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Nooooooo! - CaffieneKittySpace
('i' before 'e' if you're looking for me)
[Want to know what the Mac equivalent of a Blue Screen of Death looks like?]
Want to know what the Mac equivalent of a Blue Screen of Death looks like?

This problem has the ever-so-reassuring name of "Kernel Panic", which can be as simple as there's some recent software or widget that's conflicting or some scrambled data on the hard drive and it's just a matter of knowing how to fix it, or as non-simple as a massive hardware failure and the computer is terminal or on it's way there. It did this on startup twice after passing POST and loading for a while. It did start up on a third try after a long rest and some breathing exercises, and I am now backing up the hard drive through the built in backup program, and might also just make a direct copy because I'm having my own Kernel Panic now. :-p

I have no idea what's causing this or how to fix it. The computer's been a bit wonky for a while, particularly with the browser crashing a lot, and it was running with less than 10% of it's tiny hard drive left for a good while before I archived a bunch of files but that was earlier this week. It tends to super-heat when playing videos on YouTube. It was the first startup of the day for it this happened on, though, so it wasn't overheating.

It's kind of a major part of my life, (probably more even than my car, which had a major brake failure and has been parked since the 10th and is another thing I need to fix or replace and have no money for anytime soon) and it's really necessary among many other things, for job-searching. It is a laptop from 2008 using OS 10.5.8 so that's about 90 in computer years. The OS is too old to let me upgrade my browser enough to access Google Docs. It's entirely reasonable that it's having problems of some kind, but being able to afford to fix or replace it is not something that's going to happen in the immediate or predictably near future, considering the rest of the series of calamities my life has been lately. :-p

What I do have is the 4 pages of error log it gave me printed out, and a hope that this is something I can stabilize myself somehow.

If anyone knows technical things about Macs running OS 10.5.8 and can tell me either what I can do about this to figure out the cause and make it not happen again, or where to start looking for information on how to do that, please let me know? I'm going to go hit Google while things are backing up here and hope.

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Current Mood: distressed distressed

6 comments or Leave a comment
aelfgyfu_mead From: aelfgyfu_mead Date: August 21st, 2015 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
You may have found these already, but I looked up kernel panic with your OS and found a couple of pages that might be useful:

The X Lab:
Resolving Kernel Panics

"Kernel panic after 10.5.8 Update" on Apple Support Communities.

If those don't help, I recommend you post everything there to a discussion at Apple Support Communities. There are some jerks there, but there are also some people who know a whole lot (and sometimes, there's some overlap between the two). I have gotten help from the support communities in the past.

I hope you find a solution!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 22nd, 2015 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, I found some good stuff through those links (including the secret Apple Hardware Test built into the computer!) and it doesn't appear to be a hardware problem, so I'll be wading through the software and hard-drive maintenance options out there and hoping it doesn't do it again in the meantime.

ETA: Spoke too soon. It's doing it again, locked up and flickered the screen in Safari, then rebooted to a kernel panic. Tried starting in safe mode, but it sat and spun the wheel for ages before another panic. I've just zapped the PRAM and am waiting for it to decide what it's doing next. I've logged in from the project computer, the one that had the battery explode and doesn't acknowledge the right click/two finger tap on the trackpad, and is also a little older and trying to run the newer OS the person I bought it from had installed, and is not terribly stable, so I'm kind of leery of using it long term.

Edited at 2015-08-22 09:07 am (UTC)
aelfgyfu_mead From: aelfgyfu_mead Date: August 22nd, 2015 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
That sounds really bad! I wish I could help.

This may sound silly, but you might point a fan at it. I know this is happening on first start-up in the morning, but I have heard of machines that overheat right away when something goes wrong. It couldn't hurt, even if it doesn't have a very high chance of helping. I think I have a dim memory of doing this myself, but it was so many years ago I can't remember what happened after.
aelfgyfu_mead From: aelfgyfu_mead Date: August 22nd, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brilliant Husband has one other suggestion: when you get the machine to restart after a kernel panic, immediately do a full shut-down and restart to be sure you have a clean restart.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 22nd, 2015 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
It does have a tendency to overheat. I've got an ice pack I put in the vicinity of the fan intakes that seems to help.

Yep! Except for the "It's up! BACK UP EVERYTHING!" I usually do a fresh restart after a crash recovery or after installing software or updates whether it asks for one or not. The computer gets shut down completely when I'm not going to be using it for several hours, so I hope that's keeping its little brain tidier.

It hasn't crashed again since the PRAM zap yet (*knocks wood*), but I also ran MacScan and removed a bunch of tracking cookies, ran OnyX and got through the maintenance cycle. It gave me a drive error report, so I rebooted from the install disk (which took far too many tries) and ran Disk utility which repaired something on the drive that had the wrong number of somethings, and also repaired a LOT of permissions.

It seems to be stable so far, but it's very nervous-making, and dealing with all this I couldn't get at a nearly complete job application I've been working on the past few days and missed the posting deadline. Ugh.

The other computer I managed to lock myself out of everything useful by forgetting the Admin password, resetting it, and then getting Keychain popups for the old forgotten password every time I tried to do anything, but I think I've got that fixed now.
aelfgyfu_mead From: aelfgyfu_mead Date: August 22nd, 2015 11:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a nightmare! Fingers crossed things work more smoothly now.
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