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I'm running Mac OS X Lion, I've noticed that about once a day (at different times of the day) a dialog pops up in the center of my screen, then disappears within half a second. It doesn't stay on the screen long enough for me to read anything on the dialog. All I can tell you about it is that it has the big yellow warning icon, perhaps 2 buttons, and some text.

I would like to find out what application is causing this dialog to appear, and what it says on the dialog.

Any suggestions as to how I can go about doing this?

I was thinking of using some screen recording solution, and then when it happens to play back the recording. The software would need to have a really high frame rate in order to record the popup because it disappears so quickly. Any suggestions as to a product that would work and wouldn't use too much CPU?

Are there any other ways I could solve this problem?

I tried getting a list of running processes right after it happens, but there's more than 100 of them, and its not guaranteed that the dialog is still running after it pops up on the screen. Plus, I don't really have anything to diff the processes with to find the problematic process because as far as I can tell, my system is always running the process that causes the dialog to appear.

More info:

  • It's about the size of the standard unlock form in System Prefs (i.e. what pops up when you press the unlock icon and it asks for you password), but as far as I can tell, it doesn't have the two text boxes at the bottom.
  • It seems like the foreground app doesn't matter either. I've seen it popup when Safari is in the foreground, as well as other apps.
share|improve this question
Couldn't you just use QuickTime Player? The files for screen recordings seem to have a frame rate of 60 FPS. – user495470 Jun 28 '12 at 22:40
Anything in the log? – timothymh Jun 28 '12 at 22:58
Good idea, @timothymh. It seems like it's a problem with Facebook Video Calling. I just found a similar thread at Apple's support forms. Could you add your suggestion as an answer? – Senseful Jun 29 '12 at 0:03
Done. Glad I could help! – timothymh Jun 29 '12 at 16:50
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you look at the Console application (/Applications/Utilities/, you can see system logs of errors and other activity. If you open it and view log entries for the time of the error, you may be able to find the source and purpose of the message.

share|improve this answer
This solved the problem. It was a problem with Facebook Video Calling. I just found a similar thread at Apple's support forms. – Senseful Jul 2 '12 at 20:59

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