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Re: A serious error?

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  • Subject: [mg71898] Re: A serious error?
  • From: Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at>
  • Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2006 06:26:12 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <>

I have now checked that Mathematica 5.0 works fine with the same  
start-up disk. However, Mathematica 5.1, whether located on the  
internal hard disk or on an external one, crashes on start-up.

Andrzej Kozlowski

On 2 Dec 2006, at 17:22, Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:

> I have just encountered a puzzling problem with my Mathematica 5.1  
> for Mac OS X. It's probably an issue for technical support, but  
> just in case someone has encountered it before (and known the  
> answer) I have decided to post it here. (Actually, I am not even  
> sure this is really a Mathematica issue rather than a Mac OS X  
> issue issue).
> My Mathematica 5.1 was working fine this morning, but then for some  
> reason I restarted the computer and on next launch the following  
> message appeared:
> A serious error has occured while Mathematica was starting up.  
> Mathematica will probably not function properly until this problem  
> is resolved. You may choose to continue anyway, but Mathematica may  
> crash or exit without warning.
> The installation Mathematica may be corrupted. Contact technical  
> support or visti hhtp:// for more information. Error  
> code: 16.
> I clicked "Continue Anyway" and Mathematica crashed as promised. I  
> then immediately re-installed Mathematica from a back-up disk and  
> re-started. Exactly the same thing occured. So corrupted  
> installation does not seem to be the problem. I decided to check if  
> the problem lies in my Home directory. I created a completely new  
> user, logged in as the freshly created user and tried launching  
> Mathematica. The same message, the same crash.
> I then booted form an external hard disk, containing a back up of  
> most things on my hard disk. I launched the copy of Mathematica 5.1  
> on my internal hard drive (the same one that was crashing on  
> startup) . It launched and worked without a problem. So, it seems  
> that something is indeed wrong with the system software on the  
> internal drive. What could it be? The only thing that came to my  
> mind was some font corruption, so I replaced all the fonts in my  
> internal hard drive by those in the external one, but to no effect.
> I have also confirmed that the problem is only with the FrontEnd;  
> if I launch the Kernel from the command line it works fine. Just in  
> case I tried Mathematica 4.2 on the same system: it also works fine.
> At the moment it looks like I will have to replace the contents of  
> my internal hard disk with my external one. This is going to be  
> time consuming and I might even loose something, because the two  
> disks have not been kept not synchronized. So I consider this as a  
> last resort. Apart of that, however, I would like to solve this  
> puzzle. What could it be, that seems to affect only the Front End  
> of Mathematica 5.1, and does not lie within the application package  
> itself (since that works fine when used with a different startup  
> disk), nor in the User directory, and does not seem to be caused by  
> a corrupted font?
> Andrzej Kozlowski

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