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Strange New Error Message

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:28 am
by Richard Serkes
After installing High Sierra I found that my old backup/bootable clone program wouldn't work. It couldn't find the Macintosh HD. I contacted tech support and was told to download and use a beta version of the program designed for High Sierra and also to reformat my external drive (the target disk) using the new APFS format. I did both but the program still couldn't find the Macintosh HD so it wouldn't work. Based on comments on this forum I downloaded a different program to make a backup/bootable clone and it works just fine with High Sierra. I hated buying a new program but I'd hate it more if my Macintosh HD failed and I was without a bootable clone.

Now here's the problem. The morning after running the new program I found a strange error message on the screen (please see below). Since I hadn't done anything to my Mac other than upgrade to High Sierra and add the new program I assumed that the error message had something to do with the new program. It's scheduled to run at 3:00AM and I only saw this message in the morning when I first checked my Mac. The next step was to manually run the program which I did in mid-afternoon and there was no error message. I figured the error message had something to do with the program's automatic scheduler running a 3:00AM script. I contacted the tech support folks for the new program sending a copy of the error message and they said they'd never seen anything like that and it had nothing to do with their program.

So I decided to run another test. I turned OFF the scheduler and didn't run the program automatically. The next morning the error message was back. Since the program had not run I think the tech support people were right. And again I manually ran the program and I didn't get the error message.

Has anyone seen anything like this? It happened after installing High Sierra, after uninstalling the old program using AppCleaner and installing the new program. I'm wondering if AppCleaner didn't get everything and left a script command somewhere on the Mac which is trying to run the old program...a program which isn't there anymore. Weird, huh?

Re: Strange New Error Message

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:53 am
by rickj
You could look in Login Items (Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items). If you see something there you don't want, select it and hit the "-" button.

Does the original program have an uninstaller? If it had installed a certain kind of background application, just deleting files like AppCleaner probably does wouldn't be enough, because the OS caches those background apps. So try the uninstaller if there is one.

You could look in Activity Monitor to see if you recognize any remnants of the old program. If you see something, select it then click on the "i" button at the top. Click on the Open Files and Ports tab. One of the first things listed should be the path to the suspect file. If you follow that path and delete the file and restart, it might fix the issue. You might have to repeat this procedure, because the OS sometimes caches these files in multiple places.

Or you could buy a new Mac :)

Rick

Re: Strange New Error Message

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:13 pm
by Richard Serkes
(1) I checked Login items first thing and there was nothing there. (2) The original program didn't have an installer. (3) I'll check the Activity Monitor tomorrow if I get there error message. The reason I want to wait until the new program runs again tomorrow morning at 3:00AM is because the publisher just released an update for it and the information that came with the update indirectly addresses the problem I'm having. It may be the new program not the old one because the new one certainly is running a script to turn it OFF and ON in the morning.

Frankly, I really like you last suggestion. If I start with a brand new Mac I won't have any old junk files on it.

Re: Strange New Error Message

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:05 pm
by rickj
Richard Serkes wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:13 pm
Frankly, I really like you last suggestion. If I start with a brand new Mac I won't have any old junk files on it.
Well the good news is that if you find that you really miss those junk files, you can always transfer them over using Migration Assistant :)

Rick

Re: Strange New Error Message

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:37 am
by Richard Serkes
No joy this morning. The error message was back. I guess it's back to the drawing board or the Apple Store.

Re: Strange New Error Message

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:50 am
by Stephen Hart
This Apple page helpfully says this message indicates a -50 Parameter error.

https://developer.apple.com/library/con ... codes.html

But that's listed in OS errors: "An operating system error is an error that occurs when AppleScript or an application requests services from the Mac OS. They are rare, and often there is nothing you can do about them in a script, other than report them."

So something's making a call to the OS and including the wrong information in the call.

Re: Strange New Error Message

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:21 am
by Richard Serkes
Yeah, and I have idea what's doing it. All I can say is it started the morning after I installed High Sierra so something is trying to get access to the OS in the early hours of the morning and it doesn't play nice with High Sierra.

I figure I have three choices. I can live with it. I can reformat the HD and reload my programs one at a time until I find the problem. Or I can follow Rick's suggestion and buy a new Mac.

Re: Strange New Error Message

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:31 am
by Stephen Hart
One more idea before you buy that new Mac, which may not solve your problem, of course.*

Look in Console.app and see if you can find anything labelled in the wee hours. I don't really know if you can search within Console, for a time period, for example.

* The new Mac may not solve the problem because you could well copy it (the problem) back to the new Mac. Same for reloading your hard drive.

Re: Strange New Error Message

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:19 am
by Richard Serkes
I don't know why I didn't think of this before. I've done nothing with this problem because the only alternative I could think of was to reformat the hard drive and start from scratch. That would mean reloading the MacOS as well as all my programs. The time involved was just too much. But last night I dawned on me that I could create a new account, let it run overnight and see what I got in the morning. As I suspected, there was no error message this morning in the new account.

So all I'm doing now is moving a few folders from the old account to the new account and then I don't have to see that error message every morning. I'll keep the old account on the Mac for a month or so just in case I've forgotten to move something I need.

Done.

Re: Strange New Error Message

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:53 am
by rickj
Richard Serkes wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:19 am
I don't know why I didn't think of this before. I've done nothing with this problem because the only alternative I could think of was to reformat the hard drive and start from scratch. That would mean reloading the MacOS as well as all my programs. The time involved was just too much. But last night I dawned on me that I could create a new account, let it run overnight and see what I got in the morning. As I suspected, there was no error message this morning in the new account.

So all I'm doing now is moving a few folders from the old account to the new account and then I don't have to see that error message every morning. I'll keep the old account on the Mac for a month or so just in case I've forgotten to move something I need.

Done.
Yeah, but now you don't get a new Mac. :D