Crashes in OS X 10.3 Panther | December 4, 2003

I installed Panther a week or so ago and apart from a few teething problems everything was fine. However a couple of days ago I rebooted my iMac for the first time since my install and ever since then has been playing up.

First off, after my reboot, junk mail filtering had stopped. This meant about 20+ spam emails started turning up in my in box every morning, something I wasn't really used to. Then I started to notice the app itself kept crashing when I tried to flag messages as junk.

After a bit of testing I trashed ~/Library/Mail/LSMMap and so far (fingers crossed) Mail seems to have stopped crashing. Now all I've got to do is spend the next couple of weeks retraining the junk filter.

Posted at December 4, 2003 9:02 AM


ste said on December 4, 2003 11:14 AM

Hrm, I haven’t had any trouble running yet, and I’ve been running Panther for a little over a week now. If I may ask, how did you have it set up? Were you using POP3 or IMAP? Of course, luckily I don’t get much junk mail quite yet, but it has caught the few that I have gotten without any problems. Also, how did you manage to figure out it was that file causing problems? (I’m still new to OS X so how people troubleshoot problems like this is a nice learning experience for me. ;)

Andy Budd said on December 4, 2003 12:01 PM

The problem only started happening a week or so after I’d installed. I think it was on my first reboot but I’m not sure. I know other people who have upgraded and don’t have this problem so I guess it only effects a small number of people.

With many Mac problems trashing the applications preferences seems to help. Initially I trashed the whole Mail folder and it worked. However I also lost all my mail boxes. I reinstated the Mail folder and looked at each file trying to work out what it did. Most of them were self evident. I’d done a bit of searching before about the problem but didn’t find a solution. However I did find out that LSMMap was the junk file so thought it was worth trashing that to see what happened.

Once trashed seemed to work fine.

ste said on December 4, 2003 3:14 PM

Hrm, that’s good to know - I haven’t yet had a problem with an application crashing (knock on wood), but I wouldn’t have known to do anything with the preferences files.

zlog said on December 4, 2003 3:39 PM

Mail has been fine for me so far (fingers crossed).

The only problem I have had so far with Panther’s bundled applications is with Safari. It seems to crash randomly every now and then. The only damage is “lost tabs” but it’s frequent enough to be annoying.

Jean Snow said on December 5, 2003 4:38 AM

I had the same problem after I installed Panther. My Mail was crashing once a day, and the only way I could get it going again was to reboot. I trashed all the preferences, and this worked for a week or so, and then it started happening again. I finally figured out that the problem seemed to be caused by a program I use called Synergy (gives you better control over iTunes, like keyboard access and such). After I stopped using it, the problem disappeared, and it’s been weeks now. The thing with that program is that it resides as an icon in the toolbar up top, and I’ve heard that programs such as these sometimes cause problems when a new OS X update comes out. If you’re using programs such as these (like Launchbar or Weatherpop), try quitting them and see if the problem continues.

Alan A. said on December 8, 2003 2:56 PM

I am having the exact same problem. Of late, my junk mail filtering has stopped and every time I try and designate email as junk the program crashes. Very troubling.

Rob Winters said on December 9, 2003 12:24 PM

I’m still a bit scared to install Panther. Maybe after Christmas. :)

Andy Budd said on December 9, 2003 3:26 PM

Apart from some very small teething problems, it’s been pretty solid and hassle free. I know quite a few people now who have upgraded and none of them have had any significant problems.

Rob Winters said on December 9, 2003 4:31 PM

I’ve only been a Mac bod for about 8 months, so I guess my past windoze upgrade experiences are putting me off a bit. However I will bite the bullet, Just for the quick user switching alone.

Scott Flodin said on December 10, 2003 8:21 AM

Thanks for the tip. Throwing away that file helped immidiately. I’m curious to see if the problem returns after awhile.

Syd said on December 14, 2003 2:21 AM

I was having the same problem and it turned out it was synergy. shame, it’s one of the few shareware apps I have ever felt was good enough to pay for and now i can’t use it.
oh well.

Joela said on December 16, 2003 8:06 AM

wow… had the exact same problem! amazed to find an answer.

trying it now….crossing fingers.

thanks all.


Joela said on December 16, 2003 8:12 AM

nope…. grabbed a few mail items that we know and love…you know the ones I speak of. clicked junk, and poof …the usual “send error/crash log to apple”.

…this, along w/ the white spots on the spcreen of my new 15” powerbook make me so very happy.


….hard to believe that I still don’t like Windows….

Constantine said on December 17, 2003 12:34 PM

thanks: trashing LSMMap (was LSMMap2 for me) has solved the problem for me for now:

same problem started out of the blue (and I don’t think it had anything to do with a restart) mail started crashing: all to do with junk. when one marks item as junk it crashes, but also in background sometimes (but then probably it’s applying the junk rule to a recently received item).
I don’t have synergy installed; only app in toolbar is timbuktu, but don’t think it’s anything to do with that.

Alan A. said on December 19, 2003 4:54 PM

I deleted the LMSMap and LMSMap2 files and it stopped crashing. I am unsure, however, whether the junk mail filters are still working after doing that. I have been training it again, but it sure seems to me that an enormous amount of obvious junk mail gets through — far more than did prior to these crashes.

Matthew B said on December 28, 2003 4:30 AM

I was also having this problem, although it didn’t seem to coincide with an update.
Instead of deleting ~/Library/Mail/LSMMap, I followed the advice in the forum at this url:

which advises trashing ~/Library/Mail/MessageSorting.plist, ~/Library/Mail/MessageSorting.plist.backup and ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/Junk.mbox …
and it has worked so far… :-)


Tseung said on December 28, 2003 4:51 PM

I had the junk mail crash real bad, and the MessageSorting.plist tip didn’t work. However, LSMMap and LSMMap2 are in the trash, and works again!

Thanks for the advice!

Matthew B said on December 30, 2003 7:02 PM

Yep - after I posted above, mail was OK for a while, but then started crashing again, so I trashed LSMMap2 instead of MessageSorting.plist, and so far so good…

Matt said on January 13, 2004 4:24 AM

I am getting the same frustrations. I have removed all LSMMap files AND followed the MacRumors suggestion of messagesorting.plist removals. Still won’t work. Is everyone on 1.3.2? I’m running a 700 MHz G3 iBook w/ 640 MB Ram. My G5 still works fine (guess you have to pay $3000 to get to work properly now).

Matt said on January 13, 2004 4:51 AM

I just crashed out of Camino and Photoshop! 10.3.2 looks to be buggier than first imagined. Ugh

Kristin Green said on January 27, 2004 6:45 PM


I found your site while looking for an answer to my problem and got way more than I was looking for. I’m a web developer working for a small design shop in Toronto and I’m a guy that’s obsessed with process who dreams of project managing and good documentation. Unfortunately, I’m the only one here that is so it’s been an uphill battle. Anyways, so glad that I found you site… I have a lot of reading to do.

As for the Mail crashing problem, I thought you might be interested to hear my theory on it. crashes when attempting to update it’s junk mail filter list because it’s corrupted. Remove the corrupted file and everything is back to normal except that it needs to re-learn what is spam and what is not spam. I think everyone has figured this much out.

But some people report that the problem returns. Why is this? My theory is that it is caused by marking a specific type of email as junk. That type is defined by an email that does not have a ‘from’ email address or name. It is simply blank. Perhaps it requires that both the email address and the subject be blank, I’m not sure. But I noticed the problem returning immediately after attempting to mark such a message as junk.

My solution is to delete such messages in the future without marking them as junk.

Your blog helped me solve this problem so I thought I’d try to give a little back.