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I have been using Mathematica 8 on an OS X system for quite a while now, but this morning it threw this error at me when I started the program up:

Assertion 'kEINVALErr' failed at LikeResource.c:56

A search (sudo find / -name "*Resource.c") of this computer reveals no such file. I asked the admin to re-install Mathematica from scratch, but even after he did so the error popped up as soon as I tried to launch it.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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You will have to refer this error to WRI. Nobody here will be able to help you, since LikeResource.c is a Mathematica source file. As we (generally) don't have the source code, it will be challenging even to find out what this assertion actually asserts, much less to fix it. Thus, I'm voting to close the question as off topic. – Oleksandr R. Jun 26 '13 at 1:34
This problem can't be dealt with here due to lack of source code access. Please refer the issue to WRI instead. – Oleksandr R. Jun 26 '13 at 1:36
I don't know if the update is definitely the "answer" to the question, but since it was asked/answered in good faith, I've reopened the question. Please post your edit as an answer (and also include how one might force the system to rebuild the caches). – R. M. Jun 26 '13 at 22:43
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I stumbled onto a resolution for this problem. In case others run into the same issue, here is what I did:

A hidden folder in OS X at /private/var/folders/*/*C/ (the asterisks represent character strings that are unique to each OS X installation) contains a number of cache files. Mathematica reads one or more of the resources in this folder at startup, and if they become corrupted or missing the "kEINVALErr" error can occur. By forcing the system to rebuild these cache files, Mathematica will launch as expected.

To force a rebuild of the caches in this folder, open Terminal and type the following line, pressing enter afterward (please note: the asterisks are actually asterisks, as in, Shift-8 on your keyboard):

rm -rf /private/var/folders/*/*/C/*

Then restart the Mac (the system will not rebuild these caches unless it is rebooted). As KAI noted in a previous post, performing the procedures detailed at isn't a bad idea, particularly the parts involving the re-installation and validation of Mathematica fonts.


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This error message may indicate a font problem on Macs. The issue is discussed by WRI at:

As you can see, the first thing to try is to reset your preferences (reinstalling might not fix this problem since your Base and UserBase directories are not replaced). If that doesn't work, the article steps you through how potential font issues might be fixed.

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