Computer Forces a Restart - Normal or virus?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ezsober, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. ezsober macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2003
    Recently, after being on for about two hours, my 15" powerbook, running OS X 10.3 (with updates) froze itself, made the screen dark, and gave me a recantgular message in white letters on a black background in four languages tell me that I must immediately restart my computer by force booting. I've never seen this before, and hence it makes me suspicious.

    Why would the system require a force boot that way? Is the computer installing something without my knowledge? Was there simply a malfunction that needed immediate correcting? Has anyone else encoutnered this, and if so, in what context?

    I'll admit that my question arises out of increased paranoia about spyware on the mac, but nonethless, this does seem odd.

  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    What you (or rather your Mac) encountered was a Kernel Panic. A serious system failure that can be compared to Windows dreaded Bluescreen of Death.

    Kernel Panics are rare but most often caused by failing hardware or the occasionally bad software (my only Kernel Panic on my current 2 years old iBook was caused by BitTorrent).

    There's a chance that this was a one time occurrence, and that you will not see another, but there's also a chance that some hardware component are on the verge of failing (or even already has), so be sure to backup all your important stuff in case it happens again (maybe even followed by a complete breakdown). If it does it's time for service, I'm afraid.
  3. ezsober thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2003
    Programs used at the time

    Thanks for the response.

    Actually, I was using Azareus at the time. Only recently started using azaerus, and have used other clients in the past with no problems.
  4. bentley macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2005
  5. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    Yep, that program has been known to be a little buggy, so it probably is your source of the kernel panic. I prefer the regular bittorrent client myself, but Azareus does have some nice features. If you can do without them, I would go with the main bittorrent client.
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Question on the Azureus: Are you using the latest version? Versions prior to the current one basically exposed a nasty bug in Apple's Java that caused kernel panics, freezes, and all manner of nastiness. The new one largely fixes all of the above, though, and I've run it for weeks without issue.

    If you've been using the built-in updater, you might even try downloading a fresh version of the latest, just to be sure you've got what's the newest.

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