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Old Jul 7th, 2019, 09:13 AM   #1
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MacPro rebooting into second account

Strange problem with the MacPro (5,1 2010 running Sierra). The Login screen appears at random, but any media that I have been using (for instance watching a video on Firefox) doesn't stop. I can still hear the audio.

When I log in, I can still hear the video but can't access Firefox. If I try to launch it, the computer tells me there is another copy of Firefox running. However, I can't force quit because it doesn't register as an application already open.

If I restart the computer at this point, everything returns to normal.

Best I can guess, its as though two simultaneous sessions have overlapped, but that shouldn't be possible with the same user.

Any guesses?
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Old Jul 7th, 2019, 10:29 AM   #2
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As Spock would say: "Fascinating"

I have absolutely no clue on this one. When you come up with an answer I will certainly file it away, lest I ever run something later than ElCap.
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Old Jul 8th, 2019, 09:57 AM   #3
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Does this only happen with Firefox? If you were watching a video in Safari or Chrome could you repeat the same issue?

If not I would contact Mozilla and see if they have an answer to this very weird and curious glitch. Or you could simply try completely uninstalling FireFox, wipe everything bit of it from your Mac and install a fresh new copy and see if the problem returns.
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Old Jul 8th, 2019, 10:19 AM   #4
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Does this only happen with Firefox? If you were watching a video in Safari or Chrome could you repeat the same issue?

If not I would contact Mozilla and see if they have an answer to this very weird and curious glitch. Or you could simply try completely uninstalling FireFox, wipe everything bit of it from your Mac and install a fresh new copy and see if the problem returns.

Or wait 30 minutes and install the next update.
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Old Jul 8th, 2019, 01:21 PM   #5
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I've managed to dig out some detail in the computer logs. It's a two-phase problem. WindowServer is crashing for an unknown reason and causing the computer to restart. However, a hidden file named ".parentlock" is refusing to allow Firefox to close. The curious result is that Firefox remains open under a phantom session, while the active session takes over.

I'm not clear on how the computer can allow two sessions to co-exist. My prediction would have been that the crash in progress would have been suspended until Firefox was "Force Quit." Instead, two distinct sessions continue.
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Old Jul 8th, 2019, 02:11 PM   #6
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I've managed to dig out some detail in the computer logs. It's a two-phase problem. WindowServer is crashing for an unknown reason and causing the computer to restart. However, a hidden file named ".parentlock" is refusing to allow Firefox to close. The curious result is that Firefox remains open under a phantom session, while the active session takes over.

I'm not clear on how the computer can allow two sessions to co-exist. My prediction would have been that the crash in progress would have been suspended until Firefox was "Force Quit." Instead, two distinct sessions continue.
Just doing a bit of searching and the WindowServer crash seems to be a common issue from Sierra to at least Mojave. So far have seen no viable solutions. Pretty serious issue to continue unresolved for this length of time.
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Old Jul 8th, 2019, 02:53 PM   #7
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Best I can guess, its as though two simultaneous sessions have overlapped, but that shouldn't be possible with the same user.
Any guesses?

Have you tried all possible repairs using Disk Utility and when booted from your Recovery HD volume.

Maybe even doing a SMC Reset or running EtreCheck.

When did the problem fist start??

How often does the same problem occur?

Does the same problem happen when booted using Safe Boot Mode??

Have you changed your grahpics card from original in that Mac Pro?


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Old Jul 9th, 2019, 09:59 AM   #8
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Not sure about the WindowServer crashes, but this may give you the key to preventing FireFox from resuming the previous sessions.

https://how-to.fandom.com/wiki/How_t...covery_feature
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Old Jul 10th, 2019, 11:06 AM   #9
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Not sure about the WindowServer crashes, but this may give you the key to preventing FireFox from resuming the previous sessions.

https://how-to.fandom.com/wiki/How_t...covery_feature
I ditched parentlock and disabled Firefox's pre-eminence during a shutdown.

The WindowServer crash is related to switching between two graphics cards--I have a pair of 5770s running three monitors. At some point, it becomes overwhelmed with the task of managing the extended three-monitor window using both cards, resulting in a shutdown.

Apparently nothing to be done about it--an Apple error. I have a Radeon RX580 on the shelf here, waiting to be installed to run Mojave, so will see if it makes a difference.
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