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Why Multiple Kernel "issues" w/G4 iMac/Tiger?

3092 Views 112 Replies Latest reply: Dec 18, 2012 1:01 PM by este.el.paz RSS
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este.el.paz Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
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Oct 20, 2012 2:58 PM



Lately have had a run of KPs in my ten year old +- G4 iMac . . . so we know it's "old" but overall when it's running well, it's fine.  I ran the Apple Hardware test and that shows "OK" . . . I have SmartReporter and that shows fine.  I booted up in ext HD and ran DU to Repair Disk, and I ran Onyx as well . . . .  Today, I was trying to see if it was related to the browser, lately Ten4Fox, so I switched back to Camino but got the same "we don't support your browser" and KP there as well . . . .  Then I tried to not use the internet at all and things were going well for awhile, but then got another KP that way.  The computer has stopped generating "Crash Reports" to send to Apple and now just gives the kernel panic in a CLI note in black bars with white text that drops down over the desktop; multiple times the "grey" screen with the "You need to restart" happened, we aren't wasting time doing that now . . . the mouse and screen freezes and the CLI kernel trap info shows up.  BTW, I also had done a PRAM reset, and then I saw BDAqua's post here about doing it three times, which I did the other day and it seemed like the problem was fixed . . . until today with 3 of them.  Seems like it can happen right on revive from sleep or after running the computer for awhile.  Any thoughts?  I've been told already, "It's time for a new computer" and I'm reconciled to that in the near-long term as the "answer" . . . just wondering if I can get some insight into troubleshooting my dear old G4 friend and keep it going for awhile longer???  Can anybody hep me?  Final note, I've got the int HD partitioned and running Xu/Lu 12.0.4, the crash problem started there and that's not new, but then continued over into the OSX side.  Today, I was logged into Xu/Lu and did not have any KP while there . . . but did again back in OSX . . . .  Is it "soft" or "hard" ware issue?  I can't tell . . . .  Many thanks for any insights.



MBP 15 2.53 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.8), iBook G4, 14, 933 MHz (10.4.11), iMac G4, 15, 800MHz
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,730 points)
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    Oct 20, 2012 4:37 PM (in response to este.el.paz)

    Hello again,


    Open console in Applications>Utilities, check the system log for the date/time of the last problem  & the Startup right after that for clues.

    Might be time to replace the PRAM Battery, 4 years is close to their lifespan, far less if ever without AC power, & can cause strange problems... 

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,730 points)
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    Oct 20, 2012 6:09 PM (in response to este.el.paz)

    I'm not aware of a G4 that needs tools to open... oh wait, is it a G4 iMac?

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,730 points)
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    Oct 21, 2012 2:39 PM (in response to este.el.paz)

    Doesn't seem like it was running long enough for it to be a "heat based" problem???

    Actually, if it's something like the thermal paste no longer being good, 20 seconds can be enough to over heat.


    Depending how big the report is, copying & pasting the text in a reply might help us.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,730 points)
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    Oct 21, 2012 3:54 PM (in response to este.el.paz)

    Well, it is some Hardware problem, do you know if it has an Airport card in it?


    If allowed to cool does it boot longer?


    One way to test is to Safe Boot from the HD, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, Test for problem in Safe Mode...


    PS. Safe boot may stay on the gray radian for a long time, let it go, it's trying to repair the Hard Drive


    Reboot, test again.


    If it only does it in Regular Boot, then it could be some hardware problem like Video card, (Quartz is turned off in Safe Mode), or Airport, or some USB or Firewire device, or 3rd party add-on, Check System Preferences>Accounts>Login Items window to see if it or something relevant is listed.


    Check the System Preferences>Other Row, for 3rd party Pref Panes.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,730 points)
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    Oct 21, 2012 8:15 PM (in response to este.el.paz)

    Not sure if this works on that old of a Mac, but...


    If for some reason you can't use the keyboard method to start in Safe Mode (the keyboard is missing or not working, for example), and you already have remote access to the computer, you can configure the computer to startup in Safe Mode via its command line



       1. Access the command line by either opening Terminal remotely, or by logging into the computer from another via SSH.

       2. Execute the following command in Terminal or on the command line:



          sudo nvram boot-args="-x"



          (If you want to start in Verbose mode as well, use sudo nvram boot-args="-x -v" instead )




       3. After using Safe Boot, to return to a normal startup, execute this command in Terminal or the command line:



          sudo nvram boot-args=""



  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,730 points)
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    Oct 22, 2012 2:03 PM (in response to este.el.paz)

    what does using Verbose mode offer as distinct from just regular Safe mode?

    It displays a log of what is happening on bootup so we might see where it fails exactly.

  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (44,220 points)
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    Oct 22, 2012 5:58 PM (in response to este.el.paz)

    Understanding crash logs isn’t easy and it’s hard (sometimes impossible) to decipher the cause of the problem. Take a look at Apple’s Crash Reporter document at Also look at Tutorial: An introduction to reading Mac OS X crash reports


    Kernel panics are usually caused by a hardware problem – frequently RAM, a USB device or a Firewire device. What external devices do you have connected? When trying to troubleshoot problems, disconnect all external devices except your monitor, keyboard and mouse. Do you experience the same problems?


    To eliminate RAM being the problem, Look at this link: Testing RAM @ Then download & use Memtest & Ramber.


    Do you have an Apple Hardware Test disc (the AHT is on the Install/Restore DVD that came with your Mac)? Running the Apple Hardware Test in Loop Mode is an excellent troubleshooting step for finding intermittent hardware problems. It is especially useful when troubleshooting intermittent kernel panics. If Loop Mode is supported by the version of the Apple Hardware Test you are using, you run the Extended Test in Loop Mode by pressing Control-L before starting the test. Looping On should appear in the right window. Then click the Extended Test button.The test will run continuously until a problem is found. If a problem is found, the test will cease to loop, indicating the problem it found. If the test fails, be sure to write down the exact message associated with the failure.In some cases, RAM problems did not show up until nearly 40 loops, so give it a good run.


    May be a solution on one of these links.

  What's a "kernel panic"? (Mac OS X)

  Mac OS X Kernel Panic FAQ

  Mac OS X Kernel Panic FAQ

  Resolving Kernel Panics

  Avoiding and eliminating Kernel panics

  12-Step Program to Isolate Freezes and/or Kernel Panics


     Cheers, Tom

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,730 points)
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    Oct 24, 2012 9:07 PM (in response to este.el.paz)

    The ability to chose OS9 as Startup Disk shows it's there, the ? mark just means it can't find what it needs to boot OS9.

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