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Re: Error code: 480

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg103942] Re: [mg103936] Error code: 480
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 23:18:28 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

The reason for the error code is not to be intentionally obscure, but because 
the error is happening so early in the startup sequence that Mathematica hasn't 
yet had a chance to load the text resources containing the error message. In 
this case, the message is indicating that you have a syntax error in one of the 
init.m files being read by the FE.  The most likely source of the problem is the 
file pointed to by evaluating this command (which you can evaluate in a 
standalone kernel):

ToFileName[{$UserBaseDirectory, "FrontEnd"}, "init.m"]

You can rename or delete this file, and then things will probably begin working 
again.  If not, then you can just rename or move the directories 
$UserBaseDirectory and $BaseDirectory out of the way, and that will definitely 
solve the problem (once again, evaluate those variables in a standalone kernel 
to see their values).

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Tue, 13 Oct 2009 07:20:19 -0400 (EDT), Joe Hays wrote:
> All,
> I have a WinXP (sp3) system with Mathematica 7.0.1 installed. I've been
> using it for over a month. Last Friday "something happened" that corrupted
> Mathematica. Upon launch I get the following error message:
> "A serious error has occurred while Mathematica was starting up.
> Mathematica
> will probably not function properly until this problem is resolved. You
> may
> choose to conintue anyway, but Mathematica may crash or exit without
> warning.
> The installation of Mathematica may be corrupted. Contact technical
> support
> or visit for more information. Error code:
> 480"
> I did have an old inactive Mathematica 6 still installed on the machine
> and
> inadvertently launched it. I closed version 6 and then launched version 7
> and received the error above. Since then, I have uninstalled both
> versions,
> deleted the "C:\Program Files\Wolfram\" folder and even went into the
> registry and deleted all keys that had "wolfram" or "mathematica" in it.
> I then rebooted and did a clean install of Mathematica 7.0.1. The first
> launch of this cleaned install produced the same error.
> Error code: 480 produced no results when I searched on the Wolfram support
> site. As a student without *premier* support and can not call into Wolfram
> support, I'm at a loss as to what to do.
> Has anyone experienced this same/similar phenomenon? Anyway have an idea
> of
> what else I should try to resolve it?
> Much thanks,
> Joe

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