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My iMac keeps crashing - why?

214 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2013 2:09 PM by Linc Davis RSS
ghep Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 2, 2013 12:10 PM

My iMac has frequently been crashing. I haven't been doing anything notable or persistent when it happens other than using usual apps - eg. e-mail, Safari. I read in another thread someone who had a similar problem, but need to start a new thread to hopefully get a solution. I am running a 2011 iMac with OS and apps all updated to current standard. I have pasted the crash log below.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,520 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2013 2:09 PM (in response to ghep)

    That panic was not caused by third-party software. If the problem is recurrent, the possibilities are:

     

    1. A damaged OS X installation
    2. A fault in a peripheral device, if any
    3. Corrupt non-volatile memory (NVRAM)
    4. An internal hardware fault
    5. An obscure bug in OS X

     

    You can rule out the first two possibilities by reinstalling the OS and testing with non-essential peripherals disconnected and aftermarket expansion cards removed, if applicable. Sometimes a clean reinstallation (after erasing the startup volume) may solve a problem that isn't solved by reinstalling in place, without erasing.

     

    Corrupt NVRAM, which rarely causes panics, can be ruled out by resetting it as directed in this support article.

     

    If you've recently upgraded the memory, reinstall the original memory and see whether there's any improvement. Be careful not to touch the gold contacts on the memory modules when handling them. If necessary, clean them with a mild solvent such as rubbing alcohol.

     

    The Apple Hardware Test, though generally unreliable, will sometimes detect a fault. A negative test can't be depended on. Run the extended version of the test.

     

    In the category of obscure bugs, reports suggest that FileVault may trigger kernel traps under some unknown conditions. Most, though not all, of these reports seem to involve booting from an aftermarket SSD. If those conditions apply to you, try deactivating FileVault.

     

    Otherwise, make a "Genius" appointment at an Apple Store to have the machine tested. You may have to leave it there for several days. There isn't much point in doing this unless you can reproduce the panic, or if you can't, it happens often enough that it's likely to be repeated at the store. Otherwise you may be told that nothing is wrong.

     

    Print the first page of the panic report and bring it with you.

     

    Back up all data on the internal drive(s) before you hand over your computer to anyone. If privacy is a concern, erase the data partition(s) with the option to write zeros* (do this only if you know how to restore, and you have at least  two independent backups.) Don’t erase the recovery partition, if present.

     

    Keeping your confidential data secure during hardware repair

     

    *An SSD doesn't need to be zeroed.

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