3 kernel panics in 3 days (Snow Leopard)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by iMacmatician, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #1
    Hi guys,

    After several years of using my MacBook Pro with only a couple of kernel panics, in the past 3 days, I experienced 3 kernel panics. So I'm worried about this phenomenon.

    I am running 10.6.8 on a 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro (Late 2008), 2 GB RAM, I haven't installed new applications or upgraded hardware recently, and I haven't been doing anything out of the ordinary with my computer recently.

    I am running low on free disk space: I just restarted from Kernel Panic #3 and I have 11.22 GB (out of 250 GB) free, this number usually goes down to 7-8 GB after a few days of use (due to swap files accumulating). I've read that not enough RAM or free HD space can cause kernel panics, but I've only added ~600 MB of stuff onto my HD in the past month (according to a search by date created).

    The three kernel panics were apparently triggered by similar "types" of events: one by an Exposé keystroke, another by pressing the Keynote (I think) icon on the Dock, and one by (I think) either Command + Tab or pressing a Dock icon. I quickly use up my available RAM on my computer, enough so that Exposé, pressing Dock icons, Command + Tab, and even adjusting volume can cause slowdowns. However, I've been similarly RAM-deficient for years without (more than a couple of) kernel panics.

    So is my problem just lack of free HD space, or is there something more problematic going on? (Or is this just a small episode of kernel panics that will end by itself soon?) Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Aldaris macrumors 65816

    Aldaris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    #2
    If I were you I'd up my ram and think about hard drives too. I have had a few episodes of frequent kerns panics from time to time and most of the time it was brought on by flash stuff, but it could come from nearly anything. Keep plugging along the best you can in the meantime.

    Ive read in several places that it is wise to keep 5+% of the hard drive free for the health of the system, at a 250 drive you're looking at close to 15Gb so that might help and be most non upgradable fix.
     
  3. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #3
    I would move some files off to an external HDD. This is an immediate change that doesn't require spending any money. I would also consider an archive and install. When my daughter's machine was experiencing kernel panics, we did a wipe and install and it never happened again. If you decide to do a wipe and install, please do a fresh TM backup to a local firewire or usb HFS formatted drive so you won't have to worry about losing everything due to a corrupted backup. You should be able to migrate from a TM backup without bringing back corruption so even though it's a wipe and install, everything should come back looking like it does now but without the kernel panics. Before you do any of this, find a way to free up a significant amount of HDD space. It will make the backup faster, the migrate faster and leave you with a more stable machine in the long run.

    If you can't find a way to part with those files, then by all means consider a larger HDD. You can connect the new HDD to usb with a USB to SATA cable (about $10), format it HFS+ / GUID partition scheme, then use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy your Macintosh HD to it. As long as you run CCC to copy the drive you booted from, you don't have to think about block copy. CCC will automatically use file copy when it copies the currently mounted boot volume which will avoid copying temp files and possible corruption to the new drive. You can then reboot holding down option and boot from the new drive to test that it works before opening up your MBP to swap drives.
     
  4. mt3355 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    #4
    Check compositors on power supply or Time for a New mac

    I went though the "Panics" and it led to death every time. I would back up everything. Take screen shots with grab of all your setting windows, passwords and any other important info you'll need to start anew. If all fails hope you can pull the drive and keep your info and install old hard drive in a external drive enclosure and use for back up. My last problem came from blown compositors for power on motherboard. I noticed they were swelling creating a dome like top and had I known they should have been flat I could have change them and save the eMac. I few $.99 compositors and $50 to the geeks to remove and replaced all 6 and all is fine. Too bad it only a G4 and can't run intel apps.
     
  5. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #5
    Don't you mean capacitors?

    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't recommend riping open a MBP to go on a swollen cap quest, but you might be able to get the geniuses to take a look for free at an Apple store.
     
  6. iMacmatician thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #6
    An update

    It's been 5 days since I posted this thread, and I haven't had any additional kernel panics (thank goodness), but I'm still keeping a watchful eye regardless.

    Thanks everyone for your advice. I'm definitely going to add more RAM (this was a plan even before that trio of KPs) and will move a bunch of stuff over to an external hard drive.

    If I start getting more kernel panics I'll look into an archive and install (I may do this when I upgrade to Lion) and maybe go to an Apple Store to check the capacitors (I never knew of this issue before).
     

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