View Full Version : OT: Killing an Unkillable OSX App

Julian Johnson
02-08-2003, 07:47 AM
Couldn't wait to test the new forums out :-) so this is way OT, but does anyone know how to kill an unkillable app in OSX? Quicktime keeps locking up on me and won't Force Quit (either from the Dock or the Force Quit menu). I've tried a few terminal commands such as kill and killapp with the PID in sudo mode but the process won't die. It means that I can't logout normally and have to force reboot the machine which is messing up my directories (they almost always need Diskwarrior-ing) after a forced reboot. I've updated and reinstalled QT but it makes no difference. I 'think' it's a dual monitor glitch and a minor conflict between the old ATI Rage 128 Pro drivers and my GF3 ones. It's very erratic and happens maybe once a week. Any ideas?

OSX 10.2.3/QuickSilver DP800/1.5Gig RAM/Rage 128 Pro/NVidia GF3

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02-08-2003, 08:02 AM
Hi Julian. Good to see you in the new forums. Sometimes I've found that if I try force quitting twice in a row, the app finally gives up and dies.

Julian Johnson
02-08-2003, 08:12 AM
Hi Beam. Good to see you here, too :-).

The weird thing is that if I Force Quit through the Force Quit menu (rather than the Dock) the application will initially vanish from the menu but won't disappear from the Dock. Within a few seconds, it reappears in the Force Quit menu and I try again but it won't budge no matter how many times I try. I'm sure there must be a Terminal command to really zap it but even Mac OSX hints doesn't seem to have much beyond kill and/or killapp.


02-08-2003, 08:51 AM
Hi guys,
Julian, curious is this the newest version of QT running underX.2.3?
i have no solution for you(seems you've about covered everthing that should squash the thing?) but i have seen some postings around the web on
the latest version of QT causing some strange problems...

Julian Johnson
02-08-2003, 09:11 AM
Hi theKeeper - it's 6.0.1. I'd heard that there were some potential issues with 6.1 so I hadn't upgraded yet [and I can no longer remember what those issues were!] but maybe I should get on with it. In all other respects 6.0.1 is behaving well. I do have both the new 3ivx and Alpha 3 of Divx5 installed and it may well be an issue with these additional components rather than QT itself. It wouldn't be a big deal if I could just kill the process but I guess if there's no way to kill QT in this instance, I need to try and find out where the real problem lies..

- Julian

02-08-2003, 11:57 AM
when using Force Quit, 'try, try again' is a good motto...sometimes 3 or 4 times required to succeed..

but another way would be to use Process viewer...problem is that the names of apps and processes aren't always recognizable to the user (at least not to me).

for example, OS9 is I think named 'TrueBlue' so, experience is necessary when killing processes to make sure you get the right one.


02-08-2003, 04:12 PM
Use Ambrosia softwares escapepod....absolutely essential....


I have intermittent hangs as well that locks the interface also related to quicktime, and this works perfectly...

Decription from the site

"escapepod is a little application that lets you terminate the frontmost application by hitting Control-Alt-Delete, terminate the Dock by hitting Shift-Control-Alt-Delete, or do a force-logout by hitting Command-Control-Alt-Delete.

There are times that Mac OS X appears to be hung (especially in some games) when it really isn't -- just the frontmost application's GUI is wedged. The Dock also occasionally stops responding under some circumstances, which can be cured by terminating it. Additionally, when the entire GUI appears to be hung, it is safer to do a force-logout than to simply reboot your machine (and it is quicker, too). "

Julian Johnson
02-09-2003, 04:02 AM
Thanks, Tristam. That looks really useful. Next time it happens it will be the first thing I try.


02-09-2003, 05:14 AM
What? This little application can kill the Dock? I think I'd like that, as I never did like the Dock. I could still launch applications from the Apple menu.

02-09-2003, 08:22 AM
this may be too radical for you, but I got fed up with the Dock, and removed it from Core Services, put it into Applications.

So that I can interact with my desktop, I made the dock a log in item, as well as Process Viewer, which I use to Kill the Dock.

Drag thing is my Dock replacement, and I'm a happy guy, now that the Dock isn't inflicting itself on me anymore.