What am I supposed to do about Kernel crashes?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by prairiefire, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. prairiefire macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007
    I have a new MacBook Pro 2.66 i7 with 8GB of ram. I'm running 10.6.3.

    I have random Kernel crashes (the gray creeping screen crash that tells me to restart).

    What am I supposed to do?

    So far, I've repaired permissions, zapped the PRAM, run AppleJack, and none of these have cured the problem.

    What is this kind of crash? Is it caused by software or hardware?

    What am I supposed to do?

    Might it help to install the 10.6.4 combo update? Can this make things any worse?

    Or, should I just take the MBP to the closest Apple store?

    Finally, after each crash I get a "report it to Apple form". Is there a way I can copy the contents to send it to an Apple proficient friend?

    There's not way to print it or convert it to a .pdf that I can find.

    Any and all help will be deeply appreciated.

    Thank you.


    PS. The Internet seems inordinately slow on this machine. Can the problems be related?
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    You can learn about Kernel Panics (as their often referred) on this Apple page. Essentially you need to take a look at the log files associated with the panic so you can start figuring out if it is a hardware or software problem.
  3. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007
    Hi Steve,

    I've also got a 15" MBP Mid-2010 w/an i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM. I've had 2 kernel panics on my machine since I bought it at the beginning of September. Both times the machine kernel panicked as I was trying to open up a new tab in Safari, so I suspect that there's an incompatibility between Safari and the new graphics card that is causing the kernel panics, which is why I've switched to Google Chrome.

    You didn't mention in your OP when the kernel panics were happening. If the kernel panics are happening when you're using Safari, I wouldn't sweat it and I'd just switch to a different web browser until Apple issues an update to either the graphics card or to Safari to fix the apparent incompatibility.

    However, if you're not using Safari as your web browser, then it's likely that either (1) your OS is corrupt and needs to be reinstalled or (2) that you have a failing logic board which will need to be replaced ASAP so that it doesn't take down the HD or other components in the machine (which is definitely a possibility).

    I would try doing a full reinstall of the base OS (10.6.3 or 10.6.4 - it really doesn't matter). If you're still having KPs, then you need to take the machine into an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider so that they can replace the logic board for you.

    And in case you were wondering, I'm an Apple Technician in training and I've seen more than my fair share of both software/hardware corruptions.
  4. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007
    Or it's possible that you have bad RAM modules. I would run memtest to make see whether or not the RAM sticks are the problem.
  5. prairiefire thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Thanks for the help

    How do I test the memory?

  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    insert your gray apple install disc and hold the D key. it should run the AHT (apple hardware test).

    i would read the Console.app logs and see what it says through there.
  7. prairiefire thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Firmware Upgrade

    I don't want to jinx myself, but I installed the firmware upgrade and so far so good.
  8. prairiefire thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Final Result: New Motherboard and Optical Disk

    After battling the Kernel Panics, and losing, I turned my computer over to a friend, Mac Guru and consultant Benjamin Levy.

    First he wiped the hard drive and installed a new system.

    Then he removed the battery to repset the computer.

    Ben isolated the components by, one at a time, substituting known good ram and a known good hard drive into my computer.

    When the Kernel Panics continued, throughout the testing, he had me take the computer to the Apple Store in Santa Monica.

    They ended up replacing the i7 motherboard and the optical drive.

    Knock on wood, everything is OK now.

    The good people at Santa Monica turned it around in a day (I have Pro-Care).

    I always thought it was a hardware problem and wanted to share Ben's isolation protocol with those who are having similar problems. Of course, to do it you need known good RAM and a known good hard drive.
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    ahh logic board really? that sucks - i hope that this fixes your issues! goodluck

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