While I spend less time in the tech rooms now than I used to, I do pick up a handful of repairs now and again to keep the queue as short as possible for our customers. One particularly interesting machine worked perfectly in every way, except that no web browser would launch and stay open for more than a minute or two. The customer keeps up on technology news and is among the first to download new products, especially web browsers.

I tried launching Safari, Firefox, Opera, Camino, and Flock. None would stay open for more than a minute or two. When each quit unexpectedly, it offered the option of sending an error report to Apple. I clicked that button to look at the error logs, and found the common thread immediately: the Adobe Flash plugin. It made perfect sense, as each installed browser used this common resource—even across users!

Turns out this is another problem caused by Migration Assistant. Migration Assistant is a brilliant feature of Mac OS X, but sometimes problems do arise when data being transferred is out of date and incompatible with the most modern software on new computers. If you find yourself in a situation where an application quits unexpectedly, be sure to take a look at the logs. Even we do not understand everything they keep track of, but there are often clues buried in there. If you see one thing come up over and over again, odds are something is amiss. Often, you can copy and paste directly from the log into Google and come up with solutions!


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