Intriguing issue: kernel panic with battery, but works fine without

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by miaoling, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. miaoling macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #1
    Hello guys,

    Sadly, my debut post is to ask for help with a problem. Not-so-sadly though, it's a pretty intriguing one which to my best knowledge hasn't been addressed in any website indexed by Google.

    So...we have here a 3-year-old Macbook (not mine) running OS X 10.4 Tiger, which is pretty much on its last legs: touchpad button and CD drive don't work, for example, which is going to make booting from the OS installation CD an interesting task. Speaking of CDs, the laptop owner won't have one until Tuesday.

    Since Wednesday it has developed a curious symptom, namely, it refuses to boot and throws up a kernel panic whenever the battery is in, with or without the power cable. But if I take the battery out, everything runs like butter. The moment I put the battery back in, in the middle of a smooth-going session...you guessed it, kernel panic, immediately.

    We've borrowed a battery from a working Macbook and got the same results, so the battery itself must not be at fault. Maybe something in the battery connectors, or battery-management software and so on? I'm pretty hazy about Macs.

    I performed all the obligatory checks: disk verify, disk permission verify and so on. Couldn't do Apple hardware test because of said lack of CD. Tech Tools didn't find anything though; unsurprisingly, because nothing in their checklist seems to involve power.

    I'm so tempted to write it off as a hardware issue, which it probably is. Anyone else intrigued and have suggestions?

    Thanks in advance, guys :)
     
  2. dvdhsu macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    have you checked the battery terminals? maybe it is short-circuiting or something?

    very odd! im stumped trying to think of other ideas.
     
  4. miaoling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #4
    So...yes, we did try a new battery :)

    Battery terminal is looking very likely, but...how do I check it? How do I tell if something is wrong?

    Thanks so much! The ball is rolling :)
     
  5. miaoling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #5
    Update:

    Boot with battery AND power: stuck on gray screen in normal, safe, single-user and verbose mode.

    Boot without battery: all good, until I open the Library folder, at which point, surprise kernel panic.

    Cmd-Option-P-R doesn't reset PRAM (no auto reboot).

    Now, even without battery, kernel panics are happening...a lot. A boot has a 50/50 chance of kernel panic.

    I'm attaching the panic log and the System Profiler-generated hardware list. Thanks a mil to everyone who took a look :)
     

    Attached Files:

  6. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #6
    At his point I would suggest you go to an Apple store. Bad CD drive is one big flag on his. Also kernel Panics with a battery, most definetly hardware.
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #7
    most def something very important. id say the mobo is dying
     
  8. Vikz macrumors regular

    Vikz

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    #8
    Have you tried known good RAM? because it sounds to me you have marginal performing RAM in your computer.
     
  9. miaoling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #9
    Hm, I actually ruled out the RAM because it was checked by Tech Tools and passed. Does that really mean anything though? I heard Tech Tools doesn't do a very thorough test.

    Thanks everyone :) I'm learning a lot!
     
  10. Vikz macrumors regular

    Vikz

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    #10
    Tech tool does work the only thing is that people do not understand that ram which gives erratic kernel panics may pass calculation tests and you must loop it in order to make it fail the test, the only sure way to rule out ram is to try it with another RAM module to see if its marginal( works erratic or does not complete mathematical equations)RAM what you got. if it continues to do the kernel panic with the known good RAM then it must be the logic board or another component of the computer.
     
  11. miaoling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #11
    Hey, thanks for replying! Basically it was developing more and more unpredictable problems, so I referred the laptop owner to the Apple Genius Bar. I learned a lot from this whole thing though, so thanks everyone :)
     

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