Troubleshooting "You need to restart your computer" upon startup - Please Help!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sansimage, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. sansimage macrumors newbie

    sansimage

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Location:
    Califonya
    #1
    I just started having this problem on my Mac Pro running Snow Leopard OS 10.6.4 - when I boot my computer, the gray multi-language screen comes up which says "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the power button for a few seconds..." Apparently this is called a kernel panic. There is another thread about this but since it was 5 years old and using a different OS I decided to create a new one. The other thread is here:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-105221.html

    On that thread someone says a kernel panic is almost always a hardware problem. It's recommended to run a Hardware test. Well, the regular hardware test showed no problems. The extended hardware testing has been going on for over 2 1/2 hours and i'm not even sure if the blue status bar is moving anymore. The estimated time to complete was "30 minutes or longer, depending on the amount of memory you have installed." I have about 2TB of internal HDD space and 12GB of RAM so I could see it taking longer than 30 minutes, but 2 1/2 hours?!? I'm not sure if it's frozen so I don't want to click Stop Testing unless I'm sure it's not still working. So I'm hoping someone has experience with the Hardware Test and can tell me either "It's normal for a Hardware Test to go on over 2 1/2 hours," or "Hardware Tests should never last that long. It must be frozen."

    I should also note that underneath the status bar it says "Testing Memory." So maybe if it is frozen, it means something is wrong with the memory?
     
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #2
    try removing your upgraded memory and see if the panics stop on boot. try with just two sticks or the original sticks if you removed them.
     
  3. sansimage thread starter macrumors newbie

    sansimage

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Location:
    Califonya
    #3
    I booted OK from a backup, if there was a problem with my memory wouldn't I have the same problem no matter which drive I booted from?
     
  4. davelanger macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #4
    Do you have apple RAM and none apple RAM? I know G5 PPC mac when it had two different brands of ram would kernal panic, but when I took out the apple ram and just had the non apple ram in there, it worked fine.
     
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #5
    not sure. but bad memory could still panic and allow a boot. if its definately stable with a backup then its a software issue so reinstall or restore from backup.
     
  6. green86 macrumors 6502

    green86

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #6
    This is true; it sounds like in your case a file or something was corrupted. If it happens again sometime soon, it may indicate a hardware problem otherwise, I'd say not to worry about it.

    The extended hardware test can take some time. When it references to "memory" it means ram, and not the HD. In the extended test, I believe each byte is checked by writing information and reading each address in memory. With 12 GB, I wouldn't be surprised if it took all night.
     
  7. sansimage thread starter macrumors newbie

    sansimage

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Location:
    Califonya
    #7
    Hey, thanks for the replies. Luckily I had just cloned the drive a couple hours before the kernel panics started. The only thing I did since cloning was, I installed a driver for a cheap eSATA PCI-e controller card. The card has been plugged in since I bought the computer, but I never used it.

    Now I'm using Carbon Copy Cloner to restore with the "Incremental backup of selected items" option. This way I believe it should leave 99% of my data untouched, and only replace the parts that have been corrupted.

    Only took 9 minutes. Sweet, now we'll see if it worked.

    OK, no more kernel panics! I guess this is a lesson in why you should clone your startup drive compulsively! Especially right before installing any new software, driver updates, software updates, etc.
     
  8. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #8
    Kernel panics can be caused by bad drivers... not just bad hardware.

    Have you recently installed drivers or plugged in new devices?

    [EDIT] Ha, beaten by < 1 minute... The panics were probably caused by the controller card driver.
     

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