Hardware damage from kernel panic? High CPU temps

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by radarseven, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. radarseven macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2008
    Recently I've seen my Mac Pro 8-core CPU temps rise pretty considerably, between 10°-15°C after a bone head move on my part.

    After setting up a new Vista x64 virtual machine in VMWare Fusion 2, I was trying to get a Linksys USB to Ethernet adapter (USB200M) to work inside this virtual machine, but with little success. After tracking down a driver online which I thought at the time was a match for the chip on the adapter, I tried to load the driver manually in the virtual machine. This unfortunately resulted in an immediate OS X kernel panic; my first and only on this machine.

    Since then, my CPU temps have been on the rise. Not sure if its even possible for a kernel panic to damage hardware, but I’m wondering if any low-level software damage resulting from the kernel panic could be causing the higher temps?

    I tried a simple restart which did nothing. I have since run the extended Apple Diagnostics and everything appeared OK. Also, ran a “fsck” check and everything appeared OK there as well.

    Any feedback, suggestions or advice?
    Is it even possible to damage hardware from a kernel panic?

    Finally, my kernel_task process seems a bit on the high side — 83 threads, 350MB Real Memory and almost 2.5GB Virtual Memory. Could this be related to the kernel panic and indicate that I probably need a clean install of Leopard at this point?

    P.S. This is an Early ’08 2.8GHz 8-core Mac Pro with 10GB third-party RAM. RAM has been thoroughly tested and running in the machine for over a year now without incident.

  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  3. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    A kernal panic can be a sign of hardware issues, but it is very unlikely that it could result in a hardware problem.

    I would take the suggestion of the above poster, as well as resetting your PMU (I always forget if the SMC and PMU are related).
  4. radarseven thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2008
    I'll try resetting SMC (PMU on PowerPC Macs) and NVRAM and see if that helps.

    Having little experience with kernel panics, I was most curious if one could cause hardware damage, but it sounds like that is unlikely.
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    i can see no way how it could be the cause of a kernel panic. something would have gone wrong with the VM to make it kernel panic.

    those RAM usage seems fine for the kernel :|
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    The stats on your kernel_task are normal, and no, it's functionally impossible for a kernel panic to damage anything physically.

    The one possibility, which is why Eidorian suggested resetting those two firmware-related things, is that the panic could have munged up the system management controller in the process of the crash, which could hypothetically cause the fans to behave slightly differently and in turn lead to higher temperatures.

    Frankly, though, I'd say even that's an extreme longshot. Either there's something (other than kernel_task) coincidentally eating up some extra CPU which is leading to higher temperatures, it's pure coincidence related to room temp or something, or it's placebo effect and you just think they're higher.

    Actually, let me revise that--are the higher temperatures with the virtual machine running? If so, it could be that the bad driver is leading to Windows hitting the CPU harder which in turn is leading to higher temperatures. If not, I seriously doubt it's related.

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