I can’t seem to get Audacity to boot after its initial installation on my Mac. I just keep getting
the message, “Audacity Startup Failure: An unrecoverable error has occurred during startup”.
I’ve already tried resetting Audacity’s settings (Reboot, then delete the *.cfg files in Application support/audacity), but that didn’t work. I’ve also verified the SHA checksum of my *.dmg file - it’s a match to the one Audacity lists on their website.
I’m all out of ideas, here. Does anyone have any insight into this problem?
Alright, I’ll try to address these questions/requests in the order you posted them:
It’s a poor idea to dismiss possibilities out of hand before you establish what the cause actually is.
Audacity tries to establish a location for buffers and cache. This is mine.
Where is yours?
Though I can’t open Audacity to verify the temporary files directory, there is a directory that gets created when I attempt to start Audacity after installing it (Users/[MyName]/Library/Application Support/audacity). It’s only after this directory gets created that the “unrecoverable error” message pops up.
I downloaded the file from Audacity/Fosshub, and I do still have my *.dmg file, yes.
If you don’t do that and pull the drive at the instant the Mac decides to touch it, there goes whatever data it was managing.
Make sure you have a proper Audacity installer.
Delete Audacity from Applications, remove the config files, disconnect your network / WiFi and install Audacity again.
I made sure to eject the disk image after installation was complete, and I tried the whole uninstall/reinstall process again with my WiFi turned off - same problem, an “unrecoverable error” occurs when I try to start Audacity.
Did you delete three files?
(audacity.cfg, pluginregistry.cfg, and pluginsettings.cfg)
There’s only one cfg file in the folder by the time Audacity crashes, which is audacity.cfg; pluginregistry.cfg and pluginsettings.cfg aren’t there. My assumption is that Audacity crashes before those two files are created, but I don’t know for sure.
Is this the first ever installation of Audacity on this machine, or have you previously had an older version installed?
This is not my first installation on this machine, but it is my first install since I wiped the disk and reinstalled a clean copy of OSX a few months ago. I’m not sure what version I had before.
Has Audacity 2.4.2 ever successfully launched on this machine?
No, it has never successfully started. I tried rolling back to a few versions ago (I think I went as far back as 2.3.3), but got the same error.
Do you know how to view the contents of Application packages and hidden folders?
Yes, I am aware of the “CMD+SHIFT+.” shortcut to toggle hidden files, though I never saw any in the audacity folder when I checked that.
To respond to kozikowski:
This is my home Macbook, and I was looking to edit a few files while furloughed. It’s an older model (mid 2010), but other than being stuck at High Sierra for its OS, runs fine otherwise.
I wiped the disk and reinstalled a clean copy of OSX a few months ago.
So the old one was “dirty?” Unstable? Did you back the machine out of Catalina? Nobody wants to talk about that. Where did you find High Sierra? It Is Said Apple will supply it if you know where to look.
Do a serous backup before you try this. I let Time Machine have its way and then separately make a plain copy of /Users. You need healthy backup drives for that.
Desktop > Go > Utilities > Disk Utility > First Aid.
This used to let you check things first and then repair as an option. I guess too many people got into trouble with that, so it just charges ahead.
It’s been a while since I did it, but there were no real problems, just general bloat - I had that “iteration” since probably 2009, and it was full of files, applications, etc. I no longer needed. Rather than spend hours and hours sorting through everything and deciding what to toss, I made one final time machine backup (in case I needed to pull anything out later), installed a fresh copy, and started a new TM backup from there.
I didn’t roll-back from Catalina, because this machine wasn’t eligible for Catalina in the first place; it’s too old. The High Sierra install is the original one from Apple’s App Store - I keep all the OS image files from the App Store installed on bootable flash drives, in case I ever need them after Apple decides I don’t.
FWIW, this fresh OS install happened sometime after I swapped the HDD for a SSD, and put the old HDD in the superdrive slot. I ran First Aid on the System drive already (the SSD, in APFS format), but I saw no issues. I wasn’t able to run it on the HDD, because its position in the superdrive slot means I can’t unmount it, at least not from within the OS. I will try it in the pre-boot Disk Utility, and report back.
Although, now that I think about it, my ~/Users folder is on the secondary drive, not the system drive. Would that have anything to do with this issue? I know Audacity manages to create an “audacity.cfg” file and the “Session Data” folder in the right place before it craps out, but maybe the non-standard location of my ~/Users folder is giving it issues? I haven’t seen it cause any problems with anything else, but we’re starting from scratch, here.
This is a cousin to Audacity Project Management. You have to put the AUP file and the _DATA folder in the same place or folder for a Project to open. Audacity doesn’t have the inclination or the smarts to go looking through your system for a match.