. This issue made the malfunctioning computers show the same symptoms; namely, distorted videos or no video showing at all, or an unexpected system restart or reboot" or in my case, just freezing up. Usually I would see the graphics start to freak out a bit before the freezing, but not always.

And while that article talks about self-repair, it us not that easy. But there are places that will swap out the chip. I found mine on Ebay actually.

Also in that video that show how to remove the back cover and fans. When I did that, I found the hestsinks completely full of dust. A can of air will clean that out as well.

Author

Commented:
I do not notice any overheating issues when the crashes happen. Since reinstalling the OS I have only experienced 2 crashes in the past 4 days which is greatly improved over the frequency that the crashes were occurring. I can also confirm that the fans are free and clear as I cleaned all of that out when I opened the case to replace the battery.

After the most recent crash I was able to open console.app however all of the items that it displayed took place after the crash. Do I need to keep console.app running in the background to capture anything before and during the crash? I will try looking again after my next crash and see if I see anything different.

Owen Ruben, I will open the laptop case and double check that I do not have any loose memory. If that looks good I will investigate if it could be related to the graphics issue.

Commented:
Thanks for the info. If the console app was still running, then the crash problem is most likely a bad app. All the things I mentioned would freeze the entire machine.

So now I'm going to suggest you have a look at what is running in the background, and try removing them to see if the problem goes away. Things like virus software, VPN software, password managers (and many others) run without an app window open but are still active. (Many show an icon in the menu bar.) You can open the utility "activity" to see what processes are running to get some clues. I've even seen HP software for All-In-One printers cause a crash like you describe because the hit the network a lot and their software these days is not so good.
The console app just looks at the logs.  It doesn't need to be left open.  What log entries appeared before the crash?

Author

Commented:
I just experienced another crash that took place at 23:16. The only application open on my machine was Google Chrome and I was just browsing several websites when the crash occurred. From viewing the logs this is all that I can see from the time of the crash and then when I powered it back on:

Feb  2 23:11:50 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.avast.proxy[312]: Protocol switch to: WebSocket
Feb  2 23:11:50 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 syslogd[63]: ASL Sender Statistics
Feb  2 23:14:20 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.avast.proxy[312]: Protocol switch to: WebSocket
Feb  2 23:15:22 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.imfoundation.IMRemoteURLConnectionAgent): Unknown key for integer: _DirtyJetsamMemoryLimit
Feb  2 23:16:52 localhost bootlog[0]: BOOT_TIME 1549174612 0
Feb  2 23:17:09 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.cdscheduler" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Feb  2 23:17:09 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.install" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.

Author

Commented:
I had another crash at 23:42 and here are the logs from that as well:

Feb  2 23:40:15 --- last message repeated 1 time ---
Feb  2 23:41:20 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.avast.proxy[317]: Protocol switch to: websocket
Feb  2 23:41:21 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.avast.proxy[317]: Protocol switch to: websocket
Feb  2 23:42:16 --- last message repeated 1 time ---
Feb  2 23:43:34 localhost bootlog[0]: BOOT_TIME 1549176214 0
Feb  2 23:43:51 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.cdscheduler" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Feb  2 23:43:51 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.install" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Feb  2 23:43:51 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.family.asl" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
It looks like avast may be causing a crash.  Uninstall Avast completely and reinstall a new version or try another AV.

Your first one also seems to be accessing memory incorrectly
https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/155458/strange-message-in-console-about-dirtyjetsammemorylimit-key

Commented:
I'll second Serialband's suggestion. Before uninstalling you might look to see if there is an update, or see if you can turn it off and see if that changes the crashing.

The error looks network related to me but triggered by Avast. Perhaps a bug in how they use sockets.

Install being triggered makes me wonder if Avast it trying to update.

Looks like someone else is crashing with Avast: https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=216227.0

Author

Commented:
I have completely removed Avast for the time being. I will see how it reacts without that running on the machine and see if I experience any further crashes.

Commented:
Fingers crossed.

Author

Commented:
Unfortunately, Avast was apparently not the issue. Even after having it completely removed from my machine I just experienced another crash. Here is the log from the time around the crash took place:

Feb  5 11:26:24 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 syslogd[63]: ASL Sender Statistics
Feb  5 11:31:18 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.quicklook[956]): Endpoint has been activated through legacy launch(3) APIs. Please switch to XPC or bootstrap_check_in(): com.apple.quicklook
Feb  5 11:32:26 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.apple.appkit.xpc.openAndSavePanelService[963]: DEPRECATED USE in libdispatch client: dispatch source activated with no event handler set; set a breakpoint on _dispatch_bug_deprecated to debug
Feb  5 11:32:26 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.apple.appkit.xpc.openAndSavePanelService[963]: assertion failed: 18D42: libxpc.dylib + 92321 [EE0CDA53-6FF9-3B4E-A571-335A5FF6B6F4]: 0x89
Feb  5 11:32:26 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.adobe.accmac.ACCFinderSync.F27CCDA0-A2D6-4733-BF52-3914484FC2C5[966]): Caller wanted oneshot behavior for pre-existing instance: caller = com.apple.appki
Feb  5 11:32:26 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.imfoundation.IMRemoteURLConnectionAgent): Unknown key for integer: _DirtyJetsamMemoryLimit
Feb  5 11:32:33 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.apple.appkit.xpc.openAndSavePanelService[963]: objc[963]: Class FIFinderSyncExtensionHost is implemented in both /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/FinderKit.framework/Versions/A/FinderKit (0x7fff89a90210) and /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/FileProvider.framework/OverrideBundles/FinderSyncCollaborationFileProviderOverride.bundle/Contents/MacOS/FinderSyncCollaborationFileProviderOverride (0x10f8fddc8). One of the two will be used. Which one is undefined.
Feb  5 11:37:09 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 syslogd[63]: ASL Sender Statistics
Feb  5 11:41:22 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 bootlog[0]: BOOT_TIME 1549392082 0
Feb  5 11:41:37 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.cdscheduler" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Feb  5 11:41:37 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.install" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Feb  5 11:41:37 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.family.asl" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.

Commented:
Feb  5 11:32:26 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.imfoundation.IMRemoteURLConnectionAgent): Unknown key for integer: _DirtyJetsamMemoryLimit

This line was in every log as well.

Jetsam is a system that monitors memory use in OSX (and iOS). It keeps a list of processes on the device, to monitor for situations where a device is running out of free RAM and look for things to kill to free up RAM. It also watches for processes that are using too much RAM; breaching a "high water mark" level. But unlikely to cause a crash. But an out of memory error could cause it. But it seems unlikely t should do that.

So you  may need to look for an App crash.  ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter should have logs on current crashes. Do you have any logs in that folder?

Author

Commented:
I just experienced another crash at 11:54. Here are the logs from that just for confirmation:

Feb  5 11:50:27 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 appstoreagent[631]: objc[631]: Class ASDPurchaseResult is implemented in both /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/AppStoreDaemon.framework/Versions/A/AppStoreDaemon (0x7fff8a061d78) and /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/AppStoreDaemon.framework/Support/appstoreagent (0x102873480). One of the two will be used. Which one is undefined.
Feb  5 11:50:27 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.apple.imfoundation.IMRemoteURLConnectionAgent): Unknown key for integer: _DirtyJetsamMemoryLimit
Feb  5 11:51:40 Michaels-MacBook-Pro-3 syslogd[63]: ASL Sender Statistics
Feb  5 11:55:05 localhost bootlog[0]: BOOT_TIME 1549392905 0
Feb  5 11:55:20 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.cdscheduler" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Feb  5 11:55:20 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.install" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Feb  5 11:55:20 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.family.asl" claims selected messages.
      Those messages may not appear in standard system log files or in the ASL database.
Feb  5 11:55:20 localhost syslogd[63]: Configuration Notice:
      ASL Module "com.apple.callhistory.asl.conf" claims selected messages.

Regarding logs from the /Logs/CrashReporter file, I do not have that folder. I have attached a screenshot of the folders that I do have. Is the information in DiagnosticReports?

Author

Commented:
It looks like the attachment didn't want to upload.
Screen-Shot-2019-02-05-at-12.03.17-P.png

Commented:
Well, that says Adobe Desktop Services is crashing. I have seen that on my machine as well. Which Adobe products and versions, and are there any updates for it?

Have a look at this: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2402879
and this: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/photoshop-cc-crashes-after-updating-macos-to-mojave

Author

Commented:
I have Adobe Creative Cloud installed. Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, Premiere Pro CC, After Effect CC, Bridge, Acrobat DC, Character Animation CC, Audition CC, Media Encoder CC, and Muse CC are all of the Adobe programs I have locally installed. There are no available updates. I hate to do it since I use Adobe Software all the time but should I uninstall some or all of these programs and see if that has any effect?
Commented:
I agree, it sucks to have to uninstall programs. Can you tell me if you were using any programs when it crashes? But in the second link, I read:

I noticed if I created a new mac user and ran Photoshop under that new user it worked fine. So I did a full clean install of Mojave, re-set everything up, and it fixed any issues I had.

I know that sucks, but I do not know what else to suggest. You could try a new user and see if the current install works fine. Then we would know it is something in your user that is causing the problem. But eliminating things one at a time until it stops crashing it also difficult.

I have this l love/hate relationship with Adobe. They are great products, but their cost and quality has gone way down.

Author

Commented:
Sorry for not providing an update in a couple of days. I uninstalled Adobe Creative Cloud completely but left the local installation of Adobe Acrobat XI Pro (I use acrobat daily for business use so I needed some access to it). I did not experience any crashes right away but I have since experienced one crash since uninstalling creative cloud (unfortunately I was unable to grab a log file from it as it happened when I was away from my computer for several hours so I did not know what time the crash occurred).

I guess at this point I will try to create a new user account and see if it is related to that.

Author

Commented:
The solution seems to be either related to one of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications or the mac user account. After removing the entire Adobe Creative Cloud library and creating the new mac user account I have not experienced a crash in over a week now. Thanks for both of your help through this process!

Author

Commented:
Thanks for all your help!

Commented:
Sorry for the answer though. You should be able to install both applications without issue. Might be worth asking Adobe about the issue.

Thanks

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