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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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I have an eMac w/ Leopard on it. Sometimes multiple times

Customer Question

I have an eMac w/ Leopard on it. Sometimes multiple times a day when either in Safari or Firefox and the computer is trying to open a pdf document (e.g., bank statement, eye doctor forms), the framed screen will go to black and then w/in a few seconds of closing this page out, the ISP will completely shut down. I then send an error report to Apple re: the incident when prompted, which I always am. Can you help me w/ this?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Hello my name is Dan.
When and what was the last Apple Software update?
When did this start happening?
Are there any other symptoms?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
This morning I just installed some auto-updates, but the last time the computer was in the shop was over a year ago
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
OK, then do this.
In spotlight in the upper right corner type in Disk Utility.

It should be the top hit, click on that to open.

This is what is in my Disk Utility window yours will be different but work the same.
Your hard drive will probably be named Mac HD.

Think of your computer as a set of file cabinets in an office with a private file cabinet for each employee, call then Chris and Sue.

Each employee's cabinet is locked, unless they grant specific access to drawers inside the cabinet. Each persons private cabinet has a public outbox where anyone can see what is inside but can not put any thing in, a public inbox where anyone can put files, and an open 'shared' place where files that can be used by all.

There are three categories of users for each cabinet:

1- The owner.

2- Group members and guests who have access to one or more drawers inside the cabinet.

3- Others who have access to the in and out boxes but no access to the owners drawers.

You use these categories to define Read and Write, Read only, or no access.

Repairing permissions makes sure that the correct people and applications have the correct access to the cabinets.

If these get changed (software updates do do this) or corrupted then things go where they are not supposed to and it can mean applications won't launch or run or not preform correctly.

This is especially true with system updates because if the update info goes to the wrong place it can lead to a total system crash.

The above explains what and why the permissions repair.
Do that and keep me posted.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
How long should I let this run?
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
It can take a while. Even though it looks like it is not working just wait and maybe get some coffee.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sounds good--I'll run an errand and be back....thank you and I hope this works. I'll leave this window open for now.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
I will be waiting.
Daniel and 4 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer. I take it all went well and it works as it should?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'll tell you what happened...the repair finished. I went to Safari and tried to open that PDF document and same thing again--black, then Safari spontaneously closes. So, I went to Firefox and it was able to open and view the PDF document and also upgraded Adobe Reader. When I went back now to Safari, it, too, is now able to open the PDF file, so I'm not sure what exactly worked.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Permissions are like that.
One more thing to do.
Restart and as soon as the screen goes black press and hold these 4 keys:
'Apple' (between the option and space)
'R' and
Do not let go until you hear 4 startup chimes then let it start normally.
You should be all good now.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I tried what you said, but it didn't chime 4 x and the Mac went ahead and opened while I was holding the keys down. Did I do something wrong?
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
You weren't fast enough. Choose restart from the Apple menu, then as soon as the screen goes black you need to press and hold those 4 keys down. Do not let up until 4 chimes. It seems like it isn't working but it is.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Honestly, I now have tried this a few times, starting even before the screen goes black and I can't trigger the 4 chimes, just the one and then it goes to full boot.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Make sure you have the correct keys, any variation and it doesn't work.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok...I'm hoping this is not a critical step because the most I can get are 2 chimes, but mostly it's just one and I promise you, I'm pressing all the right keys. The Adobe Reader piece seems to have been the ticket for finally resolving the issue. Is this possible?
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
Yes it could be now that I think a little more about it. I didn't get the part about PDFs not working, the part about the ISP shutting down threw me.
I don't understand only two chimes unless the sound is muted. Did the screen go to black 4 times?
If so then it worked there just was no sound.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, it stayed black longer when I held down the keys, but there was no chiming beyond the once or twice. It did not fade in and out of black--it just stays black and then becomes the white w/ the the little spinning circle as it boots.
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
That should not be. It can take up to 2 minutes between chimes and I have never seen a machine that would not do it if it booted at all.
If everything works then don't worry about it.
Any more issues?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Not sure what to tell you, but we're good for now....thanks!
Expert:  Daniel replied 7 years ago.
OK, thank you for asking JA.

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