I’ve recently encountered a very disturbing problem in Mac OS X Leopard, where the applications quit unexpectedly without notice and fails on relaunch attempt. At first it happens to Firefox, Photoshop and few applications that I frequently used; it then crashes other applications like Adium, Mail client, Font Book and apps that I hardly use.
This problem is similar to Window’s "illegal operation" that causes software to shutdown automatically without notice. You know you are a victim when an application shuts down by itself, and when you clicked Relaunch and it will still eventually shut down. Almost any application will behave like that.
XLab has a good article explaining why the error happens and how you can solve it. I recommend you to read it if you really want to find out what has possibly caused this error.
The Cause of the error can be subjective, so I did not really run all the 11 troubleshoot steps listed by XLab. Instead, I suspected the error on my Mac was caused by insufficient RAM so here’s what I’ve done to recover the situation.
- System Preferences -> Dock
Minimize using: Scale Effect
Unchecked both "Animate opening applications", "Automatically hide and show the Dock"
- Go to Disk Utility, select your harddrive, and click Verify Disk (or Repair Disk if necessary)
- If you are using Adium Instance Messenger, go to Preferences -> Advanced tab, under Contact List, un-check Animate Changes.