Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

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franklinveaux
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Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by franklinveaux »

I just installed SheepShaver 2.5 on macOS High Sierra on a MacBook Pro (2016). I'm using System 9.0.4 on a 6GB virtual HDD (5.25GB free).

I'm experiencing frequent crashes on boot; I often have to try to boot 2-3 times before it will finish. In addition, many apps cause an instant crash on launch. For example, the game Oxyd crashes every time on launch.

Crash Reporter shows:

Crashed Thread: 0 Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread

Exception Type: EXC_CRASH (SIGABRT)
Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000
Exception Note: EXC_CORPSE_NOTIFY

Application Specific Information:
abort() called

Thread 0 Crashed:: Dispatch queue: com.apple.main-thread
0 libsystem_kernel.dylib 0x00007fff58b41b66 __pthread_kill + 10
1 libsystem_pthread.dylib 0x00007fff58d0c080 pthread_kill + 333
2 libsystem_c.dylib 0x00007fff58a9d1ae abort + 127
3 com.emaculation.sheepshaver 0x00000000057aef4c powerpc_cpu::execute_illegal(unsigned int) + 76
4 ??? 0x000000004eabb21b 0 + 1319875099

Any ideas?
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

1. Do you use the latest (10 August 2020) build?
2. Is this a new setup or an existing setup where you replaced the SheepShaver application?
3. Have you tried to delete the nvram file? (Use the Zap PRAM script that is included in the SheepShaver folder download.)
4. Please post the content of your prefs file:
Launch Terminal (in /Application/Utilities/) and type at the prompt

Code: Select all

open ~/.sheepshaver_prefs
followed by a return.
The file will open in your default text editor. Select all content and copy and paste it here in your reply.
franklinveaux
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by franklinveaux »

Thanks for your reply. To answer your questions:

1. Yes, this is the latest build. (I've been using SheepShaver for about ten years, and keep it updated.)

2. This is an update install made by copying the August 2020 build over the existing app, but keeping the same preferences and hard disk file.

3. I haven't tried deleting the NVRAM file; I'll try that now.

4. Here's a dump of the prefs file:

Code: Select all

disk sheepshaver6GB.hdimage
cdrom /dev/poll/cdrom
extfs /
screen win/1024/768
windowmodes 0
screenmodes 0
seriala /dev/cu.Bluetooth-Modem
serialb /dev/null
rom /Applications/SheepShaver-2.3/Mac OS ROM
bootdrive 0
bootdriver 0
ramsize 1073741824
frameskip 1
gfxaccel true
nocdrom false
nonet false
nosound false
nogui false
noclipconversion false
ignoresegv false
ignoreillegal false
jit true
jit68k false
keyboardtype 5
hardcursor false
ether slirp
keycodes false
keycodefile 
mousewheelmode 1
mousewheellines 3
dsp /dev/dsp
mixer /dev/mixer
ignoresegv false
idlewait true
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

At least enable "Ignore Illegal Memory Accesses" in SheepShaver preferences, Miscellaneous tab! That will prevent a multitude of possible crashes.

Instead of using SheepShaver preferences, you can also edit the prefs file manually:
Change

Code: Select all

ignoresegv false
to

Code: Select all

ignoresegv true
Note that the entry appears twice in the prefs file. Edit both.


Other remarks:

Did or do you use the built-in SheepShaver preferences or the old SheepShaverPrefs application? Best use the built-in SheepShaver preferences.

I notice that you use all of your hard drive as shared folder (the Unix disk in SheepShaver). We usually advise against doing that. Better create a separate folder to be your shared folder. In the past, bugs with that feature could cause file loss in the shared folder.

You use a refresh rate of 60Hz. Beter set it to "Dynamic"
franklinveaux
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by franklinveaux »

I used the built-in SheepShaver preferences (and I've changed the preferences to only mount a specific folder, thanks!).

With the changes, the application no longer crashes on me; instead, it simply freezes and has to be force-quit. There are several Mac Classic apps that will trigger this freeze with 100% reliability, including the game Oxyd, which freezes the emulator the moment it displays the splash screen.
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adespoton
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by adespoton »

Macintosh Garden's page indicates others have not had this issue with Oxyd.

With the ignore lines set to true, a limited extfs, cdrom removed, frameskip adjusted... the only other thing I can think of is that possibly you have too much RAM allocated? What happens if you use 64MB RAM instead?

Also, have you tried with extensions off? It could be there's an extension loaded that's causing the problem.
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

I also thought of the large amount of RAM. I normally use 256 or 512 MB, but trying with 1024 MB on my (Catalina) machine I can run SheepShaver without problems.

Your setup was an existing setup that did not have problems until you replaced SheepShaver.app with the latest build. Is the problem solved if you use this earlier (12 January 2020) build: https://www.emaculation.com/sheepshaver ... 200112.zip
franklinveaux
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by franklinveaux »

Making progress of a sort, I suppose.

Decreasing RAM to 512 MB, then to 128 MB, then to 64 MB didn't help.

Using the January 2020 release of SheepShaver didn't let Oxyd run, but it did react differently. With the later version of SheepShaver, trying to run Oxyd causes the emulator to freeze or crash. That doesn't happen with the January 2020 release. Instead, Oxyd shows the splash screen, then crashes in System 9 with a message reading "The application "Oxyd™" has unexpectedly quit, because an error of Type 28 occurred."

So there is a difference between the two releases of SheepShaver for sure.
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

- Do you remember which build you used before you updated?

- Did High Sierra updates convert your HD from HFS+ to APFS file system? If not, you could try older builds. (The 12 January 2020 build is the oldest one you can use without issues on a APFS system.)

- Have you tried restarting the host Mac?

- Do you have backup copies of the sheepshaver6GB.hdimage ? Try using one from when SheepShaver behaved normally.
Elyus
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by Elyus »

I tested Oxyd on my setup, and it seems to run, if a little jittery when using the mouse control.

I'm trying to think what could be causing different behavior between the January build and the latest one. Zapping the NVRAM is worthwhile since it occurs to me the latest build may try to load the native sound input driver. I can't imagine that causing conflicts because you're not using sound input, but maybe there could be a PRAM issue on some setups?

Ronald's right, and it would be good to try a backup; I've experienced occasional corruption in classic Mac OS and keep backups for that reason. If you're on APFS, you can create very space efficient backups just by duplicating the disk image file from time-to-time.
franklinveaux
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by franklinveaux »

Ronald P. Regensburg wrote:- Do you remember which build you used before you updated?
Prior to updating, I was using SheepShaver 2.3, and before that, SheepShaver 2.1. I've tried those versions with the current HD image and they won't run at all; they crash instantly on launch.
- Did High Sierra updates convert your HD from HFS+ to APFS file system? If not, you could try older builds. (The 12 January 2020 build is the oldest one you can use without issues on a APFS system.)
My High Sierra is still using HFS+, not APFS. (I actually found and filed several bug reports on the APFS filesystem driver software in High Sierra; I don't trust it. Apple shipped it before it was ready for prime time, I think.)
- Have you tried restarting the host Mac?
Yep.
- Do you have backup copies of the sheepshaver6GB.hdimage ? Try using one from when SheepShaver behaved normally.
I do, but it doesn't include Oxyd. I only just added Oxyd, and discovered it doesn't work.

The fact other people have made it work suggests something weird with my particular install, but I've been unable to figure out what it is.

Many games don't work in SheepShaver, though I am successfully running other ancient MacOS apps, including Aldus PageMaker, QuarkXPress, a very old version of Adobe Illustrator, Aldus Freehand, and so on.

My normal use case for SheepShaver is rescuing old files in no-longer-supported file formats (I just recently salvaged a bunch of files for a magazine published in the early 90s that was done in PageMaker 4, for example). It's only games that seem to give me trouble.
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

Now I am completely confused.
I only just added Oxyd, and discovered it doesn't work..
I thought that the issue started after updating SheepShaver. Did the issue start after installing and trying Oxyd?

You wrote about crashes at boot and about crashes using other applications. But now you seem to tell us that problems only occur with games and that other applications run fine. Did the other games have problems before you updated SheepShaver or installed and tried Oxyd?
Prior to updating, I was using SheepShaver 2.3, and before that, SheepShaver 2.1
On what kind of host computers did you run those? Since 2006 SheepShaver builds are identified by the build date, not by the version number. Many different subsequent versions continue to keep the same version number. The original 2.3, a pre-release version, dates from 2006. The latest 2.3 version build I can find dates from 2012.

Oxyd runs fine on my latest SheepShaver build here. Certainly not all games will run in SheepShaver, but many do run fine. There must be something specific about your setup.

The crashes happened in the first place because you did not have the essential "Ignore Illegal Memory Accesses" enabled. If the problems started after the crashes, it could be that the file system on your HD image got corrupted by the crashes. The only way to find out is to try with a backup copy of the HD image from before the crashes.
franklinveaux
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by franklinveaux »

Ronald P. Regensburg wrote:Now I am completely confused.

I thought that the issue started after updating SheepShaver. Did the issue start after installing and trying Oxyd?
Sorry, that's probably confusing. :)

Yes, the problem started after I installed and tried to run Oxyd.

I've been using SheepShaver for years without difficulty exclusively with productivity and page layout apps, most notably PageMaker 4 and 6.5, QuarkXPress 3.1, and Aldus Freehand. I've built a SheepShaver image I use to convert very old files.

I tried to install and run Oxyd, and that's when the problem started. I still haven't been able to get it to run. Oxyd crashed on start, and after the first time I ran it, I started getting occasional crashes on boot even when I didn't try to run Oxyd. I updated to the latest release of SheepShaver before I installed Oxyd, but backing down didn't solve the problem.

The productivity apps continue to run without problem, but games consistently don't.

Games that work include the old Infocom text adventures, Majongg Tiles, and Solitaire. Games that don't include Oxyd, Spectre, and Spectre VR.
You wrote about crashes at boot and about crashes using other applications. But now you seem to tell us that problems only occur with games and that other applications run fine. Did the other games have problems before you updated SheepShaver or installed and tried Oxyd?
The productivity apps like PageMaker run flawlessly (and I have to say, SheepShaver has really saved my bacon with those old files!).

The games always crash, and SheepShaver crashes on boot about one time out of every three even if I don't run the games.

I don't know if the crashes with games and crashes on boot are related.
Prior to updating, I was using SheepShaver 2.3, and before that, SheepShaver 2.1
On what kind of host computers did you run those? Since 2006 SheepShaver builds are identified by the build date, not by the version number. Many different subsequent versions continue to keep the same version number. The original 2.3, a pre-release version, dates from 2006. The latest 2.3 version build I can find dates from 2012.[/quote]

I'm running them on a MacBook Pro 13,3 (2016, 16 GB RAM, Core i7) running High Sierra 10.13.6.
Oxyd runs fine on my latest SheepShaver build here. Certainly not all games will run in SheepShaver, but many do run fine. There must be something specific about your setup.
Yep, that's what I'm thinking too. Especially since Oxyd works for other folks.
The crashes happened in the first place because you did not have the essential "Ignore Illegal Memory Accesses" enabled. If the problems started after the crashes, it could be that the file system on your HD image got corrupted by the crashes. The only way to find out is to try with a backup copy of the HD image from before the crashes.
I do have a backup, but it's very old, and doesn't have all my legacy software installed on it. I may try with that copy and Oxyd to see what happens.

I appreciate all your help enormously, thank you.
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

The other games that do not work now, already did not work before the problem started?

The first crash with Oxyd would probably not have happened if at that time "Ignore Illegal memory Accesses" was enabled in preferences. It was always better to have that option enabled, but with newer SheepShaver builds it is absolutely necessary. Not having it enabled may have not have been a problem in your setup because you kept using the same older build for many years.

I understand now that the problems started after the crash with Oxyd, not after updating to the latest SheepShaver build. It is possible that the crash damaged the file system on your HD image, causing the other instabilities.

But if the real problem is only Oxyd, then it could simply be that the crash caused a corrupted Oxyd preferences file. Oxyd creates an "Oxyd™ Preferences" in System Folder > Preferences. Trash it and see if you can launch Oxyd. (Use a copy of your HD image, we do not want it to have to undergo another crash or force shutdown.)

It is a pity that you do not have more recent backup copies of the HD image file. Don't you make regular backups of everything on your Mac?

You could also try to create a new SheepShaver setup and see how that one works. Our setup manual explains how you can set up different SheepShaver virtual machines, each with its own settings, that can exist next to each other on the same host.
Setup manual: https://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/sh ... os_x_setup
Section about VMs: https://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/sh ... l_machines

With different setups you can for instance have one setup for serious work and one setup for playing games.
Last edited by Ronald P. Regensburg on Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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franklinveaux
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Re: Frequent crashes on boot and when launching apps

Post by franklinveaux »

Ronald P. Regensburg wrote:The first crash with Oxyd would probably not have happened if at that time "Ignore Illegal memory Accesses" was enabled in preferences. It was always better to have that option enabled, but with newer SheepShaver builds it is absolutely necessary. Not having it enabled may have not have been a problem in your setup because you kept using the same older build for many years.
Interesting. Yes, that seems likely.
But if the real problem is only Oxyd, then it could simply be that the crash caused a corrupted Oxyd preferences file. Oxyd creates an "Oxyd™ Preferences" in System Folder > Preferences. Trash it and see if you can launch Oxyd. (Use a copy of your HD image, we do not want it to have to undergo another crash or force shutdown.)
That's a good suggestion. I'll give it a try.
It is a pity that you do not have more recent backup copies of the HD image file. Don't you make regular backups of everything on your Mac?
I do! I have three Time Machine drives I rotate through, I mirror the hard drive every week, and I image the hard drive to a Synology NAS every night at 2AM. I make my living from this computer, so I'm a bit paranoid about backups. :)

I usually keep SheepShaver on a cold storage drive, since I use it rarely and I'm always low on internal hard drive space. I had a recovery job to do, so I installed the software I needed on SheepShaver, upgraded the SS version, then installed the game and boom. So this particular situation is something of an outlier.
You could also try to create a new SheepShaver setup and see how that one works. Our setup manual explains how you can set up different SheepShaver virtual machines, each with its own settings, that can exist next to each other on the same host.
Setup manual: https://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/sh ... os_x_setup
Section about VMs: https://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/sh ... l_machines

With different setups you can for instance have one setup for serious work and one setup for playing games.
Also an excellent idea, thank you.
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