Comp crashes

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by dbooster, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. dbooster macrumors member


    Sep 18, 2004
    I'm not sure if this is a hardware problem or software, so I am posting it here first.

    The past few weeks my powerbook has started crashing on a frequent basis. The full system crash where the multi-language message pops up prompting you to reboot or shutdown. Occusionally this has caused a kernel panic upon reboot (but yet the kernal panic doesn't repeat on the next reboot - usually)

    I've managed to narrow it down to causes, I think. It only crashes when the system is under a heavy load, enough to make the case hot, but it doesn't have to be hot enough for the fan. Also, it only crashes when the power cord is plugged in. To futher matters there, the computer sometimes emits a weird humming when the power cord is in.

    So it would seem to be a problem with the power cord or the battery or something in that area, but I haven't ruled out anything else. the SMART monitoring reports that my hard drive is fine. I can't find any programs to check RAM - any pointers?

    So what do you all think? I am still under my Applecare, but it's only an annoyance right now so I figured I would throw it out here first.

  2. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Not normal - but there are a few common causes. Since we might work our way round several of them before finding the cause, I'll ask lots at once and then someone might be able to figure out what the problem is?

    Are you running with the stock RAM or have you added any (not just recently)?

    Have you installed any programs just before things started crashing - or moved around lots of things in your Apps folder? What tends to be running when it panics?

    Is there any particular action you do? Opening a website? Opening an application? Saving an app? Waking it from sleep?

    Do you have any USB devices attached?
  3. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    You should run your Apple Hardware test CD, which I believe checks the RAM.
  4. dbooster thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 18, 2004
    I bought the powerbook from MacConnection and they included extra RAM, so I have 768 total. I ran the Hardware Test off of the mac cd and everything tested ok, including the ram.

    I can't remember installing anything in the weeks prior to when the crashes started, except perhaps an apple update or two. Haven't moved anything in the Apps folder, but I have recently created a folder where I have aliases of most of the things in my Apps folder (so I can better organize with), if that could do anything.

    The first time it happened I was surfing the web, but since then it has crashed in a variety of programs. I have a firewire external drive, but that hasn't been attached for most of the crashes.

    I want to reiterate that it only crashes when the power cord is plugged in, or at least it has followed this behavior so far, and I have run several high-processor usage programs in attempts to test this. I can have the exact same load on the processor and it will be fine while on the battery, but will crash several minutes after having the power cord plugged in. As an example of this, I was trying to do a backup yesterday so I would feel more comfortable trying more drastic solutions; the backup was running fine while I was on my battery charge, but as my battery only gets about an hour of power anymore it soon ran out and I had to plug the power cord in: within ten minutes it crashed.

    The first time the powerbook crashed I was at a coffee shop, surfing the internet with it plugged into the wall. The shop was packed and most of the other people had laptops, taking up all of the outlets in the shop. (My city was without power for a week - fun - so everyone would gather in the few businesses that had it). So perhaps some sort of surge?


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