iChat Problem: it Exits Immediately on Startup

I’ve just noticed a rather strange problem on my computer. It seems that when I try to start iChat (version 2.1), the program exits quietly and instantly upon starting up.

What I mean is that when I click on the iChat icon in my dock (or in any other user’s dock on my machine), the program launches (the icon bounces and the little black triangle appears underneath it) but then a moment later the program exits (the triangle disappears and there’s no trace of the program left).

I’ve checked every pertinent log I can think of with the Console application including system.log, console.log, ichat.crash.log, but there’s no mention of anything unusual. I’ve tried killing the iChat Agent process, restarting the computer, even using Disk Utility to repair disk permissions. I’ve tried googling the topic, but have come up empty as well. I also tried deleting my iChat preference files (~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ichat*.plist) but that didn’t help at all.

The only change I’ve made to my system recently was upgrading to OS X 10.3.6.

Has anyone encountered something like this? I’ve never seen an OS X program behave this way before. Know what’s wrong? Know how to fix it? I want my iChat back.

Thanks in advance.

Update (November 15, 1:09 AM): It’s fixed! Apparently, restoring the original preferences files fixed the problem, although I can’t understand why that would do it. I’m not used to things on the Mac being a “just shake your head and move on” situation like Windows, but this seems likes one. Anyone have an explanation?

3 replies on “iChat Problem: it Exits Immediately on Startup”

  1. I have the same problem! Unfortunately restoring older preferences from a backup does not help. The same thing happens to all my Macs on my home network, on my PowerBook and on my G4. iChat starts bouncing, then a short waiting, and quits. No logs, nothing.

  2. I’m having the same problem too. I have both Mac G4 and Mac G5. They both bounced and then disappear. How did you fixed it?

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