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while doing nothing more than browsing t'web, transferring a file over t'network and formatting (again) t'external drive. If this is a hardware problem, which I still don't think it is, I'm going to be right pissed off, 'cos that'll be all my laptops buggered.
13th Nov 2007, 15:11   | tags:,

Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri says:

Kernel panic. It's either hardware or drivers. I had a mac that positively hated USB keys. Plugging one in and removing it started a countdown clock to a crash of somewhere between instantaneous and ten minutes. I ended up sticking my keys in a different machine and sharing the volumes over the network to get data in and out of that mac.


13th Nov 2007, 16:07

Steve says:

Are you running up to date software? *clutches at straws*

13th Nov 2007, 16:16

mat says:

The whole point of the damn usb key is so I don't have to shunt multiple GB over this machine's piss-slow wireless networking.


I don't think it's the key either, to be honest. This has been going on since before I got my current card reader/drivey thing. It doesn't feel like hardware, 'cos it's way inconsistent.


13th Nov 2007, 16:17

Steve says:

Try running in safe mode and see if it happens?

13th Nov 2007, 16:18

mat says:

I don't know why it happens though, so I can't trigger it - I could spend a day in safe mode without it happening. Could be external drive (don't think so), could be networking (equally, don't think so). Basically, I have no clue. As I said, there's barely anything installed on this machine, let alone anything weirdy. Fully up-to-date 10.4.1.

13th Nov 2007, 16:21

Steve says:


At least you can tie it down to hardware or software by using safe mode. Lots of plugging in and removing drives perhaps?

It's a shame that the logs are not more helpful

13th Nov 2007, 16:31

mat says:

After this crash, it refused to deliver a log to me, just shut down the "Your mac has crashed" thingy when I clicked 'Report'

I don't want to spend ages pissing about in safe mode if I don't even have any idea what's causing the problem. I should sit down a do proper diagnostics on this problem, but what I'm actually going to do is go out in the dark and rain with the dog, for a walk.

13th Nov 2007, 16:33

Steve says:

Sounds like a much better idea.

You can view your old logs though... Cocktail does it I believe.

13th Nov 2007, 16:36

teflon says:

My PowerBook started giving me frequent kernel panics due to an HD which needed some care and attention. In my case, running Disk Utility was enough to bring it back to normal life.

I'd like to be able to suggest changing the HD, but that procedure in an iBook is a whole world of pain that I really wouldn't recommend getting into.

13th Nov 2007, 23:53

mat says:

Have checked disk. Is fine. SMART would have popped up a warning if there was a problem anyway.

So far, am suspecting either problem with Apple's Bluetooth stack or what they call 'DirectoryService'

Oh, hang on. Just found more logs, hidden elsewhere. What's wrong with keeping all the logs in /var/log, eh? Am seeing kernel panics relating to losing mounts on local volumes, disk I/O upsets, and valloc() outspazzing.

Disk and graphics hardware both failing at once seems less likely than crappy software to me.. grrr.

14th Nov 2007, 13:55

hildegard says:

I know nothing of laptops & avoid the fruit machines on principle, but if you're happy opening it up, random, unrelated kernel nonsenses are often associated with blown chip fans on larger machines...
Just a thought...

14th Nov 2007, 14:10

afternoon says:

I told you this before, it's a driver. They're the only bits of user-installed software that have access to the inner ring of kernel functionality. That driver is memory-resident so it's going to be doing stuff all the time. Probably polling for it's respective device.

16th Nov 2007, 21:31

alexis says:

look, I've been certified (as nuts- er- a technician, er-yes, the first one)

email me the computer's serial number and I'll send you something that'll end the driver v. hardware comment war. : P

17th Nov 2007, 02:39

stella_finkelstein says:

dear mat, when I managed to spill port on my mac and after (actually before as well) let fall down few times it have started to show me that stuff every day 2-3 times a day!!! I guess macs just like some 20-year-old port)))) but few days ago it has some tea on it so does not ask anymore to restart! anyhow, WiFi isn't working anymore :)

19th Nov 2007, 14:01