Jeez! Kernel Panics and the Rainbow Pinwheel of Death...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by faintember, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #1
    Sounds fun, huh?

    Installed 2 x 512mb sticks of ram from OWC today, and everything seemed fine.
    Installed new HD into new external HD enclosure, started up CCC and bam! Kernel Panic! Restart, open CCC, BAM! Kernel Panic. Try installing 10.4 fresh onto the new HD just to see if it is the HD, well BAM! Kernel panic while booted from the install DVD. I then took the external to my iMac, hooked it up and did a nice, fresh OS 10.4 (and when ahead and updated it to 10.4.2 + all applicable updates). So i start to think that it is the ram, so i call OWC. They say just put one of their 512mb sticks in at a time and see if i get any kernel panics. So i leave one of their sticks in, run every test in Grapher, iTunes with the visualizer going, Safari, Max/MSP, Mail, iCal, and about 15 widgets on the dashboard. No kernel panic. (Btw, there was about 3-7mb of ram free according to Activity Monitor). So i switch that stick for the other one, repeat, and same thing, no kernel panic. So i put both sticks from OWC back in and it works fine. Hook up the external HD and, yep, Kernel Panic/massive total system slowdown. I then switch out both of the OWC sticks for my original sticks (2 x 256mb) and everything ran fine, and i ran the same "test" procedure as i did with the OWC sticks. No problems. I then hook up the external HD and the computer is automatically slow, even after spotlight indexes it. If i try to copy anything over to the external the file transfer stops. Basically i had to restart Finder about 6 times in the past hour and a half.

    Try booting from the external, and it does boot, but then it is slower than a three-toed sloth that is drunk. System locks up, kernel panic.

    Hummm, strange that the external HD works totally fine on my iMac as a startup disk. Yes, the same external that seems to crash my PB runs fine on my iMac.

    So after all of that rant, i am wondering, is it the new OWC ram, or is this a sign of more trouble ahead??? BTW i am posting from the TiPB in question(with the original ram), but i am not sure how long it will stay running. This has been the longest uptime it has had today, which is right at 15 mins. :(

    Someone please help! </sad puppy dog face>

    btw, specs of the machines are listed in my profile
     
  2. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #2
    Update: Currently running with both of the 512mb OWC sticks, just to see if they are functioning at all. No external HD connected at this time.

    Btw, sorry for the double post, but for some reason it will not let me edit my first post!?!?!?!?! :confused:
     
  3. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #3
    New Update

    Seems that my ram is bad. :( I put the new sticks in and within 40 mins Safari had shutdown twice, finder had locked up three times, and one kernel panic.

    Also the external hd will not function. I can see the drive, but CCC stops making the bootable copy when it reaches the applications folder. If i attempt to use disk utility (either on my computer or via cd boot) it will not really erase the external, only just give an error about "can not unmount drive" or the "erasing" is done after about 2 mins. Which i would say is impossible with a 100gb HD.

    Even after switching back to my stock ram, i am still having trouble with Safari crashing, and a couple of pinwheels (well, more than i typically have).
    Has this messed with my preferences? Possibly corrupted one (or more)?

    I am really clueless. I attempted this "upgrade" to give my TiPB a little more vitality, but now it seems to have hurt it more than anything.

    Please, if anyone has any suggestions please post!!!!
     
  4. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #4
    All I can say I have had the same thing happen to me when I put in two 512mb chips, when I had 256mb + 512mb the system was pretty stable then when I put two 512mb in the system went all flaky, kernel panics, beachball galore, fans running loud, slow as molasses in January, took the 512mb out and put the 256 back in and no problems...
    must be something to do with the dual channel or whatever it is called , ram
    when you have two same chips they work different than two differing chip...
     
  5. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Blow out the RAM slots, and then put the sticks back in. Might be some dust in the slot. I remember this happened to me.
     
  6. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #6
    Thanks Leareth and After G.

    The ram is going back to OWC, and the replacement ram will be in the mail before i even mail mine back to them. Sry, but a company as respectable as OWC should not sell two bad sticks of ram (unless they got a bad batch).

    Now the Hd is a different story. I can't zero the drive (it fails for some reason), a clean install of Tiger no longer works on it, and now when i try to make a bootable copy on it via CCC, Finder quits responding, thus screwing everything up.

    Is it just me, or does it sound like OWC sent be bad ram and a bad harddrive??? Either way i really feel like tossing my PB out in the parking lot right now, and then running it over a few times!!!! :mad:

    I am going to see if CCC will do the bootable copy overnight tonight. If that does not work, everything is going back to OWC and i will be looking at some other options, for instance an iBook.

    This is my first taste of ever doing anything with my Mac other than just using it, and it stinks. It just reminds me of my old Windows days, and it scares me. I am probably freaking out too much/ jumping to conclusions, but this is the kind of thing that really, really bugs me.
     
  7. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #7
    Do you need to zero the drive? I thought you only needed to zero the drive in conjuction with writing random data to stop people being able to recover your data?

    Don't toss your powerbook :O I get frustrated with mine sometimes - like recently it only runs a couple of plugins for cubase, when I know my lowly PC will happily run more :(

    Did you try each stick on its own? I've had bad ram before (cheap value nobrand stuff) and it worked fine on its own but crashed every 30 mins when together.

    Hope you get it sorted mate.
     
  8. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #8
    Thanks pulsewidth. I don't think i am gonna toss my PB, but that temptation may be slow in fading. :eek:

    I did try both sticks separately, and ran my system through the ringer with the most memory intensive things (non-audio processes) that i could think of, and no Kernel panics. Put both of the new sticks in and 30 mins later, lots of slow downs/beachballing, Kernel panics and random crashes that have forced me to hard reset the PB.

    Heck, i had to hard reset the PB about 8 times yesterday. As far as i can tell, the extra ram has sped up my computer though. I can now produce 5-7 Kernel panics in about 1 hour, whereas before, i had one Kernel panic in the 3 + years that i have owned the computer.

    I am going to attempt to repair my HD via the original cd to see if that helps with the external HD problems. Finder was crashing no less than 3 mins into CCC's cycle.
     
  9. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #9
    Try running the hardware test CD you got with your machine to see if it can pinpoint if only one of the sticks is bad.
     
  10. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #10
    Try using Memtest to test your RAM. It does take a while to run - a couple of hours so don't do it while you want to use your Mac for other stuff. It's best to run in Single User mode since it will do a very thorough test on all your memory x 3.
     
  11. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #11
    Thanks caveman_uk, i tried it, and all systems were a go!, but alas, Memtest and Rember both find errors with the ram. So the ram is going back.
    Thanks too Applespider. Memtest did not last the whole cycle though. I guess it was so thorough that it proved the ram was faulty, i.e. Kernel Panic. Twice. lol

    Well OWC is sending me two more ram sticks. Me and a friend (who knows terminal commands much better than me) decided that the HD was probably ok, and that the enclosure was faulty. So OWC is shipping another enclosure to me as well.

    If this doesn't work then i will return the HD for a replacement, and return the ram for their Techworks brand (a little more expensive) to see if it works. If that fails, i guess i have to break down and buy from Crucial.

    Oh, how the heck do you run in single user mode? Is this another name for root? Just not sure. :confused:

    Thanks once again to everyone for their help!
     
  12. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #12
    You boot into single user mode by holding cmd+s on startup. Aparently you do this so you can run the 'fsck' command (disk repair to you and me), although it seems as though you've found the problem.

    I found all that info on this page.

    If I were you I'd do some complaining and try and blag some free stuff for the inconvenience caused by OWC.
     
  13. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #13
    Update

    I recieved my replacment ram and FW harddrive enclosure from OWC today.

    First thing I did was to pop in the new (replacement) ram and fire up Rember. Rember reported failures.
    Then i booted in single user mode and ran memtest. memtest reported failures.

    Both programs reported failures within 5 seconds of running.

    Verdict: OWC ram does not work with TiPBs, as all 4 sticks of ram have been faulty.

    Testing the FW enclosure now. It seems to be working. (crosses fingers)
    After testing the FW enclosure out, OWC will be getting a call, and i will be getting all of my money back for the ram. The bad news is that i will have to pay $60 more for Crucial ram. Jeez, $130 for one stick of 512 PC133 ram.

    Edit: CanadaRam has recommended Data Memory Systems in other threads, and thier prices ($98 for one 512 PC133 stick) are much cheaper than Crucial, so i may give them a go!

    Total verdict: I hate me!
     
  14. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #14
    Another Update..Partial Success!

    Installed the new HD just a few minutes ago, and (knock on wood) everything seems to be working fine, S.M.A.R.T status verified, and all of that good stuff. My computer also feels a bit faster loading apps as well. :D

    Any software tests that i should run on my new HD to make sure everything is ok? Is there anything else i need to do to my new internal HD to make sure it is up to snuff?

    Thanks
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #15
    Not really, but it helps to run fsck whenever you've had a panic episode or any other sort of forced shutdown. I also recommend downloading AppleJack from Versiontracker, and running it about once a month.

    Incidentally, your experience points out the generally utter pointlessness of reinstalling OSX in cases like these -- or virtually all other problem situations. I'm not picking on you by any stretch of the imagination if only because you are new to the Mac, but I hear this as suggestion number one a shocking number of times when it should be the last thing anyone tries. It may be SOP on Windows, but not in OSX.
     
  16. faintember thread starter macrumors 65816

    faintember

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    #16
    I have heard of AppleJack before, but really have not looked into it. Downloading it now, and will be running it shortly.
    Umm i did not reinstall OSX, so i really have no clue what you are hitting at. :confused: I understand you are not picking on me, but i just don't get this last comment. Would you care to expound? I've been running OSX for over two years now, so most all of my winblows habits are gone with the wind.

    Edit: Installed Applejack and ran it. No errors of any kind other than two permissions that needed to be repaired
     

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