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Old November 15th, 2003, 10:59 PM   #1
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Repeated Kernel Panics

I keep getting Colonel Panics with my Mac, which is dual 1Ghz (Mirrored Drive Doors) with 1Gig of Apple RAM and OS 10.2.8 (take 2). It also seems to get very sluggish when editing video, when it never used to before. I have an Apple keyboard, a USB hub that I've had for years with a Microsoft mouse that I've had for years, a Sandisk Flash card reader that I've had for years, an HP printer which I've had for years, and a Gravis USB Gamepad that I rarely use.

All was fine until about two weeks or so ago I suppose. I kept getting Kernel Panics so I replaced the old ADB keyboard. No help, but I finally could get into single user mode. Repaired the permissions 6 trillion times. No help. Rebuilt and replaced the directory and defragged with Diskwarrior. No Help. before this started happening I ugraded to Quicktime 6.4. Everything worked fine. But then I heard that Quicktime 6.4 was evil so I downgraded back to 6.3, where I am at right now. I had upgraded to OS X 10.2.8 before the Quicktime 6.4 upgrade I believe. Is there anyway to back down to 10.2.6? Have they re-released Quicktime 6.4?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old November 15th, 2003, 11:08 PM   #2
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I suspect you may have some bad user preferences. Find my recent post about making a Root User. Log Out (under the Apple menu) and log in as Root. See if you have any crashes as a root user. Post back your results. Try unplugging all the non Apple peripherals. Plug them in one by one until you start getting crashes. Download new drivers for the item that is causing the crashes and repeat test.
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Old November 16th, 2003, 12:46 AM   #3
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I was not allowed to create user "root" because it said there is already a user with that name. At the login screen I am not able to select root, however. I have never created a root user before and I am wondering why it already exists, but won't let me select it on the sign in screen.

EDIT: I tried to log in as "root" after I switched it to ask for a login each time instead of displaying the list. I do not seem to know the password for "root". I have also disconnected the joypad for now. I can't really disconnect the keyboard or mouse otherwise the computer won't function.
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Old November 16th, 2003, 01:02 AM   #4
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Did you follow my directions, or go to the system user preferences and try to create an account named root?
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Old November 16th, 2003, 06:41 AM   #5
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I followed your directions.
Quote:
Jeff Donald wrote:
This is an easy way to create a Root account. Root accounts allow you access to all parts of your system and delete files that should not be deleted. Day to day operation of your computer under a root account is not wise. However, it has privileges that regular users do not have. Use with Caution

Go to Apple Menu>System Preferences>Accounts. Click on New User (on the right).

Under Name>root (lower case)
short name>root (lower case)
New password>type in secret password
verify>retype password

Check both boxes at bottom.

Go to Apple menu>log out

Computer will close finder etc.
And that is exactly what I did. I am now extremely confused. Your instructions did not say to SAVE the new user. I tried to SAVE.
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Old November 16th, 2003, 08:15 AM   #6
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Actually I think Jeff was refering to another post in the trash can thread which you also started (scroll all the way down to the bottom). He gives a very good description of how to enable root logins using the netinfo manager. You do not have to CREATE a root account, it already exists and that's why you're having problems. You just need to enable it and create a password. Under most conditions the average user won't need the root account, and that's why Apple has it disabled as the default (but old unix hackers like me just can't resist getting in there and messing around with things anyway ;-)

But beyond that, I'm not sure how or if this will help you, but it's certainly worth a try. I wonder if it's time to re-install OS X to get back to a known state with your machine?
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Old November 16th, 2003, 08:38 AM   #7
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Sorry for the confusion Ted. Apple at some point in Jaguar, 10.2.x disabled the shortcut to create a root account. It now only creates a regular user. Boyd is correct about the thread I was referring to. Follow his link and the directions for setting up a root account via the NetInfo Manager.

Creating a new root account will establish if the kernel panics are caused by specific items (software or events) related to a specific user account. For example, a particular piece of software that loads at startup. The new root account will have no user preferences set. If the root account crashes we will have isolated the cause to his system software or a hardware issue.

After eliminating user preferences and setting, etc. as a possible cause, peripherals need to be eliminated. Then I would recommend do a clean install. I posted details for a clean install in my recent post about 10.3 It does not mean to erase your drive, which is what most people think. It is an option under your System Install disks. Under options you choose to achieve your old system and install a clean (new) system folder. The install then runs a script and moves all your old software, documents, files etc. to your new system. Lastly it saves your old system as, old system files, and restarts. That way you can retrieve any files the script might have missed (this rarely happens). When you're sure all is fine you can delete the old system files.

If after going through this sequence, kernel panics still occur you are safe to assume the hardware is the likely cause. Remove any 3rd party hardware, drives, ram etc. and see if panics still occur. If so take to a Apple Service Center.
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Old November 16th, 2003, 09:15 AM   #8
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Ah, I see where you're coming from now. If you really want to dig into things then I suggest you browse through the system log also. Remember, it's unix now and just about everything that happens on your machine is recorded in a logfile.

Use the console program in the applications/utilities folder. Use the open log command from the file menu, and in the goto box type: /var/log/system.log. This will look a little bewildering, but it's worth scrolling through to see if there are any error messages that might point towards a specific piece of hardware or software.

Now the only thing I'm not sure of is whether a new log file is started after a crash? Or is a new one just started every week? Old logfiles are archived in the same directory, but they are processed with gnu zip to save disk space so you need to unzip the file to view. You can't make any changes in the /var/log directory unless you're the root user, so it's probably best to just copy the file to your home directory first. To access the most recently archived logfile start by using the terminal program in the applications/utilities folder. Type the following:

cp /var/log/system.log.0.gz .
gunzip system.log.0

This must be typed EXACTLY as above. Note there is a blank space between the "gz" and "." at the end of the first line. Type a carriage return at the end of each line. Now look in your home directory and you should see the file system.log.0. You can open it with textedit.

This may be way beyond what you want to get into, but any troubleshooting of a unix machine would normally begin by scrutinizing the logfiles to see who-what-where-when. Good luck and I hope your sick machine is feeling better soon.
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Old November 16th, 2003, 01:06 PM   #9
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What's a "kernel panic"?

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Old November 16th, 2003, 02:03 PM   #10
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The kernel is the core of the operating system which provides the basic services that all software uses. In the case of Mac OS X you're actually using a Unix machine underneath all the menus and icons. Unix uses hardware memory management to prevent one misbehaving program from crashing the operating system. However there are still a variety of things that can take the system down; they might be software, like bugs in the kernel code or hardware, like bad memory chips. But a kernel panic means that something has caused the operating system itself to crash.
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Old November 16th, 2003, 06:55 PM   #11
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How does the problem show up? Freezes, spinning wheels, message errors that say "kernel panic"?

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Old November 16th, 2003, 07:14 PM   #12
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When you get a Kernel Panic, your screen will suddenly dim (without any warning, I might add) and a message will draw itself over the screen telling you (in many different languages) to press and hold the power button or press the reset button (10.2 or above). There is a different screen for 10.0 to 10.2.5.

Click here to see the screens

Anyway I logged in as root user and nothing really happened, since none of my programs were there (but the dock was GIGANTIC!). I haven't had a kernel panic since I removed the joypad, so I am going to see what happens. Thanks for all of the ideas and advice so far!
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Old November 16th, 2003, 08:03 PM   #13
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Well now I'm posting this from my Windows PC (which hasn't crashed in over a year). My Mac keeps losing the video drive. It just plain does not see it. Sometimes it does, and when it does it works fine. Once again my Mac froze during bootup into OS 9, detroying the directory (why this would have this effect is beyond me). So I am applying DiskWarrior AGAIN. I wouldn't be surprised if it froze during the process. It took 3 times just for the computer to boot up with the DiskWarrior CD without crashing.

This Mac has had the CPU replaced by Apple before for similar issues described in this post (except for the video drive disappearing... that has never happened before). They will probably have to replace it again. It was less than a year ago when they did replace it, and it was no charge to me. I am assuming it will still be no charge to me again since it has been less than a year since they worked on it. If they want to charge me, it would be cheaper to ditch the Mac platform altogether and go with PC, since it seems by far more reliable than Mac. A friend of mine also had a Dual 1Ghz Mac, the first one offered, and he has had even worse problems than me, crashing literally every 5 minutes with eMagic.

Apple seems to have a string of failures lately. My mac. My friend's Mac. The G5. OS 10.2.8 (which they pulled). Quicktime 6.4, OS 10.3. They don't seem to be able to get anything right. Is Apple becoming Microsoft? Are they hiring cheap Mexican labor? Seriously, what is wrong with Apple? I do not trust their products any more and I would have a huge amount of fear investing in a new Apple computer, since they seem to be getting less and less reliable.
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Old November 16th, 2003, 08:14 PM   #14
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When you say video drive do you mean a video hard drive or the video drivers for your monitor?
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Old November 16th, 2003, 08:34 PM   #15
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Hard drive. It shows up intermittently.
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