Mac Error: Applications Quits Unexpectedly

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.

The Symptoms

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’s Solution

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.

My Solution

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.

  1. System Preferences -> Dock Minimize using: Scale Effect Unchecked both "Animate opening applications", "Automatically hide and show the Dock"

  2. Go to Disk Utility, select your harddrive, and click Verify Disk (or Repair Disk if necessary)

  3. If you are using Adium Instance Messenger, go to Preferences -> Advanced tab, under Contact List, un-check Animate Changes.