After I upgraded to Mountain Lion I could no longer open up my Address Book (Contacts). It was constantly crashing whenever I opened it. I tried deleting preferences and reopening but had no luck. It seemed really odd that it would be throwing bad_exec kernel type of errors.
I tried looking at a bunch of blog posts to try and troubleshoot this thing but none of the advice helped. Most advice suggested things like removing the Address Book from the dock and re-adding but you can’t even do that with Mountain Lion – only Lion or Snow Leopard. There was a seemingly helpful forum post on Apple.
I tried to think about all the things that integrate or use the address book and it put me on the right path. I had an iCloud account and my settings for Mail & Address had my iCloud address book set to sync. I tried un-checking that, and removing the existing contacts on the Mac (it’s in the cloud after all). Still no luck though. No matter what I did with the iCloud settings Address Book still wouldn’t open.
Ok, I also use Thunderbird and I know it reads the Address Book for contacts so I tried making sure Thunderbird was closed before launching but still no luck.
Then I struck some gold.. I realized that I had my Plaxo Assistant open in the toolbar. After I quit it and made sure the process was closed in Activity Monitor I could open up my Address Book again and it worked normally.
So the Plaxo Assistant (toolbar helper) on Mac was the culprit and you can’t currently run it on Mountain Lion. It causes crashing in Address Book.
I did some digging and found this blog post from Plaxo:
So they openly announce that they are not going to support Mountain Lion? That seems like a really stupid thing to do. Since I am currently a VIP Platinum Support user – I sent them an email. This is part of the response I got back:
We understand that you are facing issues with the Plaxo sync service on your Mac Mountain LION system, but you showed us the interest in our product and you are also willing to continue the Plaxo service. Hence we have given you the additional information. Our engineers are constantly working on the Plaxo updates and are trying their best to stay compatible with all the offered devices. We have officially announced that we do not support the sync services with Mountain LION OS, however our engineers are always working on a fix to support this version too.
Ok, so what is it Plaxo? Are you going to support Mountain Lion or not? Get the feeling that engineering, marketing & support are not talking to each other?
In the meantime, I’ve uninstalled Plaxo Assistant and downloaded the iOS Plaxo app, it’s the only thing that does support iCloud. Again, they make an iPhone app that supports iCloud but don’t have the foresight to refactor Plaxo Asistant to work with iCloud?
Anyway, hope this helps anyone else having problems with Address Book and also has iCloud & Plaxo.