Kernal Panic/Reformatting Help

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Eternity, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. Eternity macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi,
    My iMac OS X Leopard when turned on after being off came up with a grey screen with "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the power button for several seconds or press restart button" I did this but it just keeps showing the same message. I've had a search and it seems to be called a 'Kernal Panic' and as well as that message in the top left of the screen theres white text on a black background. I can't get into the computer at all, the Mac starts up as normal with the apple logo then goes straight onto this screen and you can't get out of it.
    I've tried Apple Hardware Test disks and both have come up with no errors...tho I'm not even sure if these would help at all! The only other thing I've been able to find is people fixing the Kernal Panic who can actually get into there computer and sort it through that, which of course I can't do.
    The only other option I've seen is to reformat my iMac, unless anyone knows how to do it without doing this? This is my first Mac so I've never had to reformat one before, how would I go about saving my files on there since I can't actually get past the error screen? I've backed up a lot of my documents on a external hard drive but there are some things of my Mac I'd like saving. If anyone knows how to solve the Kernal Panic, or could take me through how to save my documents then reformat it I'd so grateful!

    I'm still within my Apple Care, but it seems they only take you through what to do over the phone, does anyone know what happens if I can't fix it? I'm hopeless at this side of computers, but obviously want it fixed asap.

    Any help would be appreciated thanks!
     
  2. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #2
    How old is your iMac?

    To access your files on the hard disk, if you have access to another Mac you can see if you can bring yours up in target disk mode. To do that you would hold down the "t" key while booting, and the screen will come up with a bouncing Firewire icon. Then you can attach your computer to the other computer with a Firewire cable, and your disk should show up as a disk on the other computer.

    It sounds to me like you likely have a hardware problem causing the kernel panic. Since it's still under AppleCare I would suggest having Apple look at it as soon as you can.
     
  3. Eternity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I've had it just over 1 year, so it's not old.

    Unfortunately I don't have access to another Apple computer, only PC's. I don't suppose you know of any other ways I can retreive my files?

    I'm going to phone Apple tomorrow, I'm guessing they must send someone out or send it to them to be fixed as not every problem can be fixed over the phone. I just wanted to save my files beforehand as I think they'd just reformat it and anything on it would be lost?

    Thanks a lot for the reply!
     
  4. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #4
    You could see if the system will boot to single-user mode. See:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1492

    If you can boot to single-user mode you should be able to access your files, but you'd probably have to use command line commands to copy them.

    My experience is that if you hand over your system for service there is no guarantee that your files will be preserved. If it's a hardware problem I think sometimes Apple will just replace the entire machine, rather than spend time fixing it. That happened to me a few years back when I had an iBook G3 with a faulty logic board.
     

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